Football Manager 2018: Juventus Guide, Player Ratings & Tactics

For the first time in six years Juve could lose their Serie A crown, can you stabilise the club on FM 18 and maybe even fire them towards European glory?

Alastair Pusinelli by Alastair Pusinelli

Juventus. The Old Lady. The kings of Italian football. Juve have dominated Serie A for the past six seasons, cementing them as one of the biggest clubs in Europe. They have found trouble on the European stage however with the Bianconeri having last won the Champions League in 1996. With just two European crowns to your name, this is what you must look to correct with Juventus on Football Manager 2018.


Juve managing director Giuseppe Marotta will welcome you to the club and present the club’s philosophes. These can be discussed, but the default is to just play attacking football. With all the attacking talent at your disposal you should not face any troubles here.


Next up, Marotta will show you the board’s expectations for the season. These can be freely adjusted, and the more difficult you make your targets, the more you will receive in your transfer budget. The suggested goals are to win the Serie A title and reach the semifinals of the European Champions Cup. The Italian Cup and Super Cup are marked as not important. If you were to target the Champions Cup final, you will get an extra £1.5 million for transfers. 


Transfer £19.61 million

Wage: £2.91m per week (Current spend: £2.89m)


Juventus have used a three/five at the back system for the best part of the last decade, but with star centre half Leonardo Bonucci (CA 173) leaving for AC Milan, you should opt for a four at the back formation. We’ve gone for a 4-2-3-1 to give a nice balance to the side.

Skipper Gianluigi Buffon, as ever, is in the Juve goal, with Stephan Lichtsteiner, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Alex Sandro in the back four.

Sami Khedira partners Miralem Pjanic in central midfield, with the catalyst Paulo Dybala in the number 10 role. Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa provide the width, with Gonzalo Higuain leading the line. 

Key players

There’s a great blend of youth and experience at Juventus, which should aid the transition of the club over the next few seasons.

Gonzalo Higuain – CA 4 star (178), PA 4 star (180)

Always facing the critics, but Gonzalo Higuain’s record speaks for itself. 43 goals in a season and a half in Turin showcases the Argentine’s prowess, and if Juve are to go on a win a Champions League trophy in the next few seasons, Higuain will need to show his talents on the biggest stage.

On FM 18, Higuain has a 178 current ability rate, which could still go and reach his 180 potential. The former Real Madrid man has attributes of 20 finishing, 19 decisions and 18 anticipation. 

Gianluigi Buffon – CA 4 star (177), PA 4 star (194)

It’s a sad thought that we could soon see a Juventus without Gianluigi Buffon, and on our FM save the Italy captain is retiring at the end of the season. Due to his longevity, the 39-year-old could go down as the best goalkeeper of all time, having won eight Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias, a UEFA Cup and a World Cup. 

On the game his 177 CA has fallen heavily from his 194 PA, but Buffon can still offer you incredible attributes of 20 command of area, 20 communication and 20 reflexes. 

Paulo Dybala – CA 4 star (174), PA 4 star (185)

The new star of Juventus is Paulo Dybala. The attacking midfielder or striker is the man the fans will look to so that they can challenge Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid for European titles, and it is vital they keep La Joya at the club as he approaches his peak.

19 technique, 19 agility and 18 dribbling help make up the 23-year-old Dybala’s 174 CA, with the Argentine holding a superb potential of 185. 

Young talent

Juve have had the likes of Alessandro Del Piero, Sebastian Giovinco, Ciro Immobile and Claudio Marchisio come from the youth setup, but there hasn’t been a noticeable graduate since. Who from the current crop of youngsters could change that?

Manolo Portanova – CA 1.5 star (88), PA 3-4 star (140-170)

Defensive or central midfielder Manolo Portanova made the switch from Laio to Juventus at the age of just 17, so keep an eye out for the Italy U18 international in the years ahead. On FM he has an 88 CA which can rise to a potential between 140 and 170.

Fabrizio Caligara – CA 1 star (86), PA 2-3 star (140-170)

Juve through and through is central midfielder Fabrizio Caligara. The 17-year-old has worked his way up from the youth teams and even made his first team debut in the Champions League this season. His 86 CA rating can rise to a potential between 140 and 170. 

Elia Petrelli – CA 1 star (80), PA 3-4 star (120-150)

The next bright striker coming through is Elia Petrelli. The 15-year-old (yes, fifteen) has netted 22 goals in 27 games for Juve U17s, earning him a call up to the Italy U17 side. On FM he may only have an 80 CA, but that can rise to a rating between 120 and 150. 

Team report

Decisions Wage Budget
Work Rate
Scouting Staff
Coaching Staff
Youth Prospects
Central Midfield Depth
Goalkeeper Depth
Jumping Reach
Star Goalkeeper (Gianluigi Buffon)
Star Defenders (Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini)
First Touch
Transfer Budget
Overall Depth


Team Leaders – Gianluigi Buffon (c), Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio

Highly influential – Juan Cuadrado, Gonzalo Higuain, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Andrea Barzagli, Sami Khedira, Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala, Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic, Daniele Rugani, Stefano Sturaro

Dynamics is the big new feature for FM 18, which depicts the atmosphere inside the dressing room. Be sure to monitor the morale of your players, and more importantly, make sure you keep your influential players happy. Saying the wrong thing to one of the leaders of the dressing room can cause performances of the squad to slip on the pitch.

Transfer targets

A £19 million transfer budget isn’t a great deal, but it should still allow you to bring in one name for your first team.

Right back – Aleix Vidal (CA 149, PA 153)

In Stephan Lichtsteiner you have a right back on the decline. The 33-year-old is the weakest player in the starting lineup, and you should look to replace him with a superior alternative. With your budget, the best you can do is Barcelona’s Aleix Vidal, who can be picked up for just £19.5 million. That will get you the Spaniard’s 149 CA rating, which can still rise to a 153 potential. The 27-year-old’s best stats include 16 work rate, 15 movement and 15 dribbling. 

Alternative options:

  • Mario – Age 26, Villarreal, Spain, CA 147, PA 153, Value: £12mm, Wage: £40k
  • Djibril Sidibe – Age 25, Monaco, France, CA 147, PA 154, Value: £18m, Wage: £40k
  • Elseid Hysaj – Age 23, Napoli, Albania, CA 146, PA 154, Value: £14m, Wage: £22k
  • Hugo Mallo – Age 26, Vigo, Spain, CA 145, PA 156, Value: £10m, Wage: £29k

Players to sell

If you want more for your transfer budget, you will need to sell off some players. With a large squad at Juventus, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Stephan Lichtsteiner

If you are going to bring in a new right back, you will want to be selling Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Swiss international has performed well for Juventus, but at the age of 33, it’s time for him to move on. Lichtsteiner should collect you £3 million in the transfer market, freeing up his hefty £89,000 a week wages. 

Stefano Sturaro

You have plenty of midfield options at Juve, and you can’t see Stefano Sturaro getting many games ahead of Sami Khedira, Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi and Claudio Marchisio. With a value of £13 million and wages of £47,500 a week, that could prove the difference between a decent and world class signing. 

Carlo Pinsoglio

With two top goalkeepers at the club in the form of Gianluigi Buffon and Wojciech Szczesny, third choice Carlo Pinsoglio won’t receive much game time. Yes, he could be called upon if there is an injury crisis, but you still have options in your youth squads. The 114-rated Pinsoglio can only grow to 120, so look to sell the 27-year-old for £750,000 and reinvest his £6,250 a week wages. 


At large, the finances at Juventus are in good health. There is one debt that still needs to be paid off, but it will do so gradually until 2025. The overall balance of the club is on the rise, and turnover is set to remain fairly constant. Expenditure will rise, but the only real concern is the club’s profit turning into loss at the end of the season. Winning some silverware could correct his. You will be pleased to know your transfer budget will hit £90 million next season.

Go one better

Losing Arturo Vidal and Leonardo Bonucci in successive seasons is a blow for Juventus, and this season they have serious competition for the title they have clung on to so tightly for the last six years. You must make sure that the club stays in a strong position during this transition period, with the likes of Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli also likely to leave the club.

Your next few transfer windows will be vital to revitalise the squad, but there is more than enough there already to launch a bid for that elusive European victory. Being dark horses for the competition could work in your favour, and with a versatile squad you can be a match for any club. 

Juventus first team squad, player roles and ratings

Role Ability
Starting Lineup
Gianluigi Buffon 39 GK Goalkeeper Defend 4 star 177/
Stephan Lichtsteiner 33 DR Wing-Back Defend 2.5 star 145/
Andrea Barzagli 36 DCR Central Defender Defend 3 star 162/
Giorgio Chiellini 32 DCL Central Defender Stopper 4 star 167/
Alex Sandro 26 DL Complete/
4 star 168/
Sami Khedira 30 MCR Central Midfielder Automatic/
4 star 165/
Miralem Pjanic 27 MCL Advanced Playmaker Support 4 star 169/
Juan Cuadrado 29 AMR Winger Support 3 star 159/
Paulo Dybala 23 AMC Attacking Midfielder/
Advanced Playmaker
Support 4 star 174/
Douglas Costa 26 AML Winger Attack 3 star 157/
Gonzalo Higuain 29 STC Advanced Forward Attack 4 star 178/
Wojciech Szczesny 27 GK Goalkeeper Defend 3 star 155/
Medhi Benatia 32 D (C) Central Defender/
Defensive Centre Back
2.5 star 151/
Mattia De Sciglio 24 D (RL)
Full-Back Automatic/
2.5 star 141/
Kwadwo Asamoah 28 D (L)
WB (L)
M (LC)
Wing-Back Defend 2.5 star 146/
Blaise Matuidi 30 DM
M (C)
Box To Box Midfielder/
Support 3 star 156/
Federico Bernardeschi 23 M (RL)
Advanced Playmaker Support 3 star 152/
Mario Mandzukic 31 AM (L)
ST (C)
Defensive Forward Support/
3 star 161/
Carlo Pinsoglio 27 GK Goalkeeper Defend 2 star 114/
Daniele Rugani 23 D (C) Ball Playing Defender Defend 2.5 star 150/
Benedikt Howedes 29 D (RC) Central Defender Defend 2.5 star 150/
Stefano Sturaro 24 DM
M (C)
Ball Winning Midfielder Support 2.5 star 142/
Rodrigo Bentancur 20 M (RLC) Advanced Playmaker Support 2.5 star 138/
Claudio Marchisio 31 DM
M (C)
Deep Lying Playmaker Defend 3.5 star 163/
Marko Pjaca 22 AM (RL)
ST (C)
Inside Forward/
2.5 star 147/

How is your FM save going? Who have you signed? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Alastair Pusinelli

First console: GameBoy Color / Favourite Game: Assassin's Creed 2 / Currently playing: Football Manager 2020