Football Manager 2019: Best Centre Backs

Every team needs good centre backs to compete, but who are the best defenders in FM 19?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Regardless of which league you play in, you need good centre backs. You can’t win trophies if you are shipping goals every game, which means you have to invest in solid defenders. Getting the best players can be an expensive task, but there is no replacement for quality, and no surer way of hoisting silverware than a rock-solid defence.

A quality centre back obviously needs to be excellent at marking and tackling, but the modern game also asks them to be competent on the ball. They also should be strong in the air to defend crosses and also pose a threat during attacking set pieces. These are the best centre backs in Football Manager 19.

For a full list of ALL the best centre backs in FM19, see the table at the bottom of the page.

Sergio Ramos (CA 174 – PA 174)

Age: 32

Positions: D (C)

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Heading (20), Determination (20), Leadership (19)

Value: £58 million

Wage: £350,000 a week

It should be no surprise that the Real Madrid captain is among the best centre backs in FM 19. Ramos has long been a defensive force of nature for both club and country, winning everything there is to win.

Ramos possesses excellent defensive skills (18 tackling, 16 marking) and more physicality than most attackers can handle (18 aggression, 16 strength). Despite his advancing years he still has good physical traits (17 stamina, 15 pace, 15 natural fitness) and he is deadly in the air (20 heading, 16 jumping reach).

Virgil van Dijk (CA 171 – PA 174)

Age: 26

Positions: D (C)

Club: Liverpool

Country: Netherlands

Best Attributes: Heading (18), Strength (18), Jumping Reach (18)

Value: £59 million

Wage: £180,000 a week

Virgil van Dijk first came to prominence during his time with Southampton. He was touted to make a big money move, and Liverpool soon swooped in, signing him for £75 million in January 2018. The Dutch centre back is already one of the best defenders in the world despite just entering the prime of his career.

In FM 19 van Dijk is a well-rounded monster. He is incredibly physical (18 strength, 18 jumping reach) and excellent at breaking up play (17 tacking, 16 marking). He’s also good on the ball (15 passing, 14 first touch) and deadly in the air (18 heading).

Mats Hummels (CA 169 – PA 171)

Age: 29

Positions: D (C)

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: Composure (19), Positioning (18), Anticipation (18)

Value: £57 million

Wage: £170,000 a week

Mats Hummels started his career with Bayern Munich, but made his name with Borussia Dortmund. He spent nine seasons competing against Bayern, lifting two Bundesliga titles with Dortmund before returning to Munich for the 2016/17 season.

Hummels is an excellent centre back in the prime of his career. He has terrific mental attributes (19 composure, 18 positioning) to go along with very good physicality (16 strength, 16 jumping reach, 15 natural fitness) and technical ability (17 tackling, 17 marking). Hummels is also strong on the ball, allowing him to launch attacks and retain possession (15 passing, 14 first touch).

Gerard Pique (CA 169 – PA 170)

Age: 31

Positions: D (C)

Club: Barcelona

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: Composure (18), Positioning (18), Decisions (17)

Value: £57 million

Wage: £220,000 a week

Gerard Pique is Barcelona through and through. He was born and trained in the Catalan city, and beside a few seasons at Manchester United he has been with them for all his career. He has won everything with Barcelona that one can win, as well as being a key piece of Spain’s success on the world stage.

In Football Manager 19 Pique is still a remarkable defender. Strong without the ball (16 marking, 15 tackling) and with it (16 passing, 16 technique, 15 first touch), he is still physically strong (15 strength, 13 pace) and mentally at the top of his game (18 positioning, 18 composure).

Giorgio Chiellini (CA 168 – PA 169)

Age: 33

Positions: D (C)

Club: Juventus

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: Work Rate (20), Bravery (20), Determination (19)

Value: £24.5 million

Wage: £130,000 a week

Giorgio Chiellini is the old guard of The Old Lady. He has been with Juventus since 2005 and has been the organising force of their excellent defence for years. He’s made over 350 appearances for them and won seven Serie A titles with them.

Chiellini is a workhorse in FM 19. He never stops (20 work rate) and defensively he is one of the best around (19 tackling, 17 marking). He is still remarkably physical despite nearing his 34th birthday when the game starts (18 strength, 16 pace). He isn’t as great on the ball as others, but he isn’t bad (12 passing).

Diego Godin (CA 168 – PA 169)

Age: 32

Positions: D (C)

Club: Atletico Madrid

Country: Uruguay

Best Attributes: Heading (18), Leadership (18), Bravery (18)

Value: £41.5 million

Wage: £170,000 a week

Diego Godin has been a force for Atletico Madrid since he arrived from Villarreal in 2010. He was terrific in their La Liga-winning campaign and was vital in their run to two Champions League finals.

Godin is a superb player in Football Manager 2019. His defensive stats are good (17 marking, 16 tackling) and he is excellent in the air (18 heading, 16 jumping reach). He still has enough physicality to compete with younger strikers (14 pace, 14 strength) and his mental attributes are strong (18 bravery, 17 positioning, 17 anticipation).

Leonardo Bonucci (CA 166 – PA 174)

Age: 31

Positions: D (C)

Club: Juventus

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: Anticipation (19), Determination (18), Leadership (18)

Value: £48.5 million

Wage: £175,00 a week

After a year away with AC Milan, Leonardo Bonucci returned to Juventus this summer in a £30 million move. He originally joined the Turin club in 2010 where he formed a brilliant partnership with Giorgio Chiellini.

Bonucci is one of the most consistent centre backs around. His mental stats are the star (19 anticipation, 18 determination, 17 positioning) and he is excellent at taking the ball away from players (16 marking, 16 tackling). Despite his age, Bonucci still has good physical stats (16 stamina, 15 strength, 14 pace) and he can play the ball well too (16 passing, 15 heading, 14 first touch).

Jerome Boateng (CA 165 – PA 175)

Age: 29

Positions: D (C)

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: Strength (18), Tackling (17), Marking (17)

Value: £53 million

Wage: £205,000 a week

Jerome Boateng has been a stalwart for Bayern Munich since he arrived in 2011 from Manchester City. His partnership with Mats Hummels has been remarkably successful, and he’s become a regular for the German national side, winning over 70 caps to date.

Boateng is a brilliant defender (17 marking, 17 tackling) in FM 19. He has terrific physical stats to go along with his defending (18 strength, 16 pace) and while his mental stats aren’t as strong as others, they are still good (15 decisions, 15 positioning).

Raphael Varane (CA 165 – PA 172)

Age: 25

Positions: D (C)

Club: Real Madrid

Country: France

Best Attributes: Tacking (17), Marking (17), Positioning (17)

Value: £52.6 million

Wage: £180,00 a week

Raphael Varane is one of the best centre backs in the world despite being just 25. He is remarkably experienced, having played with Real Madrid since 2011, and is already a star for France. He started every game in the World Cup this summer and played brilliantly as France won the World Cup for the second time.

Varane is an excellent centre back in Football Manager, with terrific defensive stats (17 marking, 17 tackling) and exceptional mental attributes for someone as relatively young as he is (17 positioning, 17 concentration, 15 anticipation). He also has good physical stats (17 jumping reach, 16 pace, 15 strength), making him a tough defender for any striker to beat.

Jan Vertonghen (CA 165 – PA 165)

Age: 31

Positions: D (C)

Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Country: Belgium

Best Attributes: Tackling (17), Marking (16), Positioning (16)

Value: £47.5 million

Wage: £90,000 a week

Jan Vertonghen has been a rock for Spurs since he arrived from Ajax for around £10 million in 2012. He has gone on to make nearly 200 appearances for the club and has become a leading player for Belgium, winning over 100 caps. 

In FM 19 Vertonghen is a very well-rounded player. He’s a threat in the air (16 heading) and good with the ball at his feet (15 first touch, 15 technique, 14 passing). The best part of his game is obviously his defensive stats (17 tackling, 16 marking) but he is also very physical (16 strength, 15 natural fitness) and has good mental stats too (16 positioning, 16 composure).

Best Centre Backs in Football Manager 2019

Sergio RamosD (C)R. MadridSpain32174174£58m£350k
Virgil van DijkD (C)LiverpoolNetherlands26171174£59m£180k
Mats HummelsD (C)FC BayernGermany29169171£57m£170k
Gerard PiquéD (C)BarcelonaSpain31169170£57m£220k
Giorgio ChielliniD (C)JuventusItaly33168169£24.5m£130k
Jerome BoatengD (C)FC BayernGermany29168175£53m£205k
Diego GodínD (C)A. MadridUruguay32168169£41.5m£170k
Leonardo BonucciD (C)JuventusItaly31166174£48.5m£175k
Raphaël VaraneD (C)R. MadridFrance25165172£53m£180k
Jan VertonghenD (C)TottenhamBelgium31165165£47.5m£90k
Kalidou KoulibalyD (C)NapoliSenegal27165167£53m£110k
Vincent KompanyD (C)Man CityBelgium32163168£53m£150k
Samuel UmtitiD (C)BarcelonaFrance24161169£48m£205k
Toby AlderweireldD (C)TottenhamBelgium29160170£47m£50k
Thiago SilvaD (C)Paris SGBrazil33160164£21.5m£275k
Laurent KoscielnyD (C)ArsenalFrance32160165£30.5m£90k
Kostas ManolasD (C)RomaGreece27160163£47m£86k
Milan SkriniarD (C)InterSlovakia23159172£44.5m£54k
Nicolas OtamendiD (C)Man CityArgentina30159159£38m£180k
Medhi BenatiaD (C)JuventusMorocco31157159£35.5m£96k
Stefan de VrijD (C)Inter MilanNetherlands26157161£39.5m£120k
Eric BaillyD (C)Man UtdIvory Coast24156170£24m£80k
John StonesD (C)Man CityEngland24156170£33m£100k
NachoD (RLC)R. MadridSpain28156158£30.5m£80k
MarquinhosD (C)Paris SGBrazil24155169£35.5m£230k
SokratisD (C)ArsenalGreece30154154£36.5m£100k
Aymeric LaporteD (C)Man CityFrance24154170£33m£120k
Stefan SavicD (C)A. MadridMontenegro27153158£24m£77k
Federico FazioD (C)RomaArgentina31153153£22.5m£80k
Simon KjærD (C)SevillaDenmark29153155£14.5m£145k
Daniele RuganiD (C)JuventusItaly23153169£29.5m£64k
Dejan LovrenD (C)LiverpoolCroatia28152153£33m£100k
José GiménezD (C)A. MadridUruguay23152168£24m£53k
Eric DierD (C), DM, M (C)TottenhamEngland24152162£35m£60k
Alessio RomagnoliD (C)MilanItaly23151169£25m£110k
Niklas SüleD (C)FC BayernGermany22151168£47m£52k
Kamil GlikD (C)AS MonacoPoland30150152£24.5m£60k
Raúl AlbiolD (C)NapoliSpain32150156£14.75m£67k


Toby Durant