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

Name Pos Club Country Age CA PA Value Wage
Sergio Ramos D (C) R. Madrid Spain 32 174 174 £58m £350k
Virgil van Dijk D (C) Liverpool Netherlands 26 171 174 £59m £180k
Mats Hummels D (C) FC Bayern Germany 29 169 171 £57m £170k
Gerard Piqué D (C) Barcelona Spain 31 169 170 £57m £220k
Giorgio Chiellini D (C) Juventus Italy 33 168 169 £24.5m £130k
Jerome Boateng D (C) FC Bayern Germany 29 168 175 £53m £205k
Diego Godín D (C) A. Madrid Uruguay 32 168 169 £41.5m £170k
Leonardo Bonucci D (C) Juventus Italy 31 166 174 £48.5m £175k
Raphaël Varane D (C) R. Madrid France 25 165 172 £53m £180k
Jan Vertonghen D (C) Tottenham Belgium 31 165 165 £47.5m £90k
Kalidou Koulibaly D (C) Napoli Senegal 27 165 167 £53m £110k
Vincent Kompany D (C) Man City Belgium 32 163 168 £53m £150k
Samuel Umtiti D (C) Barcelona France 24 161 169 £48m £205k
Toby Alderweireld D (C) Tottenham Belgium 29 160 170 £47m £50k
Thiago Silva D (C) Paris SG Brazil 33 160 164 £21.5m £275k
Laurent Koscielny D (C) Arsenal France 32 160 165 £30.5m £90k
Kostas Manolas D (C) Roma Greece 27 160 163 £47m £86k
Milan Skriniar D (C) Inter Slovakia 23 159 172 £44.5m £54k
Nicolas Otamendi D (C) Man City Argentina 30 159 159 £38m £180k
Medhi Benatia D (C) Juventus Morocco 31 157 159 £35.5m £96k
Stefan de Vrij D (C) Inter Milan Netherlands 26 157 161 £39.5m £120k
Eric Bailly D (C) Man Utd Ivory Coast 24 156 170 £24m £80k
John Stones D (C) Man City England 24 156 170 £33m £100k
Nacho D (RLC) R. Madrid Spain 28 156 158 £30.5m £80k
Marquinhos D (C) Paris SG Brazil 24 155 169 £35.5m £230k
Sokratis D (C) Arsenal Greece 30 154 154 £36.5m £100k
Aymeric Laporte D (C) Man City France 24 154 170 £33m £120k
Stefan Savic D (C) A. Madrid Montenegro 27 153 158 £24m £77k
Federico Fazio D (C) Roma Argentina 31 153 153 £22.5m £80k
Simon Kjær D (C) Sevilla Denmark 29 153 155 £14.5m £145k
Daniele Rugani D (C) Juventus Italy 23 153 169 £29.5m £64k
Dejan Lovren D (C) Liverpool Croatia 28 152 153 £33m £100k
José Giménez D (C) A. Madrid Uruguay 23 152 168 £24m £53k
Eric Dier D (C), DM, M (C) Tottenham England 24 152 162 £35m £60k
Alessio Romagnoli D (C) Milan Italy 23 151 169 £25m £110k
Niklas Süle D (C) FC Bayern Germany 22 151 168 £47m £52k
Kamil Glik D (C) AS Monaco Poland 30 150 152 £24.5m £60k
Raúl Albiol D (C) Napoli Spain 32 150 156 £14.75m £67k


Toby Durant