Football Manager 2019: Best Serie A players

Italy’s top league is one of the best in the world. But who are the top players in Serie A?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

The Italian league has always been strong. Juventus, Inter Milan, and AC Milan all have storied histories, and the likes of Roma, Napoli, and Lazio have been powers in European football in the past. Serie A has always played home to some talented players, and the 2018/19 season is no different. So who are the best players in Serie A in Football Manager 19?

For a full list of ALL the best Serie A players in FM19, see the table at the bottom of the page.

Cristiano Ronaldo (CA 195 – PA 196)

Age: 33

Position: AM (L), ST

Club: Juventus

Country: Portugal

Best Attributes: Finishing (20), Long Shots (20), Penalty Taking (20)

Value: £68 million

Wages: £1 million a week

Cristiano Ronaldo is comfortably the best player in Serie A after his £100 million move from Real Madrid this summer. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had won everything possible in Madrid, and with the team in a period of transition he decided to accept a move away.

In FM 19 Ronaldo is a world-beater even at 33. He is as good as it is possible to be in front of goal (20 finishing, 20 long shots, 20 penalty taking) and even at his age he is still physically gifted (19 natural fitness, 18 jumping reach, 17 strength, 16 pace). Ronaldo isn’t just a goal-scorer, he can create too (15 crossing, 15 technique, 14 passing) and is mentally very strong (20 determination, 18 anticipation, 18 off the ball).

Paulo Dybala (CA 174 – PA 185)

Age: 24

Position: AM (C), ST

Club: Juventus

Country: Argentina

Best Attributes: Technique (19), Dribbling (18), First Touch (18)

Value: £69 million

Wages: £225,000 a week

Paulo Dybala looks set to be the next great Argentine star. He came to Palermo from Argentina in 2012 and made an immediate impression. It didn’t take long for the Italian giants Juventus to take notice of his talents and in 2015 they snapped him up for €40 million.

In FM 19 Dybala is already a star despite his age. His talent on the ball is remarkable and he can both score (16 finishing, 16 long shots, 16 penalty taking) and create (19 technique, 18 dribbling, 16 passing). His mental attributes are good for someone his age (17 vision, 17 flair, 16 decisions, 16 anticipation) and he has reasonable physical traits (14 natural fitness, 14 pace, 14 stamina).

Gonzalo Higuain (CA 172 – PA 180)

Age: 30

Position: ST

Club: AC Milan (on loan from Juventus)

Country: Argentina

Best Attributes: Finishing (19), Decisions (18), Anticipation (18)

Value: £67 million

Wages: £300,000 a week

Gonzalo Higuain was bought to Europe by Real Madrid, and he excelled up front for the Spanish giants for seven years before moving to Napoli in 2013. He took some time to acclimatise to Italian football, but in the 2015/16 season he scored 36 times for Napoli, inducing Juventus to making a £74 million move for him. He’s currently on loan to AC Milan.

In Football Manager 2019 Higuain is a superb striker. He has good physicality to hold off and beat defenders (17 stamina, 16 strength, 16 natural fitness), allowing him to then clinically beat the keeper (19 finishing). Higuain’s mental attributes are strong (18 anticipation, 18 decisions, 17 work rate), which only serves to help his finishing ability.

Douglas Costa (CA 170 – PA 172)

Age: 27

Position: AM (RL)

Club: Juventus

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: Dribbling (19), Acceleration (19), Technique (18)

Value: £65 million

Wages: £190,000 a week

Douglas Costa first arrived in Europe with Shakhtar Donetsk in 2009 for just £6.75 million. He developed very well in his time in Ukraine and was soon snapped up by Bayern Munich. He struggled to make an impact with the German giants though, and after two years he was loaned to Juventus. He did well in Turin and completed a £32.5 million move in the summer of 2018.

Douglas Costa has excellent physical traits in FM 19 (19 acceleration, 18 pace, 15 stamina), which plays extremely well with his incredible talent on the ball (19 dribbling, 18 technique, 16 first touch). Costa can create down either wing (16 crossing, 15 passing), and has reasonable finishing (10) for a more traditional winger. 

Mauro Icardi (CA 169 – PA 177)

Age: 25

Position: ST

Club: Inter

Country: Argentina

Best Attributes: Off The Ball (20), Finishing (19), Anticipation (19)

Value: £64 million

Wages: £145,000 a week

Mauro Icardi was with Barcelona at one time, but he didn’t make a single senior appearance. He moved to Sampdoria in 2010. After just three years there he moved to Inter for £11 million and started banging goals in for them almost immediately.

Icardi is a superb striker in FM 19 with plenty of years still ahead of him. His movement is incredible (20 off the ball, 19 anticipation) and he is composed and decisive too (18 composure, 18 decisions). Once he gets in front of goal, Icardi is simply brilliant (19 finishing, 17 penalty taking). He has good physical traits too (15 stamina, 14 pace, 13 strength).

Miralem Pjanic (CA 169 – PA 173)

Age: 28

Position: DM (C), M (C)

Club: Juventus

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Best Attributes: Free Kick Taking (19), Vision (18), Passing (18)

Value: £60 million

Wages: £210,000 a week

Another Juventus player. Miralem Pjanic started his career with Metz in France but quickly moved to Olympique Lyonnais and then Roma. At each stop his play improved and eventually he moved to Juventus in 2016 for £26 million where he became an impact player for one of the best teams in the world.

Pjanic is an excellent centre midfielder in FM 19. He’s a terrific distributor (18 passing, 16 technique, 16 crossing) with an excellent head on his shoulders (18 vision, 18 anticipation, 17 teamwork). Pjanic’s physical traits are good for a central player (15 agility, 14 natural fitness, 14 stamina) too.

Giorgio Chiellini (CA 168 – PA 169)

Age: 33

Position: D (C)

Club: Juventus

Country: Italy

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

Value: £24.5 million

Wages: £130,000 a week

Giorgio Chiellini has long been a defensive rock for both club and country. He joined Juventus in 2004 for just £4.4 million, and after a year on loan with Fiorentina, he became the bedrock of a terrific backline. Chiellini has played more than 350 games for the Turin club and been capped nearly 100 times for his country.

In FM 19 he is on the cusp of turning 34 but Chiellini is still a fantastic defender. His mental attributes are incredible (20 work rate, 20 bravery, 19 determination, 16 anticipation) and his defensive skills are remarkable (19 tackling, 17 marking, 16 heading). What is perhaps the most amazing thing about Chiellini though is that his physical traits are still strong (18 strength, 16 pace, 15 natural fitness).

Radja Nainggolan (CA 167 – PA 170)

Age: 30

Position: AM (C), M (C)

Club: Inter

Country: Belgium

Best Attributes: Bravery (20), Determination (19), Work Rate (18)

Value: £58 million

Wages: £145,000 a week

Radja Nainggolan has played in Italy since 2005 when he arrived at Piacenza. His play in Serie B soon attracted the attention of bigger clubs and he joined Cagliari in 2009 and then Roma in 2013. It was with Roma where he blossomed into a serious player on the global stage and he eventually made a £34 million move to Inter this year.

Nainggolan has superb mental attributes (20 bravery, 18 work rate, 18 aggression, 16 off the ball)  which underpins everything he does on the field. He has good speed over the pitch (17 natural fitness, 16 stamina, 14 pace) and distributes well (15 first touch, 14 passing, 14 technique). Nainggolan is also impressive without the ball (17 tackling, 15 marking), making him a very nice all-rounder in the middle of any team.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (CA 166 – PA 184)

Age: 23

Position: M (C)

Club: Lazio

Country: Serbia

Best Attributes: Natural Fitness (20), Strength (19), Bravery (19)

Value: £57 million

Wages: £96,000 a week

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic started his career in Serbia before making a move to Belgian club Genk in 2014. He played just two years there before Lazio came in with a £13 million move for him. This will be his fourth season with the Italian club and he has already become a key part of their first team and could be in line for a big money move soon.

Milinkovic-Savic is a remarkable talent in Football Manager 2019. He has all the physicality you could hope for (20 natural fitness, 19 strength, 19 balance, 15 stamina). Along with the ability to run all day, he already has exceptional mental attributes (19 bravery, 18 off the ball, 17 work rate) and is excellent on the ball (16 technique, 16 first touch, 15 passing). He is also good in front of goal (15 finishing).

Leonardo Bonucci (CA 166 – PA 174)

Age: 31

Position: D (C)

Club: Juventus

Country: Italy

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

Value: £48.5 million

Wages: £175,000 a week

Another of the Juventus old guard. Leonardo Bonucci joined Juve from Bari in 2010 and was a key part of their defensive domination in the ensuing seven years. He made a surprising 2017 move to AC Milan for £37 million but returned to Juventus this summer for £30.5 million.

Like Chiellini, Bonucci is an excellent centre back in FM 19. Mentally he’s still at the top of his game (19 anticipation, 18 determination, 18 leadership) and his defensive skills show no sign of fading (16 tackling, 16 marking). His physical stats are also still good (16 stamina, 15 natural fitness, 15 strength).

Best Serie A players in Football Manager 2019

Name Pos Club Country Age CA PA Value Wage
Cristiano Ronaldo AM (L), ST Juventus Portugal 33 195 196 £68m £1m
Paulo Dybala AM (C), ST Juventus Argentina 24 174 185 £69m £225k
Gonzalo Higuaín ST Milan Argentina 30 172 180 £67m £300k
Douglas Costa AM (LR), M (L) Juventus Brazil 27 170 172 £65m £190k
Mauro Icardi ST Inter Argentina 25 169 177 £64m £145k
Miralem Pjanic DM, M (C) Juventus Bosnia and Herzegovina 28 169 173 £60m £210k
Giorgio Chiellini D (C) Juventus Italy 33 168 169 £24.5m £130k
Radja Nainggolan AM (C), M (C) Inter Belgium 30 167 170 £58m £145k
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic AM (C), M (C) Lazio Serbia 23 166 184 £57m £96k
Leonardo Bonucci D (C) Juventus Italy 31 166 174 £48.5m £175k
Lorenzo Insigne AM (LC), ST Napoli Italy 27 166 169 £60m £145k
Dries Mertens AM (L), ST Napoli Belgium 31 165 167 £53m £130k
Kalidou Koulibaly D (C) Napoli Senegal 27 165 167 £53m £145k
Edin Dzeko ST Roma Bosnia and Herzegovina 32 164 166 £43.5m £145k
Marek Hamsik AM (C), M (C) Napoli Slovakia 30 162 170 £52m £110k
Wojciech Szczesny GK Juventus Poland 28 162 164 £41m £130k
Alex Sandro D (L), WB (L), M (L) Juventus Brazil 27 161 168 £51m £89k
Juan Cuadrado D (R), WB (R), AM (R), M (R) Juventus Colombia 30 161 163 £53m £130k
Samir Handanovic GK Inter Slovenia 33 160 164 £32m £100k
Kostas Manolas D (C) Roma Greece 27 160 163 £47m £86k
Milan Skriniar D (C) Inter Slovakia 23 159 172 £44.5m £54k
Sami Khedira DM, M (C) Juventus Germany 31 159 167 £42m £130k
Mario Mandzukic AM (L), ST Juventus Croatia 32 159 166 £39m £130k
José Callejón AM (R), ST Napoli Spain 31 159 162 £44.5m £96k
Blaise Matuidi DM, M (LC) Juventus France 31 159 161 £42m £130k
Ivan Perisic AM (LR), M (L) Inter Croatia 29 159 160 £49m £130k
Ciro Immobile ST Lazio Italy 28 158 160 £46.5m £96k
Medhi Benatia D (C) Juventus Morocco 31 157 159 £35.5m £96k
Federico Bernardeschi AM (LRC), M (R) Juventus Italy 24 157 168 £44m £96k
Stefan de Vrij D (C) Inter Holland 26 157 161 £39.5m £120k
Allan DM, M (C) Napoli Brazil 27 157 158 £41.5m £64k
Emre Can DM, M (C) Juventus Germany 24 155 162 £36.5m £160k
Luis Alberto AM (C), M (C) Lazio Spain 25 154 159 £35.5m £48k
Daniele Rugani D (C) Juventus Italy 23 153 169 £29.5m £64k
Piotr Zielinski M (C) Napoli Poland 24 153 161 £31.5m £35k

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Toby Durant

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