Football Manager 2020: Real Madrid Team Guide – Tactics, formations, transfer targets & more

The world’s most successful club are in danger of falling away. Can you take over and win it all?

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Los Blancos are the most successful team in European football, making them a favourite to take over in Football Manager 2020.

They hold the record for La Liga titles with a massive 33 and for Champions League wins at 13.

For generations they have been the home of the most talented footballers in the world.

In 2000, President Florentino Perez ushered in the Galacticos era and Real Madrid’s global popularity took off. From Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and eventually Cristiano Ronaldo, if a world-class player has been looking to move, Real Madrid have been interested.

 

Last summer they brought in Eden Hazard after they failed to claim a major trophy.

Can you take over and lead Madrid back to the top of global football and extend their records?

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Club vision

Real Madrid's Club Vision in Football Manager 2020
ACHIEVABLE EXPECTATIONS: You should be able to reach these goals

You would expect “win everything” to be required of you, but actually the expectations of the board are fairly reasonable.

You are expected to win La Liga, which means beating bitter rivals Barcelona, but the quarter-final is your minimum expectation for the Champions League.

READ MORE: All the best midfielders (DM, MC, AMC) in Football Manager 2020

You do have to sign high-reputation players and those under the age of 23. That will be tricky but there are some names out there that will want to move to Madrid.

So, if you need to win La Liga you will need some strong tactics to make sure you pick up every point you can.

Tactical style & formation

Real Madrid's ideal tactics in FM20
ATTACK: Madrid’s prowess lies upfront

Real Madrid have a lot of attacking talent, so any forward-thinking style would fit them.

The best in FM20 are gegenpress and vertical tiki-taka. Given Madrid’s squad gegenpress fits best, with a 4-2-3-1 Wide formation to get your best players on the pitch.

Your starting XI will be Thibaut Courtois in goal with a back four of Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, and Marcelo.

READ MORE: Best young goalkeepers (GK) to sign in Football Manager 2020

A central midfield duo of Casemiro and Toni Kross will help control tempo, while your front four of Gareth Bale on the right, Luka Modric in the middle, Eden Hazard on the left, and Karim Benzema up top score all the goals.

On the bench you’ll want Alphonse Areola, Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Isco, Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior, and Luka Jovic.

Be sure to rotate regularly. Real Madrid has a lot of attacking talent who will get upset if you aren’t playing them.

Best players

Real Madrid’s squad is full of quality footballers that could be starting for nearly any other team in the world. You will have some selection headaches, but regularly rotating your forwards and maybe loaning out one or two players will help.

PlayerPosAgeCA/PABest Stats
Eden HazardAM (RLC)28181/18520 dribbling, 20 agility, 19 penalty taking
Karim BenzemaST31174/17818 passing, 18 technique, 17 vision
Gareth BaleM (L)
AM (RLC)
ST
29173/18619 long shots, 18 off the ball, 18 heading
Luka ModricM (C)
AM (C)
33173/18019 passing, 19 first touch, 18 vision
Sergio RamosD (C)33172/17420 heading, 20 determination, 19 leadership

As you can see, Madrid has talent all over the field. One problem on the horizon is that a lot of their best players are starting to reach their decline years and will soon retire. You’ll need to be ready to replace them…

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Young talent

Thankfully, there are some young stars waiting in the wings for Real Madrid. Some are ready to contribute right away despite their age, but some will need a little seasoning.

Vinicius Junior – CA 2.5 star (144), PA 4.5 star (160-190)

Vinicius Junior's stats page in Football Manager 2020

Arriving in July 2018 from Flamengo in Brazil, Vinicius Junior is already carving out a role for himself in the first team for Madrid despite being a teenager.

In FM20 he has all the potential in the world. A natural left winger, he already has 18 determination, 17 acceleration, and 17 dribbling. His CA of 144 makes him a comfortable starter against most La Liga opposition, while his PA range of 160-190 means he could be one of the best players in the world eventually.

Rodrygo – CA 2 star (130), PA 4.5 star (160-190)

Rodrygo's stats page in Football Manager 2020

In a similar mould to Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo agreed a deal with Real Madrid before the age of 18 and moved from Brazil to Spain as soon as he could.

READ MORE: The best wonderkid midfielders in Football Manager 2020

A natural striker and left winger, he comes with 19 natural fitness, 16 agility, and 15 dribbling. His 160-190 PA range means get him game time when you can so he develops into a world-beater.

Martin Calderon – CA 1.5 star (140), PA 3.5 star (140-170)

Martin Calderon's stats page in Football Manager 2020

One of Real Madrid’s issues is that their midfield is aging. Martin Calderon could be the solution. He entered the Real Madrid youth system in 2013 and has progressed up to the Castilla side.

In FM20 he brings 18 determination to the team immediately, with 14 passing, 14 vision, and 14 technique to help move the ball around. His CA is already at the bottom of his PA range, so either loan him out or make sure he gets first-team minutes to push his progress forward.

Transfer targets

FINANCIAL MUSCLE: Real Madrid have the money to do nearly anything

Starting transfer budget: £51.67 million

Remaining transfer budget: £132,000 a week

There aren’t exactly many weaknesses to the Real Madrid squad, but the inevitability of time will create a few.

Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos are 33, so replacing them is the first priority. Real Madrid helped you out by adding Eder Militao in the summer, so finding a midfielder should be top of the list.

Christian Eriksen's stats page in Football Manager 2020

Christian Eriksen may seem out of Madrid’s price range, but he is in the final year of his contract with Tottenham. If you swoop in with a low-ball offer he is likely to refuse to enter negotiations with them, opening the door for you to sign him on a free transfer.

Alternative options

PlayerAgeClubCountryCA/PAValueWage
Mikel Oyarzabal22Real San SebastianSpain154/167£40m£37k
Nabil Fekir25Real HispalisFrance153/158£37.5m£59k
Lorenzo Pellegrini23RomaItaly155/169£36.5m£61k

Future transfers

Real Madrid not only have extremely strong cachet with players around the world, but they have incredible financial power too. In future years your transfer budget is going to be enormous, upwards of £130 million.

This means you have the opportunity to go out and buy some true global stars.

READ MORE: All the best left midfielders (ML & AML) to sign in FM20

Karim Benzema is a quality player, but he isn’t that strong in front of goal. Harry Kane and Lautaro Martinez are both strong options to throw money at. Meanwhile, Dayot Upamecano would be a solid long-term option to be your new centre back in place of Sergio Ramos.

Contracts

MONEY: Keep an eye on your expiring contracts

Real Madrid has a few players entering the final year of their contract when you take over.

Several key stars are included here. Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, and James Rodriguez all need dealing with.

Rodriguez should be sold immediately to cash in on his value, while both Modric and Ramos could both be handed one-year extensions but at reduced rates.

READ MORE: FM20: Arsenal team guide

Sergio Reguilon, currently on loan, is a solid left-back that could be retained too.

Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez, and Casemiro are all on contracts that expire in June 2021. Casemiro is a must-keep but both Benzema and Vazquez could be let go if you sign a big-name striker.

Win it all, crush your rivals

It’s tough to make your mark on a club that already has such a storied past. However, it is possible with time and success.

READ MORE: Why wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga is a must-buy in FM20

The best way to do this is by crushing Barcelona and keeping them off the top of La Liga for year after year. It won’t be easy, and Atletico Madrid should not be dismissed either. However, given the prestige and financial muscle at your disposal, the utter domination of both Spain and Europe is certainly possible.

Full Real Madrid player ratings

PlayerAgePosRoleDutyRole AbilityCA/PA
Starting Lineup
Thibaut Courtois27GKSKDefend3.5 star162/183
Dani Carvajal27D (RL)
WB (R)
WBDefend3 star156/162
Sergio Ramos33D (C)BPDDefend4 star172/174
Raphael Varane26D (C)BPDDefend3 star159/172
Marcelo31D (L)
WB (L)
M (L)
CWBSupport3 star151/166
Toni Kroos29DM
M (C)
DLPSupport4 star162/176
Casemiro27DM
M (C)
BBMSupport3 star159/167
Gareth Bale29M (L)
AM (RLC)
ST
WAttack4 star173/186
Luka Modric33M (C)
AM (C)
DLPSupport4 star173/180
Eden Hazard28AM (RLC)IWSupport4.5 star181/185
Karim Benzema31STDLFAttack4 star174/178
Substitutes & Reserves
Alphonse Areola26GKSKSupport2.5 star150/154
Alvaro Odriozola23D (R)WBAttack3 star154/163
Eder Militao21D (RC)
WB (R)
DM
WBDefend2.5 star150/170
Isco27M (RLC)
AM (RLC)
AMSupport3.5 star160/180
Marco Asensio23AM (RLC)WAttack3 star151/165
Vinicius Junior18AM (L)
ST
IWSupport2.5 star144/160-190
Luka Jovic21STPoacherAttack3 star156/170
Rodrygo18AM (L)
ST
IWSupport2 star130/160-190
Nacho29D (RLC)WBDefend2.5 star150/158
Lucas Vazquez28M (R)
M (RL)
WSupport2.5 star142/156
Mariano25STPFAttack2.5 star147/154
James Rodriguez27M (RLC)
AM (RLC)
AMSupport3.5 star157/172
Ferland Mendy24D (L)
WB (L)
WBDefend2.5 star145/156

Toby Durant