Football Manager 2020: All the best centre backs (DC) to sign – van Dijk, Ramos, & more

These are your rocks. The players you can build a title-contender around and keep clean sheets.

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

Keeping a clean sheet is just as important as scoring goals. This is something a lot of managers tend to forget when they load up their save, but investing in world-class centre backs can be a highly effective way of improving the level of your team.

With the amount of attacking quality around the world now, you need a superb commander at the back to keep the defence organised and frustrate your opponent.

How to choose the best centre backs (DC) in Football Manager 2020

This article will look at the very best centre backs in Football Manager 2020. We don’t care about age or nationality here, just the absolute best quality players at the position when you start your save (usually June 2019).

These players are all natural at DC, and are sorted by current ability (CA). This is the surest way of seeing who the best players are as star ratings only work in reference to the rest of your team, not world football as a whole.

So who are the best centre backs in FM20?

Virgil van Dijk (CA 178 – PA 182)

Age: 27

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Liverpool

Country: Holland

Best Attributes: 18 heading, 18 decisions, 18 determination

Value: £65 million

Wage: £180,000 a week

It’s no surprise to see Virgil van Dijk atop this list. The Dutch defender first made his mark at Celtic, before a move to Southampton and then a blockbuster £75 million move to Liverpool in December 2017. There van Dijk became a fearsome force in the heart of the defence and lifted last year’s Champions League.

READ MORE: FM20 – All the best young defensive midfielders (DM) to sign

In Football Manager 2020 van Dijk is a monster. With 18 decisions, 18 determination, and 17 positioning he is always where he needs to be. His 18 heading, 17 jumping, and 16 passing make him an offensive threat too, while his 17 tackling and 16 marking mean few escape him.

Sergio Ramos (CA 172 – PA 174)

Age: 33

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: 20 heading, 20 determination, 19 leadership

Value: £24 million

Wage: £475,000 a week

The Real Madrid captain is next on the list. He joined Madrid from Sevilla in 2005 and quickly became a vital piece of the team. In 2015 he took over the armband as Iker Casillas left. His list of career honours lacks nothing, with four La Liga titles, four Champions League winners medals, and two European Championships and a World Cup with Spain.

Ramos’ stats are highlighted by his 20 determination and 19 leadership, which makes him invaluable on the field. He also brings 17 anticipation, 17 bravery, and 16 work rate. Along with a deadly 20 heading and 16 jumping.

Giorgio Chiellini (CA 170 – PA 174)

Age: 34

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Zebre (Juventus)

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: 20 bravery, 19 determination, 19 tackling

Value: £5.75 million

Wage: £105,000 a week

The Juventus icon is next up. Giorgio Chiellini has been with Juventus since 2005 and has claimed eight Serie A titles in his time with the Old Lady.

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Despite his age Chiellini is still a superb defender. A consummate pro, his stats are highlighted by 20 bravery, 18 positioning, 18 teamwork, and a massive 19 tackling. He still has 16 pace too, although his 10 acceleration does undo that somewhat.

Gerard Pique (CA 169 – PA 170)

Age: 32

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Barcelona

Country: Spain

Best Attributes: 18 positioning, 18 composure, 17 decisions

Value: £31 million

Wage: £205,000 a week

Another member of the old guard, Gerard Pique is still one of the best defenders in the world. The Barcelona captain had a brief stint at Manchester United, but returned to Catalonia to rack up eight La Liga titles, three Champions League titles, and then pick up a European Championship and World Cup with Spain.

In FM20 Pique has excellent mental stats, with 18 composure, 18 positioning, and 17 decisions. He also has 16 marking and 16 passing, but lacks speed with just 13 pace and 11 acceleration.

Kalidou Koulibaly (CA 169 – PA 171)

Age: 28

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Napoli

Country: Senegal

Best Attributes: 19 strength, 19 balance, 18 marking

Value: £57 million

Wage: £185,000 a week

A fresher face, Kalidou Koulibaly has long been a good buy in FM. The Senegalese defender arrived at Napoli in 2014 from Genk for just £6.5 million and has turned into a dominant player, racking up more than 200 appearances for his club.

READ MORE: FM20 – All the best young centre backs (DC) to sign

With 19 strength, 17 pace, and 17 stamina Koulibaly is a beast. He also brings 18 marking and 17 tackling to the field, along with 16 positioning, 16 teamwork, and 16 work rate.

Leonardo Bonucci (CA 167 – PA 173)

Age: 32

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Zebre (Juventus)

Country: Italy

Best Attributes: 19 anticipation, 19 positioning, 18 leadership

Value: £32 million

Wage: £170,000 a week

Back to the 30+ category. Leonardo Bonucci has long been Chiellini’s partner in crime. He arrived at Juventus in 2010 from Bari and quickly settled into a key role for Juventus.

Bonucci brings 19 anticipation, 19 positioning, and 18 determination to the field. A ball-playing defender, he has 17 passing, 17 vision, and 16 stamina too.

Mats Hummels (CA 166 – PA 171)

Age: 30

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Country: Germany

Best Attributes: 19 composure, 18 anticipation, 18 positioning

Value: £53 million

Wage: £165,000 a week

Mats Hummels has moved between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund throughout his career. He got his debut at Bayern, but moved to Dortmund quickly after. There he established himself as a top level defender and earned a spot with the German national team. In 2016 he moved back to Bayern and is now with Dortmund once again.

READ MORE: FM20 – All the best young strikers (ST) to sign

Hummels has strong defensive stats with 17 tackling and 16 marking, but it is his mental stats that really shine. With 19 composure, 18 anticipation, and 18 positioning he is rarely in the wrong place.

Marquinhos (CA 165 – PA 171)

Age: 25

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: 18 teamwork, 17 tackling, 17 anticipation

Value: £53 million

Wage: £140,000 a week

Marquinhos has long been a quality option in Football Manager. The 25-year-old joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2013 and quickly became a star for them at the back. He also picked up an Olympic gold medal for Brazil in 2016.

In FM20 Marquinhos brings 18 teamwork, 17 concentration, and 17 anticipation to the field, along with 17 tackling, 16 passing, and 16 marking. He’s a complete defender thanks to 16 heading too.

Milan Skriniar (CA 164 – PA 171)

Age: 24

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Inter

Country: Slovakia

Best Attributes: 18 determination, 18 natural fitness, 17 concentration

Value: £51 million

Wage: £92,000 a week

Milan Skriniar is a fresh face. He started his career at Zilina but moved to Sampdoria in 2016. He was only there for a year before a move to Inter for £16 million where he soon began to flourish.

READ MORE: FM20 – All the best assistant managers to hire

Skriniar brings 18 natural fitness, 18 determination, and 17 concentration to the team, along with a stellar pair of 17 tackling and 17 marking. He’s also solid in the air with 16 heading and 15 jumping.

Thiago Silva (CA 163 – PA 174)

Age: 34

Position(s): D (C)

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Country: Brazil

Best Attributes: 17 anticipation, 17 marking, 17 heading

Value: £5 million

Wage: £230,000 a week

The Paris Saint-Germain veteran can still get it done on the field. Thiago Silva made his way to Europe with AC Milan in 2009 and played there three years before making the move to Paris in 2012 for £34 million.

Silva has strong defensive abilities with 17 marking, 17 heading, and 17 anticipation, but he does lack speed with 12 pace and 12 acceleration.

All the best centre backs (DC) to sign

PlayerPosAgeClubCountryCAPAVW
Virgil van DijkD (C)27LiverpoolHolland178182£65m£180k
Sergio RamosD (C)33R. MadridSpain172174£24m£475k
Giorgio ChielliniD (C)34ZebreItaly170174£5.75m£105k
Gerard PiquéD (C)32BarcelonaSpain169170£31m£205k
Kalidou KoulibalyD (C)28NapoliSenegal169171£57m£185k
Leonardo BonucciD (C)32ZebreItaly167173£32m£170k
Mats HummelsD (C)30Borussia Dortmundgermany166171£53m£165k
MarquinhosD (C), DM25Paris SGBrazil165171£53m£140k
Milan SkriniarD (C)24InterSlovakia164171£51m£92k
Thiago SilvaD (C)34Paris SGBrazil163174£5m£230k
Aymeric LaporteD (C)25Man CityFrance163170£55m£120k
José GiménezD (C)24A. MadridUruguay161168£50m£96k
Diego GodínD (C)33InterUruguay160169£16m£125k
Samuel UmtitiD (C)25BarcelonaFrance159169£47 m£200k
Kostas ManolasD (C)28Napoligreece159163£44.5m£125k
Raphaël VaraneD (C)26R. MadridFrance159172£49.5m£170k
John StonesD (C)25Man CityEngland158170£37m£100k
Stefan de VrijD (C)27InterHolland158162£42m£115k
Nicolás OtamendiD (C)31Man CityArgentina157159£31.5m£135k
Jan VertonghenD (C)32TottenhamBelgium157165£26.5m£86k
Jérôme BoatengD (C)30FC Bayerngermany156175£35.5m£200k
Antonio RüdigerD (RC)26Chelseagermany156163£32m£100k
Clément LengletD (C)24BarcelonaFrance156162£40.5m£95k
Niklas SüleD (C)23FC Bayerngermany155165£51m£49.5k
Alessio RomagnoliD (C)24MilanItaly154168£32m£105k
Toby AlderweireldD (C)30TottenhamBelgium154170£36.5m£50k
Matthijs de LigtD (C)19ZebreHolland154160-190£34.5m£200k

Toby Durant