Football Manager 2021: Best players predictions - Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappe, Neymar & more

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Football Manager 2021 is on the way.

With the new football season up and running and FIFA 21 just a few weeks away, there is some speculation around who will be the best players in FM21.

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So why don't we make a few predictions?

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FM 21 release date

There is no firm release date for FM21 just yet, but Sports Interactive has said that it will be a little later than usual.

In an official statement, Miles Jacobson said "there will be new Football Manager games released later this year. They will be delivered a little later than we’d originally planned"

READ MORE: FM21 Wonderkids prediction

That should put the game's release somewhere from mid-November onwards.

But when it does arrive, who will be the best players??

Lionel Messi (CA 193 - PA 200)

The Argentine genius may be disgruntled at Barcelona, but he should still start FM21 as the best player in the world.

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MESSI MAGIC: Can his FM21 page match his FM20 one?

However, if FIFA 21 is anything to go by he might not be the best for long.

Still, you should expect Messi to have a long list of 20 attributes, with amazing technique and mental abilities for the first few years.

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Cristiano Ronaldo (CA 192 - PA 196)

Just behind him should be Ronaldo. Though older, Ronaldo is still an amazing player and comes with stellar physicality too.

He's a bit happier at Juventus (or Zebre) than Messi is at Barca, so don't think you can snatch him up for a few years before retirement.

Neymar (CA 188 - PA 190)

Third place is hotly contested, and there are several players that could be in this spot.

Neymar continues to amaze though, and after helping PSG to the Champions League final he is going to be highly rated again.

Kevin De Bruyne (CA 188 - PA 189)

Hot on his heels will be KDB. The Man City maestro will come with the best collection of creativity and passing attributes in the game for sure.

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ASSIST MACHINE: KDB has long been an elite talent

After a record-equalling 20 assists in the Premier League last year there is little doubt that De Bruyne will be a star man in FM21.

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Robert Lewandowski (CA 187 - PA 187)

This is a big jump from FM 20 where he starts with a CA of 175, but Lewandowski has been the deadliest striker in the world in 2020.

READ MORE: FIFA 21 DEMO - Countdown, release date & more

Helping Bayern to an unlikely Champions League triumph, the Polish striker is set to be an elite attacking option in FM21.

Kylian Mbappe (CA 186 - PA 197)

Mbappe could easily end up as the #3 player when FM21 lands.

His CA is certain to be higher than his 181 in FM20, and his PA will be astronomical too.

Good luck prying him away from PSG, but if you can you'll be set for a long time.

Virgil Van Dijk (CA 183 - PA 185)

Finally, a defender!

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BRICK WALL: Good luck beating Van Dijk

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Van Dijk should easily be the best centre back in FM21, just as he has been for the last few years.

The big Dutchman is still in his prime, despite a slightly shaky start to the Premier League campaign. We expect him to be the bedrock of Liverpool dominance in FM21.

READ MORE: Football Manager 2021 Licences: Official Team Editions, Exclusives, Leagues & more