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FIFA 18: Real Madrid Career Mode Guide, player ratings, tactics, formations & tips

Currently on the top of European football, can you maintain Real Madrid's success on FIFA 18 as they prepare for a new chapter?


The biggest club on the planet at the moment. After a period of playing second fiddle to Barcelona in Spain, Real Madrid came back with vengeance, winning three Champions Leagues titles in the past four years. Los Galacticos doubled up with a first La Liga title in five years, cementing their place at the top of European football. Can you maintain this success and make up for all those years of heartache? Playing as Real Madrid on FIFA 18’s Career Mode will certainly provide some entertainment, with Ronaldo, Bale & Co. at your disposal. 

Team Rating

No surprises here as Real Madrid have a 5 star rating on FIFA 18. Their 86 overall consists of 87 attack, 86 midfield and 86 defence. 

We all know that Real have a fantastic squad, but you need to look beyond that if you’re going to be successful on Career Mode. You need to build for the future, as it will be a very different club when FIFA 18 cover star Cristiano Ronaldo bows out in a few seasons time. 

Formation

It’s an easy decision to make, and we’ve stuck with Zinedine Zidane’s 4-3-3 holding formation. His predecessor Rafa Benitez tried to get as much quality on the pitch as possible, going with a 4-3-3 attack, and that is a valid option against lesser opposition. Alternatively, you could go for a 4-4-2 and play Cristiano Ronaldo up front alongside Karim Benzema. 

So now for your first-choice line-up. Keylor Navas is in goal, and his back four consists of Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo.

Casemiro is the protector in midfield due to his high defensive work rate. He is joined by playmakers Luka Modric (90 vision) and Toni Kroos (93 long passing) to form the midfield three. If you want to go more attacking, you can bring the magic of Isco (90 dribbling) into the fold. 

Gareth Bale starts on the right wing, with Karim Benzema the sole striker. Star man Cristiano Ronaldo takes his position out left, itching to get on the ball.

On the bench you should have Kiko Casilla (OVR 80), Nacho Fernandez (81), Theo Hernandez (75), Mateo Kovacic (82), Isco (86), Marco Asensio (84) and Lucas Vazquez (82).

Tactics

Spanish sides need to be flexible in how they play as they have to transition from playing a lot of weak teams in La Liga to the big guns of Europe. Real Madrid’s 4-3-3 allows you to both counter-attack and play possession football. You have the pace and X-factor of Bale and Ronaldo out wide, which can kill opponents on the break. At the same time, you’ve got Modric and Kroos in midfield who can pass any side off the park. If you want all-out exciting football or patient build-up, Real Madrid can do it all.

If you are struggling to break a side down, Modric (82 long shots) and Kroos (90 long shots) hold the ability to shoot from range, and try to mix up what you do with your wingers. If cutting inside with Ronaldo and Bale isn’t working, try to swing some balls in for Karim Benzema (87 positioning), he’s a poacher inside the box. Make sure you get your full-backs forward to overthrow your opponents, they can help open up space out wide. 

The transfer market

Starting transfer budget: £87.8 million

Starting wage budget: £414,000 a week

Who should go

It’s a tight squad at Real Madrid, but there are some fringe players who aren’t of Los Blancos’ standard. Alvaro Tejero, Francisco Feuillassier and Luca Zidane all have potentials of 78 or less, so there is no point keeping them at the Bernabeu. You should look to sell them for a combined fee of around £2.5 million and save on their £39,000 a week wages.

Loans

There are just two names that can be sent out on loan, Oscar and Cristo Gonzalez. Attacking midfielder Oscar has an overall of 68 with a potential of 81 and Gonzalez is currently on 66 with a potential of 84. Look to send the pair on loan to a Segunda Division team.

Who to sign

Transfer budget after recommended sales: £90 million

Wage budget after recommended sales: £518,000 a week

Striker

With Karim Benzema the only reliable out-and-out striker, you need to provide him with some backup. If you can double this up with a player who can provide some pace out wide, you will give yourself more options. We’ve gone with a bold choice, and we suggest trying to snatch Marcus Rashford from Manchester United. The 19-year-old can play on either flank as well as a striker, and his raw pace offers something different to Benzema. The England international can be yours for £47.8 million and £65,000 a week wages. With an 81 overall and 90 potential, he can become a regular starter in three years’ time, and with his 93 acceleration, 92 sprint speed and 90 agility, he is incredibly dangerous. 

Alternative options:

  • Anthony Martial – Manchester United, Age 21, OVR 82, POT 90, Cost: £59.5 million, Wage: £101,000
  • Quincy Promes – Spartak Moscow, Age 25, OVR 82, POT 85, Cost: £38.8 million, Wage: £67,000
  • Inaki Williams – Athletic Bilbao, Age 23, OVR 81, POT 87, Cost: £49.6 million
  • Cedric Bakambu – Villarreal, Age 26, OVR 81, POT 84, Cost: £43.1 million, Wage: £40,000
  • Alassane Plea – Nice, Age 24, OVR 80, POT 86, Cost: £37.9 million, Wage: £36,000

Right back

It’s a similar issue at right back, with Dani Carvajal the only first team option. You should consider bringing Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin back to Spain, with the 22-year-old holding an 81 overall rating and 88 potential on the game. The pacey Bellerin will cost you £37.9 million and his current wages are £80,000 a week. For that cost you will receive a talent with 96 acceleration, 94 sprint speed and 87 stamina. 

Alternative options:

  • Nathaniel Clyne – Liverpool, Age 26, OVR 82, POT 84, Cost: £38.2 million, Wage: £101,000
  • Thomas Meunier – PSG, Age 25, OVR 81, POT 84, Cost: £31.3 million, Wage: £68,000
  • Mario Gaspar – Villarreal, Age 26, OVR 81, POT 84, Cost: £34.5 million, Wage: £33,000
  • Ricardo Pereira – Porto, Age 23, OVR 80, POT 86, Cost: £32.9 million, Wage: £13,000
  • Mitchell Weiser – Hertha Berlin, Age 23, OVR 78, POT 85, Cost: £20.1 million, Wage: £22,000

Contracts

It’s been well documented that Real Madrid have been securing the future of their star players this season, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo, Isco, Raphael Varane and others all putting pen to paper on new deals. Therefore, just two men have contracts running out at the of the season. Youngsters Alvaro Tejero and Luca Zidane can be sold due to their low potentials, so there is no need to give them new contracts.

Managerial objectives

As you would expect at Real Madrid, both your domestic and continental success objectives have a critical importance on Career Mode. To put things simply, you will be expected to claim the treble with Real Madrid to complete these goals. It may sound like a tough ask, but with the talent at your disposal, it can be done, especially if you fill the squad with our suggested signings. Rest your star players when you play the lesser sides in La Liga and save them for the big clashes in the league and Europe. 

Brand exposure is also critical for Real Madrid, and you will need to gain £176 million in shirt sales over the season. This can be achieved by signing big names and bossing things on the pitch. With Cristiano Ronaldo in your side, it shouldn’t be a problem. 

Youth development has a medium importance, and for this goal you will need to sign a player to the youth team and play them in 50% of games in the following season. This will take a lot of work, so set up a youth network straightaway and once you have identified your chosen player, be sure to train him up so he can fight for a first team place.

Life’s tough at the top

Real Madrid are now there to be shot at, and you can see how much influence that has had on their current season. The Champions are down in fifth place, dropping points in three of their seven games in La Liga this season. They are already seven points behind Barcelona, which is a very large gap in the Spanish top flight. With such an incredible squad, you can’t let this happen on your Career Mode. If you start well, there is no reason why you can’t complete a famous treble for the Galacticos. 

Full Real Madrid squad player ratings

PlayerAgePos.CountryOVRPOTValueWage
Goalkeepers
Keylor Navas30GKCosta Rica8585£44.2m£145k
Kiko Casilla30GKSpain8080£17.1m£106k
Luca Zidane19GKFrance6473£500k£8k
Defenders
Sergio Ramos31CBSpain9090£93.8m£273k
Marcelo29LBBrazil8787£68.6m£220k
Raphael Varane24CBFrance8592£92.1m£154k
Dani Carvajal25RBSpain8487£59.8m£172k
Nacho Fernandez27CB
LB
RB
Spain8183£32.7m£128k
Vallejo20CBSpain7785£22.8m£79k
Theo Hernandez19LBFrance7585£17.8m£46k
Achraf Hakimi18RB
LB
Morocco7181£5.9m£33k
Alvaro Tejero20LB
RB
Spain6678£1.5m£19k
Midfielders
Toni Kroos27CM
CDM
Germany9090£142.5m£299k
Luka Modric31CM
CDM
Croatia8989£102.8m£299k
Isco25CM
CAM
RM
LM
Spain8690£105.7m£220k
Casemiro25CDMBrazil8589£78.5m£172k
Marco Asensio21CAM
LW
RW
Spain8492£91.1m£154k
Mateo Kovacic23CM
CDM
Croatia8288£59.4m£132k
Dani Ceballos20CM
LM
CDM
CAM
Spain7888£32.7m£92k
Marcos Llorente22CDM
CM
Spain7786£23.8m£92k
Oscar19CAM
CM
Spain6881£3.9m£32k
Cristo Gonzalez19LM
CAM
ST
Spain6684£3.2m£15k
Forwards
Cristiano Ronaldo32LW
ST
Portugal9494£172.3m£497k
Gareth Bale27RWWales8989£125.4m£326k
Karim Benzema29STFrance8686£80.3m£260k
Lucas Vazquez26RW
RM
Spain8283£48.6m£163k
Borja Mayoral20STSpain7284£10.9m£60k
Francisco Feuillassier19LW
RW
Argentina6378£1.25m£12k

Looking for free players? Click the links below:

Contract Expiry Signings Ending in 2018 (First Season)

Contract Expiry Signings Ending in 2019 (Second Season)

Free Agent XI

On a tight budget? Click the link below:

Best loan signings

Top hidden gems

Looking for FIFA 18 young players in other positions? Just click the link below:

Best young strikers

Best young right wingers & right midfielders (RW & RM)

Best young left wingers & left midfielders (LW & LM)

Best young attacking midfielders (CAM)

Best young central midfielders (CM)

Best young defensive midfielders (CDM)

Best young centre backs (CB)

Best young left backs (LB)

Best young right backs (RB)

Best young goalkeepers (GK)

Looking for FIFA 18 wonderkids? Just click the link below:

Strikers

Defenders (CBs, RBs & LBs)

Midfielders (CMs, CAMs & CDMs)

Wingers (LMs, RMs, LWs & RWs)

Argentinian Wonderkids

Brazilian Wonderkids

How have you got on with Real Madrid? Who have you signed? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?

Alastair Pusinelli

Currently RealSport's FIFA 18 and Football Manager Content Contributor, but I have covered almost everything across the board for the site.

I have contributed on Cricket, Darts, Esports, Olympics, Tennis and Wrestling for the site, as well as stepping in as Football and Rugby Editor.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC. I am still an active sportsman, playing cricket, football, rugby, tennis and golf.

FIFA 18: Real Madrid Career Mode Guide, player ratings, tactics, formations & tips

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