Introduction: How do these articles work?
Each Sunday I examine a different team in detail and look at why they’re a good team for FIFA 17’s career mode. The teams are broken down into the following categories:
- Tier 1: Teams in tough divisions that can push on to challenge for silverware
- Tier 2: Teams that will have to fight for survival in a challenging division
- Tier 3: Teams that start in a lower division but can hope to get promoted and work their way up higher leagues
- Tier 4: Teams that start right at the bottom of the pile, with few funds or high potential players
Cagliari (Tier 2)
Tier 2 teams face an uphill battle for survival in challenging divisions. Can you help them beat relegation?
- Why choose Cagliari?
- Recommended purchases
- Suggested sales
- Future considerations
Starting transfer budget: £8,076,466
Starting wage budget: £107,640
Default formation: 4-3-1-2
• Domestic success: Medium
• Continental success: Very low
• Brand exposure: Low
• Financial success: Low
• Youth development: High
Key player: Bruno Alves
Best young prospect: Nicolò Barella
Why choose Cagliari?
Serie A is probably one of the most competitive divisions in FIFA 17, which means you could get beaten by almost any team. Cagliari have one of the lowest counts of high potential players in Serie A (with only two players with potential 80 or higher) – so they’ll struggle against so many good teams. Surviving relegation in a situation like that won’t be easy.
However, they do have one big thing in their favour: their budget. Starting with £8m in transfer funds and over £100,000 in wages is amazing for a team that’s likely to face a relegation battle. It allows you to bring in a number of players who could make the difference and enable you to survive – if you spend it wisely, of course.
Cagliari’s key player is Bruno Alves. At 79 OVR, the veteran Portuguese centre back is the best player on the team by three OVR points, and he’s a dominant defender. His 88 strength and 92 jumping make him a powerhouse at the back, and his tackling stats are great too. He’s even good when it comes to taking free kicks. He is 34 though, so you’ll need to think about replacing him fairly soon.
The team’s most promising young player is Nicolò Barella. The great thing about Barella (aside from his 81 potential, of course) is that he’s extremely flexible. He’s a central midfielder but can easily play at attacking midfield, wide midfield and on the wing. He’s pacey, can pass and dribble well, so when he gets near his potential he’s going to be a great asset to have given his flexibility.
Strongest starting lineup
Changing the formation slightly to 4-2-3-1, here is Cagliari’s strongest starting lineup, with OVRs in brackets:
Highest potential lineup
Keeping the formation at 4-2-3-1, here is Cagliari’s highest potential lineup, with potentials in brackets:
Key signings required: GK, CDM, ST.
First, change Cagliari’s budget ratio to 79:21. This will give you £10,939,002 in transfer funds and £52,591 in wages. Now let’s buy some players.
Why buy a new goalkeeper when Cagliari have the talented Alessio Cragno (81 potential) out on loan? Simple. Cagliari have three goalkeepers, but all will retire in the next season or two. Storari is 39, Rafael is 34 and Colombo is 40. You don’t want to end up with just one goalkeeper in the squad, so we’ll need to bring in another one.
My choice is André Onana of Ajax. While his handling and positioning need a bit of training, his diving (81) and reflexes (74) are fantastic and mean he’ll be excellent at stopping one-on-ones. He’s rated 73 at 20 years old and has 82 potential, but given his young age, he should easily be able to exceed 82 potential with some training and good performances. Get him starting as soon as possible and you’ll soon have a great goalkeeper on your hands.
Ajax ask for £5.5m, but you can greatly reduce that down to £3.7m. His wages are £9,000.
Club: Boca Juniors
With Panagiotis Tachtsidis and Artur Ioniţă, Cagliari have a pretty solid defensive midfield pairing. However, Tachtsidis is only in on loan, and there’s not really a ready replacement in the squad (Isla is a defensive midfielder, but is better played at right back). You’ll need to bring in a new player to replace Tachtsidis once he heads back to his parent club.
I recommend you buy Andrés Cubas of Boca Juniors. He’s a creative, energetic player, making him the ideal partner to the powerful Ioniţă. His stamina, tackling, interceptions and passing are his key stats, so once he gets close to his 84 potential, he’ll be a lot like N’Golo Kanté. That’s the type of player any team can use, so make sure you sign him up!
Boca Juniors want £5.5m for him but you can get that down to £4.2m. His wages are £15,000.
Club: Bristol City
Although Cagliari have plenty of strikers, none of them are particularly great. Marco Borriello is the best, but he’s 34 and only rated 75 anyway. The highest potential striker, Niccolò Giannetti, only has 75 potential, so he’s not much better. This needs to change if you’re to have any chance of surviving relegation.
I suggest you buy Tammy Abraham of Bristol City. He’s one of my favourite strikers in-game, and not just because he plays for my team. He has that fantastic balance of pace, strength and aerial ability, so he’ll suit your play no matter what style you enjoy. His finishing, positioning and heading are all equally good, so he’ll be a real danger both in the air and with the ball at his feet. And he’s got 85 potential, so just imagine how good he’ll be in a couple of years’ time.
Bristol City want £4.6m for him, but you only have to pay around £3m for him – a great reduction. His wages are £25,000 and he wants the ‘important 1st team player’ squad role.
Those transfers will leave you with £39,002 in transfer funds and £3,591 in wages. That’s not enough if you want to buy some extra players or scouts, so let’s see who we can sell in order to raise some more money.
Now that we’ve brought in Onana, you may as well sell Marco Storari before he loses any more value due to his age. You can sell him for around £1.4m.
In defence, sell Illia Briukhov and Fabio Pisacane for £150,000 and £300,000 respectively.
Next, Daniele Dessena and Gianni Munari can be sold for £1.3m and £400,000.
Finally, sell Federico Melchiorri for around £2.4m.
Future considerations: get a new centre back
As I mentioned earlier, Bruno Alves is Cagliari’s star player but will soon start declining. You might want to bring in a replacement for when that starts happening. Bear in mind that Cagliari have Luka Krajnc (80 potential) and Dario Del Fabro (77 potential) loaned out, so you may feel you don’t need to buy any new centre backs.
However, if you do want to, then I recommend you buy Jeremiah St. Juste of SC Heerenveen. This guy is unusual for centre backs in that he is very fast – he’s got 84 acceleration and 83 sprint speed, so will be able to keep up with all but the fastest strikers and wingers. That’s an incredible trait to have for a centre back, making him a hugely valuable player. He’s got 83 potential, too, so will grow to be even faster.
SC Heerenveen want £5.5m for him, but you can get that down to around £4.1m. His wages are £4,800.
That’s it for this week’s article on good teams for career mode. Cagliari struggle for high potential players in one of the most competitive divisions in FIFA 17, but are helped by their excellent budget. Will it be enough to avoid relegation? Who knows, but it’ll be a fun challenge along the way!
I’d like to hear if you have any thoughts about the format of the article itself. Did you find it useful? Conversely, do you think it was missing something that you’d have liked me to include?