The best teams to use in FIFA Career Mode

Mitchell Wilks
Athletic Club have a Basque only transfer rule
Athletic Club have a Basque only transfer rule / QUIQUE GARCIA/Getty Images

No matter how much EA Sports try to make FIFA Ultimate Team the top dog, Career Mode will always have a cult following that cannot be broken.

Despite this, the lack of investment and time innovating the game mode year on year can lead to things becoming pretty stale very easily. A way to change that is by moving out of the comfort zone; no, not breaking the game and uploading wrestlers and TV characters into teams, but instead by creating saves with completely new football clubs.

That's right. Bin off the one sporting your supported side, and even the one adventurous road to glory you do every year. 90min has compiled a list of sides as a change of pace - you can even throw in a few rules of your own to make it extra different.

30. Leeds United

Marcelo Bielsa
All good things must come to an end; Bielsa won't be around forever / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Admittedly, a Leeds road to glory isn't as fun anymore now that they're well and truly on the up again in real life.

Still, though, for those not wanting too much of a challenge but also needing a little bit of something different, take the reigns at Elland Road. Take them back to Europe and move them on from Bielsa-ball seamlessly.

29. Everton

Dominic Calvert-Lewin
You can propel Everton into Europe / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Be honest, aside from Everton fans, who's actually ever bothered to do a Career Mode with the Toffees?

They're a bit of a dark horse, in truth. Plenty of cash to be spent, full in-game goodies with the stadium and kits, and a decent squad to chop and change. The aim is simple; finally get into Europe. Please.

28. AC Milan

Ante Rebic, Alessio Romagnoli, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Samu Castillejo
There's still work to be done / Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Milan were the ideal fallen giant story for the longest time on FIFA and presented the perfect getaway into another European league where competition is still high and entertaining.

It's a bit overplayed these days, and the Rossoneri are actually on the up again, but there is still work to be done. Get in there, clear them out, perhaps impose some spending rules or homegrown policies. Football heritage.

27. Nottingham Forest

Trevor Francis
Nottingham Forest with the European Cup / Getty Images/Getty Images

From being two time winners of the European Cup and finishing as high as third in the Premier League in just 1995, Nottingham Forest have had a serious fall from grace.

Unfortunately, they're without their actual stadium in game. That doesn't take away from a mammoth rebuild task, though; turn them into promotion contenders, get them back in the top flight for the first time since 1999 and see how far you can propel them back into the top level conversation.

26. Hamburg

Rafael van der Vaart
Once upon at time at HSV / Oliver Hardt/Getty Images

Again a little overplayed, HSV were the only team to have continuously remained in the German top flight since World War One before their 2018 relegation.

Consider their six national titles, European Cup and DFB-Pokal wins, and they really are a sleeping giant. Germany boasts three leagues within FIFA, too, making for plenty of room to take things either way. A proper story.

25. Wigan Athletic

Emmerson Boyce, Gary Caldwel
Wigan are FA Cup winners / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Somehow, Wigan are still standing despite being bought out and then being handed over to a man who nobody was sure even existed in 2020 for some 18 days.

Fortunately, the club are still alive. Just. Now in League One, rebuilding the Latics is a mammoth task considering they were once Premier League regulars. It's a tiny budget, so it might be time to deploy a youth only rule or similar.

24. Schalke

Benjamin Stambouli, Matija Nastasic
Schalke need rebuilding / Pool/Getty Images

Having once been home to Real Madrid legend Raul and a regular face in the Champions League, Schalke's 2021 relegation was the final plunge of the knife following a nasty financial mess.

Schalke drop into the German second tier for 2021/22 and give players a real redemption story. Their VELTINS-Arena stadium is in the game for added realism, and a likely tight budget means that negotiating the 2. Bundesliga is a challenging task.

23. Bolton Wanderers

Jay Jay Okocha
Find an Okocha-like flair player to rip up the football league / Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

A similar story to Wigan, Bolton were former Premier League regulars who once lit up the top flight with everyone from Kevin Davies to Jay-Jay Okocha.

Financial issues have seen them slump down to League Two - England's last professional league before non-league status. The rebuild job is nothing short of major, but worth it to restore some Barclays status.

22. Red Bull Salzburg

Patson Daka
The feeder club / Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

An overlooked option, the Austrian Bundesliga is home to a few gems for a potential save. Red Bull Salzburg is most definitely one of them.

They're fascinating, those Red Bull teams. While RB Leipzig are now a familiar name through Europe, Salzburg operate as a feeder system. But with room to get into the Champions League, there's no reason why they can't become the main attraction.

21. Inter Miami

Gonzalo Higuain
Might need a Gonzalo Higuain replacement / Mike Stobe/Getty Images

An overlooked league, MLS is actually bags of fun. If done right.

Sure, there's not much outside of the domestic league and cup, but there is full licensing for a more genuine feel to the game. Combine new entrants Inter Miami with a self-imposed transfer rule or two, and there's a good save to be had.

20. Portsmouth

The Portsmouth team celebrate with the F
What a run / CARL DE SOUZA/Getty Images

Another fallen English club, Portsmouth were a bag of fun in the late 2000s when they signed anyone and everyone and won the 2008 FA Cup. They also had a fine Europa League run.

Nowadays, they sit rooted in League One. Fratton Park is in the game, making them immediately more enjoyable. Another English road to glory, but this one has a little more mileage and is not as difficult.

19. Benfica

Ljubomir Fejsa, Andrija Zivkovic, Mile Svilar, Filip Krovinovic
A sleeping European giant / Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Two time European Cup winners, Benfica were the team to beat from Portugal once upon a time.

Since the glory days, though, Benfica have fallen by the wayside completely in Europe. They're also clouded somewhat by competition from Porto and Sporting CP; the Primeira Liga is an unusual option but an intriguing one, presenting a more entertaining save.

18. KV Mechelen

Decent kit is always a plus / BRUNO FAHY/Getty Images

The Belgian side enjoyed their best years throughout the 20th century and have had a rough go of it ever since.

Four Belgian championships, two Belgian cups and two European trophies, KV Mechelen have fallen from grace dramatically; you've barely even heard of them, right? Now's the time to change that, though. Get in there and pull them back to the top.

17. Fenerbahce

Fenerbahce celebrates the championship
The correct way to celebrate a title / Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

One of Turkey's big three, Fenerbahce haven't won a Turkish Super Lig since the 2013/14 season.

Heading to the Turkish top flight is a rarity for Career Mode, making this revival an interesting one. Blend the side with a mixture of veterans and youth talent to pull Fener back into the limelight.

16. Forest Green Rovers

Ebou Adams
Solid colour scheme / Tony Marshall/Getty Images

The world's first fully vegan football club, Forest Green Rovers' arrival into the professional pyramid still feels extremely unique.

Their bright green kits stand out, and while their budget is small and their stadium isn't yet in the game, taking on a road to glory with the side and seeing a new name rise through the ranks is one to keep you interested. Project Mbappe for Forest Green; get it done.

15. Marseille

Dimitri Payet is a player already in the squad to save some of the budget / GERARD JULIEN/Getty Images

Thanks to their 1993 triumph, Marseille remain the only French side to have ever won the Champions League.

Consider also their ten league titles among other trophies, they're a pretty big deal. Or were. Having won Ligue 1 in 2009/10, they finished as low as 13th in 2015/16. A save in the French league, toppling PSG and restoring pride in Marseille sounds like good fun.

14. FCSB

Military conflict, cool / DANIEL MIHAILESCU/Getty Images

A trip to the Romanian top flight is very unfamiliar territory for most, making for a rather fun save.

FCSB were once the more recognisable Steaua Bucharest, but changed their name in 2017 following a dispute with the Romanian military. No longer under military guise, taking the new FCSB to the heights once again is an intriguing prospect.

13. Parma

Parma v Juventus x
Hernan Crespo in Parma colours / Grazia Neri/Getty Images

One that often gets overlooked, Parma were everything cool about football in the 1990s.

Ask a kid today who they are, though, and they'll likely have no clue. Relegated to Serie B ahead of 2021/22, this fallen giant story is one for Serie A fanatics. And with Gianluigi Buffon now signed, that makes the first transfer window a lot easier.

12. Sutton United

Jamie Collins
Sutton United are now in the football league / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Having been promoted to League Two, FA Cup giant killers Sutton United now present a barrel of fun road to glory.

They knocked Leeds out of the FA Cup in 2016/17 before losing to Arsenal - you know, the pie gate game - but now is the chance to avenge that defeat with them set to be in FIFA 22.

11. Athletic Club

Follow Bilbao's Basque only rule / David Ramos/Getty Images

The Bilbao-based side are famous for their Basque only player policy. It's quite simple, this one - follow that policy.

Bilbao already sit in La Liga, but doing some research into Basque players, seeing how far you could take them on that alone creates a unique save.

10. Ajax

Nicolas Tagliafico
This Ajax side came so close / Lars Baron/Getty Images

By no means are Ajax the smallest club, nor is the Eredivisie the most fun or competitive league. We get that.

The challenge here, though, is to turn the Amsterdam side back into European giants. No more selling club business, assemble a side and dominate European competition once more.

9. SK Rapid Wien

Rapid Wien v FC Admira Wacker - tipico Bundesliga
Rapid Wien have a hell of a following / Johann Schwarz/Getty Images

Red Bull Salzburg is the hipster's choice, but turning the most successful Austrian side into a European contender is one for the traditionalists.

Rapid Vienna have no European honours for all their domestic success. Get some superstars in the league and get them firing on European fronts. Perhaps the Europa League first, and then the Champions League.

8. Malmo

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Bring him home / Lars Dareberg/Getty Images

When you look beyond the top leagues, there are a bunch of cool clubs waiting to be addressed in FIFA. Malmo is one, and would benefit from a little more attention given to the Swedish league.

Malmo remain the only Nordic side to have reached the final of a European Cup with their 1979 defeat to Nottingham Forest, thus bringing them back there is the objective. Perhaps bringing home Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the catalyst, before eventually going Swedish only policy.

7. Bayern Munich II

Bayern München II v Hansa Rostock - 3. Liga
Fun to be had with this one / Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Does this make any sense? Not at all. But is it quite a fun idea? Absolutely.

Bayern Munich's reserve side are well and truly in FIFA and sit in the German third tier. With the young talent available, getting them to the top flight and having two Bayern Munichs battling it out presents a new objective.

6. Guadalajara

Javier Eduardo Lopez
Guadalajara have a Mexican transfer policy / Jam Media/Getty Images

A rather challenging one, Mexican side Guadalajara are similar to Athletic Club in that they have a Mexican-only policy.

A completely different league involving a limited pool of talent, this save is a serious test for Career Mode experts and enthusiasts.

5. Blackburn Rovers

Once upon a time in Blackburn / Getty Images/Getty Images

Premier League winners in 1994/95, Blackburn have been in a mess for most of the time since that win.

Blackburn are properly rooted into the grips of the Championship. They can't get out of the trap, thus a career mode rebuild seems like good fun. Adam Armstrong is also good for goals in attack.

4. Paris FC

Life beyond PSG in Paris / FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Formed in 1969 and splitting from Paris Saint-Germain after a 1970 merger, a rebound story bringing another Parisian side to the top of French football seems good fun.

Paris FC sit in Ligue 2 and haven't played top flight football since the 1970s; bringing a Paris derby to Ligue 1 is a cool prospect, as is potentially winning the Champions League before PSG.

3. 1860 Munich

Sascha Mölders
1860 Munich play in sky blue, opposite to Bayern's red / Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

If you want a more serious approach to the Bayern Munich II idea, starting a save with 1860 Munich is the way to go.

Stuck in the 3. Liga, 1860 were once a top flight side, but nearly going out of business twice in the 2000s and 2010s has seen them slip into the third tier. An endlessly loyal following, a redemption save is a majorly cool prospect.

2. Kaiserslautern

Christian Kuehlwetter
Kaiserslautern are a solid redemption option / Thomas Eisenhuth/Getty Images

Going one better and one league more difficult, Kaiserslautern are 3. Liga regulars despite winning the Bundesliga in their promotion season in 1997/98.

A club with a rich history, the fallen giants have a 50,000 capacity stadium in real life. The fact they sit in the third tier is astonishing, and trying to repeat their 1998 triumph in a career mode is a fun concept.

1. Dynamo Dresden

Christoph Daferner, Agyemang Diawusie, Yannick Stark, Sebastian Mai
Dynamo Dresden are back in the 2. Bundesliga / Thomas Eisenhuth/Getty Images

Germany's three tiers in FIFA make them endlessly interesting, with big teams scattered throughout.

Dynamo Dresden were one of East Germany's most successful sides with eight title wins, but dwindled following Germany's reunification. They won promotion to the second tier ahead of FIFA 22, have a proper cool badge and a seriously passionate fanbase; bringing Dresden to the top of the tree again is the one.