Top 20 Icons on FIFA 21

Ruud Gullit
Gullit is one of the most expensive cards on the game | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

It's September, which can only mean one thing - the new FIFA is almost out. Are we about to spend another £50 on a game that absolutely drives us up the wall, with only the occasional moments of joy? You bet we are.

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Since FIFA 14, EA Sports have been licensing some of the biggest superstars from days gone by and putting them into Ultimate Team. This year is no different, and with an exceptional new lineup of Icons, there are plenty reasons to be excited about the upcoming edition of FIFA.

Here's our pick for the top 20 Icons in FIFA 21.

20. Rio Ferdinand (CB)

Manchester United's English defender Rio
Ferdinand is one of the most popular centre-backs in the game | ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Having spent 12 years in the most dominant Premier League side of all time, and 14 years in the England setup, it was inevitable that Rio Ferdinand would be honoured with an Icon card. And now you can pair him up with his most recognisable centre-back partner, as Nemanja Vidic was inducted into the lineup for the next game.

With lightning pace and ridiculously high defensive stats, good luck getting past this man at the back. Being English, he provides a strong link to some of the best full-backs in the upcoming game, such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker.

19. Kenny Dalglish (ST)

Kenny Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish with the European Cup | Getty Images/Getty Images

King Kenny comes up next, having earned a 92 rated prime card for his incredible spells at Liverpool and Celtic.

His strength is a little bit low, but with 90 pace, 90 dribbling, 92 shooting, and 5* weak foot, the Scotsman is one of the most desirable strikers in the game.

18. Thierry Henry (ST)

Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry is arguably the Premier League's greatest ever player | Graham Chadwick/Getty Images

With over 400 career goals, Thierry Henry has an Icon card that arguably doesn't do him justice.

Nonetheless, his explosive speed and finishing will still make him an exceptional card. Pair him up with Mbappe or Ben Yedder, and you'll be laughing your way to 30-0 in FUT Champions.

Or, if you'd prefer to play with someone else through the middle, you can use his base or mid cards out on the left.

17. Laurent Blanc (CB)

Laurent Blanc of France applauds the crowds after his team win
Blanc thanks the crowd after a victory for France | Phil Cole/Getty Images

Pace, strength, height, defending - Laurent Blanc has everything you could need in a centre-back on FIFA. With strong links to FUT 20 favourites Raphael Varane and Ferland Mendy, he could be part of an almost unbreakable backline.

Alternatively, if you'd rather use him elsewhere, he has an 85-rated base card in midfield.

The former Barcelona defender won eight trophies during his playing career, and added a further 15 in his managing days.

16. George Best (RW)

George Best
George Best spent a lot of his career abroad | Evening Standard/Getty Images

One of football's most recognisable characters, George Best played for 17 different clubs in eight different countries throughout his 21-year career.

As for his Icon card, what can you say? 93 pace, 94 dribbling, 91 shooting - he's the perfect right winger. So, when you face up against Ferland Mendy for the 3173627th time next year, bring this man in and you'll have someone capable of competing with the Frenchman.

15. Samuel Eto'o (ST)

Samuel Eto?o
Eto'o scores against Arsenal in the Champions League final | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The first of the new batch to the list is Cameroonian legend Samuel Eto'o.

The former Barcelona man is considered by many to be the greatest African footballer of all time, and EA have given him a card to match. Blistering pace, mazy dribbling, and deadly shooting - Eto'o's card is everything you could want in a striker.

14. Garrincha (RW)

Garrincha is one of many Brazilian Icons in FIFA 21 | Central Press/Getty Images

If, for whatever reason, George Best isn't your cup of tea out on the right, then you may want to consider using Garrincha instead. The Brazilian has everything that Best can offer, as well as far superior passing and 5* skill moves.

Garrincha played his entire career in the Brazilian leagues, and won the Golden Ball in the 1962 World Cup, which he scored four goals in.

13. Diego Maradona (CAM)

Maradona is one of the greatest players of all time | STAFF/Getty Images

You're probably wondering how on earth a player like Diego Maradona is only 13th on the list. Well, his short stature, relatively low stamina, and 3* weak foot inhibits him slightly. Nonetheless, he still has an eye-popping 97 dribbling, as well as very high pace, shooting, and passing.

As for the player himself, what more can be said? Breathtaking, inventive, and highly successful, Maradona is widely regarded as one of the best players ever.

12. Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira
Vieira was captain of the Arsenal invincibles | JIM WATSON/Getty Images

An absolute mountain of a man, Arsenal are still yet to replace their former captain, who left the Gunners 15 years ago. There have been many false dawns with central midfielders at the Emirates, but none of them have ever come close to recreating what Vieira did.

And his Icon card isn't too bad, either. Scoring at least 80 in every single base stat, Patrick Vieira's prime card is the ideal box-to-box midfielder. Standing at 6'4 with 90 strength, no one's getting the ball off him.

11. Ronaldinho (LW)

Roque Junior and Ronaldinho
Ronaldinho with the World Cup trophy | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Revered for the way he brought joy to the beautiful game, Ronaldinho was the standout wherever he went, winning a World Cup, a Champions League, and a Ballon d'Or.

His Icon card offers the best option at left-wing, ranking in the 90s for pace, dribbling, passing, and shooting. And, of course, he has the 5* skills - although frankly there would be worldwide riots if he didn't.

He also has two central cards if you'd prefer to use him through the middle.

10. Lothar Matthaus (CM)

Lothar Matthaeus
Matthaus won 26 trophies in his career | STAFF/Getty Images

Eight league titles, one World Cup, one Ballon d'Or - it's safe to say that Lothar Matthaus had a pretty stellar career.

His FUT card is frighteningly good. His lowest base stat is 82 dribbling, and he hits the 90s for passing and defending, making him one of the most well-rounded cards in the game.

You could probably play him anywhere and he'd hold his own. However, his prime card is a central midfielder, while his base card is a centre-back.

9. Paolo Maldini (CB)

Paolo Maldini
Maldini won five European Cups | Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

We've talked about a few top centre-backs already, but there really aren't any better in FIFA than Paolo Maldini. With 86 pace and a staggering 96 defending, you'll have to fork out an incredible price to get the Italian in your Ultimate Team.

And it's highly warranted. Maldini is considered by many to be the best defender of all time, having operated as a centre-back and a left-back. Having spent his entire 25-year career at AC Milan, Maldini won five European Cups among many other major honours.

8. Johan Cruyff (CF)

Arguably the most influential figure in the history of the game, Johan Cruyff changed the game forever during his playing and managing days.

And he's been given an astonishing card to reflect this. Hitting the 90s for pace, dribbling, shooting, and passing, as well as 5* weak foot and 5* skills, the Dutchman will be one of the most feared cards in FIFA 21.

7. Ferenc Puskas (CF)

Ferenc Puskas' Prime card? Handy
Ferenc Puskas' Prime card? Handy | EA Sports

Puskas is part of a VERY exclusive club in football, as one of only seven players in history to have netted 700 professional goals. As a result, the Hungarian joins the list of Icons as one of the headline names for FIFA 21.

Rather unsurprisingly, his card is pretty unreal. With an outstanding 96 (yep, NINETY SIX) shooting, you can't afford to let this man have any space anywhere near the box. Not to mention, his pace, dribbling, and passing all surpass the 90 mark.

6. Zinedine Zidane (CAM)

Zinedine Zidane
Zidane had hair once, believe it or not | GABRIEL BOUYS/Getty Images

While he may be achieving great things as a manager, he still has a long way to go if he wishes to reach the standards he set as a player.

There were few better than Zidane, and his Icon card is an accurate reflection of this. 5* weak foot, 5* skill moves, 96 passing, 95 dribbling, 92 shooting - what more could you want?

5. Eric Cantona (CF)

Eric Cantona? Good at football
Eric Cantona? Good at football | EA Sports

One of football's mavericks, Cantona was a genius on the pitch, inspiring Marseille, Leeds, and Manchester United to several league titles.

Cantona is the most anticipated of the new Icons, and it's not hard to see why. He's got pace, strength, shooting, passing, dribbling, and everything else you'd need in a striker. The Frenchman is certain to be one of the most expensive cards in the game.

4. Eusebio (CF)

Eusebio Da Silva
Eusebio had his best days at Benfica | Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Portuguese forward Eusebio achieved incredible things throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s, scoring over 600 career goals in roughly as many games.

Since being added to the game in FIFA 19, Eusebio has been one of the most sought after cards, often costing up to eight figures on the market. And...yeah, it's understandable. Lightning pace, incredible finishing, smooth dribbling, and 5* weak foot make him an astounding card.

3. Pele (CAM)

Pele is considered by many to be the greatest player ever | Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Do we really need to tell you how great Pele was? Winning THREE World Cups, scoring over 700 goals, dominating his first tournament aged just 17 - these achievements have earned him a 98 rated prime card, which is the highest in the game.

You'd think that being the highest rated Icon would make him the best, but FIFA rarely works like that. Nonetheless, he's still got an unbelievable card, breaking the 95 barrier in three of his base stats, as well as boasting 5* skill moves and 98 finishing.

2. Ruud Gullit (CF)

Dutch Eredivisie - PSV
Gullit is the ultimate central midfielder | VI-Images/Getty Images

During his playing days, Gullit achieved immense success, winning two European Cups, a Ballon d'Or, and a European Championship with Netherlands. So it's no wonder that he was gifted with an incredible FUT card.

Ever since his introduction in FIFA 14, Gullit has been one of the most expensive players in the game. With not a single in-game stat below 77, the Dutchman is probably the most complete card in the game. While his base position might be at centre-forward, he'd likely be best utilised in central midfield.

1. Ronaldo (ST)

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima
Ronaldo won two World Cups | Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

If you see this guy on the loading screen, just switch your console off. It's not worth it.

It really says something when a player can play for both Milan clubs, and both sides of El Clasico, and still be adored by the entire footballing world. In his pomp, R9 was the most deadly footballer on the planet, renowned for his incredible burst of speed, mesmerising skill, and lethal finishing.

All of this is reflected in his prime card, which has 97 pace, 5* skills, 5* weak foot, 95 dribbling, and 95 shooting. Thankfully, the chances of you facing him are very slim, as you'll have to cough up about 10m coins to use him.