FIFA 21: Team of the Year release date, TOTY predictions, and more

Here's who we expect to come out on top when the FUT Team of the Year is released

Van Dijk heads the ball in FIFA 21

January means only one thing for FIFA Ultimate Team players, and that is Team of the Year. Oh, and Christmas noobs, but mostly Team of the Year. This team of 12 (yes, 12) players is a souped-up Team of the Week, showcasing the players who have made the biggest impact in world football over the last 12 months.

As sought-after Team of the Week players get a nice little boost to their stats and a sleek black card, those featured in Team of the Year take that to the next level. We’re expecting another set of gilded blue cards this year, and stats that go all the way up to 99.

These players will be briefly available in packs, and eventually trickle onto the transfer market – but you’ll likely need millions of coins to be in with a chance. Team of the Year is an annual FUT tradition, and these players will change the game for the rest of the season. Expect to see the pros and the biggest streamers using these cards while the rest of us can merely watch.

Here’s everything we know so far about FUT 21 Team of the Year:

Team of the Year release date

We don’t have any official word yet, but based on previous years we’re expecting Team of the Year to release on January 11, at 10:00 PST (13:00 EST, 18:00 GMT). However, as that would clash with the current Headliners event, we could see it releasing a week after on January 18 instead. We’ll update this guide as soon as we know for sure.

Last year, the TOTY players were released in waves according to their position, so we could see the same again this year:

  • Monday – Tuesday: TOTY Attackers in packs
  • Tuesday – Wednesday: TOTY Midfielders in packs
  • Wednesday – Thursday: TOTY Defenders and Goalkeeper in packs
  • Thursday – Monday: Full TOTY XI in packs
  • Friday – Monday: TOTY 12th man also in packs

For your best chance of grabbing a Team of the Year player, your best bet is to open packs from Friday to Monday, as all 12 players will be available. However, if you’re after a specific player to strengthen your team, then opening packs when their position is available will increase your chances of pulling them – if you get lucky enough.

Team of the Year 2021 predictions

It’s been a strange old year in the football world, but you’ll recognise most of our picks. Team of the Year players nearly always come from the Big Four leagues – Bundesliga, La Liga, the Premier League, and Serie A – and our picks are no different.

Based on their form this year, the records they have broken, and the success of their respective teams, here are the players we expect to be in the Team of the Year:

GK: Manuel Neuer – 96

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 95

CB: Virgil Van Dijk – 97

CB: Sergio Ramos – 96

LB: Alphonso Davies – 94

CDM: Joshua Kimmich – 96

CAM: Kevin De Bruyne – 98

CAM: Bruno Fernandes – 97

RW: Lionel Messi – 99

ST: Robert Lewandowski – 99

LW: Cristiano Ronaldo – 99

The twelfth man is voted for by the Ultimate Team community, so is harder to predict. We reckon fan favourites Neymar or Mbappe will be racing to join the squad, but we’re secretly hoping for Thiago Alacantra to make the cut.

We will of course update this section once the Team of the Year is confirmed, but until then we can only guess. That’s half the fun anyway, right?