Central defence is hardly the most glamorous position in football, let alone in FIFA 22, but if you find the right combination of pace, athleticism, and chemistry, then a solid defence can allow you to focus on other areas of your team instead.
Identifying the right players to position in the heart of your defence will be a bit trickier this year. Last time out, the community realised that full-backs were often more effective off-chemistry at centre back, so pure CBs were few and far in competitive settings until Team of the Season brought in maximum pace options.
For FIFA 22, EA Sports has reduced full-backs’ defensive awareness stats, meaning they will (at least in theory) be much less effective played out of position in the centre. Fortunately there are plenty of good CBs in FIFA 22, and if you happen to be running French players in other positions, then you’re definitely in luck, because most of the best are French!
Here are the best centre backs in FIFA 22:
- Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands): VVD’s absence through injury last season coincided with a FIFA where he wasn’t meta. FIFA 22 may be a different story, and he certainly has everything you want: pace, strength, and fantastic defensive stats.
- Raphael Varane (France): The meta choice for years, Varane’s move to Manchester United will only make him more desirable.
- Aymeric Laporte (Spain): Slower than we’d like, but Laporte’s defensive stats are impressive across the board. Note that he is now Spanish!
- Ruben Dias (Portugal): Man City’s VVD? His impact on Pep’s team was certainly transformative, and his Portuguese links are great for hybrids.
- Joe Gomez (England) His reputation as a cheap beast in FIFA 21 is likely to stick around after a season out through injury. The best English option unless Kyle Walker gets another CB in-form!
- Davinson Sanchez (Colombia): A good early-game option for Premier League teams, although his Colombian links mean he’s difficult for hybrid teams.
- Ibrahima Konate (France): He cost Liverpool a packet in the summer and may not play much with VVD, Gomez and Matip fit, but Konate is a strong, flexible option for early-game Premier League or hybrid squads.
- Sergio Ramos (Spain): He’s not as fast as he used to be, but Ramos’ defensive stats mean he is unlikely to be caught out of position too often.
- Presnel Kimpembe (France): One of those cards that always seems a bit overpriced to us, Kimpembe does the job, but look for an upgrade when you can.
- Jason Denayer (Belgium): Cheap and cheerful, Belgian Denayer is always handy in an early-game French league squad.
- Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal): Perennially linked with a big-money move that never materialises, Napoli’s towering centre back is the Rolls Royce of Serie A defences.
- Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands): It still feels weird that he chose Serie A over other leagues after he emerged at Ajax, but when he glues our hybrid together and bosses powerful attackers in FUT Champions, we don’t complain.
- Kostas Manolas (Greece): One of the fastest Serie A options, although his Greek links are limiting.
- Clément Lenglet (France): The budget Varane is now the best French centre-back in LaLiga, and his four-star weak foot means he can play on either side.
- David Alaba (Austria): Not the fastest player, despite his origin at full-back, Alaba’s new Real Madrid card is nevertheless a strong choice, with a four-star weak foot too.
- Diego Carlos (Brazil): Another LaLiga defender with a four-star weak foot, Diego Carlos’ Brazil links mean he’s a more flexible choice than his colleagues.
- Jules Kounde (France): He might have missed out on a move to Chelsea, but Kounde is destined for greatness. He’s already underrated in FIFA.
- Lucas Hernandez (France): Left-footed Lucas Hernandez is a strong early-game option and his French links are obviously very helpful for hybrids.
- Dayot Upamecano (France): Weirdly low acceleration means Upamecano won’t be much use after a few months, but until then he’s the, uh, second best French Bayern Munich centre-back.
- Lukas Klostermann (Germany): Faster than his face stats suggest thanks to a strong sprint speed, Klostermann is a good starter squad defender. Just don’t ask him to do anything else!
So there you have it, the best centre backs in FIFA 22. If you’re looking to build your team to be a Weekend Rivals beast, make sure to check out our guides on the best FIFA 22 goalkeepers, best FIFA 22 wingers, and more.