FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Defensive Midfielders (CDM)

Looking to sign one of the best defensive midfielders to your team for FIFA 21 Career Mode? Find them all right here.


The number six of any team is the heart and soul of the midfield; they play an integral role in the build-up play transitioning forward and being the rock in front of the defence.

Following EA Sports’ announcement of the ratings for the top 100 players in FIFA 21, we now know who the definitive best player in the game is when it comes to the centre defensive midfielder position.


There are several excellent options to try and pursue at CDM in FIFA 21, and you can find them all in the table at the foot of the article. The top five players at the CDM position are featured below.

Casemiro (89 OVR)

Team: Real Madrid
Position: CDM
Age: 28
Overall Rating: 89
Weak Foot: Three-Star
Country: Brazil
Best Attributes: 91 Strength, 91 Aggression, 90 Stamina

The best option in defensive midfield is Brazilian international Casemiro. With the return of Zinedine Zidane, Casemiro has played a pivotal role in ensuring that Los Blancos won their first La Liga title since 2016/17.

Casemiro showed plenty of quality in possession for Real Madrid, completing an average of 63 passes per game with a completion of 84 per cent.

The São Paulo-graduate gets a bump in rating from the last FIFA 20 update, moving from an 88 rating to an 89 OVR, standing as the best-rated CDM in FIFA 21.

What players will get with Casemiro is a competent and strongly-built midfielder with 91 strength, 91 aggression, and 90 stamina.

Joshua Kimmich (88 OVR)

Team: Bayern Munich
Position: CDM
Age: 25
Overall Rating: 88
Weak Foot: Four-Star
Country: Germany
Best Attributes: 95 Stamina, 91 Crossing, 89 Aggression

A player who continues to showcase his incredible ability as he enters his prime is the Bayern Munich CDM, Joshua Kimmich. The 25-year-old was once again superb as he helped Bayern complete the treble for the first time in seven years.

Kimmich is such a tactically flexible option, boasting the ability to play as a CDM, CM, and at RB. What is his best position? The argument is that Kimmich is excellent in any of these roles.

The Rottweil-native receives a position change from CM to CDM and a ratings increase, moving from an 87 at the end of FIFA 20 to an 88 OVR in FIFA 21.

Kimmich is the perfect all-rounder with 95 stamina, 91 crossing, and 89 aggression. If Kimmich is affordable for your team and fits the system, do what you can to bring in one of Germany’s finest.

N’Golo Kanté (88 OVR)

Team: Chelsea
Position: CDM
Age: 29
Overall Rating: 88
Weak Foot: Three-Star
Country: France
Best Attributes: 96 Stamina, 92 Balance, 91 Interceptions

It was once said that 70 per cent of the Earth is covered by water, the rest by N’Golo Kanté. It’s impossible to deny that the French international has an incredible ability to cover every blade of grass.

Kanté had an indifferent season with injuries, which forced him to miss 16 Premier League fixtures. That being said, under Frank Lampard, Kanté still played a vital role when available.

The Parisian suffers a rating drop in FIFA 21, going from an 89 OVR to an 88 OVR. However, Kanté is still an excellent option at CDM, and has statistics back that up, with a 96 for stamina, 92 for balance, and 91 for interceptions.

If you are looking for a defensive-minded number six that goes box-to-box, Kanté is most likely your player of choice.

Fabinho (87 OVR)

Team: Liverpool
Position: CDM
Age: 27
Overall Rating: 87
Weak Foot: Two-Star
Country: Brazil
Best Attributes: 90 Penalties, 88 Stamina, 87 Slide Tackle


The second Brazilian to feature on our list comes from the ranks of the Premier League Champions. Fabinho had a significant impact in his role last season, ensuring that Liverpool won their first Premier League title in 30 years.

A native of Campinas, Fabinho featured on 28 occasions for the Reds, scoring twice and producing three assists.

Fabinho was rewarded for his improved second season at Liverpool with a rating increase, moving from a final FIFA 20 rating of 86 to being an 87-rated CDM in FIFA 21.

Like Casemiro, Fabinho has very useful physical attributes while remaining competent on the ball. He boasts 90 penalties, 88 stamina, and 87 slide tackle.

Fabinho is a strong option for those looking to solidify their midfield.

Sergio Busquets (87 OVR)

Team: FC Barcelona
Position: CDM
Age: 32
Overall Rating: 87
Weak Foot: Three-Star
Country: Spain
Best Attributes: 93 Composure, 89 Short Passing, 88 Ball Control

The last player to feature among the very best CDMs in FIFA 21 is the experienced Spanish defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets. 

Busquets played a vital role for Barcelona despite the club going trophyless for the first time since the 2007/08 season. But with the club in transition, his role could diminish under Ronald Koeman.

In terms of FIFA rating, Busquets receives a decrease between games, with his final FIFA 20 rating of 88 dipping to 87 OVR in FIFA 21.

From our list, Busquets is the best on-the-ball type of defensive midfielder available, featuring 93 composure, 89 short passing, and 88 ball control.

Whether you want to take a punt on a 32-year-old defensive midfielder is up to you, but if you’re looking for a player to help in the build-up, Busquets would be a sound option.

All the Best Central Defensive Midfielders (CDM) in FIFA 21

Here’s the list of all the best players at the CDM position in FIFA 21, with the table to be updated with more players once the game launches.

NameOverallAgeClubBest Attributes
Casemiro8928Real Madrid91 Strength, 91 Aggression, 90 Stamina
Joshua Kimmich8825Bayern Munich95 Stamina, 91 Crossing, 89 Aggression
N’Golo Kanté8829Chelsea96 Stamina, 92 Balance, 91 Interceptions
Fabinho8727Liverpool90 Penalties, 88 Stamina, 87 Slide Tackle
Sergio Busquets8732FC Barcelona93 Composure, 89 Short Passing, 88 Ball Control
Jordan Henderson8630Liverpool91 Stamina, 87 Long Passing, 86 Short Passing
Rodri8524Manchester City85 Composure, 85 Short Passing, 84 Standing Tackle
Lucas Leiva8433SS Lazio87 Interceptions, 86 Composure, 84 Standing Tackle
Axel Witsel8431Borussia Dortmund92 Composure, 90 Short Passing, 85 Long Passing
Idrissa Gueye8431Paris Saint-Germain91 Stamina, 90 Standing Tackle, 89 Jumping
Marcelo Brozović8427Inter Milan94 Stamina, 85 Ball Control, 84 Long Passing
Wilfred Ndidi8423Leicester City92 Stamina, 90 Jumping, 90 Interceptions
Blaise Matuidi8333Inter Miami CF86 Aggression, 85 Sliding Tackle, 85 Marking
Fernando Reges8333Sevilla FC85 Aggression, 85 Interceptions, 83 Marking
Charles Aránguiz8331Bayer Leverkusen87 Reactions, 86 Balance, 86 Marking
Denis Zakaria8323Borussia Mönchengladbach89 Aggression, 87 Strength, 85 Sprint Speed
Danilo Pereira8229FC Porto89 Strength, 84 Composure, 84 Stamina
Konrad Laimer8223RB Leipzig89 Stamina, 86 Sprint Speed, 85 Aggression

Looking for the best young players in FIFA 21?

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FIFA 21 Career Mode: Best Young Centre Backs (CB) to Sign


Matt K

A sports fanatic who indulges in the weird and wonderful world of video games.

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