The teams that sweep the silverware in domestic, continental, and world competitions invariably have at least one cornerstone centre back who’s good enough to rank among the best in the sport.
Building around a world-class centre back is the tried and trusted method of creating a winning team, with the system also working in FIFA 21’s Career Mode.
So here, we’re going through the FIFA 21 CBs with the highest potential ratings (POT), enabling you to sign the defenders who are set to become the best in the game.
Choosing the highest potential centre backs (CB) in FIFA 21
All of the players found on this page have CB listed as their preferred position, or can at least play to their top rating in the role, and boast one of the best POT ratings for a centre back in FIFA 21.
While the highest potential centre backs can have any overall rating, they had to have a potential rating of at least 87 POT to make the cut.
Below, you can find the highest POT CBs in FIFA 21 featured, with all of the high potential centre backs listed in a table at the base of the page. All of the ratings are drawn from the 29 January 2021 squad update on FIFA 21.
Matthijs de Ligt (85 OVR – 92 POT)
Team: Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)
Overall/Potential: 85 OVR / 92 POT
Wage: £73,000 p/w
Release Clause: £164.8 million
Best Attributes: 88 Strength, 86 Heading Accuracy, 86 Defensive Awareness
In the summer of 2019, Juventus won the race to sign Ajax’s coveted young centre back Matthijs de Ligt. For what’s starting to look like a bargain £76.95 million, the Dutch defender is already a first-team regular.
De Ligt had to wait nearly three months to get this season started, suffering from a shoulder injury in the opening weeks of Serie A. Following 13 successive starts, the Leiderdorp-native had his season derailed again, this time due to contracting Covid-19.
Standing as the best young centre back due to his 85 OVR, De Ligt also comes into FIFA 21 as the highest potential CB, thanks to his 92 POT. So, he’s already worthy of a starting place and has an even higher ceiling.
The right-footed defender already weighs-in with hefty ratings across the key attribute ratings for a centre back. De Ligt’s 88 strength, 86 defensive awareness, 84 jumping, 85 standing tackle, 86 heading accuracy, and 82 sliding tackle are already very useful assets to have in the middle of the backline.
Virgil van Dijk (90 OVR – 91 POT)
Overall/Potential: 90 OVR / 91 POT
Wage: £189,000 p/w
Release Clause: £195.8 million
Best Attributes: 93 Standing Tackle, 93 Defensive Awareness, 92 Strength
If there was one signing that you could point to as the catalyst for Liverpool becoming undeniable title challengers, it has to be the world record, £76.19 million purchase of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.
Since the move in January 2018, Van Dijk’s ability to nullify the best forwards in the world has been demonstrated consistently, with his cruciate ligament injury this season proving to be a major problem for the reigning Premier League champions.
Most consider him to be the best centre-half in the world, the Dutchman is already the best CB in FIFA 21, and yet he has even more room to grow in the game. He starts with a mighty 90 OVR, but that can be propped up by another point, thanks to Van Dijk’s 91 POT.
The 6’4’’ defensive titan is incredibly difficult to get around in FIFA 21, boasting 93 standing tackle, 90 jumping, 90 interceptions, 93 defensive awareness, 92 strength, 89 reactions, and 86 sliding tackle.
Dayot Upamecano (81 OVR – 90 POT)
Team: RB Leipzig
Overall/Potential: 81 OVR / 90 POT
Wage: £37,000 p/w
Release Clause: £92.3 million
Best Attributes: 90 Strength, 89 Sprint Speed, 87 Jumping
Already in a starting XI role for the high-flying RB Leipzig, Évreux-born centre back Dayot Upamecano is widely touted as one of the top young defensive talents in world football.
After proving himself for RB Salzburg in Austria, Die Roten Bullen switched the Frenchman to Germany in January 2017. Since then, Upamecano has amassed 138 games, four goals, and three assists to date, encouraging Premier League title contenders to keep tabs on the 22-year-old talent.
Clocking-in as the second-best French wonderkid in the game, Upamecano also stands as the centre back with the third-highest potential. His 81 OVR is serviceable now, but his 90 POT will see the defender become a world-beater.
While being 6’1’’ certainly doesn’t put Upamecano among the giants of the position, he more than makes up for it with his 90 strength, 87 jumping, and 82 heading accuracy. The CB also brings speed to the backline, with his 89 sprint speed and 69 acceleration only set to improve as he grows into his lofty potential.
Aymeric Laporte (87 OVR – 90 POT)
Team: Manchester City
Overall/Potential: 87 OVR / 90 POT
Wage: £180,000 p/w
Release Clause: £160.3 million
Best Attributes: 89 Standing Tackle, 89 Defensive Awareness, 88 Sliding Tackle
Still only 26-years-old, Aymeric Laporte has already tallied over 300 professional appearances for top-flight clubs and has established himself as the cornerstone of Manchester City’s defence.
Despite being among the best centre backs in the Premier League – perhaps second only to Virgil van Dijk – Laporte is yet to make his debut for France. Head coach Didier Deschamps has called-up the ball-playing defender in the past, only to pick Samuel Umtiti, Laurent Koscielny, or Raphaël Varane instead.
He may not have played for France yet, but Laporte has the best OVR of a French defender in FIFA 21, and has one of the highest potentials of all of the centre backs in the game, featuring a 90 POT.
The City centre back’s most eye-catching attribute ratings are his 89 standing tackle, 89 defensive awareness, 88 sliding tackle, and 87 interceptions, but he’s also been given decent on-the-ball ratings. Laporte’s 82 short passing, 80 long passing, and 78 ball control mean that you can trust him to play the ball wisely.
Marquinhos (86 OVR – 90 POT)
Team: Paris Saint-Germain
Overall/Potential: 86 OVR / 90 POT
Wage: £113,000 p/w
Release Clause: £144.7 million
Best Attributes: 89 Jumping, 88 Defensive Awareness, 88 Standing Tackle
Marquinhos sealed his big switch from Brazilian behemoths Corinthians in January 2013, joining AS Roma for a little over £5 million. Just six months later, big-spending Paris Saint-Germain swept up the teenager for £28 million.
Of the quartet of players signed that season, only Marquinhos remains at PSG, with Edinson Cavani, Yohan Cabaye, and Lucas Digne moving on in the seasons since. Now, following the departure of Thiago Silva, the 26-year-old wears the captain’s armband.
The Brazilian’s 86 OVR places him among the top-class CBs of FIFA 21, but thanks to being one of the highest potential centre backs of FIFA 21, Marquinhos can join the elite-tier with his 90 POT.
The São Paulo-born defender boasts solid ratings across the board for his position, with Marquinhos’ 88 defensive awareness, 88 sliding tackle, 88 standing tackle, and 86 interceptions making him very difficult to get past.
All the high potential centre backs (CB) in FIFA 21
In the table below, you’ll find all of the highest potential CBs to sign in Career Mode ranked by their POT ratings.
|Name||Age||OVR||POT||Wage (p/w)||Release Clause||Team|
|Matthijs de Ligt||20||85||92||£73,000||£164.8m||Piemonte Calcio (Juventus)|
|Virgil van Dijk||28||90||91||£189,000||£195.8m||Liverpool|
|Dayot Upamecano||21||81||90||£37,000||£92.3m||RB Leipzig|
|Aymeric Laporte||26||87||90||£180,000||£160.3m||Manchester City|
|Milan Škriniar||25||85||89||£117,000||£107m||Inter Milan|
|Sergio Ramos||34||89||89||£270,000||£61.8m||Real Madrid|
|Ibrahima Konaté||21||78||88||£30,000||£50.4m||RB Leipzig|
|Presnel Kimpembe||24||83||88||£74,000||£85.8m||Paris Saint-Germain|
|Clément Lenglet||25||84||88||£158,000||£100.4m||FC Barcelona|
|José María Giménez||25||84||88||£64,000||£100.4m||Atlético Madrid|
|Kalidou Koulibaly||29||88||88||£126,000||£117m||SSC Napoli|
|Joško Gvardiol||18||71||87||£450||£11.4m||Dinamo Zagreb|
|Edmond Tapsoba||21||80||87||£40,000||£68.4m||Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
|Jules Koundé||21||81||87||£21,000||£77.6m||Sevilla FC|
|Éder Militão||22||80||87||£104,000||£81m||Real Madrid|
|Rúben Dias||23||82||87||£99,000||£71.9m||Manchester City|
|Ben White||22||76||87||£36,000||£29.3m||Brighton & Hove Albion|
|Denis Zakaria||23||82||87||£37,000||£67.1m||Borussia Mönchengladbach|
|Niklas Süle||24||82||87||£63,000||£64.4m||Bayern Munich|
|Raphaël Varane||27||85||87||£180,000||£110m||Real Madrid|
|Mats Hummels||31||87||87||£90,000||£83.4m||Borussia Dortmund|
If you want one of the best high potential CBs in FIFA 21, see if you have the budget to sign a defender listed above.