Usually a position without remarkable pace within FIFA, and often contrary to a player’s real-life physical ability. Midfielders will use their intelligence and reading of the game, so pace isn’t always necessary for the position, but as with every rule, there are exceptions.
A quick turn of pace will forever be an asset within Career Mode. Breaking the mould, there are a few CMs that have the speed to cover the pitch in the blink of an eye, ever-increasing their potency against even the most tactically-sound opposition.
To help you find these lightning-quick midfielders, we’ve compiled a list of all of the paciest centre-mids in FIFA 21’s Career Mode. The criteria players had to meet to make this list is as follows: a minimum pace rating of 81 or higher – calculated from the average of their acceleration and sprint speed – and the player’s main preferred position being CM.
You’ll find the top-five fastest centre midfielders in FIFA 21 within the body of this article, with a table highlighting every other player meeting the criteria at the foot of the page.
Marcelino Moreno (Pace 89, OVR 75)
Team: Atlanta United
Position(s): CM (RW, LW)
Overall/Potential: 75 OVR / 77 POT
Acceleration/Sprint Speed: 91 Acceleration / 87 Sprint Speed
Skill Moves/Weak Foot: Five-Star / Three-Star
Value: £6.3 million
Swapping South American club Atlético Lanús for Major League Soccer side Atlanta United for £5.73 million, Marcelino Moreno hit the ground running in the USA. Moreno scored two and assisted another in his first six appearances for the team.
Already a third of the way to matching the goal tally he had for his former club, it seems the Argentine will be a smash hit for the struggling Atlanta this season. A versatile player, Moreno can play on either wing and centre attacking midfield, but he is most effective in his natural central midfield role.
A high attacking work rate shows how much this blistering midfielder likes to get the team on the front foot, possessing five-star skills, fantastic 93 agility, and 90 balance, he glides past players on his way up the pitch. An impressive 81 stamina ensures that he doesn’t run out of steam, tirelessly berating defenders and midfielders alike.
His fierce speed is bolstered by an impressive 73 short passing and 77 vision: a calm-headed 77 composure enables him to escape tight situations with ease. Moreno isn’t a slouch defensively either, as he’s equipped with 67 stand tackle and 65 interceptions to help when tracking back.
Luca Garritano (Pace 89, OVR 69)
Team: Chievo Verona
Position(s): CM (LM, CAM)
Overall/Potential: 69 OVR / 72 POT
Acceleration/Sprint Speed: 89 Acceleration / 89 Sprint Speed
Skill Moves/Weak Foot: Four-Star / Three-Star
Value: £1.6 million
An Inter Milan youth product, Luca Garritano emerged from the Inter Milan Primavera (the Italian giant’s youth side) showing plenty of promise having bagged 11 goals in his 35 appearances. Now, he’s plying his trade for Serie B side Chievo Verona, after signing permanently during the 2017/18 season.
Garritano never nailed down a place in Inter’s first-team, forcing the Italian to switch scenery. Now, he’s finally settled after various spells with Cesena, Modena, Carpi, and Cosenza. The attack-minded central midfielder has been utilised in almost every forward position throughout his career, from striker to the wings and in attacking midfield.
Being 26-years-old, Garritano will be reaching his prime playing years soon, yet there’s still time to reach the promise that his performances for Inter’s Primavera team suggested. Along with his athletic prowess, he displays fine 74 ball control and 74 dribbling, giving him a solid base in FIFA 21.
An adept free-kick taker with 73 free-kick accuracy paired with 73 shot power means that he will happily punish opposing teams from dead-ball situations. Albeit defensively lacking, Garritano would make a great forward-thinking signing for an up-and-coming club in Career Mode. Given that his contract runs out in 2021, he could potentially sign for free or a small fee.
Shintaro Nago (Pace 88, OVR 63)
Team: Kashima Antlers
Position(s): CM (CDM)
Overall/Potential: 63 OVR / 67 POT
Acceleration/Sprint Speed: 88 Acceleration / 88 Sprint Speed
Skill Moves/Weak Foot: Two-Star / Three-Star
Plucked from the Juntendo University side on a free transfer back in 2019, Shintaro Nago has played for Japan’s most successful club, Kashima Antlers, ever since. During the 2018/19 season, Nago helped the team on their way to their first AFC Champions League title.
Racking up 38 appearances for the Japanese club, scoring once and assisting twice, Nago has had to be patient for opportunities. Still only 24-years-old, the speedy midfielder has plenty of time to show his promise and cement a starting role.
When starting as a lower league club, Nago presents himself as a good addition to keep the midfield rolling in Career Mode. Not only does he have fantastic pace, but his 81 agility and 83 balance are also fine attributes to possess. Be wary of his 50 stamina, though, as he may need substituting later in games to keep him fresh for a continued run in the team.
Able to play as a CM or in the deeper CDM position, his 64 standing tackle paired with his sheer pace is used to great effect when winning possession. The 66 dribbling, 68 short passing, and 62 vision he holds only further adds to his ability to win the ball and retain possession.
Nicolás de la Cruz (Pace 86, OVR 77)
Team: River Plate
Position(s): CM (CAM, LW)
Overall/Potential: 77 OVR / 86 POT
Acceleration/Sprint Speed: 85 Acceleration / 86 Sprint Speed
Skill Moves/Weak Foot: Four-Star / Four-Star
Value: £21.2 million
The most promising player in our top-five, Nicolás de la Cruz moved from his Uruguayan hometown club, Liverpool FC Montevideo, to Argentinian giants River Plate. Since his move to Argentina, the 23-year-old has locked down a starting role in midfield, amassing 85 appearances, an impressive tally of 13 goals, and 22 assists.
During his time with River Plate, he’s helped the team to three pieces of silverware, including the coveted Copa Libertadores in 2018. Now a fully-fledged international for his country, making four appearances since 9 October 2020, the world could be at this South American jewel’s feet.
Pace to burn isn’t the only thing this speedster CM has to offer, though, as De La Cruz’s outstanding 93 stamina and high work-rates in both attacking and defending may be enough to get him into most sides. Adding his 77 short passing, 80 vision, and 81 composure into the equation makes him an even more appealing transfer target.
Deadly in-front of goal, De La Cruz boasts 79 shot power, 77 long shots, and 75 finishing, with his 78 free-kick accuracy making him effective from all ranges and situations. Developing into a complete midfielder shouldn’t pose an issue at all; sign him while he’s relatively cheap, or you may have to part with a hefty sum to secure his services in Career Mode.
Latif Blessing (Pace 86, OVR 70)
Team: Los Angeles FC
Position(s): CM (RB)
Overall/Potential: 70 OVR / 73 POT
Acceleration/Sprint Speed: 88 Acceleration / 85 Sprint Speed
Skill Moves/Weak Foot: Three-Star / Four-Star
Value: £2 million
Rounding out our top-five fastest centre-mids in FIFA 21 is Ghanaian midfielder Latif Blessing. He made his way to America by signing for Sporting Kansas City in 2017, after finishing the previous season as the top goalscorer for Liberty Professionals in Ghana’s top-flight. With 17 goals to his name, Blessing was swiftly picked up by Los Angeles FC for the 2017/18 season, via the MLS draft system.
Since signing for Los Angeles FC, Blessing has gone on to make 99 appearances for the club – truly a testament to his ability at such a young age. From midfield, he attack-minded Ghanaian has contributed 15 goals and 15 assists for the MLS club.
He’s gifted with high attacking and defensive work-rates, and his natural pace, 80 stamina, and 72 standing tackles mean that he’s more than capable of filling in at full-back.
Despite Blessing’s impressive goal-scoring at club level, in FIFA 21, he’s been given 61 finishing, with his talents more evident in his defensive capabilities. Fine 75 dribbling, 70 ball control, and 74 short passing enable him to move the ball across the pitch with ease.
All the fastest CMs in FIFA 21 Career Mode
In the table below, you’ll find the five featured players above, plus all of the other fastest central midfielders in FIFA 21.
|Marcelino Moreno||CM (RW, LW)||89||91||87||75|
|Luca Garritano||CM (LM, CAM)||89||89||89||69|
|Shintaro Nago||CM (CDM)||88||88||88||63|
|Nicolás De la Cruz||CM (CAM, LW)||86||85||86||77|
|Latif Blessing||CM (RB)||86||88||85||70|
|Leonardo Lopes||CM (CDM)||86||88||85||67|
|Mubarak Wakaso||CM (LM)||86||83||88||72|
|Badou Ndiaye||CM (CDM)||85||85||85||72|
|Rasmus Falk||CM (LM, RM)||85||84||85||76|
|Andrés Tello||CM (LM)||85||86||85||70|
|Lucas Robertone||CM (CAM)||84||87||81||75|
|Petter Strand||CM (LW)||84||86||83||65|
|Lucas Vera||CM (CAM)||84||89||79||72|
|Marcos Antonio||CM (CDM)||84||85||83||73|
|Marcos Llorente||CM (RM, ST)||84||79||88||83|
|Arturo Inálcio||CM (CAM)||83||80||86||78|
|Alejo Antilef||CM (CAM)||83||84||83||65|
|Bryan Acosta||CM (CDM, CAM)||83||79||87||71|
|Kevin Balanta||CM (CDM)||83||79||86||70|
|Domingo Blanco||CM (RM, RW)||82||87||78||73|
|Costinha||CM (CAM, RW)||82||85||79||68|
|Jesús Meza||CM (RM, CAM)||82||84||80||62|
|Joe Aribo||CM (CAM)||82||78||85||72|
|Waldemar Sobota||CM (CDM)||82||87||77||68|
|Warren Tchimbembé||CM (LM)||82||79||85||65|
|Ryota Oshima||CM (CDM)||82||85||80||72|
|Jamie Shackleton||CM (RB)||82||85||79||65|
|Marc-Francois Enoumba||CM (CB)||82||83||81||63|
|Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro||CM||81||79||82||73|
|Sergio Canales||CM (LM, RM)||81||80||81||82|
|Robbie Willmott||CM (RWB)||81||83||80||59|
|Youssouf M’Changama||CM (CAM)||81||81||81||71|
|Bright Addae||CM (CDM)||81||79||82||67|
Now that you know all of FIFA 21’s fastest centre midfielders, will any of them make the grade for your team on the road to glory?
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