On the field, it may have been a frustrating league campaign, but SSC Napoli still managed to qualify for the Europa League by virtue of winning the Coppa Italia – beating a more-fancied Juventus on penalties in the final.
Beginning his tenure in December, Gennaro Gattuso had several teething problems, falling as far down as 14th in Serie A during the campaign. However, a final climb up the table to seventh underlined their credentials.
After a summer transfer window to give Gattuso a chance to build a team of his own, Napoli have made the perfect start to the 20/21 campaign, defeating Parma 2-0 and demolishing Genoa 6-0, with their eight goals shared by six players.
Here, you can find each of their five best players featured, with a table of all of the player ratings for Napoli at the base of the page.
Kalidou Koulibaly (88 OVR)
Best Position: Centre Back
Weak Foot: Three-Star
Best Attributes: 94 Strength, 91 Marking 91, 89 Standing Tackle
Kalidou Koulibaly is a name on the lips of many fans, with transfer rumours abound for the Senagalese defensive rock.
Holding Liverpool to a solitary goal in the two group stage matches in their Champions League campaign, the 29-year-old has been solid in the two clean-sheet victories so far for the 2020/21 Serie A campaign.
Koulibaly’s impressive record is reflected in his FIFA 21 rating, with only Virgil van Dijk and Sergio Ramos rated higher at centre back. It’s no secret that Koulibaly’s strength (94) and marking (91) make him a rock at the back, and somewhat of a platform when putting your team together.
He also boasts world-class tackling ratings (89 standing, 87 sliding) to give you the confidence to dive in when necessary. To put the icing on the cake, Koulibaly is also an option in set-piece situations, boasting 82 jumping and 84 heading accuracy to make him an attacking threat.
Lorenzo Insigne (85 OVR)
Best Position: Left Wing
Skill Moves: Four-Star
Best Attributes: 93 Ball Control, 93 Balance, 93 Agility
Outside of a few loan spells in his early senior team years, Lorenzo Insigne has spent a decade and a half at his childhood club, and the hometown hero has now notched 350 games across all competitions in the Napoli blue.
Scoring thirteen goals and providing eight assists across all competitions last season, Insigne is off the mark already in the 2020/21 campaign, scoring in their opener against Parma while wearing the captain’s armband.
Deployed as a left winger who cuts in to favour his right foot, Insigne’s 93 ball control, 93 agility, 90 dribbling, and 92 acceleration create separation from defensive markers, setting him up to utilise his 84 long shots.
With four-star skill moves, Insigne has plenty of tricks up his sleeve for creating space for the final pass or the finish.
On his own, Insigne is capable of creating multiple chances a match. Still, when deployed with a left back capable of overlapping, defenders will experience more difficulty trying to contain the flank.
Dries Mertens (85 OVR)
Best Position: Centre Forward
Skill Moves: Four-Star
Best Attributes: 94 Agility, 92 Balance, 90 Acceleration
A part of Belgium’s golden generation, of sorts, Dries Mertens joined SSC Napoli in 2013 and has been a key figure of the club’s recent success, overtaking Marek Hamšík as the club’s record goalscorer after last season’s restart.
One of the first players on the Napoli team sheet, Mertens either sits behind a sole striker or leads the line himself, and the Belgian has goals in both the club’s opening Serie A matches this season.
A busy player between the lines, Mertens’ 94 agility and 90 acceleration make him a handful for defenders to keep tabs on, sitting in the pockets to dictate proceedings.
Unbelievably, Mertens has ratings of 80 or higher across 15 attributes in FIFA 21, and totes both four-star skill moves and weak foot ratings. At just over 5’4’’, Mertens may be outmuscled, but his pace and positioning go a long way to avoiding physical contests.
Konstantinos Manolas (83 OVR)
Best Position: Centre Back
Weak Foot: Two-Star
Best Attributes: 87 Sliding Tackle, 86 Interceptions, 86 Jumping
After impressing in Greece’s 2014 World Cup campaign, helping his country reach the knockout stages for the first time, Kostas Manolas attracted several potential suitors, eventually signing for AS Roma.
Building a reputation in a league notorious for its defensive steel, Manolas moved to SSC Napoli at the beginning of last season for a fee of £32.4 million (€36 million), going from strength to strength ever since.
With two clean sheets alongside Koulibaly at centre back to begin the season, Manolas at 29-years-old is in his prime. Hailed for his athleticism and defensive skill, both in the air and in one-on-one situations, he is the perfect compliment to Koulibaly at the heart of the defence.
Cleaning up with an 86 interceptions rating, Manolas’ range extends to quality sliding tackles (87) and aerial contests (86 jumping). Able to keep up with quicker players too, Manolas’ 80 acceleration and 83 sprint speed make him a very dependable, well-rounded centre back.
Fabián Ruiz (OVR 82)
Best Position: Centre Midfield
Skill Moves: Four-Star
Best Attributes: 85 Ball Control, 85 Dribbling, 84 Vision
Valued at £45 million (€50 million), 24-year-old Fabián Ruiz has already attracted the interest of Real Madrid, among other European giants, after blossoming into a pivotal player for his Italian club.
Rated highly both by Carlo Ancelotti during his reign, and by Gennaro Gattuso now, Fabián made a seamless transition to Serie A football after moving from Real Betis and looks to be on quite a promising career trajectory.
Approaching 100 club appearances for SSC Napoli inside three seasons, Ruiz has pulled the strings in the middle of the park, contributing 11 goals and nine assists so far.
Ruiz is a multi-dimensional player on the ball, with 85 ball control, 84 vision, and ratings of 81 for both short and long passing to bring his teammates into play, with a rating of 83 for long shots meaning that he’s capable of having a pop from distance.
In possession, you’ll have a busy player in Ruiz, with the best years still very much ahead of him.
All SSC Napoli player ratings in FIFA 21
Here are all of the ratings for Napoli’s players, including their best attributes and their overall ratings in FIFA 21.
|Kalidou Koulibaly||88||CM||94 Strength, 91 Marking, 89 Standing Tackle||Senegalese|
|Lorenzo Insigne||85||LW||93 Ball Control, 93 Balance, 93 Agility||Italy|
|Dries Mertens||85||CF||94 Agility, 92 Balance, 90 Acceleration||Belgian|
|Kostas Manolas||83||CB||87 Sliding Tackle, 86 Interceptions, 86 Jumping||Greek|
|Fabián Ruiz||82||CM||85 Ball Control, 85 Dribbling, 84 Vision||Spanish|
|Arkadiusz Milik||81||ST||88 Finishing, 86 Shot Power, 85 Positioning||Polish|
|Matteo Politano||81||RM||89 Agility, 87 Balance, 84 Acceleration||Italian|
|Piotr Zieliński||80||CM||85 Ball Control, 85 Dribbling, 84 Short Passing||Polish|
|Hirving Lozano||80||RW||93 Sprint Speed, 93 Acceleration, 90 Agility||Mexican|
|David Ospina||79||GK||84 Reflexes, 82 Handling, 77 Kicking||Colombian|
|Faouzi Ghoulam||79||LB||83 Crossing, 80 Sliding Tackle, 80 Stamina||Algerian|
|Mário Rui||79||LB||89 Balance, 88 Agility, 88 Acceleration||Portuguese|
|Victor Oshimhen||79||ST||92 Sprint Speed, 86 Stamina, 83 Finishing||Nigerian|
|Kévin Malcuit||78||RB||82 Sprint Speed, 80 Acceleration, 80 Dribbling||French|
|Diego Demme||78||CDM||93 Stamina, 85 Agility, 84 Balance||German|
|Elseid Hysaj||78||RB||80 Standing Tackle, 79 Aggression, 78 Sliding Tackle||Albanian|
|Stanislav Lobotka||78||CM||85 Stamina, 84 Short Passing, 82 Ball Control||Slovakian|
|Alex Meret||78||GK||82 Reflexes, 79 Diving, 77 Positioning||Italian|