Compared to attack, the defence isn’t the most eye-catching aspect of football. However, it is a key area, and every successful team must be proficient in and possess the very best players.
To help you build up a brick wall around your goal in FM22, we’ve collected the best DCs in the game.
Choosing the best centre backs (CB) on FM22
Further down, we take a look at the top-rated central defenders (DC) on FM22 with Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk, and Raphaël Varane being among the very best of the bunch.
The players below have been ranked based on their current ability ratings (CA), with each of them boasting a position rating of at least 19 for defender centre.
At the foot of the article, you’ll find a full list of all of the best centre backs (CB) in FM22.
1. Virgil van Dijk (180 CA / 183 PA)
Current Ability / Potential Ability: 180 CA / 183 PA
Wage: £240,000 p/w
Value: £116 million – £137 million
Best Attributes: 18 Heading, 18 Anticipation, 18 Determination
Virgil van Dijk headlines the list of top-rated centre backs around, largely due to his no-nonsense defending, ability to expertly distribute the ball, and start the attack from the back. He boasts the best current ability (180) amongst defenders in FM22, which could rise to 183 CA.
A calm and collected leader at the heart of the defence, the 30-year-old is a tough nut to crack one-versus-one thanks to his 17 tackling, 16 marking, 17 pace, and 17 positioning, while his 17 aggression, 18 anticipation, 18 heading, and 17 jumping reach makes him a force aerially. In addition, Van Dijk is also one of the most skilled defenders on the ball, given his 16 passing, 15 first touch, 17 decision, and 14 vision.
After a string of superb performances during his spell at Southampton, the Dutchman caught the eye across Europe before signing for Liverpool in a mouth-watering £75 million deal back in 2017. Van Dijk, who featured eight times for the Reds before sustaining a severe season-ending injury last term, has made 42 appearances for the Netherlands national team since earning his first senior international cap in October 2015.
2. Sergio Ramos (169 CA / 174 PA)
Team: Paris Saint-Germain
Current Ability / Potential Ability: 169 CA / 174 PA
Wage: £225,000 p/w
Value: Not for Sale
Best Attributes: 20 Heading, 20 Determination, 18 Tackling
While age might not be on his side, a current ability of 169, which could potentially rise to 174, in his final playing days makes Sergio Ramos the ultimate short-term defensive asset in FM22.
Having dwelled at the zenith of European football for decades, Sergio Ramos has been blessed with tonnes of experience, leadership qualities, and most importantly, defensive prowess. In FM22, this is showcased by his 18 tackling, 16 marking, 18 aggression, and 19 leadership. Also adept with the ball at his feet, the veteran boasts 16 passing, 14 first touch, and 15 flair, while his 20 heading, 16 jumping reach, and 17 anticipation allow him to nullify most aerial threats.
After rising through the ranks at Sevilla, Ramos earned a move to Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid, where he built his world-class reputation and enjoyed a trophy-laden 20-year spell before moving to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in July 2021. The no-nonsense centre back has netted 23 goals for the Spanish national team and is currently their most-capped player ever with 180 outings.
3. Rúben Dias (169 CA / 177 PA)
Team: Manchester City
Current Ability / Potential Ability: 169 CA / 177 PA
Wage: £160,000 p/w
Value: £144 million – £161 million
Best Attributes: 18 Bravery, 18 Natural fitness, 17 Marking
Rúben Dias quickly surged to the very top of European football, and the towering defender is a top pick in FM22 thanks to his 169 current ability – which could eventually move up to his potential of 177.
Unlike Van Dijk and Ramos, who are ball-playing defenders, Dias is best suited as a ‘traditional centre back’ in FM22. This is thanks to his 17 marking, 17 tackling, and 17 positioning coupled with 16 strength, 17 stamina, and 18 natural fitness. His 8 flair and 15 decisions mean that he is also a no-nonsense player who won’t take risks when in danger, while the defender’s 16 aggression, 16 concentration, and 18 bravery make him a formidable asset.
The 24-year-old began his playing career in the Benfica academy, and after a string of scintillating performances for the senior team, he earned a lucrative £65 million move to Manchester City in September 2020. The Portuguese centre back, who has 36 caps under his belt for the national team since his first call-up in 2018, fits like a glove in the Etihad outfit’s back-four. Last season, he was pivotal in the Cityzens’ 2020/21 title-winning run.
4. Aymeric Laporte (168 CA / 173 PA)
Team: Manchester City
Current Ability / Potential Ability: 168 CA / 173 PA
Wage: £120,000 p/w
Value: £106 million – £150 million
Best Attributes: 16 Heading, 16 Marking, 16 Composure
One of the most well-rounded centre backs in FM22, Aymeric Laporte’s versatility and composure makes him a top selection, gifted with a current ability of 168 which could reach 173 under proper management.
Known for his versatility and defensive intelligence, Aymeric Laporte has 16 marking, 15 tackling, 16 composure, and 16 positioning, which make him a solid option. Like Van Dijk, he is also proficient with the ball at his feet and useful when playing out from the back thanks to his 16 vision, 15 passing, and 16 decision.
Coming out of the Athletic Bilbao academy, the central defender rose to prominence with the Spanish outfit, where he made 222 appearances and scored 10 goals. Since joining Manchester City in 2018, he has won the Premier League title three times, switched nationally from France to Spain in May 2021, and has featured 12 times for the Spanish national team since.
5. Raphaël Varane (165 CA / 172 PA)
Team: Manchester United
Current Ability / Potential Ability: 165 CA / 172 PA
Wage: £275,000 p/w
Value: £71 million – £87 million
Best Attributes: 17 Marking, 17 Tackling, 17 Positioning
Having sealed a move to Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid as an inexperienced young defender back in 2011, Raphaël Varane has since established himself as one of the very best in the world. The Frenchman makes it into the top-rated centre backs on FM22 due to his 165 current ability – which could peak at 172 if he hits his potential.
One of the best orthodox defenders in the game, the 28-year-old boasts 17 marking, 17 tackling, 16 heading, and 17 positioning, which make him a nightmare for any attacker. His 16 natural fitness, 16 pace, and 17 jumping reach also make him one of the sturdiest centre backs around and an ideal asset at the defensive end of the pitch.
Following a glittering decade-long stint at Real Madrid, where he clinched three La Liga and four Champions League titles, Varane completed a £34 million switch to Premier League powerhouse Manchester United in August 2021. The Frenchman has been a familiar face in the French national team since making his debut back in 2013 and has made 83 appearances for Les Bleus since then.
6. David Alaba (164 CA / 174 PA)
Team: Real Madrid
Current Ability / Potential Ability: 164 CA / 174 PA
Wage: £350,000 p/w
Value: £46 million – £69 million
Best Attributes: 18 Natural fitness, 16 Passing, 16 Determination
While David Alaba is naturally a left-back, his versatility allows him to fill in proficiently at the heart of the defence. His 164 CA and 174 PA ratings earn him a place among the best central defenders in FM22.
The Real Madrid defender brings a mix of versatility and experience to the table, which is pinned on his 15 technique, 15 decisions, 16 positioning, and 15 concentration. Alaba’s 14 marking, 13 tackling, and 16 composure make him reliable at the back, and he offers much more going forward thanks to his 16 passing, 12 dribbling, 15 teamwork, and 14 work rate.
One of football’s ageless gems, the Austrian international spent 11 years with the German heavyweights Bayern Munich, where he scooped a plethora of trophies, including ten Bundesliga and two Champions League titles before joining Real Madrid last summer. Alaba has made a total of 90 international appearances to date and has 12 goals to his name.
7. Milan Škriniar (162 CA / 170 PA)
Team: Inter Milan
Current Ability / Potential Ability: 162 CA / 170 PA
Wage: £91,000 p/w
Value: £52 million – £62 million
Best Attributes: 18 Natural fitness, 18 Strength, 18 Determination
At 26-year-old, Milan Škriniar has the better part of his career ahead of him and a 162 CA already, which could peak at 170 PA, making him a defensive top pick in FM22.
With 18 strength, 18 natural fitness, 16 stamina, 17 bravery, and 15 aggression, Škriniar is one of the most bullish defenders in FM22. The Slovakian possesses a fair amount of composure and concentration, coupled with his 17 marking, 16 tackling, 16 anticipation, and 16 heading (16). So, he can efficiently shield your goalkeeper from onrushing opposition.
The 26-year-old gradually rose to prominence in Europe, beginning his career with Slovakian outfit MSK Zilina before moving to the Italian Serie A, where he signed for Sampdoria in 2016. A consistent run of impressive outings earned Škriniar a move to Inter Milan less than two seasons later and since then, he hasn’t looked back. The centre back was pivotal in handing the Nerazzurri their first Scudetto in over a decade.
All of the best centre backs (CB) on FM22
Listed in the table below are the best centre backs (DC) in FM22, sorted by their current ability ratings
|Virgil van Dijk||180||183||30||CB||Liverpool||£240,000||£116 million – £137 million|
|Sergio Ramos||169||177||24||CB||Paris Saint-Germain||£225,000||N/A|
|Rúben Dias||169||174||35||CB||Manchester City||£160,000||£144 million – £161 million|
|Aymeric Laporte||168||173||27||CB||Manchester City||£120,000||£106 million – £150 million|
|Raphaël Varane||165||172||28||CB||Manchester United||£275,000||£71 million – £87 million|
|David Alaba||164||174||29||CB||Real Madrid||£350,000||£46 million – £97 million|
|Milan Škriniar||162||170||26||CB||Inter Milan||£91,000||£52 million – £62 million|
|Marquinhos||162||165||27||CB||Paris Saint-Germain||£235,000||£79 million|
|Stefan de Vrij||162||165||29||CB||Inter Milan||£115,000||£51.4 million|
|Mats Hummels||160||177||32||CB||Borussia Dortmund||£165,000||£22 million|
|Kalidou Koulibaly||160||169||30||CB||Napoli||£185,000||£43.8 million|
|José Giménez||159||166||26||CB||Atlético Madrid||£82,000||£64 million|
|Matthijs de Ligt||159||185||21||CB||Juventus||£200,000||£115 million|
|Sebastián Coates||158||158||30||CB||Sporting Lisbon||£29,000||£30 million|
|Nacho Fernández||157||158||31||CB||Real Madrid||£130,000||£171 million|
|Harry Maguire||157||158||28||CB||Manchester United||£190,000||£69 million|
If you’re seeking a central defender who can expertly shield your goalkeeper, orchestrate the backline, and also start the attack from the back, rest assured that any of the best defenders in FM22 listed above has your team covered.