End of Season blues: FIFA 13 Career Mode Dream Transfers

fifa13logoprimaryrgbWhat a cracker season it has been for all the football fans. A gigantic marginal victory for the Red Devils, while a last day UCL spot win over the rival Londoners for the Gunners, not forgetting the very surprising La Liga. The season ended along with major heartbreaks as well, with Sir Alex finally calling it time, Becks aiming away from football and now Jose Mourinho leaving the Los Blancos camp. To give it this season a proper recall, I aimed to talk in terms of FIFA 13, what in my opinion have been the ups in my Career Mode. The signings that determined my One Helluva Season.

I started my career mode with Arsenal FC, me being a hardcoreGooner since you know when. For me, building a team doesn’t necessarily mean signing big names, but making the best out of every player. The Wenger ways.The stuff that FIFA 10 and 11 lacked, have been taken good care of in FIFA 13. You need to play your players more in FIFA 13, to help them reach their potential and even beat them ratings. Not only will they crib for a start if you deny them a first team place, but their form vs moral vs rating will also detiorate. Hence, buy reasonably good players and make sure you have place for everyone in your team. With Arsenal, I started with a debatable transfer budget in the beginning and hence I had to sell a lot of my fringe players to lure some exceptional talent. Let’s start with the backline and end with the attacking flank; that would give you a perspective on how I ran my club in terms of transfers:

 Alberto Frison

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Position: Goalkeeper
Bought From: Calcio Catania
At the age of: 26
Bought at: 16 Million Euros
Sold at: 18 Million (to FC Barcelona) at 31 years
Replaced: Wojciech Szczesny (sold to Borussia Dortmund)

With Frison, I never had a defensive problem, even if the opponent played a killer ball inside my box. This guy may have been a little bulkier as compared to Szczesny but he had some acrobatic style under his sleeves. A real underrated goalkeeper who went to become the Italian captain in my career. He played nearly all the Arsenal matches (except for the League Cup matches) and his rating crossed his potential of 84 in his second Arsenal year. He was not only better than my previous keeper but he soon became ’One of the World’s Best’ in some years. The highest rating that he reached was 90.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/148204-alberto-frison

Watch him in real life:

‘Danilo’ Luiz Da Silva

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Position: Right Back
Bought From: FC Porto
At the age of: 24
Bought at: 8 Million
Sold at: –
Replaced: Bacary Sagna (Sold to AC Milan)

The pace that needed to support Theo Walcott’s pace in the Right Wing position was somehow missing in BacarySagna and my substitute Carl Jenkinson. When I bought Danilo, I looked at his sprint and acceleration and they looked promising. When I played him the initial matches, I saw a tireless right back in him, even though in ratings he was nowhere close to BacarySagna. Nearly the whole of his first Arsenal season he would come as a replacement of Sagna and suddenly turn the match against the opponents. Like I said, Danilo and Theo Walcott would be absolutely stunning as a right flank pair and with time, Danilo becomes a major goal assist maker for the team. I had to plainly reject offers from Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, Milan and Juventus for Danilo. And he never had a contract problem with me. His salary ranged from 60k to 130k. Danilo can become a tactician with experience, he is an assassin who can dribble and is indeed one of the dark horses of any team. His maximum rating of 89 at the age of 29 said a lot about how cheap talent came into my camp.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/149293-danilo-luiz-da-silva

Watch him in real life:

3.       Mats Hummels

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Position: Centre Back
Bought From: Borussia Dortmund
At the age of: 26
Bought at: 23 Million Euros
Sold at: 12 Million (to AC Milan at 32 years of age)
Replaced: Thomas Vermaelen ‘TV5’

When I started with Arsenal in my career, I fought the same odds that Arsene Wenger has been fighting for the past several years – defensive errors. Neither of my centre backs, Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny were resilient enough to stop the quick counter attacks of FC Barcelona or the goal poaching abilities of Higuain and Mario Gomez. As a result, my Champions League dream went for a toss, for two seasons straight. Selling Thomas Vermaelen to FC Barcelona gave me loads of cash to land a better centre back option. With no further research, I went for the in-form captain of Borussia Dortmund – Mats Hummels. Mats Hummels takes under a year to turn into a dream defender. Can run down the pitch to stop the opponent’s move, he has good aerial qualities and can score from set pieces as well. Mats Hummels can play as a Defensive Midfielder if needed so. All in all, he is a defender you shouldn’t miss signing. He reached an all-time high of 92 in my career, and became ‘One of the World’s Best’ too. He is at his best within the age of 28-31.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/148352-mats-hummels

Watch him in real life:

4.       Raphael Varane

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Position: Centre Back
Bought From: Real Madrid
At the age of: 25
Bought at: Part Exchange Theo Walcott
Sold at: –
Replaced: Ignasi Miquel

The Laurent Koscielny gap haunted me for a complete season, even though my youth player Ignasi Miquel covered the position effortlessly. There were defensive errors in crucial matches and I realised that Miquel needed to go on loan (he was rated 80). With one of my best wingers descending from his peak (Theo Walcott) I decided to fool the Los Blancos, one last time. A part exchange that had my once-best winger with their upcoming talent, happened against all odds. And I threw my joypad in surprise! A fantastic stopper, with a tactical superiority that engaged the opponent anywhere but outside my box. Varane has tremendous work rate and tackling abilities, and it is best to mark the opponent’s marksman with Varane. Trust me, for the rest of the game you won’t see him worrying your defensive line.  He has the pace to convert defence to attack and vice versa, like a French Dani Agger. Varane’s head meets the ball 9 out of 10 times in a set piece. A definite purchase. He is now currently dominating my league with 88 rating.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/149943-raphael-varane

Watch him in real life:

5.       Luke Shaw

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Position: Left Back
Bought From: Southampton
At the age of: 23
Bought at: 6 Million Euros
Sold at: –
Replaced: Keiran Gibbs

My Arsenal was challenging for major trophies in my second season in charge, and one of the players I didn’t want to part ways with was Keiran Gibbs. He was the real venom, with pin point crosses and low passes to my poachers and goal scorers. One of the best attributes of Keiran Gibbs was that he was untouchable, like Theo Walcott. His paced outmatched any of the opponent’s outfield players. With him nearing the 30s, I was totally worried. And on one such day in the transfer market, FC Barcelona sent me an offer for Gibbs that I couldn’t refuse. 14 Million for a 28 year old left back. Within a day Gibbs was no more a Gooner and I was determined to find a replacement instead of using Miquel as a backup left back. On the Transfer Deadline Day, I made a reasonable offer for what seemed like a rare prospect in the Premier League ranks – Luke Shaw.

In the first few games, I realised what a 23 year old left back can add to my flamboyant team. Two games later, Luke Shaw scored a stunner after repeatedly beating the best backline of Chelsea. In no time, he was one of the top goal assist makers from my team. A fantastic player who will dribble past players and score at will, one can experiment with him on the Left Wing position as well. His style of play and pedigree reminded me of the young Gareth Bale. If you can, get Shaw in your side. He has already shown a maximum of 86 in my career mode, which is lethal for any left back. He broke into the National Team as top priority in the coming days.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/150751-luke-shaw

Watch him in real life:

6.       Joao Moutinho

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Position: Central Midfielder
Bought From: FC Porto
At the age of: 25
Bought at: 20 Million Euros
Sold at: 25 Million Euros
Replaced: Mikel Arteta

One of my first buys in the career mode was Joao Moutinho, the player who was nearly signed on dead line day by AVB for Tottenham in real life. He took the captain’s armband from Mikel Arteta and did every bit to even better the team. Joao Moutinho is of the Xavi breed, he will feed the strikers with killer passes and through balls. He will quickly unsettle an opponent midfielder with a tenacious challenge and work the ball all the way up to their box. Like the commentators said in the background, Joao Moutinho is a tireless engine. True that. There has never been an incident wherein I had to call a sub in place of Moutinho. As far as I remember, he has never been injured for more than a week. Joao Moutinho may not be a god gifted midfielder with tricks here and there, but he has retained the most accurate passing in almost every game that he’s played. A class player like him doesn’t need to show you his ratings, but his playing style. He is the real playmaker who will go for pile drivers every now and then. Go for Moutinho, fail he won’t. I enjoy possession football, with random counter attacks, so Moutinho fit with my philosophy. On the other side, Moutinho reached an all time highest of 90 in my career mode.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/147522-joao-filipe-moutinho

Watch him in real life:

7.       Mario Gotze

mario-gotze

Position: Central Attacking Midfielder/Central Midfielder
Bought From: Borussia Dortmund
At the age of: 20
Bought at: 36 Million
Sold at: Never!
Replaced: Santi Cazorla

Santi Cazorla attracted a lot of attention in the first year itself, including a scorching bid of 40 Million from FC Barcelona. (Guess they didn’t find Alex Song a worthy Gunner enough) I’m a hypocritical future builder, that’s the price I pay everyday for being a faithful student of the great Arsene Wenger. Santi Cazorla for 40 Million was a dream, and dreams don’t come to you every day. The bid was accepted and I started looking for a righteous replacement. Same style, same flamboyance, and in all regards, same class. Enter Mario Gotze.

First year, 84, second year 87, and ever ascending. This chap is probably the best footballer in your FIFA 13 disc, and there’s got to be a reason why you wouldn’t buy him in the first year itself, when he’s the least expensive. Soon Mario Gotze broke into the main team and started dominating every game. Three Premier Leagues back to back with the top assists, even though he was playing at his secondary role of being a CM. Gotze is a master passer, a chip pass expert and a troublesome dribbler, a nightmare for any defence. The reason why I played with one striker in my main team is because I had Gotze threatening the opposition with his flip, dribble run arounds. He will reach an epic 94 rating in no time. His market value shoots up to 80 Million if you ever want to sell the German for cash, I didn’t though.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/149617-mario-gotze

Watch him in real life:

8.       Gareth effin’ Bale

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Position: Left Winger/Left Back
Bought From: Tottenham Hotspurs
At the age of: 24
Bought at: 25 Million Euros
Sold at: Meh!
Replaced: Lukas Podolski

When I first read the news that Bale wanted to leave Tottenham Hotspurs for Champions League football in my FIFA Manager Career I visualised dreams. With a bid of 25 Million, I snatched the rival gem from their very house. The reason why I never dreamt of signing Ronaldo or Messi is because I had a beast in my team called Gareth Bale. His initial potential of 85 is not long lived; he will strive in all directions to make it a 90 in the coming 1-2 years. Gareth Bale ran berserk on the left flank and concluded three Premier League seasons with the Golden Boot.

Like I said, Gareth Bale is a beast. There is no way you can contain him, no strategy ever. He would single handedly fetch me counter attacked goals and last minute match winners. Gareth Bale was my all time highest wage earner, with 210,000 pounds to do his dirty deeds. He has great speed, that is supported well with flicks, tricks and amazing crossing skills. He was heavily involved in each of my team’s goals, whether he scored them or helped them through. Amazing ball skills and control are some of the highlights of this two time PFA Player of the Season. All this for a mere 25 Million is a deal that will definitely make your CPU rival managers cry. Bale reaches 95 if you can play him well.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/148564-gareth-bale

Watch him in real life:

 9.       James Rodriguez

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Position: Left/Right Winger/Forward
Bought From: FC Porto
At the age of: 25
Bought at: 22 Million Euros
Sold at: Duh!
Replaced: Gervinho

While you can sign Gareth Bale into your team, why not make a double disaster for the opponent. My man would be the lethal Columbian James Rodriguez. Rodriguez initially came into the team as a substitute player with an undying stamina that is needed to tilt a game your ways in the ending minutes. But after a few brilliant games, I decided to move Rodriguez from being Bale’s substitute to being Theo Walcott’s Latin American version. I sold Walcott banking on Rodriguez’s great form. And he didn’t disappoint.

Theo Walcott reaches an all time high of 88 in his 29th year. Rodriguez was 89 on his 25th birthday. Rodriguez could play on the left flank, the right flank, as an attacking midfielder as well as a secondary striker, the ultimate Trequartista. He is a feast who gave Gareth Bale a tough time challenging for the Golden Boot. And his pace put opponents out of reach. A perfect addition to your counter attacking style of football. Rodriguez is also a master crosser and a hipster dribbler. His playing style reminded me of Cristiano Ronaldo (with a golden left foot), reached an epic best of 92.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/149290-james-rodriguez

Watch him in real life:


10.   Neymar Junior

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Position: Left/Right Winger/Forward
Bought From: Santos
At the age of: 21
Bought at: 10 Million Euros + Luis Muriel
Sold at: Hah!
Replaced: Luis Muriel

People say Neymar is overrated, and I’m not people. It’s just that the media understands which player to focus on, despite the league or team he belongs to. Neymar is a class act, and will only get better when he arrives on the European soil. For FIFA 13, Neymar is a stunning buy. Rooney decays at 88, Van Persie lives for about a season and a half, but Neymar grows. With Gotze-Bale-Rodriguez and Neymar in my midfield, the opponent had loads of options in his man marking section. Stop one, and the other intercepts. But in overall, all of them deliver. That’s what I did with my team. Play flamboyant Arsenal passing football, attack like the legends of Bergkamp-Henry-Pires-Ljuinberg from the Invincibles season.

Neymar is brilliant on-off the ball. A master passer, sprinter and dribbler. He will turn a composed defence into a bunch of sissies, especially when he would cut in from the wings into the box and convert a sweet goal. Neymar preferably plays as LW, or as a striker. If you ask me, keep Bale to the Left Flank and Neymar to the Right Flank. The gods of Counter Attack will raise a glass to your tactics. Now take your best shot at the goal. Neymar reaches a godlike best of 94 as a RW.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/149498-neymar-da-silva-santos-jr

Watch him in real life:


11.   Robert Lewandowski

Robert-Lewandowski

Position: Striker
Bought From: Borussia Dortmund
At the age of: 26
Bought at: 28 Million Euros
Sold at: 12 Million (at 31 years to AC Milan)
Replaced: Olivier Giroud

Robert Lewandowski is much more than a four goal thrashing versus Real Madrid, if you know this Polish rockstar from Bundesliga. The moment Lewandowski stepped into my team, I was having a massive goal difference in the Premier League, which actually helped me survive in the top three till December and then go for maximum by the end of the season. Lewandowski is an aerial threat as much as he is a poacher. He can pick the ball from anywhere inside the box and convert in style. He has a physical presence that can easily add to the depth of a skill based team as mine. If the midfielders fail, Lewandowski will take a last dig at the goal. Most of the times he would score even with loads of bodies thrown inside the box.

Lewandowski is versatile with both his feet, although he prefers his right foot. He puts immense power in his shots, and even if you can’t score from them, chances are you’re likely to get a rebound. So brace yourselves. Lewandowski doesn’t net a complete 90, but gets a 89 and becomes ‘One of World’s Best’ by the time he turns 28.

Profile: http://sofifa.com/en/fifa13/player/148235-robert-lewandowski

Watch him in real life:


I may have not won a Premier League every year, like the team might suggest, but I’ve had some extremely memorable matches with these guys. Turning a 0-3 Home Leg defeat to Juventus into a 5-3 mauling became one of my historic episodes on FIFA 13. Close calls happened here and there and these bunch of players kept my team one of the most coveted teams of the year. With of course, me being busy turning down transfer deals more than sanctioning them. This was the story of me and my Arsenal, if you have a story with your team, join the conversation by commenting. Until then.

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