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FIFA 21 best players guide: the highest rated cards in Ultimate Team

FIFA 21
(Image credit: EA)

The FIFA 21 best players list has inevitably received a shake up following Team Of The Season. May's big campaign brings a super-powered Lionel Messi striker card to the FIFA 21 party, although the Argentine wizard still can't nudge Pele from top spot. Karim Benzema also squeezes into the top ten for the first time. As for Maradona, and Zinane, and two Ronaldos: the roster might not feature any surprises, but it oozes class. This is your FIFA 21 best players guide, with all prices correct on PS4 as of Thursday, June 3.

1. Pele (CF, Icons) - 99

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

A three-time World Cup winner and six-time champion of the Brazilian league with Santos, Edson Arantes do Nascimento was named FIFA’s joint Player Of The Century in 1999 – alongside the little magician sitting at number five on this list. This Pele card costs a whopping 13.5 million coins, blessing you with 97 sprint speed, 96 agility, 98 ball control, 95 balance, 99 positioning, and 99 finishing. In a world: goalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (ST, Piemonte Calcio) - 98

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

Former cover star Ronaldo plays second fiddle to Lionel Messi in current editions of FIFA, owing to rival game PES 2021 exclusively owning his club’s license – see our FIFA 21 Juventus story for a full explanation. That doesn’t stop him being even more expensive than Leo, with this card retailing at 6.45 million coins on the transfer market. 99 jumping, 99 positioning, 99 finishing, 99 ball control and 96 pace are five of many standout stats.

3. Lionel Messi (ST, Barcelona) - 98

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

Here he is! Little Leo's new TOTS striker item is tearing up the transfer market – you need to whip out 2.8 million coins in order to have him lead your line at endgame time. It's rated a full five OVR points more than his standard gold card. [For more on that one, hit our FIFA 21 ratings guide.] This deadly world-beater is all about the 99s: 11 in total, including ball control, dribbling, composure, finishing and vision.

4. Robert Lewandoswki (ST, FC Bayern) - 98

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

There's every chance that Lewa is the best player in the game come FIFA 22: the prolific Pole just cannot stop smashing goals and breaking records. For now, his TOTY card propels him to third on this list. Selling for 974,000 coins, it offers 99 ratings for reactions, heading accuracy, finishing, positioning, and strength. 

5. Diego Maradona (CAM, Icons) - 98

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

In November the world bade farewell to Argentina’s talisman and greatest ever player, at the far-too-young age of 60. Always a controversial figure, Maradona’s unpredictability was exactly what made him so special – and his brilliance is well represented in digital form. This card offers 99 balance, 99 dribbling, 98 ball control and 96 vision. Making him the focal point of your team in the hope of emulating Argentina’s 1986 World Cup triumph sets you back 4.24 million coins.

6. Ronaldo (ST, Icons) - 97

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

One of two Brazilian legends on this list, and two Ronaldos – at 15 million choose your search terms carefully (and beware that this item regularly goes extinct). It’s the mix of pace and physicality which makes this more popular than the Pele card at number one, with Ronnie offering 87 strength and 86 heading accuracy to go with 98 sprint speed, 99 dribbling, 99 finishing and 96 shot power. At time of writing this is the most expensive card in FIFA 21.

7. Kylian Mbappe (ST, Paris SG) - 97

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

Astonishingly PSG’s elite frontman dropped out of the top ten for a couple of months, but TOTY saw him scream back into the FIFA 21 best players list. A 99 sprint speed rating means you need to bust out 5.5 million coins to nab this card. Do so and you also get maximum scores for acceleration, agility, reactions, dribbling, positioning and finishing.

8. Bruno Fernandes (CAM, Manchester United) - 97

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

An imperious calendar year at Old Trafford makes the Portuguese midfielder’s TOTY card a belter. It features eight maximum ratings of 99, for ball control, positioning, shot power, long shots, volleys, penalties, stamina and vision - plus 98s for reactions, composure, and shot passing. The price? 2.43 million big ones.

9. Zinedine Zidane (CAM, Icons) - 97

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

Zizou is the only member of the FIFA 21 best players list who you can have roaming the touchline as well as dominating your midfield – his Real Madrid manager card comes with a brilliantly realistic likeness. If you’re more fussed about engine-room abilities than dugout ones, know that this card costs 6.7 million, which secures you 98 short passing, 97 long passing, 99 ball control, 99 composure, 98 reactions, and 98 dribbling. Merde for all opponents, basically.

10. Karim Benzema (CF, Real Madrid) - 97

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

Farewell, Virgil van Dijk: after three months in the top ten, the Liverpool and Holland colossus is dumped following the arrival of this sensational FIFA 21 TOTS card. A barnstorming season for Real scores Benzema 99 ratings for reactions, ball control, composure, positioning, heading accuracy, vision and short passing, and this item is relatively affordable too – currently retailing for a cool 570,000 coins.

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Ben Wilson

I'm GamesRadar's sports editor, and obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB, AEW, and occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym – such as Chvrches, Bill Bryson, and Streets Of Rage 4. (All the Streets Of Rage games, actually.) Even after three decades I still have a soft spot for Euro Boss on the Amstrad CPC 464+.