The switch to next-gen makes this a big year for FIFA 21 player faces, and despite the challenges of a pandemic EA's scanning team has done an above-par job. FIFA 21 adds full team scans for PSV Eindhoven, Benfica and Marseille, while a number of Premier League and Bundesliga stars finally get fresh faces too. Serie A still needs more love, so keep fingers crossed for FIFA 22 on that front. In the meantime, we've selected 17 of the best new starheads to form your FIFA 21 player faces guide.
Bukayo Saka (LM, Arsenal)
Quite the year for the Gunners’ left-back/left-wing hybrid. On 1 July Saka signed a long-term senior contract with Arsenal; on 8 October he made his England debut in a 3-0 win over Wales; and in between those dates, the release of FIFA 21 saw him score a real face scan for the first time. Tidy.
Eddie Nketiah (ST, Arsenal)
Like team-mate Saka, Nketiah’s breakthrough to the Arsenal first team is rewarded with a proper player likeness on the digital turf. Five other Gunners receive authentic starheads for FIFA 21: goalkeeper Matt Macey, centre-back Pablo Mari, attacking midfielder Jospeh Willock, and wingers Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli.
Bruno Fernandes (CAM, Manchester United)
About time. The Portuguese playmaker has established himself as one of the best players in the world over the last 24 months, yet been stuck with a hideous FIFA likeness. That’s finally rectified here. Other United players given fresh headscans are Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford, Alex Telles, and Brandon Williams.
Noni Madueke (RM, PSV Eindhoven)
A big batch of new faces for PSV, of which England Under-18 midfielder Madueke is the pick. Joining him fresh out of the scanning booth are Olivier Boscagli, Denzel Dumfries, Cody Gakpo, Erick Gutierrez, Jorrit Hendrix, Mohamed Ittaharen, Yvon Mvogo, Pablo Rosario, Ryan Thomas, Lars Unnerstall, and Nick Viergever.
Duje Caleta-Car (CB, Marseille)
Best beard in the game? With this facial fur The 6’ 4” Croatian looks more WWE 2K21 character than FIFA 21 centre-back, or at least he would do, had that game not been cancelled. And he’s far from the only Marseille defender given a proper face in FIFA 21. On which note…
Hiroki Sakai (RB, Marseille)
Now into his fifth Marseille season, the veteran Japanese full-back finally gets an accurate FIFA likeness. Also given the scanning treatment are (deep breath) Jordan Amavi, Michael Cuisance, Valere Germain, Boubacar Kamara, Saif-Eddine Khaoui, Dimitri Payet, Lucas Perrin, Nemanja Radonjic, Valentin Rongier, Morgan Sanson, Bouna Sarr, Kevin Strootman, and Florian Thauvin. Okay, you can exhale now.
Aaron Ramsdale (GK, Sheffield United)
Much of the Sheffield United squad was scanned following promotion last season, and the Blades were light on summer signings. Keeper Ramsdale, then, is their only (quite literal) new face for FIFA 21 following his switch from Bournemouth. New team-mates Ethan Ampadu and Rhian Brewster were already scanned while with Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.
Erling Braut Haaland (ST, Borussia Dortmund)
A rumoured summer move to Manchester United or Real Madrid never materialised, but Haaland is at least upgraded from his previous Generohead United look. At time of writing he’s already netted 17 times in 18 games for Dortmund, and has every chance of topping 30 goals this season. Expect United and Madrid to call again next summer.
Jhon Cordoba (ST, Hertha Berlin)
The Colombian’s FUT Birthday card was colossal in FIFA 20 – 92 pace, 93 physicality – making him a cult hero to the few Ultimate Teamers who ran an all-Bundesliga squad. Yet his placeholder appearance grated, so it’s ace to see him given a proper face this year. Now we just need the big man to score another special card or two.
Alisson (GK, Liverpool)
The Premier League champions’ super stopper never looked quite right in FIFA 20, and gets a supremely beardy new scan this time around. Virgil Van Dijk, Harry Wilson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino all re-scanned too, while young keeper Caoimhin Kelleher gets his first ever scan. Oddly, he’s not yet available in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team.
Maxwel Cornet (RW, OL)
Just one Cornet-o, give him to me… the rapid Ivorian gets one of the best likenesses in this year’s game, and is serviceable in Ultimate Team even with a 75-OVR thanks to his 87 pace. Bring him off the bench and watch opposition full-backs flounder. At 450 coins he’ll bolster any all-Ligue 1 squad.
Moussa Dembele (ST, OL)
Another Lyon attacker available at discard value, who offers 81 pace, 83 dribbling, and a spot-on likeness. Other new faces added to Lyon include Houssem Aouar, Maxence Caqueret, Leo Dubois, Anthony Lopes, Jean Lucas and Karl Toko-Ekambi.
Pizzi (RM, Benfica)
Like national team-mate Bruno Fernandes, packing Pizzi was always a disappointment in previous years as soon as you stepped onto the pitch: his likeness was pure Sunday League. Not any more. Also newly added to Benfica are scans for Andre Almeida, Franco Cervi, Chiquinho, Ferro, Alex Grimaldo, Andreas Samaris, Haris Seferovic, Rafa Silva, Adel Taarabt (remember him?!), Nuno Tavaras, Odysseas Vlachodimos, and Julian Wiegl.
Allan Saint-Maximan (LM, Newcastle United)
65,000 coins. As I write this that’s the going rate for Saint-Maximan’s FIFA 21 card. It’s only rated 80 OVR, but 93 pace and 87 dribbling has seen its price soar – while his 83-rated TOTW item is a preposterous 288,000 coins. Shell out for either and 1. you’re mad but 2. you at least get a real face to go with your new-found bankruptcy.
Sean & Matty Longstaff (both CM, Newcastle United)
Weirdly only one of the Longstaff brothers is currently in Ultimate Team: Sean is in, but Matty is absent without explanation, though still included in all other modes. That must be patched soon. Thankfully, both get real faces this year, as do team-mates Emil Krafth and DeAndre Yedlin.
Frenkie de Jong (CM, Barcelona)
Just the two new scans for Barca this year: Netherlands wonderkid de Jong (who inevitably features on our list of the FIFA 21 best young players) and some guy named Lionel Messi. Whether the latter will still be at Barcelona when FIFA 22 drops is another issue entirely…
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