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FIFA 21 FUT Birthday guide: Vardy and Lucas get new 89+ rated cards

FIFA 21
(Image credit: EA)

March and April 2021 campaign FUT Birthday delivered a wave of all-powerful new cards to Ultimate Team, with more than 50 fresh items landing within the space of a fortnight. Now a regular spring tradition, the FIFA 21 promo mixed two sets of teams with time-limited SBCs and even the odd objectives-based freebie. How did it all work, and where can you get a full list of items now it's all over? Your FIFA 21 FUT Birthday guide has the answers to both of these questions. 

FIFA 21 FUT Birthday: what new cards are available?

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 21 FUT Birthday kicked off on Friday, March 26, with eleven new player items dropped into packs from 6pm (UK time) onwards. The top-rated was Liverpool midfielder Thiago, with a new OVR of 92 – and new passing and dribbling stats of 91 and 94 respectively. However, two other Premier League players proved even more highly sought after. 

Leicester’s Jamie Vardy received a 91-rated upgrade, with a 92 pace rating – little wonder it was retailing at 1.1 million coins on the transfer market 24 hours later. Tottenham winger Lucas received a position switch to CAM which proved even more popular: that 89-rated card was a pricey 1.3 million to buy as of Saturday, March 27 (all prices pertain to the PS4 version of the game). 

There’s an extra wrinkle to all of these cards. In addition to receiving a stats boost and/or position change, each player receives a 5-star upgrade to his skill move or weak foot rating. Thiago gets 5 stars in both of those departments, Vardy gets a 5-star weak foot, and Lucas gets a 5-star skills set.

FIFA 21 FUT Birthday Team 2 landed on Friday, April 2. This time highlights included Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling: upgraded to an OVR of 92, with 5-star skills. (And an electric 97 rating for Pace.)

FIFA 21 FUT Birthday: how else could I get new players?

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

As well as the eleven FIFA 21 FUT Birthday cards launched in packs, veteran Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar became available as an in-game objectives reward. To earn him you needed to complete five tasks within one week of the campaign’s start, such as winning seven matches in the Live FUT Friendly: Managerial Masterpiece. His 90-rated card boasts 87 pace, 92 shooting, and 87 physicality. 

Another long-time Bundesliga favourite, Lukas Podolski – who now plies his trade for Turkish side Antalyaspor – received a 90-rated card as a Squad Building Challenges objective. Unlocking his card required the submission of squads featuring FC Bayern and German players, and according to Futbin set you back around 187,000. Sadly, that SBC has now expired. 

Further objectives challenges and SBCs dropped throughout the campaign, and are represented in the full player list below. Highlights included an 87-rated Hamza Choudhury of Leicester as an objectives reward, and SBCs for speedy Jeremiah St Juste (CB, Mainz, 86) and powerhouse Geoffrey Kondogbia (CM, Atletico Madrid, 88).

FIFA 21 FUT Birthday: what happened to Icon Swaps 2?

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

The second set of FIFA 21 Icon Swaps 2 tokens were expected to arrive at the same time as FUT Birthday, but mysteriously delayed without explanation. However, an in-game advertising screen revealed that the delay was only a short one: new Icon Swaps tokens became available for collection from 6pm on Monday, March 29, finally giving you the chance to complete trades for Roberto Baggio or Emilio Butragueno.

FIFA 21 FUT Birthday: what free stuff do I get?

FIFA 21

(Image credit: EA)

Every FIFA 21 player earned a pack-based FUT Birthday reward based on how many days they’d played the game since its launch date of 9 October. The list of these rewards is below, and you had until April 9 to log in and automatically claim. 

  • 22-66 days played: Jumbo Premium Gold Pack
  • 67-112 days played: Prime Gold Players Pack
  • 113-145 days played: Rare Mega Pack
  • 146 days played: Ultimate Pack

As an example of what you might get, my Rare Mega Pack included Gonzalo Higuain (ST, Inter Miami, 83), Nick Pope (GK, Burnley, 82), and Andre-Pierre Gignac (ST, Tigres, 81) as its best items. Disappointing, but all part of the ‘win some, lose some’ digital roulette wheel that is Ultimate Team.

Is there a full list of FIFA 21 FUT Birthday cards?

Yes and, as has become traditional during campaigns such as FIFA 21 What If and FIFA 21 Freeze, GR+ has assembled it below. This list is correct as of Friday, April 9.

  • Thiago (CM, Liverpool) - 92
  • Raheem Sterling (LW, Manchester City) - 92
  • Luka Modric (CM, Real Madrid) - 92
  • Jamie Vardy (ST, Leicester City) - 91
  • Leroy Sane (CAM, FC Bayern) - 91
  • Marco Reus (LW, Dortmund) - 91 [SBC only]
  • Ivan Perisic (RM, Inter) - 90
  • Paulinho (CM, Guangzhou) - 90
  • Houssem Aouar (CM, Lyon) - 90
  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (ST, Schalke) - 90 [Objectives only]
  • Lukas Podolski (ST, Antalyaspor) - 90 [SBC only]
  • Mesut Ozil (CAM, Fenerbahce) - 90 [SBC only]
  • Lucas (CAM, Spurs) - 89
  • Adama (ST, Wolves) - 89
  • Arturo Vidal (CM, Inter) - 89 [SBC only]
  • Dimitri Payet (CAM, Marseille) - 89 [SBC only]
  • Ferland Mendy (LB, Real Madrid) - 88
  • Inaki Williams (ST, Athletic Club) - 88
  • Emre Can (CDM, Dortmund) - 88
  • Rodrigo Palacio (ST, Bologna) - 88 [SBC only]
  • Eliaquim Mangala (CB, Valencia) - 88 [SBC only]
  • Steve Mandanda (GK, Marseille) - 88 [Objectives only]
  • Geoffrey Kondogbia (CDM, Atletico Madrid) - 88 [SBC only]
  • Mario Hermoso (CB, Atletico Madrid) - 87
  • Gervinho (LW, Parma) - 87 [SBC only]
  • Hamza Choudhury (CDM, Leicester) - 87 [Objectives only]
  • Renato Sanches (CM, Lille) - 87 [SBC only]
  • Eric Bailly (CM, Manchester United) - 87 [SBC only]
  • Youcef Atal (RM, Nice) - 87
  • Fikayo Tomori (CB, Milan) - 87
  • Junior Sambia (RB, Montpellier) - 86
  • Federico Bernardeschi (CAM, Piemonte Calcio) - 86
  • Ryan Kent (RW, Rangers) - 86
  • Jeremiah St Juste (CB, Mainz) - 86 [SBC only]
  • Moses Simon (LM, FC Nantes) - 85
  • Hwang Hee Chan (ST, RB Leipzig) - 85
  • Christian Gunter (LB, Freiburg) - 85
  • Dalbert (LM, Rennes) - 74 [Objectives only]
  • Scott Dann (CB, Crystal Palace) - 74 [Objectives only]
  • Paulo Otavio (LB, Wolfsburg) - 74 [Objectives only]
  • Marcos Andre (ST, Valladolid) - 74 [Objectives only]
  • Walace (CDM, Udinese) - 74 [Objectives only]

I'm GamesRadar+'s sports editor, obsessed with NFL, WWE, MLB – and very occasionally things that don't have a three-letter acronym. Namely: Bill Bryson, Pitch Perfect, and the Streets Of Rage series. I have two kids who aren't quite old enough to play Madden yet. Soon, though…