Good centre-backs are the key to successful teams in real life and in FIFA 21.
Just look at how Liverpool have struggled without Virgil van Dijk to see how important he has been to their success.
Similarly, having someone who can prevent attacks is just as important as finding good goalscorers in FIFA 21, but who should you add to your squad in FIFA Ultimate Team?
The best defenders this year are the ones with high pace ratings as they will not get caught out by speedy opponents. There is little point in having a player with high tackling stats if they cannot get near the ball.
Who are the best centre-backs in FIFA Ultimate Team?
The best centre-backs in FIFA Ultimate Team are defenders with high pace ratings that can compete with any opponent.
Strong defensive attributes are obviously important when tackling, blocking shots and cutting off passing lines, but the frenetic nature of FIFA 21 means that pace is the most important attribute in most areas of the pitch.
Many of the highly-rated players in FUT have great overall scores but low pace and this makes them unusable for all but the most proficient FIFA gamers.
As a result, you will rarely see people using Gerard Pique or Mats Hummels in their squads as their low pace ratings mean they can get caught out by quick counter attacks and fast forwards.
To keep up with pacey opponents, you will need centre-backs with at least 75 pace, but even with a low budget, you can find someone who fits your needs.
Fastest budget centre-backs under 5,000 coins
Thanks to the market crash as well as the game being out for many months, many quality defenders have become much more affordable.
A lot of very quick defenders are now available for under 5,000 coins, including Napoli colossus Kostas Manolas, who once cost more than 20,000 coins on both PlayStation and Xbox markets.
Amazingly, RB Leipzig have three different centre-backs with both a Pace (PAC) rating of at least 75 and an Overall (OVR) rating of at least 75.
Lukas Klostermann is one of the fastest defenders in the game and after being priced at over 10,000 coins when FIFA 21 was released back in October, is now much more affordable for new and casual players.
Fikayo Tomori has a pace rating of 80 and after his loan transfer in January is available in both Premier League and Serie A versions for Chelsea and AC Milan.
Spurs centre-back Davinson Sanchez is hugely popular in FIFA 21 as he is quick and powerful and has a high defensive workrate.
A lot of La Liga teams use both Real Madrid defenders at the back, partnering Nacho Fernandez with Eder Militao as they can easly keep up with even the paciest opposition forwards,
|Lukas Klostermann||RB Leipzig||Bundesliga||84||80|
|Kostas Manolas||Napoli||Serie A||82||83|
|Fikayo Tomori||Chelsea||Premier League||80||76|
|Fikayo Tomori||AC Milan||Serie A||80||76|
|Nacho Fernandez||Real Madrid||La Liga||78||80|
|Eder Militao||Real Madrid||La Liga||78||80|
|Manuel Akanji||Borussia Dortmund||Bundesliga||77||78|
|Dayot Upamecano||RB Leipzig||Bundesliga||77||79|
|Jules Kounde||Sevilla||La Liga||77||79|
|Lucas Hernandez||Bayern Munich||Bundesliga||77||82|
|Ruben Vezo||Levante||La Liga||76||77|
|Papa Cisse||Saint-Etienne||Ligue 1||76||75|
|Abdou Diallo||PSG||Ligue 1||75||78|
|Mario Hermoso||Atletico Madrid||La Liga||75||80|
|Jason Denayer||Lyon||Ligue 1||75||79|
|Niklas Stark||Hertha Berlin||Bundesliga||75||76|
|Davinson Sanchez||Spurs||Premier League||75||81|
|Nathan Ake||Man City||Premier League||75||79|
|Eric Bailly||Man Utd||Premier League||75||79|
|Ibrahima Konate||RB Leipzig||Bundesliga||75||78|
Fastest expensive centre-backs
More experienced FIFA gamers may be able to spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of coins on improving their squads.
Coins can be earned through winning games and playing in Rivals and Weekend League, trading on the market and selling players after getting very lucky when opening packs.
The majority of people will not be able to pay over 1 million coins for a player, but if you have a budget of at least 200k for a new centre-back, the players below are worth checking out.
The quickest centre-backs in the game are special cards, including both Team of the Year (TOTY) defenders Virgil van Dijk and Sergio Ramos, while the fastest centre-back in the game is a Team of the Week version of Kyle Walker.
Some defenders like UEFA Champions League Live Manuel Akanji and FUT Freeze Robin Gosens are a bit more affordable, but Akanji could see his price (and rating) increase if Borussia Dortmund can progress further in Europe.
A lot of the fastest centre-backs in FIFA 21 are Icons, who have good chemistry links with all leagues and can fit into any squad in FIFA Ultimate Team.
This list does not include players from Squad Building Challenges (SBCs) as these players are no longer available on the market and thus cannot be added to teams unless they are already in your club.
|Kyle Walker||Man City||Premier League||TOTW||93||86|
|Lukas Klostermann||RB Leipzig||Bundesliga||UCL Live||87||85|
|Virgil van Dijk||Liverpool||Premier League||TOTY||85||96|
|Edmond Tapsoba||Bayer Leverkusen||Bundesliga||Future Stars||85||89|
|Joe Gomez||Liverpool||Premier League||TOTW||84||85|
|Raphael Varane||Real Madrid||La Liga||UCL Live||84||88|
|Manuel Akanji||Borussia Dortmund||Bundesliga||UCL Live||83||84|
|Robin Gosens||Atalanta||Serie A||FUT Freeze||83||85|
|Sergio Ramos||Real Madrid||La Liga||TOTY||83||96|
|Raphael Varane||Real Madrid||La Liga||TOTW||83||87|
|Diego Carlos||Sevilla||La Liga||Headliners||82||87|
|Dayot Upamecano||RB Leipzig||Bundesliga||Headliners||82||84|