FIFA 23 Career Mode: Ranked! The 20 best clubs to play with

FIFA 23 Career Mode: Ranked! The 20 best clubs to play with
(Image credit: Future)

FIFA 23 Career Mode is all about the long game. Most of your time on FIFA may be spent in-game in 20-minute bursts – but this is where you can truly develop something special. 

This is EA's answer to Football Manager, giving you the freedom to shape a football club and control every player. From the training ground to the boardroom, your inbox to your dugout, this is where you can spend hours crafting your perfect club with the utmost realism.

So who should you take control of? Allow us to help – and if you're still searching, here's a list of every single club in FIFA 23.

The 20 best clubs to play with in FIFA 23 Career Mode

20. Barcelona

Eric Garcia of FC Barcelona celebrates scoring their side's third goal with teammates during the LaLiga Santander match between Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on September 03, 2022 in Seville, Spain.

Barcelona are newly rebuilt for FIFA 23 (Image credit: Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

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Crisis? What crisis?

Just a year ago, Barça were in turmoil, having lost Lionel Messi and financial restrictions shackling them. Now look: anyone who takes over the Cules has Raphinha and Ousmane Dembele on either side of Robert Lewandowski, with the likes of Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong to flog (they'll actually leave on the game), should you want to invest in more superstars.

It makes a fun career: in the short term, enjoy the speedsters, skillsters and Lewy banging in the goals while building the likes of Gavi, Ansu Fati and Pedri into world-beaters in the background. All three are some of the highest-rated for potential, while La Masia can churn out even more gems. Fun? Yeah… but difficult? Not a jot.

19. Dynamo Dresden

Fans of Dresden are pictured during the 3.Liga match between Erzgebirge Aue and SG Dynamo Dresden at Erzgebirgsstadion on August 28, 2022 in Aue, Germany.

Dynamo Dresden are one of many sleeping giants in Germany (Image credit: Matthias Kern/Getty Images for DFB)

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Dynamo Dresden are in the third tier in Germany, yet they pull in 30,000 punters a match and have a rich history in East German football, having won eight titles. Isn't it time to let the good times roll once more?

Their story is sadly very common in German football, with a handful of sleeping giants not where they deserve to be. But Dresden, at least, have a promising core of youth: 20-year-old Kevin Ehlers lines up in central defence with Jonathan Meier (22) at left-back, while former Bayern boy Oliver Batista Meier (21) is a potential star at right-wing alongside RB Leipzig loanee Dennis Borkowski (20) at centre-forward. 

That's enough to build with already. You can get them back up in no time, right? Then it's about establishing a rivalry as the Batman to RB Leipzig's Joker…

18. Alaves

Miguel De La Fuente (2nd L) of Deportivo Alaves celebrates with his team mates after scoring a goal during friendly match between Besiktas and Deportivo Alaves at Estadi Olimpic Camilo Cano Stadium in Alicante, Spain on July 26, 2022.

Deportivo Alaves are ripe for reinvention (Image credit: Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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21 years ago, Deportivo Alaves reached a UEFA Cup final, taking Liverpool to extra-time when a golden goal suckerpunched them 5-4 on the night in Dortmund. Ever since, their existence has been similarly pinball-esque between the top three tiers of Spanish football. 

Right now, they're the best side in the Spanish second tier: Ruben Duarte and Nahuel Tenaglia are arguably their two best players at left-back and right-back respectively so no need to worry about the boring positions, while Real Betis starlet Rober is on loan and ready to burn grass on the wing. Promotion is in your sights: then you can rebuild this side and establish them beyond their yo-yo status with a few more exciting finds. 

17. Derby County

David McGoldrick of Derby County celebrates with his teammates after scoring a gala to make it 2-1 during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Derby County and Peterborough at the Pride Park, Derby on Saturday 27th August 2022.

Fancy taking over from Wayne Rooney? (Image credit: Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Derby's struggles in recent seasons have been well broadcast. But here's a club with no direct rivals for miles around, as many titles as Tottenham Hotspur and a Premier League-capacity stadium: it would be a decent club to own, were you in the mood to plough real-world money into a football club.

Settling by being Derby on Career Mode is a good challenge, though. Straight into the job, Louis Sibley, Max Bird and Jason Knight make an excellent midfield and they're all 21 and under. Get the Rams up and go from there: you'll need to sign some younger, quicker forwards and money is obviously tight, mind. 

16. Hamburger SV

Moritz Heyer of Hamburg SV celebrates scoring his teams second goal of the game wtmduring the Second Bundesliga match between Holstein Kiel and Hamburger SV at Holstein-Stadion on September 09, 2022 in Kiel, Germany.

Hamburg are ready to be promoted… surely (Image credit: Cathrin Mueller/Getty Images)

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In William Mikelbrencis, Mario Vuskovic, Anssi Suhonen Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdorffer and former Arsenal academy graduate Xavier Amaechi, Hamburg have a core of young talent to build around. If you don't get promoted first time around, the team will develop enough for you to have another crack soon enough. 

They've won the European Cup and they have a ground as big as Arsenal's – yet they haven't been in the Bundesliga since 2018. Before that, they were in the top flight continuously since the founding of the club at the end of World War I. It's about time Bayern had some competition, don't you think?

15. PSG

Achraf Hakimi of PSG (right) celebrates his goal with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Jr, Lionel Messi during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Lille OSC (LOSC) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on August 21, 2022 in Villeneuve d'Ascq near Lille, France.

Are PSG the easiest Career Mode venture? (Image credit: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

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You don't have our respect if you choose to manage PSG – but you have our understanding.

That front three, a thriving academy and the expectation to sign more big stars: this is basically Ultimate Team without having to spend real-world cash on packs. If you're new to FIFA, you actually fancy unwinding when you play video games or you simply want to build the most ridiculously stacked team you can with limitless pots of virtual cash, Paris Saint-Germain are the club for you. 

Just don't brag about your five consecutive Champions League titles in the pub… no one's impressed.

14. Lyon

Lyons Cameroonian forward Karl Toko Ekambi (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Olympique Lyonnais (OL) and SCO Angers at The Groupage Stadium in Decines-Charpieu, central-eastern France on September 3, 2022.

Lyon have slipped into underdog status in recent seasons (Image credit: JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)

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There was a time when Lyon were, well, basically, PSG, winning title after title after title in the noughties. Until a couple of years ago, they were delivering European football consistently, too – and it's not as if the talent has dried up, there. 

With the likes of Maxence Caqueret, Tete, Castello Lukeba and Rayan Cherki all coming through, there are still wonderkids that you can either develop or sell for a pretty penny. Alexandre Lacazette is back up front, too – let's dig out that iconic celebration that we've been using on FIFA for years. 

13. Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers' Ben Brereton Diaz celebrates by giving the fans a thumbs up after scoring his side's first goal in the 15th minute to make the score 0-1 during the Sky Bet Championship between Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers at Bloomfield Road on August 31, 2022 in Blackpool, United Kingdom.

Ben Brereton Diaz can either make your Blackburn team… or help rebuild it (Image credit: Lee Parker - CameraSport via Getty Images)

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Blackburn striker Ben Brereton Diaz isn't signing another contract and is free to leave in the summer. That's £10-15 million that you can rake in to spend on new recruits right off the bat. 

It's relatively straightforward to fire the only Premier League title winners outside the top tier back to where they belong, with the likes of Dilan Markanday (21), Tyrhys Dolan (20), Jack Vale (21) and Ashley Phillips (17) all potential cornerstones of your side in the next few years. Oh, and Bradley Dack hopefully will be a little less injury-prone on FIFA. Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1995. 

12. Athletic Bilbao

Inaki Williams of Athletic Club celebrates after their sides first goal with teammates, an own goal scored by Nicolas Fernandez of Elche CF during the LaLiga Santander match between Elche CF and Athletic Club at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on September 11, 2022 in Elche, Spain.

Everyone's got to be Athletic once, right? (Image credit: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

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We all know the drill, don't we? Athletic Bilbao have eight titles to their name, have never been relegated and operate with a cantera policy of only signing players from the greater Basque Country. They're the most mystical, hipster side of Spanish football and challenging at San Mames is proof of a great coach.

If you're bored of the boardroom and want to make the most of the training pitch in Career Mode, Athletic are a superb option this time around, with the likes of Unai Vencedor, Oihan Sancet, Nico Williams and Unai Simon in goal to build your team around for the next five to 10 years. If you get big enough, get that bid in Aymeric Laporte… he's practically the only big name you can sign, after all. 

11. Newcastle United

Fans of Newcastle United celebrate as Kieran Trippier of Newcastle United celebrates with teammates after scoring their side's third goal from a free kick during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on August 21, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

The feel-good factor is officially back at Newcastle United (Image credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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In FIFA 17, there was the option for you to go on loan to Newcastle United as Alex Hunter, then of the Championship, to get more minutes. How times have changed: now, they're essentially a stem cell of a football club with huge financial backing, ready to be transformed.

Your employers are probably going to want to see big names and you have the money to bring them to St. James's Park. With the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Kieran Trippier and Alexander Isak to play with, too – three mightily fun players in FIFA for entirely different reasons – the journey's going to be as exciting as the destination, should you manage the Magpies. 

10. Inter Miami

Gonzalo Higuaín #10, Gregore de Magalhães Silva #26 and Leonardo Campana #9 of Inter Miami CF celebrate a goal during the second half at DRV PNK Stadium on September 13, 2022 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Who fancies basing their Career Mode aspirations in Florida? (Image credit: Lauren Sopourn/Getty Images)

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Because who wouldn't want David Beckham as a boss?

The MLS has been another page in Alex Hunter's story but at Inter Miami, you have some of the best talent in all of America – plus the legendary Gonzalo Higuain up front. The aim of the game is to turn this club into a global brand so bringing some star names and young Americans can be fun. 

Oh, and keep an eye out for Felipe Valencia, whose trajectory from 50-rated outsider to 75-rated MLS fixture is one of the biggest in Career Mode. 

9. Tottenham Hotspur

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with teammates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 03, 2022 in London, England.

Tottenham are ready to explode in FIFA (Image credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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Contrary to what you may believe, the best time to take over a club is mid-rebuild. Tottenham Hotspur have spent millions under Antonio Conte assembling one of the deadliest frontlines in world football and signing speed merchants for wing-back roles but the rest of the team is essentially ready for you to play around with.

Son and Kane are two of the best-rated players in FIFA 23 but aside from that, no one is untouchable. There are starlets like Alfie Devine, Pape Matar Sarr, Oliver Skipp and Bryan Gil coming through, though should you wish to scrap them all, there's money to make more big signings. And while your team's under construction, you don't have to worry about the goals. It's perfect – we don't know what Big Tony has to moan about.

8. Saint-Etienne

Benjamin BOUCHOUARI of Saint Etienne,Dylan CHAMBOST of Saint Etienne and Jean Philippe KRASSO of Saint Etienne during the Ligue 2 BKT match between Valenciennes and Saint Etienne at Stade du Hainaut on August 27, 2022 in Valenciennes, France.

Saint-Etienne are ready for re-establishing in FIFA 23 (Image credit: Franco Arland/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

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If Paris Saint-Germain win the title this season, they will finally overtake Saint-Etienne as France's most successful club ever. ASSE were relegated last season and it's no place for a side of such stature: how about you give PSG a run for their money again?

This squad is full of young talent ready for nurturing: they can field a decent back five that's all 23 and under with 22-year-old English keeper Etienne Green – he was born to play with them, with that name – their most valuable star. You just need to replace Montpellier-bound Wahbi Khazri up front and manage the inevitable steep march back into the Ligue 1 establishment. Allez Les Verts!

7. Schalke

Players of FC Schalke 04 acknowledge fans as they celebrate their victory after the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and VfL Bochum 1848 at Veltins-Arena on September 10, 2022 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Schalke are back in the Bundesliga but not exactly where they could be (Image credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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It's been a weird few years for Schalke, what with a lockdown relegation, promotion and the uncertainty of what happens next at the Veltins-Arena. They have one of the weakest squads in the Bundesliga, few starlets to hang your hat on and curiously, Maya Yoshida is still toiling away out in Gelsenkirchen for them. Remember him?

This is a long, long-term project. The Royal Blues won't challenge this season, next or maybe the season after but with a prolific academy that produced the likes of Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer, plus some savvy scouting, re-establishing this side can be extremely satisfying – and all with Dortmund staring you down as big rivals. The hard work of the promotion is already done: just take them back to Europe in time. 

6. RB Salzburg

Salzburg's team celebrates the 1-0 during the UEFA Champions League Group E football match FC Salzburg v AC Milan on September 6, 2022, in Salzburg, Austria.

Red Bull Salzburg are one of the most exciting clubs in Europe (Image credit: JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)

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Fancy a challenge outside of Europe's top five leagues? Or… just fancy managing Benjamin Sesko?

Red Bull Salzburg are already Austria's top powerhouse but taking control of them on FIFA 23 Career Mode is all about developing their impressive roster of wonderkids and getting them deeper in the Champions League. Given that the official UCL branding is now a part of the game, you can sim the domestic fixtures and focus entirely on the European nights, should you wish. 

The money is good (for Austria, at least), while Luka Sucic, Nicolas Seiwald and Lucas Gourna-Douath are all 22 or under with massive potential. It's a job like no other.

5. Salford City

Salford City celebrate Brandon Thomas-Asante (10) of Salford City making it 0-1Brandon Thomas-Asante (10) of Salford City during the Carabao Cup match between Bolton Wanderers and Salford City at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton on Tuesday 9th August 2022.

Salford City are a FIFA favourite (Image credit: Mike Morese/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Assuming that Gary Neville doesn't sack you, Salford City is a great place to start if you're looking to rise from the fourth tier to the top. 

The squad is a decent quality and they've always been one of the stronger sides financially for their level. There's an expectation that you're going to improve the brand and deliver quickly so this could end up being a tough job – but a rewarding one in the long-run. Imagine how Nev and co. would take Salford surpassing Manchester United eventually down the line…

4. Feyenoord

David Hancko of Feyenoord celebrates with teammate Alireza Jahanbakhsh after scoring their side's second goal during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Feyenoord and SK Sturm Graz at Feyenoord Stadium on September 15, 2022 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Feyenoord are looking to build on finishing as a runner-up in the inaugural Europa Conference League in FIFA 23 (Image credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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Feyenoord are the third-biggest team in the Netherlands and yet they have a European Cup among other silverware, a good record at bringing through youth and hey, the shirts aren't bad either. 

Captain Orkun Kokcu typifies this team: 21 years old, with room to grow into a stellar playmaker – or you can bin him and speculate to accumulate. Feyenoord aren't a giant in the European game anymore but by wheeling, dealing and developing kids, you can turn them into a feared beast once more – and with plenty of competition at the Eredivisie, domestic titles won't be a walkover either. 

3. Como

Como fans during the Serie B match between Como 1907 and Brescia Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia on August 29, 2022 in Como, Italy.

Is being in charge of Como the most fun you can have on Career Mode?  (Image credit: Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

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Patrick Cutrone plays up front. Cesc Fabregas in midfield. Dennis Wise is club president. What's not to love?

Como haven't been in Serie A for 20 years next year but now might be the time for them to rise again. This is an ageing team with Luis Binks, Giuseppe Ambrosino and Jacopo Da Riva their best prospects – all loanees. They're not too difficult to get promoted, however, and in the top tier, they'll be in a better position to recruit. Join the project at the very beginning and shape it in your image. 

2. Norwich City

Teemu Pukki of Norwich City celebrates scoring his sides opening goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Bristol City at Carrow Road on September 14, 2022 in Norwich, England.

Can you stop Norwich City from being a yo-yo team (please)? (Image credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

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The best clubs to manage in Career Mode are those who have just gone down. They still have the money to rework the squad and are at a crossroads where you can help them change direction. If they've got nice shirts, that's a bonus.

Well, Norwich have the best damn shirts in the Championship – and the squad ain't bad either. Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell, Josh Sargent and Gabriel Sara are your four most valuable players and all have age on their side. Decide which of the big names you're building around and which you're jettisoning for some money and work from there. 

The Canaries didn't spend the summer doing the rebuild for you – unlike Burnley – so this can wholly be your project. Just promise us you'll keep them up next time, yeah?

1. Juventus