Football Manager 2023: The best leaders in FM23

Football Manager 2023: The best leaders in FM23
(Image credit: Future)

In Football Manager 2023, leaders can help set the tone of your squad. That's especially true in the new iteration of the game, which analyses the experience that you have at your disposal in your squad. 

You need speed on the flanks, finishing up front and set-piece shrewdness – but leaders are what binds the squad together. Whether you play with attribute masking or not, we've found every player in the game with a 17/20 or higher in their in-game attributes at the start of the game. Of course, some players improve in time – see our wonderkid list – but this is what you need from the start. 

Of course, a lot of big names have a high score when it comes to leadership. Gianluigi Buffon, who's been playing at the top level for well over 20 years, tops this list. A lot of these players will either be approaching the twilight of their career or be too expensive for you to tempt to a club on the up – but there's still opportunity to be had. 

GET FM23 NOW

BUY NOW Get FM23 on Amazon right now (opens in new tab)

Of the players on the list, Macedonian midfielder Arijan Ademi is one who can be a useful squad supplement. He has a 20 score for leadership and the same for teamwork, making him an excellent captain or vice-captain and a solid DM to bring on when shoring up a lead. But with over 200 players with 17 or over for leadership, there are plenty of options to bring in to increase the leadership levels of a young team. 

It's worth noting with these stars, too, that a "Not for sale" sign might not mean that a player is unsignable. Some clubs still have a fee that would consider for a player that they have labelled as almost unsellable. 

Looking who else to sign? We've got a full list of the best players in the game for whatever you're looking for.

The best 211 leaders in Football Manager 2023

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FM23's best leaders
NameClubNationalityAgePositionValueLeadership
Gianluigi BuffonParmaItaly44GKNot for sale20
Joel CochVallsSpain31DM, M (C)£3.5k-£35k20
Zlatan IbrahimovićMilanSweden40ST (C)£2.5m-£4.8m20
Arijan AdemiDinamoNorth Macedonia31DM, M (C)Not for sale20
Fabio QuagliarellaSampdoriaItaly39ST (C)£26k-£250k20
DiegoFLABrazil37M/AM (C)£14k20
Leonardo BonucciJuventusItaly35D (C)Not for sale20
Ruud VormerClub BruggeNetherlands34DM, M (C)£10k-£95k20
José FonteLOSCPortugal38D (C)£180k-£1.8m20
Jakub BłaszczykowskiWisła KrakówPoland36M/AM (RC)£40k-£110k20
Nicolás OtamendiBenficaArgentina34D (C)£3.4m-£6.2m19
Sebastián CoatesSporting CPUruguay31D (C)Not for sale19
Sam McClellandBarrowNorthern Ireland20D (C)£22k-£210k19
Jordan HendersonLiverpoolEngland32DM, M (C)Not for sale19
VieirinhaPAOKPortugal36D/WB/M (RL)£110k-£1.1m19
Abner ViniciusATPBrazil22D/WB (L)£5m-£7.2m19
Thiago SilvaChelseaBrazil37D (C)£19m-£27m19
Aitor SanzTenerifeSpain37DM, M (C)£9k-£85k19
Giorgio ChielliniLAFCItaly37D (C)Not for sale19
Dušan TadićAjaxSerbia33AM (RLC), ST (C)Not for sale19
Cristian BarriosSanta BrígidaSpain31M/AM (C)£2.5k-£26k18
Anderson-Brazil38GK018
Josh Tobin-England18D (C), DM, M (C)018
Lasse SchöneN.E.C. NijmegenDenmark36DM, M/AM (C)£100k-£1m18
Simon KjærMilanDenmark33D (C)Not for sale18
Leonardo PonzioWilliams KemmisArgentina40DM, M (C)Not for sale18
Antonio RüdigerR. MadridGermany29D (C)£88m-£125m18
Diego GalvánSol de MayoArgentina40M (R), AM (RL), ST (C)£0-£45k18
René EckardtMeuselwitzGermany32DM, M (RLC)Not for sale18
Damián AkermanDep. MorónArgentina42ST (C)£0-£50k18
Shaun PearsonGrimsbyEngland33D (C)£500-£6k18
Lisandro LópezSarmiento (Junín)Argentina39ST (C)Not for sale18
Martín CampañaAl-BatinUruguay33GKNot for sale18
Oscar De GiulioJorge Newbery (Junín)Argentina44GKNot for sale18
Lander Torrealdai-Spain34D (C), DM, M (C)018
Federico CrivelliTemperleyArgentina40GK£2k-£22k18
Martín Mantovani-Argentina37D (C)018
César AzpilicuetaChelseaSpain32D (RLC), WB (RL)£12.5m-£18.5m18
Iago AspasVigoSpain34AM (RC), ST (C)Not for sale18
Mark WhatleyMontroseScotland31DM, M (C)£0-£14k18
Callum McGregorCelticScotland29DM, M (C)£14.5m-£21m18
Mariano Izco-Argentina39DM, M (C)018
Kyle BenedictusDunfermlineScotland30D (C)£14k-£140k18
Daniel Carriço-Portugal33D (C)018
Mame DioufKonyasporSenegal34ST (C)£55k-£550k18
Gökhan InlerAdana D.S.Switzerland38DM, M (C)£120k-£1.2m18
Nicolò BrighentiCatanzaroItaly32D (RC)Not for sale18
Carlo PinsoglioJuventusItaly32GK£24k-£250k18
Giuseppe BellusciAscoliItaly32D (C)Not for sale18
Roy ChipolinaLincoln (GIB)Gibraltar39D (C)018
Álex BergantiñosCoruñaSpain37D (C), DM, M (C)£35k-£95k18
Damien MarcqCharleroiFrance33DM£5k-£50k18
CokeIbizaSpain35D (RC), WB/M (R)£12k-£130k18
RéverATMBrazil37D (C)£325k-£900k18
Peter GrantClydeScotland28D (C)£0-£35k18
Cristian LucchettiGimnasia (Jujuy)Argentina43GK£35k-£100k18
Scott BrownRaithScotland27M (C)£26k-£70k18
James Ward-ProwseSouthamptonEngland27DM, M (C)£36m-£53m18
Troy DeeneyBirminghamEngland34ST (C)£550k-£1.1m18
Tom HeatonMan UFCEngland36GK£200k-£2m18
Josh FalkinghamHarrogateEngland31DM, M (C)£0-£110k18
Danny EllisGuiseleyEngland36D (C)018
Steven DavisRangersNorthern Ireland37M (RC)£110k-£1.1m18
Cristiano RonaldoMan UFCPortugal37ST (C)£16m-£23m18
Richard WoodRotherhamEngland36D (C)£12k-£35k18
Billy SharpSheff UtdEngland36ST (C)£80k-£800k18
Luke ChambersColchesterEngland36D (C)£500-£2.5k18
Tommy SmithMiddlesbroughEngland30D (RC), WB (R)£30k-£325k18
Conor CoadyEvertonEngland29D (C)£32m-£45m18
Peter HartleyJamshedpurEngland34D (C)£1k-£9k18
Grant HanleyNorwichScotland30D (C)£5.4m-£7.6m18
DanteOGC NiceBrazil38D (C)£110k-£1.1m18
Diego CostaSPOBrazil22D (C), DM£7.4m-£8.6m18
JuninhoAMGBrazil34WB (R), DM, M (RC)Not for sale18
Andreas UlmerFC RB SalzburgAustria36D/WB/M (L)£425k-£1.2m18
Daniel CiofaniCremoneseItaly36ST (C)£90k-£250k18
Danilo RiosJACBrazil34M/AM (LC)£0-£3.5k18
Germán DenisReal CalepinaArgentina40ST (C)£1k-£10k18
Maxi RodríguezHughes F.B.C.Argentina41M (RL), AM (RLC)Not for sale18
Kevin VandendriesscheKV KortrijkFrance32D (C), DM, M (C)£35k-£375k18
Iván TapiaBarracas CentralArgentina23M/AM (C), ST (C)£140k-£1.4m18
David GarcíaTamaraceiteSpain40D (C)£0-£18k18
Sergio RamosPSGSpain36D (C)£13m-£19m18
Agustín Silva12 de OctubreArgentina33GKNot for sale18
Sunil ChhetriBengaluruIndia37AM (L), ST (C)£0-£14k18
Juan Pablo SegoviaNecaxaArgentina33D (LC)£55k-£550k18
Damián DíazBarcelona S.C.Ecuador36AM (RLC)Not for sale18
Germán CanoFLUArgentina34ST (C)Not for sale18
JoaquínReal HispalisSpain40M (R), AM (RLC)£70k-£700k18
Manuel NeuerFC BayernGermany36GKNot for sale18
Mathieu ValbuenaOlympiacosFrance37AM (RLC)£40k-£375k18
Franck RibérySalernitanaFrance39AM (LC), ST (C)£45k-£475k17
Benjamin DelacourtUS TourcoingFrance36D (RC)017
Anthony LosillaVfL BochumFrance36DM, M (C)£35k-£375k17
Igor AkinfeevCSKA MoscowRussia36GKNot for sale17
Marc SchnattererSV Waldhof MannheimGermany36M (RL), AM (RLC)£1k-£8k17
Tobias BeckerMarkranstädtGermany36DM, M (LC)017
Fábio SantosCORBrazil36D/WB/M (L)£40k-£425k17
Diego GodínVélezUruguay36D (C)Not for sale17
Federico DionisiAscoliItaly35AM (C), ST (C)£8k-£85k17
Rúben FernandesGil VicentePortugal36D (C)£50k-£140k17
Mirco AntenucciBariItaly37ST (C)£8k-£75k17
Joel CarliBOTArgentina35D (C)£100k17
Leandro RequenaCobresalArgentina34GKNot for sale17
Gennaro ScognamiglioAvellinoItaly35D (C)£0-£45k17
Renato AugustoCORBrazil34DM, M (RC), AM (RLC)Not for sale17
Martín NervoAtlasArgentina31D (RC)£1.8m-£3.5m17
Massimiliano MarsiliCasaranoItaly34DM, M (C)£0-£18k17
Ştefan RaduLazioRomania35D (LC)£60k-£600k17
Gonzalo VivasComunicaciones (ARG)Argentina29D (R), DM£200k-£550k17
ManuOurense C.F.Spain38D/WB/M (L)£8k-£24k17
Maarten StekelenburgAjaxNetherlands39GK£20k-£190k17
Alejandro Vega-Argentina35DM, M/AM (C)017
Pepe ReinaVillarrealSpain39GK£70k-£700k17
PepeFC PortoPortugal39D (C)£650k-£3.6m17
RichardCEABrazil31GK£140k-£1.4m17
RogérioGrêmio MaringáBrazil34D (C)£0-£6k17
FelipeA. MadridBrazil33D (C)£11m-£15.5m17
Lucas Fonseca-Brazil36D (C)017
Jason PuncheonAnorthosiEngland36M/AM (C)£4.5k-£45k17
Wesley MatosAPABrazil36D (C)£0-£6k17
Breno CalixtoNaft Al-BasraBrazil29D (C)£2.5k-£6k17
Craig GordonHeartsScotland39GKNot for sale17
Makoto HasebeEintracht FrankfurtJapan38D (C), DM, M (C)£30k-£300k17
Michael MorrisonPortsmouthEngland34D (C)£18k-£180k17
Filip UremovićHertha BerlinCroatian25D (RC)£600k-£3.4m17
Benjamin Tiedemann HansenMoldeDenmark28D (C)£220k-£2.2m17
George FriendBirminghamEngland34D (LC)£0-£14k17
Elliott BennettShrewsburyEngland33M (R)£35k-£100k17
Liam CooperLeedsScotland30D (C)£15.5m-£18.5m17
Gerard PiquéBarcelonaSpain35D (C)£650k-£6.6m17
Dean LewingtonMK DonsEngland38D (LC)£1k-£12k17
Tony CraigCrawleyEngland37D (C)£3k17
Jamaal LascellesNewcastleEngland28D (C)£1m-£7.8m17
Gary Cahill-England36D (C)017
Joe JacobsonWycombeWales35D (LC)£0-£24k17
Alan PowerKilmarnockRepublic of Ireland34DM, M (C)£0-£85k17
Chris MaxwellBlackpoolWales31GK£90k-£900k17
Phil Bardsley-Scotland37D (RL)017
Sean Morrison-England31D (C)017
James ClarkeNewport CoEngland32D (RC)£0-£60k17
Liam MooreReadingJamaica29D (C)£190k-£4.8m17
Connor GoldsonRangersEngland29D (C)£13.5m-£16m17
Alex WoodyardAFC WimbledonEngland29DM, M (C)£9k-£90k17
Tyrone MingsAston VillaEngland29D (LC)£22m-£31m17
James MilnerLiverpoolEngland36D/WB (RL), DM, M (C)£230k-£2.3m17
Allan McGregorRangersScotland40GK£60k-£600k17
Breno-Brazil35D (C)017
Xavier MercierFerencvárosFrance32AM (LC)Not for sale17
Mamadou SakhoMontpellierFrance32D (C)Not for sale17
Olivier GiroudMilanFrance35ST (C)£4.3m-£5.2m17
Antonio RegueroFC LahtiSpain40GK£500-£5k17
Thomas MüllerFC BayernGermany32M (R), AM (RC), ST (C)Not for sale17
Marco Hartmann-Germany34D (C), DM017
Fabian HollandDarmstadtGermany31D/WB (L)Not for sale17
Mikel GonzálezAEK LarnakasSpain36D (C)£0-£50k17
Kevin StrootmanGenoaNetherlands32DM, M (C)£130k-£1.3m17
Jens ToornstraFC UtrechtNetherlands33M/AM (RLC)Not for sale17
Virgil van DijkLiverpoolNetherlands30D (C)£236m-£257m17
Matthijs de LigtFC BayernNetherlands22D (C)£93m-£114m17
Eran ZahaviMaccabi Tel-AvivIsrael34AM (LC), ST (C)Not for sale17
Mikel RicoCartagenaSpain37DM, M/AM (C)£22k-£210k17
Pasquale SchiattarellaBeneventoItaly35DM, M (RC)£3.5k-£35k17
WilsonFIGBrazil38GK£0-£65k17
Vincenzo FiorilloSalernitanaItaly32GK£30k-£325k17
Fabio LucioniFrosinoneItaly34D (C)£40k-£400k17
Bruno FernandesMan UFCPortugal27M/AM (C)£208m-£229m17
Leonardo SigaliRacing ClubArgentina35D (C)£50k-£500k17
Pablo PérezNewell'sArgentina36M (C)£6k-£55k17
Diogo AmadoLeiriaPortugal32DM, M (C)£3.5k-£35k17
Rúben DiasMan CityPortugal25D (C)Not for sale17
André CeitilVilafranquensePortugal27DM, M (C)£30k-£300k17
Carlos HerreraLiniers (BB)Argentina37ST (C)£2k-£22k17
Facundo MartínezU. Católica (Quito)Argentina37M/AM (C)£2k-£20k17
Sebastián PredigerTigreArgentina35DM, M (C)£130k-£375k17
Jonathan MaidanaRiverArgentina37D (C)£100k-£275k17
Ross MatthewsRaithScotland26DM, M (RC)£10k-£95k17
Hernán LambertiQuilmesArgentina38DM, M (C)Not for sale17
Carlos RuizTenerifeSpain38D (C)£16k-£150k17
Matías IglesiasAsteras TripolisArgentina37DM, M (C)£30k-£90k17
José Luis MoralesVillarrealSpain34M/AM (RL), ST (C)Not for sale17
Adrián GabbariniLiga de QuitoArgentina36GK£5k-£50k17
Martín GalmariniTigreArgentina40D/WB/M (R)£1.5k-£14k17
Luciano GouxDef. de BelgranoArgentina42D (C)£2k-£22k17
José MariCádizSpain34DM, M (C)£10k-£100k17
Sergio ÁlvarezEibarSpain30DM, M (C)£210k-£2.1m17
Peter ClarkeWalsallEngland40D (C)£0-£14k17
FaliCádizSpain28D (C), DM£200k-£2m17
Sergio Del CurtoAtl. Mar del PlataArgentina41GKNot for sale17
Aritz ElustondoReal San SebastiánSpain28D (RC)£24m-£34m17
Mikel OyarzábalReal San SebastiánSpain25AM (RLC), ST (C)£50m-£60m17
ÓscarVigoSpain24M (C), AM (LC)£11.5m-£14m17
SabinoAqjaıyqBrazil26DM, M (C)£0-£24k17
Tim ReamFulhamUnited States34D (LC)£250k-£2.5m17
Yerry MinaEvertonColombia27D (C)£26m-£31m17
Paolo GoltzColónArgentina37D (C)£60k-£180k17
Jonathan BottinelliSan Martín (SJ)Argentina37D (C)£4k-£40k17
Anthony LopesOLPortugal31GKNot for sale17
Andy DelortOGC NiceAlgerian30ST (C)£11.5m-£13.5m17
Ibrahima SeckUS Créteil-LusitanosSenegal32DM, M (C)£190k-£550k17
Théo PierrotLommel SKFrance28D (C), DM, M (C)£475k-£1.3m17
Cristian ÁlvarezZaragozaArgentina36GK£24k-£250k17
Daniel HägeleWürzburger KickersGermany33D (C), DM, M (C)£12k-£120k17
Christoph ZimmermannDarmstadtGermany29D (C)£1.1m-£2.1m17
Matthias SchmitzBalingenGermany28D (C)£35k-£100k17
Javier PinolaRiverArgentina39D (C)£30k17
Kevin ConradSV ElversbergGermany31D (RLC)£5k-£50k17
Dominik Kaiser-Germany33DM, M/AM (C)017
Radamel FalcaoVallecanoColombia36ST (C)£50k-£475k17
Alexander WalkeFC RB SalzburgGermany39GK£12k-£120k17
Danilo FernandesBAHBrazil34GK£16k-£150k17
Now the world of Football Manager feels even closer to the real football world

Specifications

Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, Android and iOS

Reasons to buy

+
Licensed competitions make FM23 more realistic than ever
+
The Squad Planner and experience matrixes are welcome additions
+
Fans are represented via Supporter Confidence
+
Tactics are more realistic now, with defending easier to coach
+
Enhanced match engine

Reasons to avoid

-
Set pieces need updating

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1