This summer has consistently provided perfect football weather; that is, the perfect weather to sit inside all day playing FIFA. Jordan Henderson’s FIFA 16 does not arrive until September 22, which means there are almost two more months to exhaust everything FIFA 15 has to offer. With that in mind, today’s False Nine observes some of the lesser-spotted teams that you could consider playing with to mix things up a little. There is only so many times you can rely on the pace machines at Borussias Dortmund and Monchengladbach.
There is one reason alone why I am endorsing these Turkish delights, and that is because of a Brazilian. Jose Fernando Viana de Santana, a.k.a. Fernandao, is a rare species in the FIFA world. He is a striker who is not blessed with outstanding pace, yet is still fun to play with. His sprint speed is not to be sniffed at, mind you, and coupled with his extraordinary strength Fernandao has the capacity to brush off defenders as easily as those in Geordie Shore brush off dignity. Josue, Volkan Sen and Fernando Belluschi provide a reasonable support cast, but the real star here is Fernandao.
Assem Allam would probably have been better off purchasing this Mexican team rather than Hull City, based on his bizarre fixation on having tigers form part of the club name. If he had, he would have been greeted by pace and panache. Rafael Sobis, once a handy striker on Football Managers of yore, clinically leads the line. The pace of (King) Joffre Guerron and Hernan Burbano is devastating, whilst Uruguayan international Egidio Arevalo Rios protects the defence. Diminutive and speedy right-back Ivan Estrada has the name ‘Gutty’ on the back of his shirt for no discernible reason. Tigres, tigres, burning bright.
3. FC Basel
Keep it Breel with Basel; Embolo is the prestigious youngster who leads the Swiss champions’ line, although he is already sufficiently developed to batter FIFA defences. Fabian Schar is the complete centre-back, with his recovery pace compensating for partner Walter Samuel’s aging legs. Matias Delgado offers a potent threat behind the striker; trust me, I have seen him bag many a screamer on FIFA. Always against me, of course.
Surprise your friends by picking Saudi Arabia’s finest, unless they respond by picking a five star team in which case instantly change your decision. Against more moderate opposition, however, Al-Nassr can thrive. With the strongest line-up out only two positions are filled by players rated below 70, and one of those is Karim El Ghamdi (5’5” and 92 sprint speed, just in case the name means nothing to you). The big name of the team, in more ways than one, is Adrian Mierzejewski, who has the all-round game to dictate proceedings.
5. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Any Championship team could reasonably be inserted here, with England’s second tier full of teams with quality throughout. I have chosen Wolves because of Bakary Sako, Benik Afobe and Nouha Dicko. One word: eughhhhhhhhh. Defensively they are not so stable, although Richard Stearman is a capable player to marshal the troops.
6. Toronto FC
Give the ball to Sebastian Giovinco, for this is a man who can wreak havoc against even the most resolute defences. His strike partner is Jozy Altidore, but don’t let that put you off. On FIFA Jozy can deliver a hilarious example of ineptitude in one minute, and batter an entire defence to nurdle a sublime finish in the next. Michael Bradley, Damian Perquis and Benoit Cheyrou embolden the spine of the team, but otherwise there is not much to write home about. No worries though, for that front two should have you home and dry by themselves.
7. Red Bull Salzburg
Austria’s finest have their usual blend of journeymen thriving in a comfortable environment and youngsters whose blossoming potential will soon take them to one of Europe’s big leagues. Jonatan Soriano falls into the former category, a front man who compensates for a lack of pace with deadly finishing. As for the youngsters, Red Bull gives you wingers: Marcel Sabitzer and Massimo Bruno couple tricky dribbling with blistering speed. Martin Hinteregger is a hot prospect at centre-back already proficient at tackling, running and, most deliciously, unleashing powerful long-shots.
8. Sporting Gijon
There is only one reason that I have selected this team from Spain’s second division. I once scored four goals with their totally average striker Hugo Fraile in a comprehensive victory against stronger opposition. Every time Hugo Fraile received the ball he seemed destined to score, and score beautifully at that. His physical attributes are decent, but the rest leave much to be desired. Chances are Hugo Fraile will severely disappoint you if you go out and select Gijon (the website sofifa.com offers Dean Moxey as a similar player to our Hugo), but I think my underlying point here is to stress that you should not shy away from selecting teams that are weak on paper or on FIFA screen. I have seen many demand that they have the opportunity to select another team when presented with a mid-table Danish side, but do not fear. This is how legends are made. Just ask Hugo Fraile.