META center-backs are usually a premium in FUT, and things are no different in that regard in FC 24.
Players will still naturally gravitate towards the fastest center-backs, although there are other important qualities that separate the best meta CBs from the rest of the pack.
This guide discusses the best META center-backs in FC 24, but I’ve also added a couple of budget options that could serve as META for people working with smaller budgets. Let’s get into it!
Tomori has been a meta center-back in Ultimate Team for a few years now, and FC 24 is no different.
The English center-back offers a well-rounded 84-rated card with 86 pace, 86 defending, and 82 physical. On an Anchor chemistry style, those numbers are boosted to 90, 92, and 87 respectively to make him an 89-rated CB with a “Mostly Lengthy” accelerate type in-game.
He also has a 4-star weak foot which makes him a very good option for that LCB spot if you don’t have a left-footed center-back.
Finally, his English, Serie A, and AC Milan links are strong options to have, so he should not be hard to link for squad building.
Militao is even better in FC 24 than he was in FIFA 23 where he was also an 84-rated meta center-back.
His new 86-rated card has 85 pace, 86 defending, and 82 physical which goes up to 89, 92, and 87 respectively with an Anchor chem style. The chem style makes him a 90-rated center-back in-game with a “Mostly Lengthy” accelerate type.
Militao is 6’1″, so he’s not the most physically imposing defender you’ll see, but that also means he’s more agile on the ball, which is great if you like ball-playing center-backs.
Brazil, La Liga, and Real Madrid links are some of the best options to have, so getting him on full chem should be a breeze.
Kounde was an 84-rated meta center-back in FIFA 23. In FC 24, he is 85-rated so he’s slightly better.
He’s a similar type of player to Eder Militao in-game and can even do a job as right-back. His card has 84 pace, 86 defending, and 80 physical which goes up to 88, 91, and 85 with an Anchor chemistry style. The chem style makes him an 89-rated center-back in-game with a “Controlled Lengthy” accelerate type.
He also has the “Jockey” playstyle+, which is great for those quick transition animations when joeckying in front of attackers.
He has a 3-star weak foot which is decent for the start of the game, but those high-high work rates could be an issue if you’re playing him at center-back. You’ll have to be careful not to trigger any runs with him when you’re in possession.
French, La Liga, and Barcelona links are fantastic, so full chem should be guaranteed for him.
I don’t expect Upamecano to last as long in this “meta” bracket as many of the other names in this list, but he’s a great option for people that cannot afford the most expensive options.
His 82-rated card has 83 pace, 81 defending, and 83 physical. He’s quick and strong, which is what you need from a meta defender in FC 24. With an Anchor chemistry style, those stats go up to 87, 87, and 88 respectively.
His pace split of 76 acceleration and 88 sprint speed is not the most ideal, especially since he does not quite have the stride of players like Araujo and VVD. However, it’s more than enough for the early stages of the game.
If you’re building a Bundesliga hybrid team, his French and Bayern links should make life pretty easy for you in terms of squad building.
Araujo is an incredible defender in FC 24. He’s a physically dominant specimen that plays way above his stats and has excellent A.I and animations.
His 86-rated card makes him one of the highest-rated players in his position, boasting base stats of 79 pace, 86 defending, and 84 physicality.
I recommend a Shadow chemistry style on this card for two reasons. One is the underwhelming pace split of 71 acceleration and 85 sprint speed, and the second is that you can work with his base physicality because of his imposing size in-game.
With the Shadow, his stats go up to 87 pace and 93 defending to make him a 90-rated center-back with a pure Lengthy accelerate type in-game. The pace split goes up to 79 acceleration with 93 sprint speed which is fantastic to work with since he takes huge strides when running.
It might be tricky to get Araujo on full chem if you’re not running a La Liga hybrid team due to his Uruguayan nationality, so I would recommend getting a few Barca players into your starting eleven if that’s the case.
Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil Van Dijk is arguably the best center-back in FC 24 if we’re speaking of gold cards alone. His body type makes it near impossible to get past him, and his A.I blocks and animations are seriously overpowered.
His card is a -1 overall from the FIFA 23 one, but make no mistake, he’s still very much a beast in that position. His new 89-rated card has 78 pace, 89 defending, and 86 physicality.
It’s a similar situation with Araujo because he has a horrendous pace split of 66 acceleration and 87 sprint speed, so a Shadow chemistry style is also the way to go here. It makes him a 93-rated (!) center-back in-game with a pure Lengthy accelerate type.
He also has the “Aerial” playstyle+, so you can expect him to win almost every header he contests.
Premier League players are always easy to link, and there are quite a few good Dutch/Liverpool players to link him with as well. An example is Mohamed Salah who is one of the best wingers in the game.
Kompany is expensive, but if you have a blank cheque, he’s up there with the very best meta center-backs that you can buy in FC 24 Ultimate Team.
His 88-rated base hero card has 80 pace, 90 defending, and 86 physicality. You won’t get better stats from anyone on this list, and it only gets better when you slap an Anchor or Shadow chem style on him. His body type is physically dominant so you can afford to sacrifice some extra physicality for more defensive stats.
Heroes always play on full chem, so you don’t have to worry about linking him. In fact, the chemistry system makes him extra helpful toward building a full chemistry team since he contributes two points to Premier League players.
Antonio Rudiger was a fairly popular option at the start of FIFA 23, and the same is the case for FC 24 even though his stats have been downgraded.
His new 85-rated card has 82 pace, 84 defending, and 86 physicality. With a Shadow chemistry style, he remains a pure Lengthy accelerate type player with boosted stats of 90 pace and 91 defending.
Like VVD and Araujo, the Shadow is preferred because of his pace split and already-excellent physical attributes. With this, you can make him an 89-rated CB in-game. Also like VVD, he has the “Aerial” playstyle+.
There are loads of good German, La Liga, and Real Madrid links, so squad building with Rudiger is fairly straightforward.
Kim Min Jae
A new addition to the list of meta center-backs in this game is Bayern Munich’s new signing, Kim Min Jae.
Previously, he was a decent defender that didn’t get a lot of love because of his bad links. He was very hard to get on full chem unless you were running a full Serie A team which is rare to see.
Now, his move to Bayern has opened up more opportunities for links, and the stat boosts have only increased his potential further. He now has an 84-rated card (up from 79) with stats of 80 pace, 85 defending, and 84 physicality.
Kim has a dominant physical presence in-game, so his physical stats are good enough if you want to go for the Shadow chem style instead of the Anchor. You still need a Bundesliga hybrid team at the very least to get him on full chem, but he finally looks worth it.
Varane is another card that is always good in Ultimate Team. He has an 85-rated card in FC 24 with 79 pace, 86 defending, and 78 physical.
He is a pure Lengthy accelerate type player and it stays that way with the Shadow chemistry style which boosts his pace and defending to 87 and 93 respectively.
The Anchor chemistry style is not a bad shout either though, considering the fact that it boosts his otherwise unimpressive stats for strength and aggression while still keeping him pure Lengthy.
For people that like to play out from the back, this is one of the better options in this list. He also has the “Anticipate” playstyle+ which is great for making interceptions and other A.I-heavy defensive actions.
He’s French and plays in the Prem, so nothing needs to be said about chemistry links.
Speaking of French center-backs that ball in the English Premier League, Saliba offers a slightly cheaper alternative to Varane while offering similar quality. In FC 24, he is an 83-rated CB with 82 pace, 84 defending, and 82 physicality.
He also offers everything Varane does in terms of physical presence, ball-playing ability, and speed (he’s faster). He does have the “Anticipate” playstyle, but not the advanced playstyle+ version.
You can slap a Shadow on Saliba since he has better base strength and aggression stats compared to Varane. The Shadow makes him an 88-rated CB in-game with 90 pace and 91 defending which is fantastic for the early months of the game.
What’s more, he’s pure Lengthy as well!
Best Budget Options
These budget options are suitable for people that don’t want to spend too much on CBs. The caveat is that they don’t offer the best links, and certain stats are far behind those of the best meta cards.
Jeremiah St. Juste
St. Juste is a FUT cult hero due to him being consistently one of the fastest center-backs in the game. In FC 24, he is outright the fastest one and he combines that speed nicely with a 6’1″ frame which makes him much less clunky on the ball compared to the average CB.
However, his medium/high work rates are not ideal for a center-back. Additionally, you’re making a major sacrifice with his 73 base physicality rating, although you can boost that to 78 with the Anchor chem style.
This is the best option for him because he keeps his “Controlled Lengthy” accelerate type, nearly maximizes his pace, and also boosts his defending to an 84 overall.
Jawad El Yamiq
El Yamiq is a fantastic budget meta CB in FC 24. He is rapid and physically imposing in-game which is a combination that even the best attackers can struggle to deal with.
With the growing popularity of the Saudi League and the increased chances of people playing Saudi League starter teams, getting Yamiq on full chem may not be as impossible as it might seem initially.
In fact, there’s a Moroccan goalkeeper in the Saudi Professional League that you can link him with – Yassine Bounou.
El Yamiq has a 75-rated card with 86 pace, 75 defending, and 80 physicality. Despite his relatively low 74 score for aggression, I recommend using the Shadow chemistry style to improve his defending as much as possible while also boosting his base pace score to a satisfying 94.
Speaking of Saudi League starter teams, a starting CB duo of El Yamiq and Ibanez is looking OP!
Ibanez has an 80-rated card in FC 24 with 85 pace, 82 defending, and 81 physicality. If this guy was still in the Serie A, he would absolutely be one of the most sought-after starter cards, but his move to the Saudi League makes him that much more affordable for budget starter squads.
He does need to get his strength up, so I recommend using the Anchor chemistry style to take his stats up to 89 pace, 87 defending, and 86 physicality (85 for strength specifically). This will also make him an 85-rated CB in-game which is great for a “budget” starter card.
Micky Van De Ven
If you’re not building a Saudi League-heavy starter squad and are struggling to link players like Ibanez, a good alternative is the EPL’s new boy, Micky Van de Ven.
Micky has a 78-rated card in FC 24 with a base pace score of 85 which is higher than the pace on his Future Stars special card in FIFA 23!
He also has 79 defending and 80 physicality which is not as impressive, but everything looks better when you slap an Anchor chem style on him, especially since he remains pure Lengthy as well.
Van de Ven might cost more than the other budget options due to his fantastic links, but he’s still a tier below the proper meta cards in terms of price.
In case you missed some of the news about the new changes coming to FC 24, check out our guide to the differences between the new game and FIFA 23 next.