Women’s FUT 21: A hypothetical look at FIFA’s most popular game mode
There’s no questioning the growth of women’s soccer around the world over the past few years and we know there are some people over in the eSports world who are slightly paying attention. With women’s national teams added to the popular FIFA video game in 2016, it seems like only a matter of time before it grows into seeing more clubs and players in the game. With that, you have to hope fans can enjoy using those players in more game modes than just a quick play option.
As of right now, there is no way to do a career mode with any women’s clubs and you can’t even go through a whole World Cup cycle as a national team coach. Of course, if you know anything about FIFA, you know there is only one game mode that truly is the driving force behind most of the content created.
For a quick rundown for those who don’t know, FIFA Ultimate Team is a game mode where you can buy, sell and trade cards or packs to build a team of your favorite players while strategically piecing them together based off leagues and nationalities. Each player gets a base card at the start of the game cycle but better cards become available through different promos and/or real performance-based upgrades.
So what if this widely popular game mode wanted to grab the attention of a new audience? What if this became available to fans of the women’s game and in turn, helped pull some of the gaming community into watching more of the women’s matches in real life?
Well there may not be many people who wonder these things like I do but with every promo that comes out in the game, I think of which players a Women’s FUT would feature in the same promo if FIFA would ever give us what we wanted.
Note: All hypothetical cards were created on FUTHEAD. You can create your own here at https://www.futhead.com/card-generator/.
Team of the Week
These cards are based off real performances and FIFA doles out a new team of 23 players every single week. Each players base card is upgraded a certain number of points depending on how many TOTW cards they have earned so far.
For my example, I’ll pick out one of my favorite performances of the season. Real Madrid’s Kosovore Asllani scored a hat trick in less than three minutes on February 6 to beat Valencia 3-1. I’ll give her a double upgrade since she likely would’ve had another TOTW card earlier in the season so this is what her card could have looked like.
Asllani – OVR: 86, PAC: 83, SHO: 87, PAS: 80, DRI: 92, DEF: 48, PHY: 68
This promo was new to FUT 21 and quickly became wildly popular. It is almost like a spinoff of Team of the Week cards as one silver base player is named the Silver Star of the week and the card can be obtained by winning games in the silver-only game mode. These cards play better than a normal silver card but the overall rating doesn’t rise above 74.
A perfect candidate for this card in the women’s game is Lina Hurtig of Juventus. I think it’s likely she would have gotten a couple of performance-based upgrade cards throughout the year but a strong showing early in the game cycle could have grabbed her this Silver Stars card.
Hurtig – OVR: 74, PAC: 80, SHO: 86, PAS: 75, DRI: 84, DEF: 27, PHY: 77
Ones to Watch
This is the first promo every year on FUT and it’s built from the biggest offseason transfers. The beauty of these cards is not just the fancy design but it can upgrade based off the player’s performance in real life. For instance, an 83-overall OTW card that gets four Team of the Week cards throughout the season can become an 88-overall card.
There are probably a few players that fit the mold here with one of the busier summers on record but FIFA would be looking at a player that would sell packs to lead the way. And when one of the best players in the world has moved to one of the biggest clubs, it makes for an easy choice. Pernille Harder has made plenty of noise with Chelsea too this season which means a couple of upgrades were likely on the docket.
Harder – OVR: 91, PAC: 88, SHO: 93, PAS: 90, DRI: 85, DEF: 48, PHY: 84
This promo took over the Halloween Scream promo where cards get big upgrades to an attribute that their base card may not have the best stat for while taking a little bit off their other top stats. It could turn a holding midfielder into a more attacking player or a winger into a true fullback.
There were several players that came to mind here but I think one of the top cards in the promo could be Aston Villa’s Mana Iwabuchi. An already prolific forward could have been provided a significant boost to her strength and other physical attributes, which would currently average out to 55 based on her FIFA 21 rating. But making a 5’1 forward a physical force would certainly be considered a rulebreaker in my book.
Iwabuchi – OVR: 86, PAC: 88, SHO: 84, PAS: 81, DRI: 86, DEF: 39, PHY: 83
Road to the Final
This is another live item that is based on real performances, which has really pushed some gamers to actually get into what is happening on the pitch in real life rather than just playing the game. It is based on UEFA competitions and for each round a team progresses, the card gets a +1 overall upgrade.
Each team usually gets a card here but of course, a team expected to go really far will have one of the premier players in the promo. Lyon’s Ellie Carpenter will fill in nicely and even though Lyon is out now, it would give off the look of potentially the best fullback card in the game when it was released. Here is what it would look like after two upgrades.
Carpenter – OVR: 87, PAC: 93, SHO: 62, PAS: 86, DRI: 84, DEF: 86, PHY: 85
This promo is pretty self-explanatory as the cards are based off record-setting performances from current players. The two leading cards are pretty obvious and would certainly get the community excited but the biggest decision would be which record to choose for each player.
I’ll go with Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema for her record-breaking 2017-18 season but you also have to throw in Marta for setting the record for most career World Cup goals.
Miedema – OVR: 93, PAC: 83, SHO: 95, PAS: 82, DRI: 92, DEF: 35, PHY: 80
Marta – OVR: 90, PAC: 86, SHO: 90, PAS: 85, DRI: 90, DEF: 40, PHY: 77
Freeze was kind of a new promotion this season but it essentially replaced the age old FUTmas, just with a bit more of a twist. These cards could be out of position or change up their strong foot while changing up attributes entirely sometimes (see Adama Traore).
There is so much potential in a promo like this but at the top of the list of players I’d like to see would be Crystal Dunn. She is already a player that could play any position on the pitch in real life and some small tweaks to her base left back card plus a pretty major position change.
Dunn – OVR: 87, PAC: 85, SHO: 85, PAS: 88, DRI: 87, DEF: 73, PHY: 66
This is another batch of live cards that provide an extra boost to players who were performing well and who were regulars in Teams of the Week during the first half of the season. These cards will always be one upgrade more than whatever the player’s highest in-form card and could gain an extra one-time bonus when their team wins four domestic games in a row.
That makes a strong player on a dominant squad a frontrunner for this promo and I think that would Marie-Antoinette Katoto. She has scored 20 goals and provided seven assists in just 17 league games for PSG so this card would likely look sick.
Katoto – OVR: 89, PAC: 92, SHO: 90, PAS: 78, DRI: 91, DEF: 30, PHY: 74
Team of the Year
This is arguably the biggest promo of the year as just 11 players are selected. You can pretty much figure out what the team would look like if you just look at FIFA’s World XI but I wanted to highlight a couple of the cards just for fun.
Rapinoe – OVR: 97, PAC: 82, SHO: 95, PAS: 99, DRI: 98, DEF: 52, PHY: 80
Bright – OVR: 94, PAC: 78, SHO: 60, PAS: 84, DRI: 80, DEF: 95, PHY: 97
Bonansea – OVR: 92, PAC: 87, SHO: 91, PAS: 92, DRI: 97, DEF: 58, PHY: 84
This is one of my favorite promos of the year and this is actually when I first started thinking about doing a write up on what a women’s FUT would look like. I have a whole team of Future Stars lined up but we will just run through a few of them.
It is a fine line for this promo on choosing which players are established enough that the community would be excited to use these cards but also not so established that they will already have a really strong base card (i.e. Lena Oberdorf).
Macario – OVR: 92, PAC: 92, SHO: 90, PAS: 87, DRI: 92, DEF: 51, PHY: 70
This is a community favorite as this promo brings back some of the best cards of the past while often giving a boost to a player’s weak foot and ability to do skill moves. With women players not being on FIFA for very long, the options here are pretty obvious so I’ll run through three of my favorites. And a lot of these ratings will come directly from the players’ ratings in that particular FIFA game.
2016 Carli Lloyd – OVR: 91, PAC: 80, SHO: 88, PAS: 88, DRI: 92, DEF: 82, PHY: 90
2018 Lieke Martens – OVR: 88, PAC: 89, SHO: 86, PAS: 85, DRI: 90, DEF: 34, PHY: 72
And before wrapping up these hypothetical cards, we have to bring up a big reason why people love to play this game mode. Icon cards not only bring back some of the best players ever but it also gives easy links to help people create different squads within the game. They don’t have a club or a league so they link with any card in the game and they give a strong link to anyone from the same country. And icons celebrate a different point in each player’s career with base, mid and prime versions.
Hope Solo – OVR: 91, POS: 92, DIV: 89, HAN: 92, KIC: 79, REF: 92, SPD: 62
Sun Wen – OVR: 89, PAC: 92, SHO: 90, PAS: 84, DRI: 91, DEF: 51, PHY: 63
Birgit Prinz – OVR: 86, PAC: 88, SHO: 87, PAS: 77, DRI: 82, DEF: 56, PHY: 72
That’s just a quick rundown of what a Women’s FUT could look like and it’s certainly enough to get the fanbase excited. I brought of this idea in a FUT Discord I am in and the responses ranged from “I don’t watch much but this game mode might make me watch more” to “my daughter has asked why there’s no girls FUT” to as simple of a response as “I’m very interested.”
The market and interest is there once again and I know there are plenty of steps to go through with the rights to clubs and players before any of this could happen but it’s nice to be able to dream about it.
I’ll leave you with my hypothetical starting XI in this game mode and building this team just made me want the game mode even more. I picked some obvious cards everyone would want to use then made a few others based off some of my favorites (Roll Tide to Merel van Dongen). See the full team below and hit us up with any other ideas for promo cards you would like to see or what your team would look like if we got this mode.
If you’re familiar with FUT, you know you have to do some position changes and weird formations to get everyone on chemistry. I had to get a little creative here. In game, this would definitely play as a 4-3-3 (2) with the backline staying the same. Mewis, Dunn and Lloyd would be bossing the midfield with Martens, Macario and Heath leading the attack. I need to play this right now. Make it happen, EA.