EA SPORTS have already unveiled Manchester United's iconic striker Eric Cantona as the game's first legend card in Ultimate Team, and now we've got some predictions for FIFA 21 ICONs to go with it.
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC players will be looking forward to jumping right into the action for FIFA 21's launch. Before that time, they will also get access to the game via the FIFA 21 beta, EA Access, and the FUT Web App when they come out.
No matter when you first get to try out the game, though, it could be months before you're able to afford your first ICON card in-game.
They are typically very expensive, but that's part of the appeal really – and the fact that they have strong links with most players.
EA have already confirmed that there will be 100 ICONs available in their next title, sparking rumors about which stars from the past will be included. So, without further ado, let's run through some of our predictions for the next roster of legends.
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Now that Cantona has been confirmed, that leaves a full football team's worth of vacant spots available. 11 spots to fill, so let's give it a go.
Predictions for FIFA 21 ICONs
There's one name that's been floating around for some time now, constantly linked to the ICON set. That guy is Samuel Eto'o.
The Cameroonian was one of the fastest strikers around at the peak of his powers, tearing it up Barcelona alongside the likes of Ronaldinho, Xavi, and more. The four-time African footballer of the year racked up four Champions League trophies, four league titles, and an Olympic medal in the sport.
If "iconic" is what you're looking for, this man ticks all of the boxes.
Just the glasses of Edgar Davids were iconic back in the day, but it was his success on the pitch that puts him firmly in contention here.
He played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, and Barcelona. During his career, the midfield powerhouse was crowned champion three times in Holland, the same in Italy, and lifted the European Cup trophy in 1994/95 – as part of that fabulous Ajax team.
There are some great Dutch players in the ICON group already, yet there's always going to be space for Edgar Davids.
EA SPORTS have been creating a strong bond with their community in South America, and we saw that with last year's CONMEBOL update in March. The patch delivered new competitions and a boat load of SBC content for Ultimate Team, and rumor has it more exclusive leagues from the continent will be unveiled for FIFA 21.
Alongside all that will be, without a doubt, ICONs from South America. There are loads of contenders, especially from Brazil, but why not Diego Forlan?
Anybody who watched the World Cup in 2010 knows what this guy was capable of, hitting the back of the net on five occasions and scooping the Golden Ball. The tournament's best player, and with 221 career goals to his name, he should be a cert.
Ferenc Puskas is a name almost everybody knows, having the world's best goal award named after him some years ago.
The Hungarian forward has a tremendous goal tally for Real Madrid, netting 156 times in 180 appearances. Three European Cups and five La Liga titles might sound like a normality in the era of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, but make no mistake – this is a career worth celebrating in FIFA 21 ICONs.
German football fans must have been really hurting when Philipp Lahm decided to hang up his boots in 2017.
The full back was part of that golden generation, which comprised the likes of Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Manuel Neuer. More than just a full back, Lahm proved that he could step into midfield and even central defence during his career, where he won eight Bundesliga titles, a World Cup medal in 2014, and the Champions League.
The most capped player in the history of the France national team deserves recognition for his glittering career, and what better way than to add an ICON.
The central defender played for Barcelona, Juventus, Parma, and Monaco during his time as an elite professional. The Champions League might have evaded him, although he did achieve unrivaled success on the international stage – winning the World Cup in 1998 and followed that up with a Euros medal in 2000.
His name has actually appeared in the game's code for FIFA 20 as well, so who knows. Maybe this is the most realistic pick of our entire list. FUTWatch made the discovery back in March.
I was just poking around the code and found icon data for Eric Abidal and Lilian Thuram. I don't know how long they've been there though and I have no idea if they'll ever be released
— FUT Watch (@FutWatch) March 3, 2020
The former Barcelona star was a pass master. There's no doubt about it.
If you look back at La Liga in the last 10 or 20 years, there's not many that have careers even close to Xavi Hernandez. He closed the footballer chapter of his career in 2019, spending the last four years of it at Al Sadd where he eventually became their manager.
Looking back at his time on the pitch, the Spanish maestro won a whopping 32 trophies. Where gold is concerned, he's an expert, so let's see if we get a gold ICON card for Xavi in the next title.
There are few players that can claim to be a "one club man" but Francesco earned the right.
At the level he was playing at, the Italian – at the peak of his powers – could have walked into any team on the planet. He scored an incredible 307 goals for AS Roma and was willing to play almost any position to help his local club enjoy success.
World Cup winner, Italian champion, and soon to be cast in bronze somewhere around the Stadio Olimpico. Totti will always be an ICON in Rome, even if he's not picked this year.
Alfredo di Stefano
The complete number 9.
Alfredo Di Stefano would be just one of many Real Madrid legends to have made it into the FIFA ICON set, and he definitely deserves to be in the mix. During the 1950s, he played an instrumental role in the club's domination across Europe and in their domestic league, scooping five Champions League titles. That's just as many as Barcelona have had in their entire history.
The talisman bagged 279 goals in 398 appearances. Who knows, he could be doing the same for you in FUT 21.
Solid as a rock.
The central defender formed formidable partnerships just about everywhere he went. The anchor was best known for spells at Inter Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich, and Bayer Leverkusen. In 2010, he was part of that side – managed by Jose Mourinho – that masterminded one of the most incredible Champions League wins of all time. He's even won a World Cup with Brazil for good measure.
There's usually a few Brazilians added to the ICONs list every year, and this time we think Lucio could be in contention.
Last, but certainly not least, is Ashley Cole. Classy full back, with flair.
Cole might well be the best left back to have ever played in the Premier League. Having established himself as one of the most exciting talents at Arsenal, he took a risk and jumped ship to Chelsea, which elevated his career even further. Across a period of 10 years, he won seven FA Cups, the Champions League, three Premier Leagues and basically reinvented the role of a left back.
The attacking prowess we now see of fullbacks, storming up the wing to support attacks, is something Cole mastered back in the day.
There you have it. That's who we think will be included in the FIFA 21 ICONs list. Who do you think will be selected? Let us know on Twitter @UltimateTeamUK.