FIFA 17 is stepping up their game on Weekend League Qualifying Knockout Tournaments with a restraint which only allows you one player per each of the five “major” leagues. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love restrictions on squads. Love! It makes building and competing more enjoyable in my opinion. In this circumstance you really need to think outside the box and find a way to maximize your team beyond the realm of England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. But fear not it can be done.

Below are the requirements and don’t fret you have a solid variety of options. You may have to spend some coin to get your squad right but see what is stored in your club first, you may be surprised what you can build. The leagues we’re going to need to focus on are Portuguese Liga NOS, Turkish Super Lig, Russian League and Shakhtar Donetesk from Ukraine. These are the clubs with high caliber gold players with plenty of linkage options. I would avoid the MLS, Mexico and South America because you’ll have issues with chemistry when you do insert your five eligible restricted players.

So peep the requirements again and let’s get started.

Knockout Tournament Squad Requirements

Premier League – Max 1 player in your Starting XI and Subs

La Liga Santander – Max 1 player in your Starting XI and Subs

Calcio A – Max 1 player in your Starting XI and Subs

Bundesliga – Max 1 player in your Starting XI and Subs

Ligue 1 – Max 1 player in your Starting XI and Subs

Brazil Option (4312 or 41212)

When all else fails in FIFA turn to the Brazilians, they’re everywhere. I think this is your best option for a “great” team. You can incorporate your five restricted players with ease and you may have some of these players already so a trip to the transfer market can be avoided.  Below is the squad I built but I’ll give you some substitute options because I have some heavy hitting Brazilians in my club but there are cheaper alternatives.

Restricted Five:

TOTGS Dani Alves (Italy) – If you don’t own an In-Form version of Alves you can always go with his base card or you have the option of inserting Bruno Peres (92 pace, 87 beast rating) in that position as well. The Calcio A gives you other defensive options like Miranda (86 CB) or Alexa Sandro (84 LB) so depending on what your roster looks like you can flex accordingly.

Thiago Silva (France) – This one is a no brainer. Silva is only one of three defenders (non-In Form) to boast a 90 defender rating. He’s technically skilled and he has exceptional pace. I think Silva is a must own for pretty much any team but if he’s too much coin then scale down and grab Marquinhos. He’s a carbon copy of Silva, a poor man’s version for a fraction of the cost.

Naldo (Germany) – Since I’m not running a formation with a LM/RM I don’t need Douglas Costa, the second best Brazilian in the Bundesliga is Naldo. Good pace, good defender even though he had the not so illustrious honor of receiving a winter downgrade. If you do run a 433 or 41212 formation then I’d recommend going with Costa to add fire power to your attack.

Felipe Luis (Spain) – This year I didn’t invest in La Liga, for my wallet it’s too expensive. My best option available was Felipe Luis. Obviously if you have a marquee name like Neymar, Marcelo or IF Casemiro then go that route. IF Rafinha (CM), Danilo (RB) and Pato (ST) are options as well.

Gabriel Jesus (England) – With Brazil being very thin at the striker position I opted to go with Jesus from the Premier League over the likes of David Luiz, Phillipe Coutinho or Willian. Again it’s all personal preference and since I’m going with a 4-3-1-2 formation my need for a striker far outweighs my need for Luiz or Coutinho and Willian obviously doesn’t fit from a position perspective.

The Rest of the Squad:

Having my entire defense locked down and a striker option solidified the job here is to fill out the midfield and select a goalkeeper. Lucky for us there’s a “Little Rio” in Ukraine, who knew? You can grab the trio of Marlos (82 or 80), Taison (82 or 81) and Bernard (79) for cheap. They’re all insanely fast for being central midfielders (83/92/87 pace respectively) and they’re all good value. You can make any one of these players a CAM but I would go with Taison who has more pace and a higher shot rating.

The fourth midfielder is Giuliano and you’ll have a quartet of options with his cards. You can opt for the 80 base version, 82 upgrade version or 84/86 In-Form versions. Go with the upgrade version because his Russian League ties provides minimal linkage options for you to invest in his In-Forms for other squads. His 82 card more than plays with 81 pace, 77 shooting & passing and 83 dribbling. Add the right chemistry card and he’s a nice threat at attacking midfield.

From a striker perspective there is really only one option, Jonas. If you completed the Liga NOS Squad Builder Challenge then you’ll have his 87 card at your disposal. He’d be a perfect fit on this team. If not go with his 84 winter upgrade or even his 83 base card. He doesn’t have the greatest pace with a 72 rating but throw on a Hunter chemistry card and that will jump to an 84. His modified shot rating will be a 94 with 99 positioning, 97 finishing, 89 long shots, 95 volleys and 90 shot power. That sounds like a hell of a good time. Jonas also sports a 5 star weak foot which is always handy.

Lastly you’ll need to decide on a goalkeeper between Julio Cesar and Ederson. Cesar received a winter upgrade this year bumping him to an 83 overall and I think I’m leaning towards this card despite having horrible luck with him back in the day when he was the national team keeper and Inter Milan goalkeeper in the early days of FUT. Ederson sports better speed and kicking ratings but Cesar is more sound at positioning, hands and diving and to me that matters most in goal. You could opt for the 84 MOTM version of Ederson which looks pretty sweet but again he might be too expensive for the investment considering his minimal links.

Brazil Option (433 or 4321 or 442)

If you are the type of player that must have the wingers then below is a model squad for you to use. You bring Willian into the equation from the Premier League instead of Gabriel Jesus, you insert Douglas Costa on the other flank and replace Naldo at CB with Jardel of Benfica in the Portuguese League. It’s a similar squad but the formation may fit your style of play better.

Portuguese Soup

If Brazilians aren’t your game then you can always flip over to a Portuguese Team. Again everything depends on what you have in your base roster, the purpose of a restricted squad isn’t to go out and spend a lot of money it’s getting creative with what you already have and filling in appropriately. In the scenario below the only expensive card would be Pepe, everyone else is pretty reasonable. Of course if you’re a 1%’er and own Ronaldo then I think you know what to do.

Renato Sanches is a very popular FUT player considering his solid ratings and high work rates. Of the main six ratings (Pace, Shot, Pass, Dribble, Defend, Physical) none are below a 72. His 78 overall rating is deceptive, he plays more like an 82 or 83 rated player. Everything else is personal preference. I listed below other options you can plug and play so do what suits your interest.

Restricted Five: Pepe, Jose Fonte, Joao Mario, Renato Sanches and Ricardo Pereira

The Rest: Rui Patricio, Danilo Pereira, Andre Andre, Brahimi, Eliseu, Andre Silva

Other Options: Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Joao Moutinho, Quaresma, Adrien Silva, William Carvalho, Andre Gomes, Danny, Pizzi, Bernardo Silva, Bruma, Rafa, Fabio Coentrao