Players are the main asset of your club. They will bring you victories and increase club's popularity.
There are thousands of different players to pick from in the game, from specialists to all rounders.
Selecting the right one for your team is your main job.
Ability and potential.
When you look at a player (yours or someone else's), his ability and potential are always relative to your club's popularity.
Player's ability represents his current capability for his preferred field role. 3 stars means the player is of average ability for a club of your reputation.
Popularity shows what could he become in the future if he gets good enough training.
Young players are attractive as they have their whole careers ahead of them. A youngster with high potential can potentially turn into a star in several seasons.
But they are inexperienced and prone to making more fouls and errors in a match. Errors that could cost you dearly.
Older players, on the other hand, are less impulsive and will create less mistakes, fouls and generally perform more consistently.
They also improve your teamwork and can be converted into staff when they retire.
However, they will start losing skills at one point and their price will drop.
Player's price is a combination of several factors: his current ability, potential, experience and form all take part (in that order).
The price also drops with player's old age as their usability is shorter. But then again, buying an older player can give you a kick forward for less money.
Each player is skilled in playing in one position (Defender, Defensive Midfielder, Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder, Forward) and one, two, or all three sides.
Central positions cover 2 roles each. Each player has versatility attribute that might enable him to play in other roles as well, to certain degree.
On the player's screen you can see his best roles in white circles and the supporting roles where he can still play relatively well in empty circles.
Players are defined with 16 skills and 3 special attributes.
Experience helps players to utilize their power more consistently and act under pressure.
They will perform better, keep better form and make less mistakes and fouls.
Every match that the player plays improves his experience. Playing in higher divisions and international cups will improve it the most.
Also, older players improve their experience faster than youngsters, which allows the best of them to become potential staff members after their playing careers.
Player's form is cyclical. It goes up and down on its own. Players with high experience will be quicker to resist their downward form and turn it upwards.
You can also affect player's change in form - those that play a game will have their form shift slower (up or down, it doesn't matter).
So if you want a player to go fast through his bad form - leave him on the bench.
Each player has a predefined (and hidden) peak attribute that defines when will he develop the fastest and be in top form longer.
It also determines when will he start losing skills due to the old age.
For your convenience, 18 out of 20 skills are grouped together under Defense (stopping opponent's actions),
Power (muscle, stability, endurance and holding ones ground), Agility (quickness, reaction and precision),
Creativity (skills used for possession and building up play) and Attack (scoring goals) and Mental (type of character) skill groups.
Used exclusively by Goalkeepers for stopping opposition's shots on goal.
Preventing attackers from getting into a position for a shot.
Keeping good defensive position to cover and block off opposition players.
Preventing opponents' passes and advances with the ball.
Putting pressure on the opponents and preventing them from generating possession.
Holding the ball and generating possession for your team.
Taking and positioning during offensive and defensive free kicks and corners.
Crosses and passes used to work the ball near or into the opposition's box.
Ability to perform precise short passes, crosses and long shots.
Having a good overview of the playing field and the ability to find an opening in opposition defenses.
Dribbling, flair, and the ability to get past the opponent.
Player's sense for getting into a good offensive position to score a goal.
Shooting, heading or in any other way working the ball into the goal.
Player's aerial ability and stability to hold his ground and secure good position.
Quickness to outrun opponents and the ability to cover more of the field.
Acting in a timely manner and in coordination with the team.
Avoiding mistakes, fouls, corners and other negative decisions during the match.
Handling pressure, important for penalties, set pieces, and setting offsides.
Determination to prove yourself and win even if the odds are not in your favor.
Endurance to keep the high pace throughout the game, reduces the chance to get injured.