After contemplating for a long time about which icon SBC I should do with all my untradeables, I decided to go for Vieira after trying out his base version. I didn't think it was important to have a good, tall, defensive CDM, but after using Vieira for a few weeks I don't think I can go back. I will break down the stats and discuss why I think this card is so good.
I've been using him as a CDM in a 4231 and as a CM in a 442. Even though I generally don't think pace is the most important on a CDM, the +15 boost on acceleration was too tempting and I opted for a shadow chemistry style.
Pace - The shadow chemistry style takes him to 99 acceleration and 92 sprint speed, which is just ridiculous on a 192cm guy. He will still feel a bit clunky in slow gameplay, but I've never considered him slow by any means. This is just about as good as it gets.
Shooting - He actually has some quite decent shooting stats that probably would be really good with the right chemistry style. Some people would argue that CDMs rarely get into shooting positions, but I'd say that it is quite nice to have a CDM that can take a long shot when the opportunity presents itself, especially when playing against the drop back. He did score some goals for me, both long shots and a few tap ins from arriving late in the box. Worth mentioning is that it takes about 2.5 seconds to get the shot away, and he tends to use his 3* weak foot a little bit more often than I'd prefer.
Passing - I've read a few reviews that claim that he often misplaces easy passes, but that is not my experience at all. I'd say 89 vision, short and long passing reflects exactly how he is - obviously not elite, but he does the job more than well, and with 91 composure he rarely misplaces passes even under pressure for me. Passing is an underrated ability for a CDM and Vieira has all the ability that could be needed and more.
Dribbling - This is probably one of the things that separates the prime from the baby. Agility and balance may seem low on paper, but for a 192 guy it is just about as good as it gets. The dribbling stats are decent, and I think that separates him from many tall defensive midfielders. With guys like Fabinho I often feel uncomfortable trying to dribble past my opponent, but with 89 ball control and 85 dribbling Vieira has no problem with that. 89 reactions may be one of the reasons he feel so over powered and wins almost every 50/50 in midfield.
Defending - The defending stats are probably his best stats and the reason this card is so stupidly good. With shadow they are all pretty much maxed out, and you would expect nothing less. He is just perfect and have the unique ability to do the defensive work for you.
Physicality - Probably my favorite stats of the card. The 90 strength and 93 aggression is what turns him into a defensive tank, and 81 jumping is enough to win pretty much every header that comes his way. This guy doesn't care about Ibra or van Dijk, he bosses every single air ball that comes his way. 94 stamina is excellent on paper, but for some reason it feels like he gets tired a bit too quick. Maybe I'm controlling him too much (it's just so fun!).
Even though he is good in almost every aspect, I think it is the combination that makes him so good. There are many attackers that I still want to try out, many different GKs that will get the job done, and many midfielders that look interesting. But tall, strong, fairly fast defensive midfielders that can dribble, pass the ball and take a long shot are few and far between. Add the M/H work rates and I think we are down to just one. And that is one of the reasons he is in almost every pro player's team.
My advice would be to consider Vieira next time you wonder where to upgrade your team or which icon SBC to do. Players like Cruyff or Eusebio are fun and will probably give you three extra goals every weekend, but Vieira will give you three more wins. And if you do get him, or already have him - use him for what he is and what he is good at, don't try to make him into something he isn't. He is pricey, but on the other hand you will get the best CDM in the game.
Aerial duels, 50/50s, interceptions, tackling
Skill moves and weak foot