ManUtd1 Posted July 14, 2016 Share Posted July 14, 2016 It's the hope that kills you... As football fans, we can all relate to that sentiment. The "what could have been" moments. The heartbreak. The days when your over-paid, selfie-obsessed striker couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat.Messi in the final of the Copa America, 2016. Baggio in the World Cup final, 1994. Ghana at the 2010 World Cup. Bayern Munich in Barcelona, 1999. John Terry in Moscow, 2008.(Ok, if I'm being honest the last two were pretty frickin' beautiful and count among my favorite footballing memories. But, I digress...)For many, redemption comes in one form or another, some more glamorous than others. Titles won. Individual glories and accolades. Selfies with supermodels. Social media warrior. Occasionally, though, the heartbreak is followed by a slow, painful regression to obscurity. The moniker of the "nearly men" is applied, and supporters grow old thinking, "what if...?"This is the story of those teams.Since its inception in 1955, 22 different teams have won the Champions League (and its predecessor). 17 teams have reached the Final, only to fall short:Atlético Madrid (1974, 2014, 2016)Stade de Reims (1956, 1959)Valencia (2000, 2001)Fiorentina (1957) Eintracht Frankfurt (1960)Partizan (1966)Panathinaikos (1971)Leeds United (1975)Saint-Étienne (1976)Borussia Mönchengladbach (1977)Club Brugge (1978)Malmö FF (1979)Roma (1984)Sampdoria (1992)Bayer Leverkusen (2002)Monaco (2004)Arsenal (2006)Similarly, 8 different nations have brought home the World Cup. Yet, 4 have reached the Final and returned home with empty hands:Netherlands (1974, 1978, 2010)Czechoslovakia (1934, 1962)Hungary (1938, 1954)Sweden (1958) This save will chronicle my journey across Europe, to bring glory to as many of these sides as possible.There are no hard-and-fast rules beyond the concept of the save. At the club level, the appeal of a pure youth academy only challenge has waned. At each club, I will work within a 4-5 year plan without any transfer restrictions. My personal contract negotiations will keep that in mind. I will leave on high -- thus, once I've won the Champions League, I will move on. Surely I won't be fired...will I? After my first club, I will only accept a position with one of the sides listed above, or a club that manages to join this elite (!?) group of "nearly men." Likewise, if a club manages to win the CL under another manager, they are removed from the challenge.On the international scene, the same basic rules will apply -- I will only accept an international management position with an eligible nation. if I win the World Cup, I must move on. Nations can be added to and removed from the eligible list, based on results at the World Cup. With respect to Czechoslovakia, I consider both the Czech Republic and Slovakia eligible.While some of these sides are much "easier" than others, I will begin with one of the "smaller" clubs, and proceed from there, wherever the winds take me. I am also holidaying 2 years into the future, to allow for a unique playing environment where the strength of a side like Atlético will have waxed/waned appropriately. I've loaded the top leagues in Belgium, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Spain and Sweden, with a large database/pool of potential players and numerous other leagues on "view only," with pr0's data update to reflect the 2016 landscape.Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a little tip o' the hat to smp20, who proposed a Champions League version of this as a challenge in May 2015. Time for me to run this for real.Up Next: The journey begins. June 2017. A manager. A club. Foolish dreams of glory, prepared to be smashed to bits by the Football Gods. Link to post Share on other sites More sharing options...
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