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[FM21] Hell's Youth - Chertanovo home-grown challenge


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Season 2033/34 – part 2

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Two central midfielders, Borzykh and Ushakov lead the list. Striker Panin, mentioned in the preview, isn’t the player with highest potential but his personality and mental attributes look really good.

 

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Two crossbars and a disallowed goal didn’t allow us to win the first leg, though a home clean sheet isn’t so bad in playoffs.

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Porto played slightly better at home, but the away goals rule worked in our favour after both team scored from penalties. We will face Man City in the quarter-final, hardly have any chance to defeat them but will try our best. The league restarted with four confident wins, and we shortened the gap from Zenit to three points.

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Scoring first on 85th minute wasn’t enough even for a draw, but anyway I doubt that we could keep even the one goal lead at Etihad. In addition to that 0-4 defeat, we lost our best striker Lebedev for the very important league game against Zenit. However Burenkov, who finally got a chance to play on his favourite position at front, became a good replacement and scored the only goal which let us share the top spot. Though we have the toughest remaining schedule among three contenders and already lost one game, which leaves us no other choice than winning all others and hoping for Zenit mistakes.

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We were very angry after losing to Akhmat and didn’t leave any chance for Krasnodar with four goals before half-time. And at the same time Zenit also slipped in Grozny, making us the sole leaders… until we returned this gift next matchday :seagull::seagull: :seagull:  The cup win (third in a row) was a very small consolation, I’d rather prefer three points which we lost in the league.

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Third place even doesn’t guarantee us playing in the Champions League group, and it’s especially disappointing to finish behind the team that we recently smashed 5-0. Lebedev won the best goalscorer award with 22 goals, that’s the first time our player finishes on top.  

 

Squad stats

Best eleven:

Lebedev

Barinov ------------------------------------ Yesin

BurenkovPronchev

Gudkov

VolodinGoncharovPanteleevTsvetkov

Rudenko

 No changes in the starting lineup. Lebedev breaks his own goalscoring record, aiming for 30 next season maybe?

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In addition to six our current players, Anisimov (a regular starter for Barcelona) and A.Tsarev (star of the Chinese league) were called up to the World Cup. So, more than one third of the current national team came through our academy!

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Pre-season 2034/35

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Despite losing the title last season, we became the best Russian club in reputation!

 

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Also Nikita Pershin, the last remaining real player in our squad and team captain in recent years, left us on free transfer. His 330 games in 15 seasons are the club record at the moment.

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Russia finished above Brazil in the group on goal difference but then again lost to Serbia, on the same stage as four years ago. Our players scored four of the six team goals – two by Lebedev, one by Pronchev and Barinov.

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Season 2034/35 – part 1

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We won our fourth Supercup, started the league with two big wins but once again dropped points against Akhmat. Still it’s a good start, though I wanted more when the European games haven't started yet.

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Reaching the group stage wasn’t any problem, we even could affort resting all the starters after gaining a big advantage in first games. And Lebedev’s five goals against Braga let him match a club record set by Pinyaev in one of the first seasons. The league form wasn’t ideal with that home draw but it was enough for taking the top spot so far.

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Three wins in the league and unfortunate start of the Champions League group when we couldn’t score against Saint-Etienne at home. Now we obviously need to do better against stronger sides, Lazio and defending title holders Atletico.

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Some great results came in October, including confident wins over Zenit, Krasnodar and Lazio. And a goalless draw in Madrid leaves us a chance for finishing first in the group, if we defeat Atletico at home. Lebedev is in amazing form, before this season I hoped that he would reach 30 goals mark, but he already scored 28!

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Two achievements remain unreachable for us so far – winning the Champions League group and finishing the season unbeaten. Despite these disappointing defeats at home (Akhmat again!), we are leading the league with six point advantage over Zenit and secured a place in knockout rounds.

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The year ended with two unimpressive, but still pleasing wins.

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This advantage doesn’t guarantee us an easy title win, of course, but we can afford to pay a bit more attention to other competitions.

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Juventus played in the same group as Zenit and only overtook them on head-to-head goal difference. I guess, we have a chance to beat them.

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Quite a promising preview, it seems like we’ll get a future replacement for Rudenko, two good wingers and an attacking midfielder.

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More awards for Lebedev! He won the Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy second time in a row, was selected as best Russian player and included into the world’s best eleven!

Also our academy became second most productive in Europe, only Atletico has most home-grown players in the top leagues.

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Season 2034/35 – part 2

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Goalkeeper Drozhalkin is really the most promising player among this intake, winger Bondarev and Azeri right-back Sukurov also have a good chance to become quality players in future. And we got four players with foreign nationalities, I think it's the highest number for us and can be connected with growing reputation.

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We sold our backup defensive midfielder Gorbunov for a decent fee, as one of the younger players already can play on the same level. And I have no idea why Chelsea signed Mamin, other than he’s somehow related to Abramovich :D Also we received a massive 103M bid for Lebedev, luckily he had no intention to leave the team.

 

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Could get a better result against Juventus with some missed chances, but hopefully 1-0 at home will allow us to advance in return leg, even without suspended Gudkov.

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That’s something really similar to the previous season – we advance on away goals and get Man City in quarter-final. At least now we have nine points above all other teams in the league and lost in the cup, so can concentrate only on continental games, but anyway I doubt that would be enough :D 

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We couldn’t field all our strongest players at Etihad, as Lebedev wasn’t ready to play all 90 minutes. So, I decided to move Burenkov up front and make the midfield more defensive minded, giving youngster Polovinchuk his fourth senior start in the career. And he eventually became our best player there, scoring the goal that could be important... but we weren’t good enough at home conceding twice early :( 

Later we secured our third league title in a very pleasing way – by defeating our last remaining rivals in a head-to-head game at their stadium. Zenit actually scored first, but then Yesin’s two goals gave us a reason to celebrate!

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A lot of rotation in these last games, some younger players made their debuts but we managed to avoid defeats against quite strong opponents.

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CSKA and Spartak failed FFP, so European places are quite a mess. I hope we'll finally manage to defend the league title next season, as couldn't do it twice before.

 

Squad stats

Best eleven:

Lebedev

Barinov ------------------------------------ Yesin

BurenkovPronchev

Gudkov

VolodinGoncharovDemchenkoTsvetkov

Rudenko

The only replacement in our best eleven is center-back Demchenko who’s winning the competition with more experienced Panteleev. Lebedev’s stats were not so impressive in spring but still his 38 goals are an amazing result. I guess, soon he should overtake Barinov as our all-time best goalscorer.

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Pre-season 2035/36

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We are still predicted to finish behind Zenit, but I hope to defend the title.

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Quite a nice profit from selling some backups. Chelsea continue sponsoring us with signing players who are very unlikely to ever play for them, I thought it could be connected with Abramovich but he actually sold the club four years ago :D 

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Season 2035/36 – part 1

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Another Supercup win and easy start in the league, the only bad thing in July was Lebedev’s injury. He will be fit to play when the European fixtures start for us, but still will be missed in August.

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These results are really good considering the schedule, we are leading the table though actually could it could be a perfect run if Burenkov didn't miss two penalties against Rostov and Spartak. The Champions League draw was really tough for the first seeded team, we got Liverpool, Milan and Marseille.

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Confident start in Europe and three wins in the league, so far everything is going as planned.

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Gudkov is out injured for a month, Goncharov for almost whole remaining season, and without them we couldn’t keep good form in Champions League, conceding late goals in both games. Even finishing second in the group will be hard this time :( 

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A win against Marseille came too late, Milan defeated Liverpool on the same day and they both advanced to playoffs. Well... maybe there is a chance to win the Europa League, we are leading in RPL with eleven point advantage so can allow concentrating on continental games more.

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Games against Akhmat were quite hard for us in recent years, they were the only Russian team that defeated us last season, both in league and cup. However, this time it didn’t happen, a hat-trick from Lebedev let us finish the year unbeaten.

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Eleven points from CSKA, so our chances to defend the title are really high. And we’ll face both CSKA and Zenit a home in March, so can break away even further. Don’t know if finishing unbeaten will be possible, it would depend a lot on how actively we’ll have to rotate the squad in case of successful Europa run.

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Not the worst draw to begin with. The strongest team remaining in this tournament is Chelsea and I hope to avoid them as far as possible, others can be beaten if we play at our best.

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Second intake in a row with a very promising goalkeeper. 

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And now our academy is officially the most productive in Europe! 

Lebedev won his third and final Kopa Trophy before turning 21, I guess it’s a record that will be almost impossible to beat. Rudenko came second in the Golden Glove award, also a great achievement for our goalkeeper.

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Season 2035/36 – part 2

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Another transfer to Chelsea, that’s becoming suspicious :D Zakirov wasn’t progressing and seems to have much lower potential than was assessed initially, but was sold for decent fee. 

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Goalkeeper Yeliseev is the most promising in this class, right-back Afanasjev and winger Kopylov also look like potentially good players.

 

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Had no problems after winter break and advanced in both cups. And… Chelsea in the next round, the least wanted draw.

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We came from behind at home, but still 2-1 wasn’t the result that could give us much confidence before a trip to London (those flashbacks of giving away four-goal advantage against Spurs). And even after Barinov made the score 2-0 in away game with ten minutes to go, it wasn’t done. It took four minutes for Chelsea to equalize, and in the next attack they hit the post! Can’t imagine what a tough ending it could be if they scored third, but we managed to hold this draw. Valencia awaits us in quarter-final, and it certainly won’t be easier. The unbeaten domestic season is still possible, though of course isn’t the main priority now.

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Both games against Valencia were very similar – the home team had more chances but conceded from the first shot and had to equalize. Though we could decide everything in regulation time – Yenin was tripped in the box on 90th minute, Lebedev took a penalty but couldn't beat the goalkeeper. So, more penalties came after the match, and their keeper started with two more saves… but Rudenko managed to do even better and won this tie for us! The semi-final draw put us against Krasnodar, they lost six of seven latest games against us but now that doesn’t count at all. Later we reached the cup final and secured the league title after defeating Dinamo. Could it be the treble?

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European competitions are clearly different from the league, and games against Krasnodar proved it. 0-1 defeat in first leg and a very close home game with an impressive ending. Playing with ten men after Yesin’s injury, we won a penalty on last seconds and Lebedev took it. He missed two last shots and played this game on injections, but there was no one else to do it. Confident finish, and we’re through to the final! Then we won the national cup quite easily (despite the score, we should have won it 4-0 or so) and held Krasnodar in the final league matchday. They tried their best to get revenge for Europa League loss and spoil our season ending, but didn’t succeed.

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Invincible season is completed now, but one very important game remains. The Europa League final against Lyon, first ever for us and third for Russian clubs (two previous were won by CSKA in 2005 and Zenit in 2008). 

We missed injured Yesin, that’s a problem as he’s one of our players who tend to play well in important games (two others are Tsvetkov and Panteleev, and they both are starting).

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Great start for us, Lebedev was brought down in the box and referee awarded a penalty after a short VAR pause. Burenkov confidently sent the ball in!

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The first half was quite uneventful, teams could only create some chances from set pieces, and one of them ended with Lyon’s goal. A cross from left side, Eric Garcia headed the ball to Tito who equalized with a powerful shot.

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Second half also started with our advantage! Gudkov’s corner was cleared but we retained the ball, Tsvetkov found Burenkov running on the right wing, he crossed low to Lebedev who simply couldn’t miss from few meters!

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Lyon couldn’t create anything in next 20 minutes, and then Volodin threw the ball to Schennikov, who headed it further to the box where the defender couldn't clear it, gifting Lebedev a perfect opportunity to score his second goal!

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The final attacks from the French team, Alphonso Davies crossed from left wing, it didn’t reach the striker but Quintero beat Volodin on the far post and volleyed the ball in with the help of crossbar. But there shouldn’t be any time for another goal!

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The stats say it all, we were way better in creating good scoring chances and deserved this trophy.

 

Squad stats

Best eleven:

Lebedev

Barinov ------------------------------------ Yesin

BurenkovPronchev

Gudkov

VolodinNefedovDemchenkoTsvetkov

Rudenko

Nefedov took the place of Goncharov, who missed big part of the season with an injury, and did really well. That was quite a surprise as he was just promoted from U21 team last summer and was initially considered a fourth choice, but played more confidently than experienced Panteleev. On the left wing wonderkid Yenin had more playing time than Barinov, but our captain certainly wasn’t going to give up his place and eventually performed better!

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Same representation of six players as in the previous World Cup, Anisimov and Tsarev were also included into the squad.

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Pre-season 2036/37

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Winning a continental trophy let our reputation grow to full four stars. We are still predicted to finish second, though our odds are now much closer to Zenit’s.

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Unimpressive results for Russia, except the game against Norway which was enough to advance from third place. Not too bad performance from Lebedev and Yenin though.

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Season 2036/37 – part 1

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Opened the season with another Supercup win (sixth overall and fifth in a row) against Zenit, but then lost to them at home. Our least impressive start in several years.

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Several more disappointing results in the league, and we are already seven points behind leading Zenit. Winning the UEFA Supercup was really pleasing though, hopefully we will be able to defeat European top teams further. In the Champions League we were drawn against Liverpool, Ajax and Hertha. Not an easy group, but better than last season I guess.

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Batischev’s late goal in Berlin marked a successful European start, and three wins in the league let us catch Zenit on top. They are not so invincible after starting their continental season as well.

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A home draw against Liverpool is a decent result itself, but I was a bit disappointed as we played whole second half with a man advantage and missed a good chance to get three points. Still we took the lead in this group after defeating Ajax and had a perfect month in the league without a single conceded goal!

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Second loss against Zenit allowed them to close the gap a bit, but still we went to the winter break four points ahead. Not bad at all after a slow start. Speaking of Champions League, we now need a draw at Anfield to win the group. Sounds like a hard task but hopefully not impossible.

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That was impressive. We scored an early goal, but on 22nd minute Yesin was sent off for a really stupid and unnecessary foul. And despite having to withstand Liverpool’s pressure we even managed to create more chances, Lebedev missed two good shots and still that was enough for the win!

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For the first time we won the Champions League group, hopefully that wouldn’t end in getting Real or Bayern from second places.

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Valencia became our toughest opponents on the road to Europa League trophy, taking the game into a penalty shootout. Now we’ll meet them again in a more reputable competition.

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Once again we are going to get a very promising goalkeeper. I guess it’s better than not getting them at all :D  

It turned out that Lebedev was eligible for Kopa Trophy this year as well and won it fourth time in a row! Now that will be even harder to beat. Rudenko again was selected in the Golden Glove top three.

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Season 2036/37 – part 2

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No five-star prospects this time. Goalkeeper Kondrashov isn’t the most promising player in this intake, as was stated in preview, but we may have a nice future improvement for our left wing with Korotkov and Pavlenko.

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Tough win in the cup (despite an early red card) and another draw against Valencia which leaves us a good chance for reaching quarter-final.

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The only goal from Yenin pushed us through to the quarter-final, where we’ll face Chelsea, another team defeated last year on the road to Europa League!

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We conceded first goal after Rudenko fumbled the ball into own net and couldn’t recover after that. Chelsea played clinically in front of goal, scoring with almost every chance they had, and decided everything at home. Losing the second game was even a worse disappointment, not a single chance for revenge :(

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Finished the season with a domestic double. The league was quite easy, we only needed one point against Akhmat and destroyed them 5-0. In the cup final Krasnodar managed to take the game into extra time and almost held us until shootout, but Lebedev, who didn’t have a good game overall, scored the late winner.

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Two league scoring records, both set in the 44-game season of 2011/12, were broken by our team and individually by Lebedev (35 goals).

 

Squad stats

Best eleven:

Lebedev

Yenin ------------------------------------ Yesin

Burenkov Lukjanov

Gudkov

PichuginGoncharovDemchenkoTsvetkov

Rudenko

Yenin and Lukjanov became first eleven players from the start of season, and Pichugin won the competition against more experienced Volodin closer to the final stage. Also it’s worth noting that all these players were called up to the national team (Burenkov has no caps yet, but probably it’s just a matter of time). And again, what a season for Lebedev, he passed the 40-goal mark, won the UEFA Golden Shoe, lots of local awards… and I still believe that he can do better (especially in the Champions League playoffs).

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Pre-season 2037/38

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We reached the continental reputation level and for the first time are predicted to win.

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That’s our record transfer, the previous one was 13M deal for Anisimov in 2026. Later our board stopped selling key players, and now we received more for a backup :D 

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We lacked good center-backs coming through our academy in recent years, so I decided to sign Meschaninov. He already has a decent ability, not far from being a backup in the senior squad, and can develop a lot further.

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One more incoming transfer, and it's a sign of a really long career when you're hiring your former newgen as a coach :D He played eleven latest seasons for Ufa, setting their records in games and goals and becoming a club icon. The attributes are not so impressive, but I hope they will grow with new licenses.

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Finally I managed to ask board for the affiliation that gives benefits for our academy. Vojvodina was the best option, and it’s interesting to see if we get some Serbian players in the next intake.

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On 12/03/2021 at 19:43, Sheriff7 said:

Oh!What an offer from Olympiakos!:eek:

They seem to have good finances, even despite not playing in Champions League group in recent years. This isn't even their record, few seasons ago they signed a full-back from Chelsea for 27 million :eek:

 

Season 2037/38 – part 1

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The season started with Lebedev’s exceptional run of form. Eleven goals in four games, including six against Torpedo, new record both for our club and the league!

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Four more wins without a single goal conceded. We’re on the great run before the start of Champions League, where we will face Barcelona, Sporting and Leverkusen.

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Barcelona snapped our impressive winning run. The score wasn’t actually fair, as the game was even until 63rd minute when a lucky deflection allowed them to score second goal.

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So far we maintain a perfect record in the league with thirteen wins in a row! And we actually haven’t conceded a single goal in domestic games for three months before becoming too complacent in the second half against Ural :D 

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Dropped our first points in the league against Dinamo and confidently advanced to knockout rounds in Europe. Overtaking Barcelona was very unlikely as we needed at least three-goal difference at home, so I rested some key players to avoid suspensions, and still we managed to get a late draw.

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Our advantage isn’t as huge as it could be with this form, Spartak and Zenit are going quite strong as well.

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Last year we suffered two heavy defeats, don’t know if we can do much better now but at least I hope for decent performance.

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One more top prospect in goal, that’s getting weird :D  

Rudenko once again came second in the Golden Glove award, and Lebedev was selected into FIFA World XI substitutes.

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Season 2037/38 – part 2

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Most players in this intake have quite poor personalities, but it’s not the case of Yury Gogniev, the top prospect who can become our first choice goalkeeper in some years (though will need to win a tough competition). Vojvodina affiliation also wasn't represented here, probably it will need several years for their players to reach our intakes.

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Amazing start against Chelsea (which could be even better if Lebedev scored a penalty on 7th minute) gave us a really nice score for the first game at home. Though of course we shouldn’t get complacent, a return leg in London will be very tough, especially without suspended Gudkov and Goncharov.

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We successfully defended the advantage which was gained at home, only allowing one real chance shortly before half-time (which they used to score) and actually overperforming Chelsea on xG and other stats. The quarter-final draw put us against Atletico, we only met them once in 34/35 group stage which ended with a draw and narrow loss.

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A home draw wasn’t ideal but still left us decent chances to advance, and we started perfectly in Madrid, scoring two early goals! Atletico immediately responded with their goal after a corner but couldn’t do anything more, so we reached semi-final! There we were completely outplayed by Bayern until 60th minute, but then Burenkov's two goals gave us hope and surprisingly we even didn’t concede more! Unfortunately he won’t play in Munchen after suffering an injury. And two days later we celebrated sixth league title, a draw against CSKA was enough.

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We were really better in the return leg and finally managed to score when Yesin found Lebedev in the box and our star striker scored his 41st goal of the season. Half an hour more, and we celebrated our first ever Champions League final! There we will face Barcelona again (now I regret our late equalizer in the group stage final matchday, other way I could talk about revenge :D ). The cup final was a big disappointment, we woke up when it was too late to change the result. 

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We finished the league unbeaten once again, only dropping six points and updating our own goalscoring record (breaking points record would actually require winning all 30 games). Time for the historical final at Old Trafford!

We are missing injured center-back Demchenko, and our best left winger Yenin isn’t fully ready to play from start, but is an obvious option to strengthen our lineup later.

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Barcelona had more shots in the first half but none of them were really dangerous, and our first real chance was successfully converted! Lukjanov and Tsvetkov set up an attack on right wing, then finding Yesin who was running into the box, got the ball and sent it past the goalkeeper! Great job from the winger who missed our Europa League final with injury.

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Barca had a chance to equalize after a corner, but their header went above the crossbar.

The second half also went with Barcelona advantage, they had couple of chances to score but their shots went wide. We responded with a good counter ending with Lebedev’s shot saved by goalkeeper.

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The final minutes are always tense, especially when it shows a highlight with several turnovers and you have no idea who will get the chance to score. Goncharov’s cross from the deep was intercepted, but fresh Polovinchuk won it back for us, passed to Yesin who found Lebedev free from defenders… one on one with goalkeeper and he scores!!! We won the Champions League!

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Feel sorry for Tsvetkov, a last minute collision sent him to the hospital with broken ankle instead of celebrating on the pitch :(  Barcelona had more shots on goal, but poor accuracy left them few really good chances to score.

The main goal of this career is achieved, but I will continue at least until the next Club World Cup which will be held in 2041, want to try winning this trophy as well.

 

Squad stats

Best eleven:

Lebedev

Yenin ------------------------------------ Yesin

BurenkovLukjanov

Gudkov

PichuginGoncharovDemchenkoTsvetkov

Rudenko

Lebedev repeated his goalscoring record of previous season, and I’m really happy that we won the Champions League now because… this final may be his last game for us. No intention to extend the contract which expires in a year (probably the reputation update will help to convince him). Also five our players were selected into Champions League dream team along with eventual runner-up Anisimov, the first real star of our academy.

 

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Volodin, Yesin and Burenkov also were in the preliminary squad, and Demchenko would have been there too if wasn’t injured. Anisimov and Tsarev, our former players, are also called up so actually a half of current national team consists of our academy graduates.

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Pre-season 2038/39

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Our reputation got significantly boosted after Champions League win, and now we are among top European clubs. Not a surprise that we are clear favourites to win the league again.

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The end of an era. 234 goals during seven seasons in the first team with almost a goal per game form (that includes scoring in our both European finals), 36 more for the national team, lots of Russian and international awards. It would be impossible to replace him directly, so the whole team will need to play better.

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Russian national team was really unimpressive on the group stage, only overtaking Chile on less yellow cards received (and that wasn’t the only case in this World Cup, just look how France failed to qualify), but then got quite an easy route to quarter-final and surprisingly defeated Netherlands! Two last games ended with narrow losses, but still this result matched the best ever USSR performance in 1966. After the tournament manager Sergey Perednya decided to retire, so… I felt it’s time to lead the national team as well.  

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And we also signed the second youth affiliation, this time with a Romanian team.

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Season 2038/39 – part 1

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Not the ideal start in the league, but I had to rest our best players who stayed in the World Cup much later than were expected so they missed first games.

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We certainly lack the goalscoring force with Lebedev’s departure. In the Supercup game against Liverpool we created a lot more chances but only avoided defeat with a late free kick and then scored the winner with several lucky deflections in extra time. Though we improved a lot in the end of month and our defensive shape is really good, we haven’t conceded a single goal in the league.

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Good start in Europe, not so great in the league. So far we are going behind Zenit but it’s more than enough time to change everything.

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The central game of the league (by the way, we and Zenit are considered rivals now) ended with the only goal from Panin, our new first choice at front, so we took the top spot. Though Zenit still can overtake us with winning the game in hand. In the Champions League we are leading the group after defeating Sevilla at home.

Also we had a takeover which actually disappointed me. At first it was described as tycoon, then promised to build a new stadium but eventually didn’t do anything except cutting links to all our previous affiliates :seagull:

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Have to say that we were really lucky in Spain. Could easily concede several times in first half, but instead scored three goals from three shots on target later. After that our playoff place was almost secured, and win over Leipzig guaranteed us the top spot.

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The title battle will continue in spring, Zenit is potentially one point behind us and we’ll meet in St. Petersburg on the final matchday!

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We could get Man Utd, Real or Barcelona here so I’m obviously pleased.

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Never seen this before in my careers, guess I simply never managed to reach such a good reputation in recent FM editions. Though I doubt that Minnesota is a really good place to play football in winter :D 

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We have enough good central midfielders already, but I hope there will be other promising players as well.

 

National team

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The start of Nations League was great, but then we simply couldn’t score for almost full three games! Actually even without this Lebedev’s equalizer we would have stayed on top, but breaking this poor run was important before going on winter break. Next year we’ll face Italy, Wales, Lithuania and Kazakhstan in the Euro qualifiers.

 

Time for yearly awards, and there were some impressive achievements for us. Lebedev won all three player of the year awards (Ballon d’or, FIFA and World Soccer), Rudenko won the Golden Glove after several years in top three and Panin became the Golden Boy! He obviously won’t be as good as Lebedev but so far leads the goalscorers chart in Champions League.

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Season 2038/39 – part 2

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The central midfielder is unambitious and actually not the most promising, so I’ll highlight two players here – left winger Dergachev and center-back Samoilov.

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Panteleev was a starting player for several seasons and played more than 200 league games for us, but now became a backup and asked for new challenge.

 

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Would be better if we could score in Glasgow, but still it’s a decent result to start with.

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All the games in March (except the cup quarter-final) were really tough, even Baltika held the draw until 75th minute. Celtic certainly deserved praise for these two games, they were close to taking us into the shootout, but Yesin finally broke the tie in extra time. Now we’ll face Liverpool, the team we have already beaten this season, but it’s obviously not the same kind of fixture as the Supercup.

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Nice result in the first leg against Liverpool and extremely disappointing performance at Anfield. We couldn’t even hit the target, getting the only goal from an opponent's bad backpass, so obviously didn’t deserve the place in semi-final :(  Our games in league and cup were also hard to watch, despite good results until our unbeaten league run snapped against Akhmat, winning a place in the cup final and keeping three point advantage over Zenit

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The title race ended one week before the finish, when we confidently defeated Rotor and Zenit dropped points with a last minute equalizer. That was disappointing for those who wanted to see the real final on the last matchday, but not for me obviously :D However we couldn’t finish the season in a decent way, losing the cup final. 

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Actually I think it’s the last season when I’m playing the domestic games myself, they are becoming too boring sometimes. I thought about resignation to concentrate on national team, but don’t want to see AI manager ruining everything I’ve done here, so will leave it to my assistant.

Squad stats

Best eleven:

Panin

Yenin ------------------------------------ Yesin

PronchevLukjanov

Gudkov

PichuginGoncharovDemchenkoOlenikov

Rudenko

Olenikov took the place of Tsvetkov who missed huge part of the season with two serious injuries. Panin won the competition for the vacant spot at front and eventually became the league’s top goalscorer. His stats are nowhere near Lebedev’s, but I understood he can’t be as good as the Golden Ball winner.

 

National team

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Four big wins, three of which were quite predictable, but no one could expect this result in Turin! I’d say that Lithuania actually appeared as a tougher opposition and had more chances than Italy in that game. Lebedev became all-time best goalscorer for Russia and is very close to reach 50-goal mark already, at the age of 23. What’s interesting, the only goal we conceded was assisted by our academy graduate Ektov. He’s unlikely to play for our first team at any point but already made a decent international career.

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Season 2039/40

Well, that was my 20th and final year in Chertanovo. I clearly lost motivation to take the club further and decided to resign after this season. My assistant manager completed unbeaten season in the league (though with this amount of unnecessary draws we were behind Zenit until April) and reached the cup final with a second-choice squad (then I managed the final game myself to finish with the double). In the Champions League we were second in the group and then lost to Atletico in penalty shootout.

After my departure Chertanovo appointed former Costa Rican international Ronald Matarrita as the new manager, he has good skills and the same preferred formation as I used before, so I hope he will continue my work successfully. And the new assistant manager was a much bigger star during his player career!

 

National team

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Now I can fully concentrate on the national job, which is going really well so far! Another win over Italy, though not so big as in away game, secured our place in the Euros. A group with Portugal, Scotland and Hungary gives us a nice chance to advance further and match the FA expectations.

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Six current and three former Chertanovo players in the squad, and eight of them are planned to play in the first team, only the center-back and right-back positions have better players to choose.

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Nice warmup games, two confident wins and no injuries (which is actually more important than a result). Time to head for the Euro itself.

 

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Awesome start of the group, though of course we shouldn’t get complacent after the first game. Both Scotland and Portugal should be much stronger opponents than Hungary.

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Incredibly poor defending… Almost every Scottish attack ended with a goal :( Need a win over Portugal now, though three points with a decent goal difference can be enough to advance anyway.

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Conceded first and missed a lot of chances to score later, so I already was browsing other groups' tables to see how many points and goals we need to qualify from 3rd place, but in the last ten minutes Yesin and Lebedev managed to turn everything around.

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Italy and both hosts – Netherlands and Belgium are already out without a single win, while we are facing Turkey in the next round.

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An equal game ended with extra 30 minutes and a shootout which obviously isn’t good for our future chances, but at least we are through. Lebedev opened the shootout with hitting the post, but all others took their shots much better, and Turkey players missed their two final tries.

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Once again we missed quite a lot chances and couldn’t keep the lead, and that 83rd minute goal was the first shot on target for Poland. Though Rudenko later won the shootout for us, saving the only penalty that didn’t go in. Semi-final is a great achievement, but I guess Spain won’t leave any chances for us with their extra day of rest and hour less of playing time.

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Despite the result I’m proud of the team. Less than a minute after the start whistle, and Lebedev already opened the score! One minute later Spain equalized with a free kick, but then Lebedev responded with his 7th goal of the tournament. Unfortunately, soon after it we fouled in the box and lost the lead again. Then Spanish advantage was becoming much bigger with every minute, we managed to keep the score even until extra time but couldn’t take it to another shootout. Still it’s the best Euro for Russia since 2008!

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Spain defended their title, defeating surprising Switzerland in the final. I think we could have a chance against them if didn’t have to play so much extra time and could hold our lead in semi-final. 

Next step is the World Cup, hopefully we’ll keep this form for two more years.

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Nations League 2040

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Slow start and a heavy defeat against Spain left us bottom of the group before the final game. But Amsterdam seems to be a lucky place for us, we achieved a good result in the Euro there and now ended an even game with a late win. Of course this tournament is not so important, still it’s nice to stay among the strongest European teams.

Matarrita was sacked from Chertanovo even before winter break. He was 5th in RPL and lost all chances for Champions League playoffs despite spending 140 million on squad reinforcement (and these players, especially striker and defenders, really were stronger than those who played in my team). The new manager is a newgen Maxim Trubin, who was in charge of Spartak in recent years.

 

World Cup 2042 qualifiers

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A bunch of island nations in our group :D Three of them couldn’t cause us any problems (except Wales using our complacency to score three in the second half), so it was just the race against England for first place. Both games were even and ended with late winning goals for the home team. Eventually this away goal gave England an advantage for winning this group, but we were the best among second placed teams so qualified as well. The final stage draw put us against Canada and Uzbekistan, shouldn’t be too hard to advance. 

Lebedev scored his 80th goal for Russia, it’s clear that he will reach 100 in several years. Breaking the world record will be a difficult challenge though, Mexican striker Leonel Torres managed to score 151 goals before retirement :eek:

 

Speaking of Chertanovo, they continue falling down after my departure – second place in 40/41, third in 41/42. Highest reputation in the country and huge budget didn’t help them to stay on top with AI management, how predictable :( 

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I really do think that taking charge of Chertanovo again at some point would be rad (like doing a Heynckes). Btw would be great if you could show the club's progress off the pitch such as finance, facilities, personnel and so on. Thanks for putting up something so amazing it made me pull an all-nighter:lol:

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18 hours ago, ThomasAmang said:

I really do think that taking charge of Chertanovo again at some point would be rad (like doing a Heynckes). Btw would be great if you could show the club's progress off the pitch such as finance, facilities, personnel and so on. Thanks for putting up something so amazing it made me pull an all-nighter:lol:

The finances are mostly the same as they were at my departure (don’t remember the exact amount, but I think there were about 600 million in the bank). Considering that they spent more than 200M on transfers, there should be some good sponsorship deals. The facilities were maxed around ten years ago, though attendances were rising very slowly and we played on a 15000-seated arena until my last season.

Speaking of the staff, I had a much larger backroom team with at least 4.5 stars in all training categories but most of them left during manager changes (highlighted coaches were signed by me). However, U21 and U18 staff mostly remained in the club.

 

World Cup 2042 – France

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Quite a lot of club changes, including Lebedev’s transfer to Barcelona for 116 million. It’s interesting to see that Chertanovo kept Lukjanov and Yenin who were wanted by big European teams before I left. 

Predicted first eleven:

Lebedev

Yenin ------------------------------------ Yesin

D.AbramovLukjanov

Gudkov

OlshanskiyO.AbramovSerezhkinBorisov

Gogniev

Gogniev became a really good goalkeeper, replacing Rudenko as our number one and probably will remain our starter for a long time.

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Good warmup games, no injuries and two more goals on Lebedev’s account.

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We missed the first matchday where Canada defeated Uzbekistan 5-1, so actually it was a game for winning this group. And despite Yenin decided to make this match more challenging for us soon after his opening goal, we didn’t need a full squad to score four in the second half! 

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Well, that was easy. The main goal was avoiding injuries or cards, and we did it. Lebedev now has 89 international goals, hopefully will get his 90th in playoffs.

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The playoff path is quite hard for us. Colombia in the second round, Argentina or Netherlands next.

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Very early and disappointing exit :( Conceded from the first free kick and couldn’t do anything after. The board wanted us to pass this round, but still hasn’t sacked me so I’ll continue at least until next major tournament to get more goals for Lebedev.

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Almost the same top four as in 2018, just Scotland took England's fourth place defeating them earlier. One of the semi-finals was really insane though :D 

 

Meanwhile Chertanovo appointed their third manager for third season after my departure, and the choice doesn't look obvious. Jules Kounde had a great playing career, but absolutely no backroom experience, only B license and mediocre skills.

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This squad should be aiming at winning the next Euro/Nations League now.

With finance, I was referring more to the club's progress since it'd bursted onto the scene years ago. For example, what intrigued me the most about your 1st season in the CL was not the run (though extremely impressive), but the (at the time) enormous amount of money poured into the club's shabby bank account from broadcast shares and visits to Allianz Arena and the Etihad. I'm a fan of non-league saves so I always get excited for these incidents that can cover the club's expenses for an entire year.

Now with that kinda of cash sitting in the kitty, it's hard to think that you've been going thru all of those historic nights at... Torpedo's ground. Is it because your own stadium was not old enough to be torn down and rebuilt? Also surely the new Stadium has to be named after you right ;)

Last question (for now), did you forget to extend Lebedev's deal when it was still possible (e.g. w/ 2 years or longer left)? I always keep a close eye on my stars' contract situations to make sure I'm always in the best possible position to keep hold of them.

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On 04/04/2021 at 01:32, ThomasAmang said:

This squad should be aiming at winning the next Euro/Nations League now.

With finance, I was referring more to the club's progress since it'd bursted onto the scene years ago. For example, what intrigued me the most about your 1st season in the CL was not the run (though extremely impressive), but the (at the time) enormous amount of money poured into the club's shabby bank account from broadcast shares and visits to Allianz Arena and the Etihad. I'm a fan of non-league saves so I always get excited for these incidents that can cover the club's expenses for an entire year.

Now with that kinda of cash sitting in the kitty, it's hard to think that you've been going thru all of those historic nights at... Torpedo's ground. Is it because your own stadium was not old enough to be torn down and rebuilt? Also surely the new Stadium has to be named after you right ;)

Last question (for now), did you forget to extend Lebedev's deal when it was still possible (e.g. w/ 2 years or longer left)? I always keep a close eye on my stars' contract situations to make sure I'm always in the best possible position to keep hold of them.

Of course, the prize money from Champions League was a huge boost for us. Our finances never were poor after completing first season in RPL and getting prize money (they are not too big but with low wages and no transfer expenses that was enough), but only after playing in Champions League our board stopped selling key players.

The fanbase was rising very slowly, unfortunately, and we didn't have soldouts in every game even after winning CL (of course, Moscow derbies and Zenit usually gathered all 15000 spectators, but other teams didn't). I understand that Moscow already had four teams in the top flight, each with a huge fanbase and rich history but it's still strange considering how huge the overall population is. And our own stadium is simply too small for RPL, it's basically an academy field with one permanent stand.

Unfortunately, each time I tried to extend his contract, his agent either told that the squad is too weak and refused any talks, or demanded ridiculously low release fee (around 40-50 million), so I wouldn't keep him longer than one more transfer window anyway.

 

Nations League 2042/43

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I haven’t expected such a strong performance. Four confident wins almost guaranteed us the top spot, we needed one point in November but actually it appeared that even a disappointing late defeat to Portugal was enough to advance into the final four!

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Defeating the reigning world champions is always nice, but what really surprised me here – Lebedev’s goal was reviewed by VAR and confirmed! Probably I’ve seen it only two or three times during this career :D We’ll face Spain in the final, they defeated Germany after shootout and played one day later so we should be fresher and in addition play at home. What could be a better chance for revenge? 

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Not this time :( A mostly even game was decided with a penalty, and we lost fourth game against Spain. 

 

Chertanovo finished the season on second place, won the cup and reach Conference League semi-final. And still that wasn’t enough for Kounde to keep his job, the board still haven't lowered their ambitions. Their new manager is Matthijs de Ligt, another famous player with no coaching experience.

Oh, and they failed FFP. Brilliant.

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Euro 2044 qualifiers

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Lebedev’s hat-trick against Hungary not only let us start the campaign with a big win, but also marked his 100th international goal in 104th game! With this form breaking the Mexican record doesn’t look unreal, by the end of year he already had 119. So… if he keeps this way and avoid serious injuries, 152nd goal can be scored even before next World Cup.

The qualifying itself was so far the easiest, only Hungary was close to get some points from us in the game when they played with a man advantage since 20th minute, and still we won it with two late goals. Croatia, Portugal and Bulgaria will be our opponents next summer, quite a tough group but we should advance from it.

 

De Ligt managed to return Chertanovo on top, winning the domestic double. That could be expected without European fixtures, but still it’s nice to see them winning again. Hopefully this form will continue in future, especially as the board finally decided to build the new stadium with capacity of 29000.

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Euro 2044 – Ukraine/Poland

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Predicted first eleven:

Lebedev

Yenin ------------------------------------ Yesin

AbramovLukjanov

Gudkov

OlshanskiyLosevSerezhkinKhokhlov

Gogniev

Probably the last major tournament for Gudkov and Yesin, at least as the starting players. And Rudenko decided to retire after the Euro despite still being a decent backup.

And there goes the last real player, Ali Akman finished his career at the age of 42 and probably could even play further if didn’t suffer this injury. I remember this player quite well, he was a leading CSKA striker for several seasons and playing against him wasn’t easy.

 

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Lebedev only scored once during friendlies, hopefully he’s saving his goals for more important games.

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Still waiting for more from Lebedev, but it was a good start overall. Croatia defeated Portugal in another game.

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Second loss would put Portugal’s chances to qualify under a huge doubt, so they start aggressively and scored twice. Our players were not so clinical in finishing their moments, even Lebedev missed several chances before finally scoring his first goal here shortly after half-time.  A draw is a decent result actually, we are surely in the next round and can win the group with defeating Croatia.

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I had to rest several key players to avoid them getting too tired or suspended in the next round, and probably we could win here with our best forces.

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We got Netherlands in the next round. Not the easiest draw, but Croatia will play against France so winning this group hardly brought them any benefits.

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Well now the real Lebedev arrived to the tournament, after not so impressive (by his measures, of course) group stage he netted a hat-trick within 18 minutes! I replaced him with Veselov in half-time to avoid risk of suspension, and our backup striker also managed to score.

It’s Spain again in quarter-final… my fifth try to defeat them, and we’ll be without Gudkov.

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That was impressive. Spain had a better start, but Gogniev kept us in the game and then our attack started working. Lebedev rounded the keeper after a perfect pass from Abramov, and then David himself scored the second goal from Lukjanov’s cross. In few minutes the score could become 3-0, but Lebedev’s second goal was disallowed with offside. Instead Spain got one back from a corner, so the second half became extremely tense but we played perfectly in defense, not allowing a single good chance and then scoring twice more in stoppage time!

It’s semi-final for us again, and this time we’ll face Germany. They defeated Serbia in extra time while playing a day after us, so it can be our advantage (though it doesn’t always work). Our only missing player will be left-back Olshanskiy.

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The first half was ours, and we should have scored more than once because Germans became a different team after half-time. Even the second goal in a counter didn’t guarantee us anything. They continue to press and eventually equalized few minutes before the full time whistle. The game went to the shootout where Gogniev made the first save and Khokhlov could finish it with his goal but couldn’t beat the keeper. The sixth round became decisive, their center-back missed his shot while Serezhkin was precise and guided us to the final!

France won the second semi-final with the decisive goal in stoppage time against Norway. The world champions recovered after unimpressive group stage, but we already know how to beat them.

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Yenin and Gudkov weren’t fully fit so were replaced with Arman and Ediger in starting eleven. They both tend to play well in important matches. Also center-back Zenin was my first choice during playoffs, he is stronger and more reliable defensively than others.

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There were a few chances for both teams in first half, mostly from set pieces, and goalkeepers played well. Also Yesin suffered an injury and I had to substitute him.

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Well, that can be a game changer. Their center-back received two yellow cards in five minutes!

However, use this man advantage wasn’t easy, actually France had a better chance after a free kick but their winger shot wide. 0-0 after 90 minutes.

I certainly didn’t want to wait for another shootout lottery, so brought Veselov from the bench and change formation to three up front. The time was running out when…

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Finally that change worked! A throw-in from left wing, Abramov passed to Veselov who found Lebedev on the right, he ran clear of defenders and sent the ball past goalkeeper from a sharp angle! His ninth goal of the tournament, and few minutes later he lifted the cup!

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That was a real battle, don’t remember if I’ve seen higher number of fouls from both sides :D 

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We had eight players in the dream team – the whole defensive line, two central midfielders and Lebedev, the best player and best goalscorer of the tournament. He has 23 goals remaining for the world record and several more years to beat it.

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Nations League 2044

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Everything went wrong in this game against Italy. Conceded an early goal, then two our players were sent off, and still we managed to equalize with nine men! However the score wasn’t even for a long time, Italy converted their huge advantage in two goal, and we had to overturn it in the away game as they didn’t drop any points in this group. Unfortunately, we only managed to score once and conceded on the last seconds after going all out attack. Also this game marked Lebedev’s national record in caps, he played 129th game for the national team, overtaking Alexandr Golovin.

 

World Cup 2046 qualifiers

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After a confident start we faced some problems in autumn. Defeat in Belgrade with three goals conceded in first half, narrow home win against Ireland and a difficult trip to Albania where we were behind at half-time and only secured the result in last 15 minutes. Even Kazakhstan wasn’t an easy opposition on the last matchday, still we did what was needed to qualify.

Lebedev finished the year with 149 international goals, so the world record can be set in the World Cup final stage where we’ll play against South Korea and Tunisia.

 

Chertanovo changed two more managers after finishing 4th and 2nd in these two seasons. The second sacking seems too harsh as they only lost to Krasnodar on head-to-head results. However, the main news item was…

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I may forget something, but think it’s the first time ever when I see a stadium named after me. Of course, I became a club legend in several careers and the club moved to the new stadium, but every time before the board chose other legend name or boring “Clubname arena” option instead.

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I think it has to do with both the difficulty of the save itself (confidentally your best ever FM achievement I assume) and the fact that you left the club (which adds even more ''legendary points''; sometimes that's the last thing it takes to push the naming decision over the line).

Also, I'm thinking of starting my own Chertanovo journey soon. You mentioned at the start that you couldn't play w/ the actual club and had to build one from scratch in the editor, is that because of the club vision ''cannot sign anyone''? Would you suggest using RFN's data fix (which also makes Chertanovo's youth intake elite) to solve that issue? Cheers

Finally, can you showcase Chertanovo's best graduates after your departure

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1 hour ago, ThomasAmang said:

Also, I'm thinking of starting my own Chertanovo journey soon. You mentioned at the start that you couldn't play w/ the actual club and had to build one from scratch in the editor, is that because of the club vision ''cannot sign anyone''? Would you suggest using RFN's data fix (which also makes Chertanovo's youth intake elite) to solve that issue? Cheers

Finally, can you showcase Chertanovo's best graduates after your departure

Yes, I wanted to bring back some real life Chertanovo graduates, don't think I would have done well in RPL at start without Lomaev, Sarveli, Tsypchenko, Yezhov and others. Have no idea about this data fix, suggest you to holiday until first youth intake and see if you can sign players.

There are some players in national team shortlist, right-back Kulikov even had one cap already when better players were injured. Chernyshov, Ionov and Rubtsov will probably be called up at some point in the next qualifying cycle. Plotnikov is the newest star, he already plays for Spartak first team on loan. And also there is a promising goalkeeper weirdly named Connor Jones (born in Moscow region, no other nationality or language spoken, guess FM name generator started overloading at this point :D ).

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8 hours ago, Koetzer said:

Yes, I wanted to bring back some real life Chertanovo graduates, don't think I would have done well in RPL at start without Lomaev, Sarveli, Tsypchenko, Yezhov and others. Have no idea about this data fix, suggest you to holiday until first youth intake and see if you can sign players.

There are some players in national team shortlist, right-back Kulikov even had one cap already when better players were injured. Chernyshov, Ionov and Rubtsov will probably be called up at some point in the next qualifying cycle. Plotnikov is the newest star, he already plays for Spartak first team on loan. And also there is a promising goalkeeper weirdly named Connor Jones (born in Moscow region, no other nationality or language spoken, guess FM name generator started overloading at this point :D ).

Is there a decent amount of English-speaking residents in Moscow? Maybe Connor Jones happens to be a distant offspring of a diplomat or businessman. 

Doing a test save sounds like a good idea. That way I can also figure out if they board will eventually let me get rid of the club vision - although another part of me wants to keep the restriction intact and truly play like the Russian Athletic Bilbao :D

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World Cup 2046 – China

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Predicted first eleven:

Lebedev

Yenin ------------------------------------ Iljin

AbramovLukjanov

Mukhanov

OlshanskiyLosevSerezhkinBalashov

Gogniev

Gogniev is now a world-class goalkeeper and guided Atletico to the Champions League trophy. Gudkov announced his retirement after a good season in Lazio which ended in Europa League win, so obviously deserved to make his final performance here.

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150th goal for Lebedev, two more from the record.

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Lebedev refused to take the easiest way to set the record, missing a penalty in first half, but scored his 152nd later from Lukjanov’s assist. Now he’s officially the best international goalscorer in the world!

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Tunisia defeated Korea in the second game, so basically our first place was secure unless we suffer a very heavy loss. Burenkov’s early red card let them control the game, but still we saved a draw with late two goals from Yermakov.

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Mexico will be our opponents in the next round, hopefully we won’t repeat mistakes from the previous World Cup. Indonesia finishing above Scotland is quite a big surprise.

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Both teams scored from set pieces in the first half, and despite our advantage the score remained even until the last 15 minutes when Yenin finally broke the tie! We’ll face Portugal next, a well-known opponent that defeated us only once from six games but none of them was easy.

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Happy with the result, but we played much better and should have won it without extra time. Spain awaits us in quarter-final, just like two years ago in the Euro.

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We’re out. Didn't play poorly, but couldn’t finish at all. Lebedev certainly didn't have his best form after breaking the goalscoring record, and Yenin, our best attacking player here, suffered an injury in first half :(

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At least we lost to the eventual champions, and made them try their best. Yenin's four goals were enough to finish second in goalscorers chart.

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Nations League 2046/47

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October seems to be the toughest month for us in all recent years, though after a disappointing loss from Belgium (they received two red cards in second half and still held the result) we defeated England with a stoppage-time winner, and that was the turning point in this campaign. Two November games ended with our confident wins, and we secured a place in the final four!

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Unfortunately, Lebedev missed the final stage with injury, and defeating Norway (they were Euro semi-finalists three years ago, so seeing them here isn’t a big surprise) without him wasn’t easy even after a very early red card. They almost equalized just before our third goal made everything clear. We will face Spain once more in the final.

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Tried our best, but defeating the world champions without our best player was simply impossible.

Chertanovo won the domestic double with former Croatian international Nikola Moro, so the fans will see Champions League on the new stadium next season. I attended the opening game (friendly against Dynamo Kyiv), and was a bit confused with its look. It was announced to have retractable roof and actually seems to have it in facilities page, but how is that possible with this configuration of stands? :lol:

Spoiler

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Euro 2048 qualifiers

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Croatia was the only real opposition here, and actually we played much better in both games, but two disallowed goals and missed penalty in Zagreb didn’t let us finish with 100% record. With Norway, Slovakia and Wales in the final stage group we should aim for the first place and possibly an easier draw in playoffs.

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Euro 2048 – Portugal

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Lebedev

Yenin ------------------------------------ Iljin

AbramovLukjanov

Mukhanov

DeminLosevSerezhkinOlshanskiy

Gogniev

Gogniev is the latest Golden Glove winner, while Atletico managed to win two Champions Leagues in a row. Abramov moved to Man Utd for an insane amount of 192 million euros, that’s the highest ever transfer fee in this save!

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Not the best start, but we managed to recover quite soon after this early goal. Still we souldn't be confident in the result until Lebedev scored his second.

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Second game was much easier, Slovakia hardly could take the ball close to our box. With six points from two games we already advanced to the knockout round and now need a draw against Wales to stay on top.

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Wales had no chances after their player was sent off just before half-time. Three out of three, hope to extend this run of form in playoffs.

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Disaster for England and Germany, while the hosts only advanced from third place. We will face Denmark in the first playoff round, Netherlands and Spain are the teams we’ll most likely have to defeat later if we want to defend the title.

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We were few minutes from a huge disappointment when a Danish counter put them ahead, but were saved by Ediger. The defensive midfielder, who never scored for the national team before, fired a long shot to take the game into extra time! Danilin scored the winner there, and now we’ll play against Netherlands in quarter-final (they also needed extra time and shootout to defeat Ireland).

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That was a poor show, even after that red card Netherlands played better and had several chances to win this game in extra time. Luckily we have the world’s best goalkeeper on our side, Gogniev held all their attacks and then saved the decisive penalty. Though we obviously need to improve if we want to defeat Spain in semi-final.

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And we certainly improved! Abramov put us ahead in the first half, then Lebedev missed a few chances and we almost were punished on 78th minute when Spain was awarded a penalty but Gogniev saved it again. And in the next attack a penalty was given on the other side! This time Lebedev was precise, scoring his first goal in playoffs. They responded immediately after a corner but couldn’t do anything more. Our second win over Spain, and again it happened in the Euro! Will the outcome be the same this time?

Serbia surprisingly defeated Italy with the stoppage-time winner from Nikola Rnic, their star striker from Real Madrid. His ‘El Clasico’ duel with Lebedev will now happen on international stage.

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Several changes to our starting eleven as not all players were fully fit.

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A very strong start, Lebedev and Iljin had good chances, both saved, but third try was successful. Great pass from Ediger between Serbian defenders, and Lebedev confidently sent the ball past goalkeeper.

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Rnic had a chance to equalize immediately but was stopped by Gogniev. After that we returned the control and soon a cross from Olshanskiy found Lebedev free in the box! He wasn’t so impressive in previous games but now scored two in the final, what a player!

The remaining hour was very boring but we did exactly what was needed and defended the title!

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That’s an impressive achievement. I’ll make my final try to win the World Cup in two years in what’s also going to be the last major tournament for Lebedev.

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Olshanskiy, Losev, Ediger and Lebedev were selected as substitutes. Pichugin was surprisingly good, I considered him as a backup at start but eventually he became the tournament’s best left defender.

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Nations League 2048/49

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Our attacking form wasn’t impressive, but still was enough to win the group. Two late equalizers certainly helped :D 

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Another goal in stoppage time saved us from extra 30 minutes of play, still I was angry as we should have won it more comfortably. And I’m very disappointed with Lebedev’s form, his attributes are still great except physical decline but he can’t score even from perfect positions where pace shouldn’t matter. Maybe the final against Italy will wake him up.

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Finally there was no Spain here, and we won this competition from the third try! Again we couldn’t hold the lead but immediately used the man advantage in extra time. Not the most valuable trophy in the world but still it's nice to lift it.  

World Cup 2050 qualifiers

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We certainly were not as powerful as in previous qualifying campaigns and lost to England twice, but that was enough. Will play against Canada and Bolivia in the group stage next summer.

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World Cup 2050 – Brazil

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LebedevDanilin

 

AbramovLukjanovPlotnikov

Mukhanov

RubtsovLosevSerezhkinOlshanskiy

Gogniev

Decided to switch into the two-striker formation and give Lebedev a support role rather than using him at front alone. Plotnikov is the new star from Chertanovo academy, he should be one of our leading players here.

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A very confident start that almost guaranteed us a place in knockout rounds. Lebedev scored in his fifth World Cup, maybe someone else did it already in this save but at least he should be one of the record holders now.

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Draw was enough to finish first in this group, actually I wouldn’t even mind losing here because Korea won the neighboring group and facing them in playoffs could be better than Mexico.

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So, it’s Mexico on this stage, just like four years ago.

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Lebedev started on the bench this time, but was brought into the game at half-time and equalized immediately! There were not many chances for both teams, so penalty shootout was a fair outcome. We scored with all five tries, while one of the Mexicans missed his shot. Italy will be our next opponents.

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Scored an early goal and held this result till the final whistle. The quarter-final draw put us against China, they had a relatively easy path of Ireland and Morocco but of course shouldn’t be underestimated.

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Despite the age and declining performance, Lebedev still can make wonders when they are needed. He equalized with few seconds remaining until Chinese victory and later opened the shootout with a successful shot. We repeated the best ever World Cup performance for Russia and now will play against Colombia in semi-final. They upset all the Brazilian fans in previous round and also defeated us eight years ago in our previous meeting.

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This time Lebedev didn’t score, but made a great assist to Iljin for the first goal which was the decisive point in this even game. After that Colombia couldn’t cope with our counters and conceded two more. We are heading to the legendary Maracana, where France will be our opponents after defeating Serbia in extra time. Our last meeting was in the Euro 2044 final, that time we won with a single extra time goal from Lebedev.

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I moved back to 4-3-3 formation before the semi-final, and it surely worked well. Lebedev is now an option to strengthen our side from the bench.

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France had a slight advantage in the first half and created the only chance to score, but their left winger’s shot was saved by Gogniev.

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Our first chance ended with a goal! A throw-in quite far from the goal line didn’t look dangerous, but Abramov received the ball and immediately turned around to make a great cross towards far post where Plotnikov outpaced the defenders and smashed it under the bar!

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France tried to equalize, but couldn’t create anything more than some headers easily held by Gogniev. Our counters were a lot more dangerous, Miquet had to save his team several teams. And finally the second goal happened in stoppage-time, Lebedev passed to Plotnikov who dribbled past the defender and shot from a sharp angle. Miquet seemed to save it but the ball jumped past the line from his hands!

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And that wasn’t all. Nigmatullin intercepted the ball after a French free kick and started a counter. Pass to Plotnikov, who left no chances to catch him and shot past the goalkeeper! A hat-trick in the World Cup final, what a game for this youngster!!!

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The real summit of this career. Legendary striker Lebedev lifts the World Cup after the game where the rising star scored a hat-trick. The system is working, so I can be confident in future.

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It’s strange that Plotnikov wasn’t selected in the dream team, though he won the best young player award.

 

The final update will be after Lebedev’s retirement to summarize his glorious career and several other notable achievements.

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So, it’s year 2053. Alexey Lebedev, the best ever goalscorer of international football, has retired from playing.

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He scored 642 goals during his career in all competitions (both club and international), won all the continental cups (even the Conference League with CSKA in 2052) and major tournaments with national team. Also he scored goals in five World Cups (16 overall, equal with Klose) and four Euros (25 overall) and became the only Russian player in 21st century to win the Golden Ball. Obviously one of the best players I have ever managed in any FM, and by far the best one who came through the academy. And it’s really weird to see him only as a Chertanovo icon (Yury Gudkov, the long-time starting defensive midfielder and appearance record holder, is the only legendary player).

 

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Two latest seasons were not so great for Chertanovo, but before that they won six in a row and became the all-time league leaders with 15 titles. They also had second takeover and started the expansion of new stadium to 43000 seats.

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The best eleven mostly consists of players who were in my team (classes of 2024, 2026 and 2031 certainly were the strongest ones). Unfortunately, almost none of them could find a non-playing job, only Tsvetkov is managing Khimki U18 team now. And following players became real stars after my departure:

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Gogniev still plays for Atletico, won two more Champions League titles and was selected as world’s best goalkeeper.

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Plotnikov moved to Chelsea in 2052 for 62 million, became a first team player and helped them to return the Premier League title after 15 years.

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That’s a surprising one, Mateo Markovic came through the Chertanovo academy in 2048 and soon after becoming a first team player was bought by Bayern for 85 million. Too bad that he decided to represent Croatia and didn’t take Lebedev’s place in national team.

Well, now this career came to its logical ending. Thanks to everyone who read and hopefully enjoyed it, I already have the idea of the next save and will start it after a short break :) 

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Under ANY other circumstance, I would've been gutted and furious that my country was but a few seconds away from the semi-final of the World Cup...

But as a Chertanovo Cheerleader (now that's a name), a life-long Alexey Lebedev stan (kind of sad he didn't come home for retirement), and in general a sucker for feel-good stories, I love every bit of this moment, along with all the other special moments that make up this certainly special save. This is what FM is all about, this is what football is all about.

Usually addicted to YouTube saves, this is the first time I've followed a written/graphic journey on FM, and you have raised the bar just as high. Congratulations on crafting a majestic story, and wish you well in your next voyage!

 

P.S. Where can I buy custom Russia/Chertanovo shirts online?

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5 hours ago, ThomasAmang said:

P.S. Where can I buy custom Russia/Chertanovo shirts online?

Chertanovo have an online shop on their website but they only deliver within Moscow region. National team is much easier to find, google answers with a lot of links all over the world (this was the first for example:)

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