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Dreaming of Libertadores and Copa: A South American Journeyman (FM 21)


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Hello, and welcome to my first thread in FMCU. This save is going to be something a little different, and will be documenting my attempt to become the most successful manager to ever manage in South America. I have found South America to be a really enjoyable region to manage in FM, as it is a challenging region to manage in. 

Why is it a challenge? Well, even when I am managing a big side that is fighting on multiple fronts, there is always going to be specter of European clubs trying to poach the best players at the side. Not only are European clubs a present danger, but Mexican and MLS sides are looking to South America to get talent. Heck, even Asian leagues like the J League and Chinese Super League are buying players from clubs. It also allows me to manage a lot of wonderkids and talented players at the start of their careers, as well as being in leagues of which I haven't managed much in, as my longest saves have been mostly based in Europe. 

This save hopefully should be enjoyable, and should provide me plenty of variety in clubs to explore. Through the use of editor data by Timo, I have added all 10 South American leagues and Japan in addition to leagues in Europe out of the box.

Leagues Loaded:

All South American Leagues


United States







Northern Ireland










Those leagues added all would give plenty of transfer activity, as well as a varied world and harder international competitions once I take over a national team.

So, who am I hunting down on the Hall of Fame?


That would be former Real Madrid manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo. His success in Brazil means that I am going to be here a while on the save. Of course, Tite and Marcelo Gallardo are still managing, and probably will get additional jobs in South America. For instance, it wouldn't surprise me if Tite could end up managing at a club like Corinthians, or Gallardo could manage Argentina. 


The Rules of the Save:

Must win all the top flight trophies domestically in all 10 countries at least once

Must win a Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, and Recopa Sudamericana

May only manage a South American national side at first and win a World Cup and Copa America

Can manage as many teams as I want, and in no particular order

After all those goals have been achieved, I can manage where I want.


This is going to be a lot of fun, and hopefully could interest you. Next post will show you the first club on the journey. If you have any comments to share, feel free to tell me. 



south american map.png


Edited by efcfan
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Chapter 1: Everton de Viña del Mar


The first job in the save is important, and I chose Everton de Viña del Mar, based in Chile. I chose Everton de Viña del Mar because in real life I am a supporter of Everton, and I love the idea of managing a club that has a link with Everton. The club hasn't won a trophy since 2008, so it would be nice to bring some success to the club before moving on.

1926903107_evertondevinaclubhistory.png.3d0a29f3dae42b7e281faf46d38b0ee5.pngAs the club history shows, they want to build from the mid table finish last season, and that sounds about right. From what I have read about Chilean football, the big clubs historically are Universidad de Chile, Colo-Colo, and Universidad Católica. Another club to note is Santiago Wanderers, who are the local rivals. So, in addition to winning the top division titles in Chile, I would like to compete with and better those four clubs. 

In terms of club facilities, I like having a good starting point, and I can hopefully use prize money and player sales to improve the club and allow them to bring through better youth.

What Competitions Do I have to Win?

The league is the Primera Division. It currently has 18 teams due to relegation being suspended last season. Teams play each other twice, and the top 2 qualify for the Copa Libertadores group state. 3rd-4th qualify for the Libertadores qualifying rounds depending on the winner of the Chile Cup, and 5th-8th go to the Copa Sudamericana. The bottom two teams are relegated to the second tier, and 15th-16th go to the relegation playoff. The board want us to stay up, but my goal is to establish ourselves as a mid table team. It's important to note that I can't have more than 7 foreign players, I can't have 2 foreign under 21 players, and 2 under 21 players have to be in the matchday squad. Plus, I have to play under 21 players half of the total matches in terms of time. The good news is that any Chilean under 19 players don't have to be registered at all. Honestly, Chile isn't too crazy to wrap my head around. 

The Chile Cup has 6 legs including the final, and all ties are two legged. Also, the lower division teams get to play at home in the first leg. All in all, not too complicated, and certainly would be a good goal. The board want us to reach the quarters, and that certainly should be fine.

The Super Cup matches the winners of the League and Cup from the previous year. It is a single match at a neutral venue.

Next time, we will introduce Luke Jones, and meet the squad and dig through the club vision. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to share them. Thanks for reading, and have a good one. 


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Introducing Luke Jones  

Luke Jones was born in 1999 in Edinburgh, and always took a keen interest in football. He had been recruited at 10 to join the academy of his boyhood club Hiberian, and had spent 4 years there working towards his dream of being a professional footballer. However, he had to retire from the game at age 14 due to a serious knee injury under advisement of medical experts. He was devastated, and spent the next 3 years working for his parent's store. However, one day he realized that he could still be involved in football, and decided to take his coaching badges. He holds a Continental  A license and decided to interview for jobs in South America as he wants to work with younger players to help them further their careers that he never got to have. 

Club Vision

As promised in the last update, we are going to take a closer look at the club vision, and see what we are starting with. 


The board is very ambitious, and continued progression is expected. This indicates to me that I have to build a team quickly, and that the club can be dining at the top table domestically. Though it is nice that at least the club is not expecting me to get into the Libertadores right away. All in all, this is something that we can do.  I also love the emphasis on selling players on, as this will be the way that I am going to be playing. I do expect clubs to be bidding for young players with potential as well as veterans. In real life, the best players in South America that stay in South America are likely to be playing for the big clubs in Brazil and Argentina, so that will be something to keep an eye on.  Now, let's take a look at the finances.


Obviously, the club is in the red due to current world events, and that needs to be sorted out. So getting deep into the cup or getting continental football would help with giving money for upgrades at the club. The wage budget has no room, so I am going to probably shift some transfer funds to the wage budget if there are no outgoing sales. Signing young players helps the club vision plus it is fun to discover young players no matter if they are real life or regens.

Squad Depth Chart


The initial formation that I am going to be playing during the preseason is a 5-2-2-1with wingbacks. The assman suggested that, and personally I am not wedded to a particular style out of the gate. Preseason might cause a rethink of the tactics, as the squad and I will get to know each other better. Any transfers I have will also be shown and discussed. Early indications are that I have good attacking options, and I have some good depth to work with. Ideally, I would love to target a GK and some CB to improve the back end. All in all, I can work with this team to start with, though will add some of my own players and of course use the youth.


Thanks for reading this update, and feel free to comment your thoughts or suggestions. Next time will be transfers and pre season stuff. 

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2021 Preseason and Transfer Update

It is late January, and the season is about to get underway. I feel a lot better about how the squad is looking, and ended up having a couple of changes coming that seem to suit the team a lot better. 




In terms of results, it wasn't too terrible. The standout result was getting a draw against Independiente of Argentina, who are one of the Big 5 of Argentinean football. The two losses were expected to Sao Paulo and Mineiro, but a formation change made in the middle of the preseason seemed to work well, and the team feels a lot better about the tactics. 

Tactical Change

The 5-2-2-1 system seemed to not be clicking early in preseason, and after the match against out youth team, I made the decision to switch up tactics. What I ended up noticing was that the team struggled with creating chances, and the passing seemed to not be there. Plus, in order to make that system work, I would have had to buy a whole lot of players. So, I ended up making a change to a different system.


This system is a fluid counter system in a 5-3-2. What makes this system work is that the midfield is well covered, and I love the shorter passing. In all honesty, I typically prefer to attack even when the underdog, but am more than willing to try to play on the counter if that is what is going to be best. With us being a mid table team, I would imagine that the AI is going to be a bit more forward with us, especially when they are a better team. 

Transfers out:


£50,000 to Toronto FC

This was a transfer that was based on the philosophy that it would be better to get some money for a player who is older to make room for younger players, as well as to free up some of the wage budget. Hopefully this doesn't bit me in the rear, as he looks good. 


Loaned to Liga de Quito (£9.5k loan fee)

An older player who is in the last year of his contract, and one who I felt might do better with a change of scenery. Again, I wanted to introduce some youth in the squad, and I can use the fee to add to the wage budget. 


£250,000 to FC Juarez (Rising to £350,000 plus 20% future profit)

I had nothing to do with this signing, as the board went over my head to accept the transfer directly. He had looked good in preseason, but the board must have felt like they got a good deal, and wanted to clear out the debts. I would have loved to keep him around, but it happens like this sometimes. At least the debts are cleared and I have more of a war chest to invest in.

Transfers In:


Free from Danubio 

This guy is going to replace Zuniga at wing back, and looks like he could be a solid option. I like the physicals, and the mental ratings aren't terrible. He came through River Plate's youth system, and has top flight experience across the continent. Maybe could be sold on in the future. 


Thank you guys for reading, and feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. Next time will be the first matches of the season. Until then, have a good one and best of luck on your saves. 

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2021 Febuary Update: Everton de Viña del Mar

Hello, and welcome back to the thread. I've completed the first month of the season, plus the first game from January. Let's begin by taking a look at the results from our first handful of matches in the league, and see what thoughts I have. 


That has been a pretty solid start to the season. Universidad was one of the sides that is traditionally one of the big boys in Chilean football, so getting a draw away from home was outstanding. The only real blip was losing at home to Antofagasta, but we responded in kind with a win in our last match to Curico Unido. I'm also impressed that we are getting points away from home, as 5 of our 8 points have been earned on our travels.  So, where does that leave us in the table.


That is pretty good for the first few games, and we have a good chance of playing in the Sudamericana at this early stage. An advantage that could prove critical is that we are not playing in the Sudamericana or Libertadores, whereas some of our competitors are. Obviously, that means fatigue is less of a problem. One thing that is a challenge when managing in South America is that distances are vast when playing in continental competitions. Avoiding having to play in the heat and altitude of other countries will help. But it is too early to make any judgements, as there is still plenty of time. 

Transfers Out:


Loaned to Universidad Catolica (£4.6k loan fee)

Pedro is a squad player that was on the loan list when I took over, and I wanted to see him get some game time. He is part of my plans for next year, and can recall him if needed. I like his attributes, and just wanted him to continue to develop if needed, as well as free up game time for under 19 players to avoid a penalty of some sort.


On Loan at San Marcos de Alica (£850 loan fee)

This is a guy who I like, but wanted to loan him to the second division to get some playtime. He is on the verge of breaking into the first team, but wanted to see how he can perform somewhere else. Plus, a little extra money helps. I would like the marking and composure to improve a bit, but he can do that out on loan.


Club Vision and Manager Performance:


The board is seemingly happy with the performance of the club. Sitting one point outside of a Sudamerica spot is obviously better than what Luke was asked, and have more room to work with in the transfer market after the big sale in the transfer window. All in all, you can't complain and that will buy Luke some credit in the bank early.  Let's hope that the results keep coming and the board doesn't do anything questionable.



It looks good to be in the black and have plenty of money to work with in the transfer market in the summer. I'm not going to be asking for much in the way of upgrades, as typically in my saves I want to have plenty of money to avoid the board being tempted to sell players behind my back. Ideally, once the club has some extra money coming in through continental competitions, then we can start thinking about upgrading. 


Thanks so much for reading, and feel free to share any questions or comments with me. Until next time, have a good one and best of luck in your saves no matter who you are managing. 

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2021 March Update: Everton de Viña del Mar

So, it's time to see what happened in March. When I last shared what was going on in the save, the club was sitting in 9th place in the league table, as well as having been able to stay in the black with the finances. So would March continue the trend?



The identity of this side is becoming quite clear. We may not score a whole lot of goals, but we defend pretty well and can grind out results. I don't think that playing fluid counter is the OP tactic, especially considering that I have dropped points and am not scoring an insane amount of goals. Palestino was a top 4 side last year, and to grind out a result away has been great. Beating our affiliate club Union La Calera away was fine, and you can't complain about a bore 0-0 away. Only 3 matches this month due to it being time for an international break. 

League Table:


Being in the last Copa Libertadores spot is a lot better than what I expected at this stage. Quite honestly, I would have taken being about 10th and clear of a relegation battle. Obviously, we still have a lot of matches left, and I expect teams to start to figure us out tactically. 

Manager Performance


I couldn't be doing much better if I tried, and I am glad to see that the board is willing to acknowledge that. Having this leverage would help with club improvements, but as I mentioned earlier I would like to wait until the finances have looked.



Still looking good, though the concern is that we have played a lot of games away from home. We also have only gotten around 5,800 people for our home games. The stadium seats 21,000 and it would be nice to see more people starting to come out to matches, and that should continue at this pace. Winning is the best way to get those people in the stands. 


Thanks for reading, and feel free to share any thoughts you might have. Until next time, good luck in your saves and may you achieve whatever targets you set for yourself. 

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2021 April Update: Everton de Viña del Mar

Hello and welcome back to the thread. Last time out the club was in a continental qualification spot, and results were looking pretty good. How are things looking right now?



Unfortunately, we have struggled in front of goal, and were lucky to get a couple of draws. Colo Colo away wasn't a result that I was expecting, but I felt like it would have been nice. I've scheduled a couple of friendlies in the next month to boost up some morale. The two draws at home against similar sized opposition was disturbing, and we outplayed both of them via expected goals. Hopefully the AI is not figuring out the tactic that I am using, though if I need to make a change it is something that I can investigate. I did change tactics in preseason, and it's not like I am going to be wedded to a specific style, as I fully expect to have players leave and join us.

League Table:


Still being in a Sudamericana place is good, but we are going to need to get some points on the board as we are very much in the thick of a group of teams that are going to be fighting. The advantage we have is that we are not playing in other competitions, though that will change as teams start to finish off the group stages of the Libertadores and Sudamericana in the coming weeks.  Still happy to not being in a relegation battle, and shouldn't have to worry about the board looking to sack me.

Manager Performance:


The board is still happy that we are still flying pretty high in the league, and they like that the squad morale is still good despite the bad run of form. Of course, we need to score goals as they don't like how performances have changed in that regard. The next month is going to be critical in order to improve our position, as well as being able to make sure a relegation fight is happening. 



We still are in the black, even though attendances are not exactly filling up the stadium. I don't want to risk having the board sell players due to a low bank balance to ask for upgrades. That happened back in preseason, so I want to make sure that any prize money and sponsor money goes to that, as I don't like to bankrupt clubs. There may be changes due to a couple of friendlies coming up that I have to arrange.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share. Best of luck to you guys in whatever save you are doing. Until next time, have a good one and may your tactics be good and the wins be plenty.




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  • 11 months later...

2021 May Update: Everton de Viña del Mar

Hello, and welcome back to the thread. How are we doing in my fourth month of competitive matches in Chile?



By and large, I will take it. We've been scoring some more goals, and the defense is better. Union Espanola is a side who is also in the mix for continental football, and getting 3 points away is something that was thrilling. Losing to Iquique was something that was hard to take, but at the end of the day it balances out thanks to getting a win away against a continental contender. 

League Table:


A three horse race has developed between Universidad Catolica, Deportes Antofagasta, and Universidad de Chile. We are fighting in a big pack for the last Libertadores and all the Sudamericana spots. By and large, I am happy. As an aside, Colo Colo qualified for the knockouts of the Libertadores. Universidad Catolica and Audax Italiano qualified for the knockouts of the Sudamericana. With the Chile Cup starting this month for top tier teams, I hope to continue our run of good form.

Manager Performance:


Board has every reason to be proud. Considering that they want to stay up for this season, it's hard to argue that I don't deserve all the plaudits. 



Thanks to getting some TV revenue and some more home matches, the club is making some money, and the club is in the black. With a two legged cup tie making sure that we get a home match, that is going to go a long way to filling up the stadium. We are only getting 5,000 out of a stadium capacity of over 20,000. 


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2021 June Update: Everton de Viña del Mar

Hello, and welcome to the update for June 2021 on how I am getting on in South America.  How did we do in our matches? And do we have any transfer news?

Youth Intake Preview:


One of the things that I am most looking forward to is trying to manage a couple of wonderkids during this save. The club has good training and youth facilities, but I haven't upgraded either since I was hired. This intake looks like it could be promising, as it looks like there could be one or two players that could be very useful. 



Lots of matches against powerhouses of Chilean football. In the one league match, getting a 0-0 against Universidad Catolica was much appreciated. The result keeps us in a good spot in the league table, but this month was all about the Chile Cup.

Matching up against Universidad Catolica for a two legged tie would be a hard challenge. With the first leg at home, we were able to hold onto a 1-0 win to take to the away leg. In the away leg, we did give up a goal in the latter stages of the match, and the match went to penalties. In the shootout, we missed our first penalty. However, the other four takers converted their penalties, and Catolica missed two of their penalties, to record a famous win. In the third round, we were drawn against Universidad de Chile, and it was a bridge too far. We had to chase the game in the second leg, and got hit on the counter to seal our fate. The board was upset because they wanted a quarterfinal spot, but they could understand that we did get a pretty brutal draw. 

Transfers In:


Signed on a free. 

With one of my loanees returning to Mexico, I made the decision to improve the defense. Elvis adds some youth to the backline, and is someone that I am looking to introduce as a potential starter. I love his physicals, and hope that the increased game time will be vital. He also is someone that can contribute to the board expectation that I sign young players to sell for a profit. 

League Table:


We are currently sitting in a Sudamericana spot, but also are knocking on the doors of a Libertadores spot. The league is pretty tight in terms of the race for South American continental qualification. With us out of the cup and not involved in the Libertadores or Sudamericana, that could be a huge advantage.  But we still have a lot of matches to go and aren't even at the halfway point of the league stage. 

Manager Performance:


Board is still happy with how things are going, and it's hard to argue. We were predicted mid table by the experts, but we so far have been proving them wrong by announcing ourselves as someone who could be the surprise package. 



The bank balance is looking better. I'm still under the wage budget. The biggest concern that I have is that the board could be persuaded to accept an offer over my head for a player. Especially considering that I am on the other side of the usual wonderkid hunt in South America. I still haven't asked for upgrades, as I want to wait and see if someone comes in for one of my players and I get a windfall. 

Thanks for reading, and hope that you are enjoying this thread. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. 

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2021 July Update: Everton de Viña del Mar

How are we looking in July? With the transfer window open and the club flying pretty high, what would happen in the market?



Another mixed month. O'Higgins has been struggling, but they are a side that isn't a huge surprise to see on the continental level in real life. I'll take a 0-0 away, though it wasn't exactly entertaining. The real entertainment was against Concepcion. We were up 2-0 inside 6 minutes thanks to a couple of nice goals worked off a set piece. Set pieces are something that isn't my strength, but I'll take it when they come up. Concepcion ended up coming back to level the score at 2 all, before we scored a winner in extra time. Considering that Concepcion are one of the sides that is fighting with us for qualification to a continental spot all year, getting 3 points was vital. Then we played Universidad de Chile. It didn't go well at all, and we were never in that match. 

League Table:


We are still in 4th, though Palestino have a game in hand and can jump us. This league is going to be very tight from us on down, as it seems like any team could either qualify for a Sudamericana spot or get dragged into a relegation fight. 

Transfers In:


Free from Pachuca

Maldonado joins us as our player. He has been away from the club because of the Gold Cup, but is still a Honduran international, and also has played for Honduras in real life. I don't think there is anything wrong with using my own knowledge of players. He should get a run of play in the next few months, and it's always good to have an international on the books. Can still improve. 


 £21,000 from Deportes Quindio

Sadly, he did get injured as you can tell, and will rejoin us in September. But he was a find by my scouts in Colombia, and he will take a foreigner spot. It's a bargain signing that means if he performs, I can see him going for a decent amount of money. Like his speed on the wing. 

Transfers Out:


As you can see, it was various loans of players that I thought were going to be not getting so much playing time. Getting some extra money via loan fees were good. No players were sold over my head, which is a concern. 

Manager Performance:


Hard to argue with the overachievement. Making a profit in the transfer market and putting the club in a position to make some extra income is good. I want to leave every club I manage in this save to be better off in some way. Not that I am playing to leave the club. I did apply for a couple of national jobs after the Copa America ended. (Brazil won) But I got rejected. I guess I have to win something or maybe take a youth job. 




We are losing money, despite me being conservative and under budgets that I can control. We need more fans attending matches, and getting on television is going to be crucial. If we can stay on top and qualify for even the Sudamericana, then we could be able to get more home matches and get some nice money. 

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. 

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