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League 2 To The Top - FM21

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The save so far

I've been playing this save since the day the full version of Football Manager 21 was released and have absolutely loved it, so I figured I should post it on the forums where I've loved reading about some really interesting saves! Considering I'm 12 seasons in, I should probably give a bit of an update on how it's gone...

Instead of typing screeds of information about the save which can be very boring, I'll let you look at these 2 screenshots that sum up what's gone on so far.


12 seasons, 4 clubs, 6 trophies. Hopefully many more of each!

Rules/aims of the save

I've not set any rules for the save really, other than I have to make decisions, particularly club moving decisions, based on what I'd do in real life. In terms of aims, I just want to win stuff really - particularly the Champions League and Premier League. I'd also like to manage Manchester United at one point although I won't be too bothered if I don't manage to. The next update will be once the transfer window is shut and season 13 begins here at Lazio!

Edited by BoxToBoxFM
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  • BoxToBoxFM changed the title to League 2 To The Top - FM21

2032/33 Season - Summer Transfers



For the first time in the save we managed to qualify for the Champions League, so the board gave us a very generous budget of...£8m.

That meant we really had to sell to buy, but to be honest it was a pretty quiet summer so we didn't have to sell any first team players really. 

I won't show you the player profiles of people we sold because quite frankly, it doesn't matter now they're gone!



Many players loaned out, about £21m made in sales, I did say it was pretty quiet! 



Vincent Moloto was the first player through the door, a pre - arranged deal for £500k. He will get plenty game time as 1 of 2 starting right wingers, he's already off the mark after smashing one in the back of the net in the first game of the season! A good piece of business if you ask me.


Gonzalez joins on loan from Atletico Madrid with a total loan fee of £625k. He provides us with another option at left back and adds a bit of depth there as well. Don't expect him to start many league games but he'll definitely get opportunities in the cups.


Another loan, but look at the state of this guy!!! I'm really looking forward to seeing how he turns out over the course of the season and I'm hoping for big things - I don't know why City let him leave on loan either, he scored 9 goals with 5 assists in the prem last season!


The most expensive signing of the summer at around £10m, but i'll be honest here - I messed this one up big time. As you can see he is currently on loan in the Bundesliga, and that's because I signed him thinking I still had a non EU slot available, which I didn't. He looks like he could be a really good player in the future though with 5 star potential!


Now that I look at this player, I probably didn't need to sign him. He comes in as a 3rd/4th choice centre back option and for only £5m it's not disastrous. Actually, I'll let you make your own mind up about that one.


So that rounds up the transfer business for this summer, quiet but efficient I'd say. I'll leave you with a picture of the squad for the upcoming season, although you won't recognise most of them as the majority are regens, but it gives a little bit more information as to how the squad is looking. 


Thanks for reading, see you next time!

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2032/33 Season - Champions League Group Draw

We were 3rd seed for our debut Champions League campaign and got...


Manchester United, Benfica and Celtic.

Not easy by any means, but if I was to guess we'd be battling it out with Benfica for 2nd.


In terms of schedule, we kick things off with a visit from Celtic, then travel to Portugal to play Benfica, that's followed by a double header against United then the return games against Celtic and Benfica.

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1 hour ago, BoxToBoxFM said:

2032/33 Season - Champions League Group Draw

We were 3rd seed for our debut Champions League campaign and got...


Manchester United, Benfica and Celtic.

Not easy by any means, but if I was to guess we'd be battling it out with Benfica for 2nd.


In terms of schedule, we kick things off with a visit from Celtic, then travel to Portugal to play Benfica, that's followed by a double header against United then the return games against Celtic and Benfica.

oh hi there 

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2032/33 Season - August/September

Pre season


We went on tour to America this summer, and it's safe to say it wasn't the summer holiday in the heat we were all hoping for - we didn't win any of our 3 games! In the final week of pre-season we returned home to Italy and thumped a couple of non league teams to make sure confidence and dynamics are as high as possible, something I always like to do.

Competitive games


For the most part, it was a very good first month and a bit of competitive football. We got off to a good start with a 3-1 win at the hands of Parma and went on to win all but 1 of the next 4 league games when we bottled a 2-0 lead against Sampdoria, who were in Serie B last season. As for the Champions League, we made our debut in the competition with a 2-0 win against Celtic then right at the end of the month lost 5-4 to Benfica in Portugal. This was a mental game, they were 3-0 up after 10 mins then we brought it back to 3-3 but unfortunately we came out on the losing side.image.thumb.png.fdc3d88d43a0a3d99404bb4c2ec0c2bb.png

That leaves us second only behind reigning champions AC Milan after 5 games and 3rd in our Champions League group.image.png.fe946f80cfe326046c19dc707307c540.png 

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

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2032/33 Season - October


A very good month, in the league at least. We had a very tough run of Milan, Juventus then Utd in the CL. A 1-1 draw at the San Siro is very respectable if you ask me, and what a result that is against Juventus!!! They just couldn't handle us! From what I saw against Utd we didn't deserve to lose 5-2, but it is what it is, clearly we are still miles off the 'Elite' clubs in Europe. 

Well, apart from Juventus!image.thumb.png.65783f25209783aa8f3f26827576d54e.png

Top of the league, things are going nicely, although I'm not getting carried away - last season we fell apart after New Year's Day!

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2032/33 Season - November


We struggled a bit this month, Man Utd beat us again but this time we really didn't deserve to lose. We scored a screamer but a red card in midfield cost us I think. Then losing to bottom of the league Bologna was straight up embarrassing, the 4-4 draw at Celtic park wasn't great but we did well to come back.


Still top of the league but I'm not sure we'll be there this time next month, especially as we face Inter and Roma in December.


In the Champions League it's still all to play for, we could qualify, finish in the Europa League places or finish bottom!

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2032/33 Season - Coppa Italia Draw


We've been drawn against Cagliari in the first round of the Coppa Italia, which really isn't as easy as I'd have liked. They currently sit 6th in Serie A so it will definitely be a very close game. The game will take place right in the middle of our busy January month at the Stadio Olimpico.

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2032/33 Season - Youth Intake Preview


Yet again here at Lazio it looks like another poor youth intake is on the horizon. We could have a couple decent attackers, but apart from that it's not that promising. We'll see just how good or bad it is in March!

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2032/33 Season - December


An unbeaten month! We picked up our first win over Roma since joining Lazio which I was absolutely buzzing about, we got revenge against Benfica after they beat us 5-4 earlier in the season, and we managed to pick up 3 points away against Inter Milan! 


 I said at the end of the November post I wasn't sure if we'd still be top of the league come the end of the calendar year, but we are! I'm not aiming to win the league this season so while it's nice being top, I just want to get Champions League football again for next season. It's around this time last season we completely fell off, so this next month is going to be massive!image.thumb.png.cf301bb00bea2cbb407ea67ee4b20b67.png

We needed to beat Benfica in GW6 if we were to qualify for the first knockout round of the Champions League and as you saw we managed to do just that. We've been drawn against Arsenal in the next round who currently find themselves 5th in the Premier League.image.thumb.png.892fda4320bc30f169525d5a0896f183.png

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On 01/08/2021 at 14:18, john1 said:

Are you the originally BoxToBox user? :D Blast from the past! Wondered where you went! Done well with your career :thup: 

I just made this account about a week ago, fairly new to the forums!

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2032/33 Season - January

The new year is upon us, but before we get into the results, we've got 2 transfers to go over!


Ander Barrenetxea departs to China for 3m, he was out of contract in the summer so may as well take some money for him now. He was one of the players at the team when I arrived here in Lazio but there's no place for him in the team anymore.


Another wonderkid is in! I wanted to get a permanent 2nd choice LB in considering González is only on loan, and for that reason I've loaned him out for the remainder of the season to Stuttgart. He's got some work to do attacking wise, but at 18 I'm sure we'll be able to develop him nicely. Now for the results!image.png.9d362bd419888a3a71d5a2e6c662d553.png 

The month started of really well, we were scoring goals and winning games for fun, then we signed a player and immediately lost 2 games back to back for the first time in what feels like ages. One was in the cup to be fair but a loss is a loss, I was getting worried. We put things right in the final game though, beating Sampdoria 3-1 away.


Still top of the league, but the gap is just 6 points now with 15 games to go!

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2032/33 Season - February


This has been a month of injuries to say the least. I'll show you a screenshot, but first we need to go over the results!

On the whole, pretty decent. The 4-0 demolition job oh AC Milan was particularly good and we were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Juventus. In between both those games, we had the first leg in the first KO round of the CL against Arsenal. Giving them 3 away goals means it's not quite a mountain to climb, but a very steep hill that we will need to be well prepared for in the return leg at the Emirates. 

It's worth noting this whole month was played with my backup goalkeeper in goals as Joãozinho has been out injured, so to only lose 1 game and that being away to Juventus is very good if you ask me. 



Told you we had a lot of injuries! To make things worse, they are all first team players! AND, Adam Hlozek was out for the whole month as well and has only just came back!



Despite the loss against Juventus we are still top of the league with a 5 point gap between us and second. Again, I'm not going to say anything I might regret later as I still don't think I'll actually win the league, my sole focus is on qualifying for the Champions League again!

Bit of a longer one today, thanks for reading! Let's hope for no more injuries, eh?!

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2032/33 Season - Youth Intake 


Another year, another disappointing youth intake. I think I'll sign the top 2 or 3 players, but that's it.

Nice to see a Scottish player in here though as well as a Kosovan!

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2032/33 Season - March

The collapse in the league is in full effect...


3 games, 2 draws, 1 loss. 3 points from a possible 9.  Really poor, especially considering we've played so well all season and have been top of the league for months. It's also worth noting the Napoli game was my 600th game in management, which is nice to see. Just a shame we conceded a last minute equaliser! But, it wasn't just Serie A we were playing in this month, we also had the second leg against Arsenal in the Champions League. Can we do the impossible and turn it round from the first leg?



you can never rule Lazio out with the bunch of players we have! 2-0 early on, Maier gets one back half an hour in and we have a lifeline. We come flying out the blocks in the second half and grab another goal via Adam Hlozek and we start to dream. 5 minutes to go, Rigaud has come off the bench to play on the wing for Hlozek and he scores the winner, to send us into the Champions League quarters!!

Where we will play...


Manchester City, who currently sit 3rd in the Premier League. Not easy, but no game is easy when you get to this stage in the Champions League.



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2032/33 Season - April 


In the league, much better. In the Champions League, the Quarter Final is just one step too far.

4 wins from 4 in the league though is as good as I could ask for. Bar the Sassuolo game they were all relatively straight forward, including the 4-0 thrashing of arch rivals Roma!

We gave it our all in the CL but just like against Arsenal we gave ourselves the unwanted mission of having to score 3 away goals. Like in the previous round we managed just that but just couldn't stop city scoring. A great couple of games for the neutrals though! Again, I really wasn't happy with my goalkeeper's performances in these CL games, I'm not going as far to say it's all his fault, but some of the goals absolutely were.


We still sit top the league by 3 points but Juventus have a game in hand and you can expect them to win that.


That win against Roma also confirmed our place in the CL again next season! What a way to qualify for it, with a 4-0 battering against your arch rivals!

This also means...BUDGETS!


Look at all that money! By far the biggest budget I've had in the save, who knew not being in debt and being in the Champions League is good for the finances!

The next month is the final of the season and kicks off with a huge game against Inter which you won't want to miss, it's make or break time!

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2032/33 Season - May

Here we go then, 4 games to go in the Serie A season. The title is on the line, but who will win it - Will Lazio win a first Scudetto in 33 years or will the title return to Turin?


We started things off with a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan, a game in which it would have done us the world of good to win but unfortunately we came away from the game empty handed. We bounced back in the very next game with a 5-1 thrashing of Torino then a 4-1 victory over Atalanta and finished the season with a solid 2-0 away win against Udinese. So that was how we finished, but how did Juventus get on with a Champions League final in the back of their minds? 


On paper, they have the more difficult fixtures as they play both Roma and Inter. But how did they get on?


Well unfortunately for us Juventus won every single of their May fixtures without even conceding a goal. You've probably guessed now that this means Juventus have reclaimed their crown and have won the 2032/33 Serie A league title.


In the end we finished 3 points behind them, but runners up is a huge improvement on last season which is a positive sign, as long as we're making progress each season I'm happy.

we've got £50m to spend on reinforcements next season, and who knows, could we put up another title challenge and maybe, just maybe, win the title?! 

I'm not going to get carried away, CL qualification next year would still be a good season and hopefully we can add a few top quality players for next campaign. We're building quite a young squad here and I want to continue with that for the summer coming up.

One thing for sure is that I will not give up on this project, I'm determined to win the Serie A here at Lazio and I'll do everything I can to make sure it happens.

it's been a very long end of season special today that I really hope you enjoyed, I'll be back later with a proper season review. Thanks for reading!



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2032/33 Season Review

I want to try and keep this short, but overall it's been a pretty good season!


Although we didn't manage to win a trophy, we made progress in the league and Europe whilst reaching the Quarters in the cup once again.


Everton Vinícius was top goalscorer in the league for the second season running and also the Italian Cup. He's one of the most clinical strikers I've had on FM for a while!


Jonathan Rigaud was the top goalscorer in all competitions though with 37 goals in the various competitions, he also made his full Portugal debut. Unfortunately it looks like he'll leave in the summer though as we had an offer in Jan for him that we turned down, he got angry so I asked how much money he wanted, I gave him the money but in the contract his agent put a non negotiable £72m release clause in it.


Once again our captain Monchu leads the way with 21 assists.


I'll leave you with the updated spreadsheet for the save, the next update will be the start of the new season! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

2033/34 Season - CL Group Stage Draw



It's been a while, but the new season is finally upon us! I've hardly touched the save in the last week or so but I've got some time this weekend to hopefully get a couple updates out for you.

We're starting with the CL groups draw because there's no point showing you transfers, starting the league season then showing any other potential signings so the next update will be new signings once the window is shut then after that it will be the first month of the season.

Let's get on with the draw then!


We were 3rd seed in the draw and I have to say I'm pretty happy with this group. Ajax, Hertha and RB Salzburg, 3 teams I think we are capable of beating. There was a few groups I was desperate not to get, including group E with PSG and Manchester United!


We kick things off at home against Salzburg, follow that up with a trip to Amsterdam then have a double header against Hertha before playing the return games against Salzburg and Ajax.

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2033/34 Season - Summer Transfers


Starting things off with the outs, and we've not sold a single first team player. Our downfall towards the end of the season was injuries, so I've focused on not selling anyone and signing a couple players for the first team. Now let's find out how we spent our £50m!

Daniele Di Somma - £23m 


Meet our new RW and also most expensive signing of the save so far!

He scored goals last season in Serie B for Fiorentina and scored goals in Serie A the season before for them, I'm looking forward to seeing how he does. We now have 3 good RW options so hopefully we shouldn't be short of numbers in that department!

Yan Cavalcanti - £14.75m


Do I need another Brazilian wonderkid striker? Absolutely not but you can't say no to a player like this with a release clause that cheap. Unfortunately though for the second season in a row we've messed up squad registration as this player is non EU, and we don't have any more non EU slots left. 

So for this season, he will be out on loan at Hoffenheim where he hasn't featured in any of the 3 Bundesliga games so far.

Pier Luigi Bertelle - £12m


Our final signing of the summer is another option on LW so we now have 3 there. He's also Italian which is nice to see, I want to have as many Italians in the team as possible, and you'll have noticed all 3 signings have lots of potential - we're building for the future here.

I almost messed this transfer up as well, when he joined he was put into the U20s and I didn't realise so accidentally loaned him out to Reims, where he managed to get himself a goal in his 4 games in France. Fortunately though, we managed to recall him on deadline day.


So there we have it then, £50m spent on 3 players and I'm looking forward to how they turn out. The next update will be at the end of the first month of the season.

but that's not all...

All throughout my time at the Stadio Olimpico, we've had emails linking us with a takeover but nothing has ever game from it - until now.


We've been places under a transfer embargo which doesn't matter as it's the end of the season BUT, the next email I saw had me fearing for my job...


If Andrew Moore succeeds, there's a good chance he will replace me with a new manager. Great.

Let's just hope Levi Cooper wins, I'm fearing for my job!

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2033/34 Season - August/September

The first month and a bit of Serie A football is over, let's see how it went!


I think the best way to describe this is good, but not perfect. We started in brilliant fashion with a 4-1 win against Torino then grinded out a 1-0 win against Inter. In the CL it's 2 wins from 2 including a huge 6-1 win at the Johan Cruyff Arena. The only negative is the 2-2 draw away against Napoli which wasn't the end of the world but the 1-0 defeat to Cagliari was very disappointing.


In terms of the league table we sit 5th after 5 games but we're level with Juventus. Atalanta are currently the surprise package so far sitting 5 points clear after having a perfect start to the season. Still plenty football to be played so I'm not too concerned.


in the CL it's going as you'd expect, 4 points clear at the top already after 2 games.

Takeover wise, nothing else has happened and we're still under an embargo.

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2033/34 Season - October


Another month down and it's gone very well in the league! 5 games, 5 wins, 15 goals scored, 4 conceded. That will do!

As for the Champions League, not so well. What is it with us and mental games in the Champions League! A 5-4 defeat away to Hertha is not good, unfortunately I can't show you the table because I've accidentally played on too far, but we were top by 1 point ahead of Hertha.


As for the league, we sit joint top with Juventus, who we play in our next game!

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2033/34 Season - Takeover


The takeover has finally happened...and I've not been sacked! Andrew Moore from Swindon takes over, hopefully he pumps some money into the club!


Sadly no investment at the moment, just a load of changes with the directors. 


And, perhaps the most important email, the transfer embargo has been lifted. This has dragged on for a while!


We're committing to the project here at Lazio to win the league title with a new 5 year deal which I've accepted, on a 20k wage increase!


Forza Lazio!

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2033/34 Season - November


What an efficient month! 5 games in all competitions, 5 wins. Shoutout to the defence as well, only 1 goal conceded and that was in the Champions League!

Back to back 1-0 wins against Juventus and Milan was also very impressive and that leaves us still top of the league by 3 points after 13 games.


We've also won our Champions League group with a game to go as we're 6 points clear of Hertha Berlin and Ajax.



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2033/24 Season - CL First Knockout Round Draw



Of all the teams we could have got, it's Real Madrid. To be fair, they haven't won La Liga since season 1 of the save but at the end of the day it's Real Madrid.

Oh and did I mention they have Kylian Mbappe up front as well?


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2033/34 Season - December

Another month down and we've continued our incredible form!


5 games played, not a single goal conceded! 

I know it's early to say this, especially considering we always fall apart after Christmas, but this is one of if not the best team I've put together on Football Manager. Even against Ajax we played a very rotated side and still managed to win.


That leaves us top of the pack going into the new year with just 1 defeat on the board, but we have a difficult month coming up with Roma and Inter Milan to play.


We won our Champions League group with ease and as you already know we will play Real Madrid in the next round, which will be in a few updates time. 

That's all for now, see you next time where hopefully we will still be top of the league!

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