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The Build a Nation - Club/Country Challenge


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The Build a Nation - Club/Country Challenge



The aim of the challenge is to take one of the minnows of world football and build them up or even turn them into a footballing powerhouse. Choose a nation outside the top 50 of the current FIFA rankings. Then choose a previously unplayable club from that nation and lead club and country up the rankings to glory. To complete the challenge you must achieve the following 10 criteria:

Club Honours

- Win the top domestic league

- Win the domestic main cup competition

- Win the champions league of the continent your club is based in

Have the club's reputation be in the top 5 of all clubs in the continent

Division Honours

Have your domestic league's reputation be in the top 5 of all leagues in the continent

Have your country's coefficient be in the top 5 of all nations in the continent

Country Honours

Have your country reach the knock out stages of the World Cup

- Have your country reach the Quarter Finals of the continental championships

Have your country move up 40 places in the World Rankings

Have a regen national team player score 75 international goal


Available Leagues and Databases

The available leagues to play are any where the country is outside the top 50 of the current FIFA rankings. For the current FIFA rankings, please see the official FIFA rankings here, not the in game ones. Note - use the FIFA rankings as at the starting date of your save. 

Some of these nations are included in the base game (e.g. Indonesia) but for the majority you will need to download a database as this challenge is focusing on the minnows of the footballing world. If you want to focus on leagues in the original database please see the FM24 Global (Less England) Small Club to Big Club Challenge (I don't want to take away from that challenge). 

I personally use the databases from Riddler and Timo, but any are fine as long as they haven't been unfairly edited to give the nation a boost.


The Set up

- As you are most likely using an edited database, load down to at least the second tier in this database (you can go further if you wish). If there's only one league in the database then use that. 

- You can choose the size of the database and what other leagues you load. You can just load the leagues from your chosen nation if you wish. Adding other leagues in the Custom Database option might help depending on your nation - e.g, other countries and leagues in the game might produce regens with your country's nationality or second nationality. Adding these leagues as View Only rather than Playable will help with game speed or you can add the players based in nation and region in the Custom set up.

- For advanced options, no use of the in-game editor is allowed and you must enable attribute masking.

- All others are optional. 

ADVICE - I'd highly recommend clicking the "Add players to playable teams" options. This will generate players at the beginning of the save for all teams in the league. 

MORE ADVICE - I'd also recommend simming the database for a season or two, making sure all seems to be working fine. 


Choosing a team

- Use the same process as per the excellent Youth Academy challenge.

- In short add a manager at the start of the game called holiday man. Then holiday one season to the reset date of the league. Then choose a team in the second division that has just been promoted (to see this go to season preview and you'll see a "P" next to some teams). Or, if you only have one division in the database, choose a team that has just been promoted. Or if more than 2 divisions go to the lowest loaded league. 

- As you are probably using an edited database, it could be that no team is promoted. In that case, you can choose to take over a team who is in the bottom three on the season preview odds (this gives you a choice).

- When you add your manager, choose the lowest possible experience (sunday league) and no coaching badges. Your manager can have any nationality and second nationality you wish. Then retire holiday man.

- For the International side, you do not have to achieve the goals whilst manager of the national side. As long as your nation achieves the specified goals along the way, that's fine. I know many players, including myself, don't particularly enjoy the international side of the game. I will say it will be easier to complete the achievements if you manage the national team.

- In order to become international manager, the rules are flexible. Ideally, you become the manager naturally. However, sometimes this can take years/decades. Therefore, you may choose to add a second manager to manage the national team. Or you could add a second manager as manager of the national team, then resign, and then apply for the job with your original manager. If you get sacked, I believe it can be very difficult to get the job again so you'll probably have to add another manager.


Finishing the Challenge

- The challenge is complete when you have achieved all the 10 conditions listed at the top of this thread.

- If you are fired you can apply for a job at any other team in the league when it becomes available (no need to start at the bottom again). However, you cannot get intentionally fired in order to build up another team. This is meant to be a one club challenge. 


Posting Guidelines

- I'm pretty flexible here. This is your story so post what you see as appropriate and interesting to read.

- As for general guidelines:

     - When you start the challenge, please post a screenshot of the club and country you are taking over. Include details such as league ranking, country's current international ranking etc. Post a screenshot of your manager showing the experience and coaching badges. Finally, post a screenshot of the nation's current FIFA rankings. 

     - You can post updates when you see fit. I'd recommend either at the end of each season or when interesting things happen. It might be you post a few seasons at a time, especially early on when not much happens. 

     - Each update, post the new rankings for Club/Division and Country. Again, choose how you want to do this. Below I have given an example. 

Club Update


Division/Club Update


Challenge Progress


Finally, good luck to everyone. I hope we hear some interesting stories of taking the minnows up the World Ranking!

Edited by leyrtj
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Leaderboard will follow here.


Extra information for choosing your country

So far only Asia is available as this is where I knew I wanted to do the first attempt. The below i created by looking at the editor (for years to nationality) and trialling different databases. If you see any mistakes please let me know. Note- these were made using databases by Riddler and Timo.

Tajikistan, with the 3 years to nationality, looks really interesting. 




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image.png.6b97b76a845cdef2241586486429fed2.png  image.png.da48c594d1332d8df02180c16ae748df.png


Kelaa Naalhi Sports - Maldives

Welcome to the Maldives. For the first try at this challenge I've chosen the Maldives. I originally looked at Tajikistan as foreign players can gain nationality after 3 years, but they don't start their season until March. The preliminary rounds of the AFC Champions League are usually in January so I thought the AI might struggle with fitness. Still, it would be an interesting save. I chose the Maldives due to their decent youth rating (50), and well, it's the Maldives. In this long winter, some sun will be much appreciated. The Maldives is an archipelagic nation with a population of just over half a million. In the version of the game I'm playing, the top division, the Dhivehi League, has 10 teams with each team playing each other 4 times for a total of 36 games. In the game, the current league champions are Club Eagles, who hail from the capital of Male. 

In the Maldives we decided to take over Kelaa Naalhi Sports, a team from the capital of Male. I couldn't find too much about the club. There is more information about the Futsal team online, which is where I've taken the team logo from. After this challenge hopefully the world will know more about Kelaa Naalhi Sports and Maldivian football.



We start with 36k in the bank and a wage budget of 12,778. 


The squad. All players are on non-contracts. 


The Maldivian Dhivehi League is ranked 41st in Asia


Their current FIFA ranking is 161st. in game their ranking is also 161st.



This save will obvously be a long term one. The plan is something like:

Part 1 (5 years)

- Dominate Maldivian Football

Part 2 (15 years)

- Make lots of money through transfers and prize money in the Champions League. Use the money to max facilities.  

- Success should boost the nation's coefficient and reputation naturally

Part 3 (30 years)

- Develop the league by - 1) Continuing my club success, 2) Loan Farming, 3) Selling players domestically

- Develop the national team by - 1) Good performances to boost reputation and ranking, 2) Facilities in the country, 3) Convincing players to repsent our nation (if applicable)


Is 50 years too ambitious? I can't wait to get started, This should be fun.  

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Kelaa Naalhi Sports - Season 1 - 2020 - Malvides - Maldivian Second Division - 1st (Promoted)


So, the first season in this challenge. We went up fairly easily in the end, but the first two months took a lot of work bringing in players. We're semi-professional, but can't sign anything but non-contracts. This has pros and cons. On the pro side we can bring anyone in for free who wants to join (who's a free agent or on a non-contract with another club), then see what their CA is then keep them or move them on. It's a bit like trialling, but generally we couldn't bring in the non-contracts players from other clubs on trials. On the con side, the AI can poach our players. They don't seem very activie in this division though we lost a couple of foreign players. We also brought in over 100 trials to see what's what and eventually we found the right group of players.

An interesting quirk in the database loaded (I note this is not the case in real life). The league is a winter league, meaning the season starts in June. But then there's a 2 month winter break and there's only two weeks between the end of one seaosn and the start of the next season. This means the fixture list looks like a summer league. This should suit us well for Asian qualification. Another quirk is the seaosn starts in early June but the transfer window doesn't open until July 1st. At the strat of the season this meant we had 4 non-greyed out players. I do find it interesting managing these things.  

Thinking long term, I'm struggling to see where money will come from. There's 43k from winning the top division, a total of 15k for winning the cup, around 50k in gate receipts and maybe 10k in sponsorship. Hopefully this will increase along the way. I'm being very careful with the non-contracts. Strangely, you can have two very similar players and one might want €100 per appearance whilst another might want €10, so I'm being careful there. Lots of cups in the winter brings in a few thousand. But all that together probably own't be enough to go professional, and I can sign contracts yet so transfers fee will be small or nothing. The league winner goes in the 1st preliminary round of the AFC Champions League, but I believe the prize money doesn't start until the group stage (then only 39k per victory). Also, I can't see us reaching the group stage. One possible path I can see is winning the cup puts us into the AFC Asian Cup. From my time managing in Indonesia, this cup is winnable. It would be trying to win the cup, but then purposely not winning the league (assuming that's an option).


Squad wise, it took a wise. The best players last season were Stephane Bougha and Soloman Kanform. Hassan Waheed looks our best prospect at the moment. 






Money is going to be an issue. €86 for the cup prize money.... 




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Kelaa Naalhi Sports - Season 2 - 2021 - Madives - Maldivian Dhivehi League - 1st


So our first year in the top flight, and our first division title. In the end it looked comfortable but we were neck and neck with Club Eagle for most of the season. With 10 games to go we had a six point lead. Then we played Club Eagles at home 4 days before the cup final against the same team. We decided to risk it and rotated the whole squad, and lost the game. But we then went on a good run and clinched the title with 2 games to spare. We then went on to win the cup final to complete the double, and two of the two criteria needed to complete the challenge. This was much quicker than I was expecting, and the other 8 are clearly going ot take much, much longer. Part of the reason is the contract system. As mentioned in the previos post, players are mostly on non-contracts, meaning we can poach them. One one issue is our reputation was still low, so many players wouldn't join us. This will likely be the last time I post a summary of the league season, as hopefully (for us), it will be domination and not very interesting,

On the international side side the Maldives international team fell from 161st to 173rd in the rankings. However, they did win the South Asian Football Federation Championship (SAFF), against the likes of India and Afghanistan. Not the most prestigeous trophy but it's a good start.

On the Dvision side, the Dhivehi League dropped 5 places to 46th and Maldives fell down the Asian coefficients from 26th to 30th. This means the league has the league champion (us) moving into the AFC Asian Cup Group stage and Club Eagle going into the first qualifying round. As we are a winter league, the qualification places change midway through the seaosn in January, so we don't know what places we're fighting for at the beginning of the season. As mentioned before I see the AFC Asian Cup as one of our priorities in the early days - money, coefficient points etc. 

I most likely won't update for a couple of seasons, unless something interesting happens such as a run in the AFC Asian Cup. The next 2 - 3 seasons are to exert dominance in the Maldives. 




First league title of many I hope.




The Squad

The squad has many similar faces to the first season, as we didn't bring that many players in. Defender Hassan Shafiu was the fans' player of the year. The defender scored the 9 goals and had the highest average rating. We need to work on the squad much more. Bring in young Maldivian players and get the best foreign players we can afford. Youth wise, two nice talents came through the youth system. Mohamed Hassan is a decent left back, so I'll put into the first team next year. I have already had 2 upgrades in Youth Recruitment and Junior Coaching so I will run this similar to the Youth Academy challenge. 





We end the season with 96k in the bank. Last part I discussed how important money is going to be. In original plan, I put seasons 5 to 20 as the time when we will focus on money. But I feel we are a bit ahead of schedule so I'm already looking ahead. Below are the income and expenditure for the last season. For once in FM, my club made money without me selling players. Over the season we made a profit of 110k. 

Income wise, gate receipts were at 90k. Given our average attendance was 785 (out of a stadium of 1,000) that's not going to go up much - maybe to 110k next season. There's also the AFC Asian Cup matches - with a guarantee of two home games. There was also the prize money of 75k from the league and cup. hopefully we'll get the same next season alongside some Asian Cup money. It's winning the whole thing which is the goal, something I think we can achieve. Winning the whole thing would net around 1.4m, and even semi-finals would be around 250k. That would surely be enough to go professional. One other source of income is a new stadium. the current one is only 1,000, whilst other teams have a 10,000.  A stadium of 10,00 would be a game changer. 

On the spending side, it's mostly wages, or specifically non-contract fees. Hopefully this year I'll be able to start offering real contracts. However, this will be much more expensive, so I'm tempted to to keep them on non-contracts until the AI starts poaching my players. There's also scouting costs. Over the summer in July I'll spend one the expensive scouting packages to try and get some good foreign players in. 

Overall, if I can keep spending down I think I'm going to make around 100 - 200k a year. I'm going to hoard this.




First Game in the top flight - social media

We just got promoted and won 1 - 0.....



Challenge Progress (2/10)




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Kelaa Sports - Maldives

Seasons 3 - 5 Update

Well our first goal was to dominate Maldivian football in the first 5 years, and after 5 years I think we can say we've achieved that - with 4 League titles and 3 Cup wins. We have all 11 players in the dream eleven. The main reason is the non-contracts. Most of the players in he league are on non-contracts, so we can take them easily. The only hiccup was getting knocked out the cup early in Season 4, then almost losing the league. We were heavily rotating for the AFC Asian Cup, and lost focus. At the halfway stage we were 11 points of New Radiant in 1st, but we pulled it back. Just. With 12 games to go our job security was "Insecure" and I was panicking a little. 

We have also made very good progress in the AFC Asian Cup and this has massively boosted our bank budget. In Season 4 (or halfway through season 3), we progressed to the Interzone final, where we lost to Johor Darul Ta'Zim from Malaysia. This was a good run and we made around 400k in the process. However, winning the Interzone final is lucrative - the winner goes to the overall final where just the appearance money is over half a million. Still, good money earned towards our goal of becoming professional.

In Season 5, we did manage to go one step further, making it to the overall final. We were hammered 5 - 1 by Al-Wathba from Syria, but appearing in the final made us around 750k. The prize money was 500k and we also made 250k from gate receipts. As we only have a stadium of 1,000, luckily for us the AFC Asian Cup offers joint gate receipts, like the FA Cup in England. We managed to draw a couple of teams who drew in 50,000 for home games and made lots of money that way. 

We now have 1.6m in the bank, and I'm hoping we can go professional soon. Our reputation has gone up to 1 star and we are the most reputable club in the Maldives. Unfortunately, we still can't offer even part-time contracts. We're not losing our domestic players but our foreign signings are being poached by foreign teams on a consistent basis. In the 2 transfer windows, we spend the 20k on a World scouting budget, bring in 5 foreigners on frees, then they get slowly poached. Then we repeat in the next window. On the domestic player front, our Maldivian players are starting to develop. We're almost maxed out in Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment, so it's starting to look like a Youth Academy challenge. At certain points we couldn't find any foreigners good enough, as our reputation wasn't high enough but our youth players were good quality. 

Nothing too exciting on the international front.






The AFC Asian cup is where the money is.





Money Update

A balance of 1.6m look nice. You can see that almost all the money comes from the AFC Asian Cup prize money and gate receipts. "Unfortunately", our progress has boosted our coefficients, meaning the league winner goes into the AFC Champions League instead. In the Europe this would be the dream, but there's very little money for making the group stage in Asia. The problem with that is we're probably not good enough to make the group stage unless we get an easy draw. There's more prize money than the AFC Asian Cup but only if you reach the knock out stages. Also, there's no split gate receipts (I don't think), so I don't think we can make much money. Would the board allow me to come second in the league so I can enter the AFC Asian Cup? I'm not sure. We have one more season in the Asian Cup, so we need another 750k, or progress might halt.



The Squad

Starting to look more and more domestic player based as highlighted above. Lisam Moosa is our (and the Maldives) star player. Mohamed Hussain came through the youth ranks last year and looks a good talent for this level. Hopefully more to come. 






Next stage

As per the original post, we now move on to stage 2 of the plan - to build up club up to be the best in Asian. In the plan, we have this down for 15 seasons. I'd thought we'd be professional by now, so 15 years might be a bit ambitious. Breaking down this stage more

a) Go professional (5 years). Keep doing what we're doing. Limit spending. Make runs in Asia.

b) Once professional, start investing in facilities to develop youth. Aim to get to good facilities in 5 - 10 years (probably not going to max these for a long time unless we sell a clause)

c) Once the reputation is high enough, we might be able to make money through transfers. Bring in some wonderkids from Asia and Africa, then sell them on with % profit clauses. hopefully one of these will make a lot of money

d) Then, use the money to bring in the best foreign players, alongside our talented Maldivians, and win the AFC Champions League.



Edited by leyrtj
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Posted (edited)


Kelaa Sports - Maldives

Seasons 6 - 10 Review

The last 5 seasons has been one of gradual progress. Nothing much happened. Until now - the Board has finally agreed to take the club professional. Finally. 

Domestically we continue to dominate. I've been holidayed through whole chunks of the season as we're winning pretty much every game. The games we've been focusing on are the AFC Champions Leagues games. As per the last update, our coefficient become too high that we no longer qualified for the AFC Asian Cup. This cup was where we were generating most of our income, so as we moved into the AFC Champions League I was expecting progress to slow and I was right. In Season 7, 8 and 9 we were respectable in the group stage, picking up points, but finishing mostly 4th. Then finally in Season 10, we made it out of the group into the knockout. Ultimately we were knocked out in the round of 16. However, immediately after being knocked out we asked again to go professional and the board agreed. Whether it was making it out of the group stage (and the reputation boost), or the club's steady progress had tipped it over the line, I'm not sure. But, finally we will be able to offer proper contracts, rather than the non-contracts that we've been living on. I have a new found respects for contracts - it feels so nice to be able to sign them after 10 seasons. 

Division wise, the Dhevehi Premier League is now up to 17th in the Asian rankings and Maldives is 6th in the Asian coefficients - all coming from our team. We now get two teams directly into the AFC Champions League group stage. As mentioned there's not a massive amount of money from this though, but it'll help the other teams be able to attract better players. 

On the international front, nothing much as all has happened. The Maldives' ranking is about what we started - slightly lower in fact. Though Maldives did come quite close to qualifying for the Asian Cup, so maybe there's progress to come. We won't be focusing on international management for at least another 10 seasons.




The run to the AFC Champions League knock outs in Season 10. 




After much asking, they finally agreed. I was starting to doubt whether it would ever happen. I was concerned the database hard coded the teams here as Semi-pro. 


One of my happiest moments in FM. 


And we can offer contracts. First one goes to our best player.


A new stadium as well - with a capacity of a mighty 4,000. But with a current ticket price of 11, we can make 44,000 per home game if we fill it. That's a lot for a club like us. 



First of many takeovers. A nice 375k in the coffers. 




Other teams in Maldives


I've started to check the state of the other teams in the league every 5 years and keeping records. To my suprise, when I checked some of the other teams in the league have gone professional before me some with a reputation of only 0.5. I note that all three who've gone pro and have made upgrades have made it into the continental competitions and have a relatively large stadium - which many teams from the capital share. 


And 2029/30 saw the first transfer fee paid by another team in the league - 8.5k from a 35 year old striker from Tanzania. 





We currently have 2.45m in the bank but a million of this is going into Youth and Training facility upgrades. The vast majority of our income is coming from prize money which shouldn't change much in the coming years - domestic prize money should increase. The new stadium potentially puts gate receipts around the 1m per year, but that assumes we fill out the ground every game.




This save is starting to resemble a youth academy save. We've maxed out Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment so we are starting to produce some good talent. It's been increasingly more difficult to find foreign talent at our level of reputation (and on non-contracts) good enough to play with our academy players. Overall, this squad have been the trailblazers for Kelaa and Maldivian football. They're not the generation that will qualify for the World Cup or Asian Cup, but they might win an AFC Champions League, and they've taken the club up the rankings and laid the foundations. For example, Lisam Moose and Hasan Niyaz have been with me from the start and have made almost 250 league appearances. 

Diawara is banging in goals at a goal a game, and scoring over 50 a season. I think there might be a possibility of a 1,000 goal striker.



Youth Intakes

Some nice intakes over the last 5 years. The one below was by far the best. Hassan Mohamed is by far the best Maldivian newgen I've seen and genuinely not a bad talente. Anwar Mohamed should also turn into a good player. I wonder if either will see a move to Europe at some point? We've also had our first non-Maldivian come through but he wasn't any good. Also, one player came through with joint German/Maldivian nationality as well - I wonder which country's youth rating was used to generate him?  






The Next Step

As mentioned above our next step is to max facilities, win the AFC Champions League and make money. The focus will continue to be on the academy. The transfer policy will be buy and sell, with a focus on trying to find the one player who could make us millions - likely through a clause. 


Edited by leyrtj
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Kelaa Sports - Maldives - Build a Nation Challenge

Season 11 - 15 Review

At the end of the last update (in Season 10) we really went professional, and in the last 5 seasons we've finally started to make real progress towards our goal.

Domestically, things are relatively the same as before. We continue to dominate. We went on a 208 game winning run in the league and are scoring double digits in a few games. We even got the achievement for 20 games without conceding a goal. In Asia and financially are where the progress has been made.

In the AFC Champions League, it was reaching the knock outs that finally allowed us to go professional. We've made the knock out every year since and the last three years have seen us in the final twice and the semi-final once. Al-Ahli (KSA) are proving to be a difficult opponent in the final, and they have won the competition 4 times in the last 5 years. All this has seen the Maldives' coefficient move up to a high of 3rd in Asia. The league ranking lags a but, but has improved up to 8th. The others teams in Maldives (more details below) have started to pick up results and Maziya made the knockout stages for the first time this year in Season 15. This is good progress for the league. However, Saudi Arabia are so far ahead in the coefficients that we'll need one or two other teams to help out. 

I think we should win the Champions League in the next year or so. At the end of this season, I finally managed to buy a good Asian player. In the AFC Champions League there are 3 foreign players allowed plus an additional foreign player from within Asia. I've so far not been able to find an Asian player good enough for our team, who wants to join and we can afford. Most who are good enough are in South Korea, Japan or Saudi Arabia or have already made the money move to Europe. I've just managed to bring in the Australian (which apparently counts as Asia) national team goalkeeper. This could be the difference next season as it effectively gives us an extra foreign player. The one issue might be the scheduling. We have a lot of national players and there's often international games clashing with the Champions League. I might have to take over the national team to make sure that not our whole squad is out.  

Financially, things couldn't have gone better, and everything has snowballed perfectly. Our scouts in Africa have been very busy, as players in South America didn't want to join us and Asia is also a no go as described above. We sold our first 40% clause 6 months after going pro for 2.45m (Kanga at Tianjin TEDA), then reinvested this into more players. We have sold more clauses, including one to PSG for over 12m (Gnolou). This will all go into facilities, stadiums and to other teams in the division. Our new stadium is now up to over 8,000 capacity and the money from that is making us financially stable. Overall, money is in a very good position.

Out reputation is now at 2.5 star and we can finally see our reputation ranking - we currently sit at 71st. I think we'll need to win the Champions League to see it rise to 3 stars - or continue to make semis and finals. Internationally, nothing much has happened though the Maldives did qualify for the Asian Cup. I'm tempted to take over the national team in the next few years to get that moving. 






A good start to the season, including a 16 - 0 demolition in the league. 




Almost our whole first team out for the second league of the Champions League. Not ideal. 



A new stadium, currently at 8,000. The Board didn't name it after me - I still have never had that in the game. 




The new stadium. 




Finances now look very healthy after selling a number of clauses and the Champions League money. We're making around 100k per home game in gate recepits which is keeping us financially secure. We're starting to offer larger contracts to important players so still need to be a bit careful. 







The Squad

We've had a lot of turnover in the last few seasons. The model was to bring in a foreign player, play them for a year (or even 6 months) then sell them on with a clause. We're still doing this a bit, but the team is a lot more settled now. We have two very strong Maldivian players (both who I've rejected bids from Europe for) alongside a solid squad. We have 3 first choice foreign players (Kouakou, Kane and Obeng) and an Asian players (Osmond) for the Champions League. We can have one extra foreigner in the league.

We've not had a strong youth intake for a few seasons. We're slowly improving facilities so this will help. Also as the other teams in the league grow stronger that should see some more players coming through.

On a final squad note, I might have a contender for the 1,000 striker (the Danny Roberts challenge I think). Winning games 5 to 10 nil has meant our striker had scored a few. Aboubacar Kouakou has 37, 69 and 70 in his first 3 seasons which makes 176 - he's currently 21. Let's say he players until 35, he needs an average of around 60 per season. It's possible. He's at a level where he's really good, but never going to be world class, and therefore wanting to move.   





Our best Maldivian player so far. He could have gotten his move to Europe to Dortmund but not selling.



Other Teams in Maldives

There's been some solid progress within the league. Maziya made the knock outs of the Champions League this season and have been investing in their facilities. Valencia (MDV) already has Excellent Youth Recruitment. The other teams have all gone up in reputation to 1 star and have been making small upgrades. Maldives has been getting 2 or 3 teams automatically into the Champions League group stage and this has been helping. I'm going to focus on the teams in the table below to help. 5 teams is the maximum we'll ever get into Asia, and they already have a bit of a head start

There's been a bit of progress elsewhere but not a great deal. I'm going to choose 4 or 5 teams below to help and focus on them. I've given 2.5m to Maziya, and 1m to the rest.


Progress in Asia - Maziya starting to help out.



The Next Step

The next step is to continue doing what we're doing. We need to continue going deep into the knockout rounds of the Champions League, and ideally win it in order to push our reputation up. Once our reputation goes to 3 or 3.5 stars we should be able to attract better players, including some South American wonderkids. We also need to max our facilities. We have the money stashed away so this will be done in 3 or 4 seasons. Finally, we should start pushing money to other teams int the league. I'm going to choose the 4 or 5 teams and give them money (buy a player for how much I want to give them).

I'm probably going to take a bit of a break from this save now. I'm absolutely loving it. After getting bored of managing in Europe all the life, it's a new lease of life. But I want to spend some more time of the Youth Academy save and RL. 

Challenge progress



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Kelaa Sports - Maldives - Build a Nation Challenge

Season 16 - 20 Review

Good progress has been made by the club, division and international team over the past 5 seasons.

Domestically, we continue to dominate and now have now won 19 consecutive league titles.

In the AFC Champions League is where the most progress has been made. In the end of Season 15 update, we were regularly in the semi-final or final but yet to win it, but we have now won the competition for the last three seasons. The Saudi clubs we meet in the final are still very good teams, so I don't expect to dominate this competition. Our team now has the 3rd highest reputation in Asia, so a couple more wins there should see us go up to first and achieve that objective.

League-wise there's been progress but it's quite slow going. The Maldivian Dhevehi League is now ranked the 6th best in Asia, but it's stopped increasing. Coefficient-wise we currently sit 3rd but got up to 2nd at one point. The Saudi coefficient is so far ahead but it'll take a lot to catch them. For both of these it will require contribution from other teams in the league to make improvements. We are seeing some progress in the AFC Champions League. Maziya have now made it to the group stages twice, and two of the other teams are making taking points in the group stage.

We took over the international job in 2017, and have seen some moderate success. Firstly, we managed to qualify for the Asian Cup in 2039. We won our first group match game and I was getting a bit excited, but then lost our next two and were unlucky not to go through as one of the four best 3rd place teams. We then moved on to the World Cup qualifiers first group stage, where we drew an okay group, including Saudi Arabia. We beat the easier teams and picked up some draws against the bigger teams, and we managed to top the group - actually knocking Saudi out. We now move into the second group stage where 4 out of 6 qualify. We're not a great team, but have now moved up to an all time high ranking of 110th.   





Finally winning the AFC Asian Champions League, after losing in the final three times. We lost the first leg at home 3 - 2, so i thought it wasn't going to happen but we won the away leg 2 - 0, Kouakou scoring both goals.  









We qualified for the 2039 Asian Cup. We won our first ever major tournament gane, but we couldn't make it out of the group stage. 



Qualification for the 2042 World Cup is possible. We made it out of the first group stage. The second group stage has tough teams but top 4 out of 6 go to the World Cup.  



The Squad

The squad is pretty similar to the update from 5 seasons ago. The 5 foreign players are the same. Kouakou, Kane and Faye are wanted by the big European teams, but we've managed to get them on long contracts. The rest are Maldivian players the best we can find, almost all of them coming through our youth ranks. So far, only Hassan Mohamed is at a standard to go to one of the big 5 European leagues. He won Asian player of the year a couple of seasons back.

Youth intakes are now getting disappointing and I haven't had a quality player come through for a while. We get okay players for the league come through. 





Other teams in the League

As mentioned we're seeing some success in the AFC Champions League, with Maziya reaching the knockout stages twice. Checking facilities, there have been some improvements over the last 5 years. All teams have had upgrades in Training and Youth facilities, but very little increase in Junior Coaching and Youth Recruitment. The reputation has increased, with Maziya now up to 2 stars, and there are two other teams at 1.5. This is good progress. 

However, there's been limited increases in facilities. This, despite the TV money coming in and the other teams having (I'm guessing) tens of millions in their accounts. 

On a positive side, the other teams have now shown an interest in being loaned players, though only those at 1.5 stars or below. I chose Maziya and loaned them my second team, and they've seeb some success. This puts me a bit at risk but it's been okay so far. Some of our players at 2 star have been getting bids from Australian League teams, so i think Maziya is a small step below them. This is encouraging. Hopefully I can continue to get players through my youth team who I can loan out to them. 



The most successful AFC Champions League was last season. Maziya won their group. Valencia (MDV) and New Radiant came 3rd, picking up some good points along the way.




The Next Step

I've really enjoyed this save so far, definitely one of my favourites. As with any build a nation, it starts to get frustrating when the other AI teams in the league don't cooperate quickly with our master plan. I am worried about the lack of good Maldivian players coming through, and how realistic the international side of the challenge with Maldives is. I've been doing some research on this and have some thoughts. I'll continue for now at least until Kouakou hits 1,000 goals, but will be simming a lot. I think to see progress elsewhere in the league will take a while, so I need to get through a lot of seasons. 


Edited by leyrtj
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  • 3 months later...



Kelaa Sports - Maldives - Build a Nation Challenge

Season 21 - 25 Review

I took a break from this save after 22 seasons, but I always wanted to come back and finish 25 seasons for completion. Also I wanted to give Kouakou a chance to get to a 1,000 goals.

On the club side, we won another 2 AFC Champions Leagues in Seasons 21 and 22, making it 5 in a row. When we came back to finish the save, we weren't as focused so didn't manage another one in Seasons 23, 24, or 25. We continued winning league and cup doubles. However, we didn't quite manage to become the highest reputation team in the continent, despite the 5 Champions Leagues in a row, with Al-Ahli somehow managing to hold on to that.


Kouakou hit a career 1,000 goals in the final season


On the league side, the highest the Maldivian Dhivehi league went to in the rankings was 4th, and 2nd in the coefficients. The Saudi league is number 1 and doesn't look like being surpassed any time soon. The other teams in the league havne't made much progress in the last 5 years, though they are slowly upgrading their facilities as the TV money continues to come in. None of them has gone beyond the group stage of the Champions League. 


Internationally, it's been a very good 5 years. In the previous update we'd managed to get out of the World Cup first qualifying group, knocking out Saudi Arabia in the process. In the Final Grouo stage won only managed a 5th place finish but qualified for the playoffs. We beat Vietnam across 2 legs and I thought we were through the the world cup. But, no, we had another game. We beat Vanuatu in the next game, but there was another game. This time we face Uruguay and I thought the World Cup dream was over. However, we beat them 4 - 0 and the Maldives reached their first World Cup. We drew Croatia and Chile in the World Cup group stage, which didn't seem too bad a group for our seeding, but couldn't manage a point. 

The qualification for the World Cup apparantly meant we didn't need to qualify for the Asian Cup in 2043. 3 key players had retired after the World Cup, so the team was weakened. However, out good seeding meant we had a relatively easy group with Myanmar, Oman and Lebanon. We finished second in the group and qualified for our first ever Asian Cup knockout game. Unfortunately, it was against Saudi Arabia and our dreams were over quickly.

So, great progress on the international side. However, with some key retirements the future doesn't look so good. In the past 5 seasons, there's only been one quality player coming through the youth intake.






Overall Challenge Progress


- Domestically, it's been good and the only downside is not hitting number one in reputation - not sure why with those 5 Champions Leagues in a row

- Division wise, we did well, but it would need another 25 years for the other clubs in our league to catch up

- Internationally, again it's been good progress, but I can't see us hitting those goals in the near future with the retirement of key players

- With more focus, I think two of the other objectives could be achieved in the next 5 years - Highest reputation and 75 international goals


Final Thoughts

It's been a really fun save, possibly my favourite ever. I'm definitely going to start another one of these in the near future

- I'm going to look at tweaking some of the rules of this challenge. No one else has started it yet so that shouldn't be an issue. I'd like to make it more achieveable. In theory I could complete this challenge with the Maldives but you could be looking at 50 - 75 years before the domestic teams catch up. So I'd like to make the challenge achievable in 25 years or so. 

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So I've rethought the rules for completion. The initial criteria I set out, whilst possible, would have taken too long. And I'd like this challenge to be able to be completed in 20 - 40 seasons. It makes the challenge easier but it's still hard enough anyway.

Ultimately, Build a Nation to me means makes the nation better, but not necessarily the best. With this I've also changed the country criteria to be any country outside the top 50 of the current FIFA rankings. 

Changes are detailed below (changes in red) and will be updated in the first thread. Not sure this will tempt anyone to try the challenge (I see many are doing it anyway in the Careers thread). But I'm going to have another go. I won't count the Maldives attempt for the challenge.

New Country criteria

- Any team outside the top 50 of the FIFA rankings (so 51st and upwards)

New Challenge completion criteria

Club Honours

- Win the top domestic league

- Win the domestic main cup competition

- Win the champions league of the continent your club is based in

Have the club's reputation be in the top 5 of all clubs in the continent

Division Honours

Have your domestic league's reputation be in the top 5 of all leagues in the continent

Have your country's coefficient be in the top 5 of all nations in the continent

Country Honours

Have your country reach the knock out stages of the World Cup

- Have your country reach the Quarter Finals of the continental championships

Have your country move up 40 places in the World Rankings

Have a regen national team player score 75 international goal



Thinking behind the changes

- For the club honours I canged it from 1st ot top 5. In the Maldives save I won the Champions League 5 times in a row but was still 2nd. 

- For the division honours I changed it to top 5. This means the challenge can be completed in the 20 - 40 year timeframe as it takes ages for the AI to catch up. 

- For the International side I made it easier. The requirements are now much more achieveable for the competitions. Also you have a trade off. If you take a team just outside the top 50 of the FIFA rankings (e.g. Slovenia), reaching the kcock out stages of the World Cup is achieveable. However, you then have to get Slovenia up to 17th in the rankings which is much tougher. Or if you take a team low down in the rankings, it's easier to move up 40 places but harder to get the competition objecives. 

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Chernomorets Balchik - Bulgaria

For my second go at this challenge, I'm heading to Bulgaria. Bulgaria's youth rating is mostly okay at 72 and their game importance is Very Important which is what attracted me to them. Bulgaria are sitting at 75th in the world so we need to take them up to 35th. I holidayed 5 years into the future this time, as I mostly like to play with regens. 

Bulgaria's top flight only allows 3 non-EU players which is definitely going to be one of the challenges here. But players can get Bulgarian nationality after 5 years. The league is already at 22nd in the ranking, and Bulgaria sit 21st in the UEFA coefficients. 

We chose Chernomorets Balchik as they're on the coast of the Black Sea and have some okay facilities. 

The Plan - the 5 year plan is to get promoted and get into Europe. 






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Chernomorets Balchik - Bulgaria - Build a Nation Challenge

Seasons 1 - 5 Update

It's been an excellent start to the save. Our goal was to get promoted and get into Europe and that's exactly where we are.

Getting promoted out of the Tier 2 Vtora League was more challenging than expected. With a total lack of money and player quality, we scrambled around for a half decent team to start the season with. Then we gradually populated the team with loan players, which gave us enough quality. We couldn't make the play offs in the first season, but went up automatically in the second season.

 I was expecting the first season in the top flight to be more difficult than it was but, again, loans were the key alongside some decent signings and we finished 3rd. Seasons 4 and 5 saw 2nd place finishes, which put us into the qualifying for the Champions League group stages, but didn't get through qualifying. Levski Sofia are by far the best team still, so the next 5 years will be to topple them. They have been signing lots of wonderkids with their champions league money so this will be tough. 

We had two good seasons in the Europa League, making it out of the group stage both times. Levski has also been doing well in Europe meaning the coefficients and rankings have been boosted.  




Quite possibly my favourite part of FM is wonderkid hunting on the cheap. The focus has been to generate as much money as possible through buying and selling. This has hurt us a bit in the short term in the league, but this is obviously a long term save. The process has gone really well, much better than expected. Yordanov going for 10m in Season 3 was a big help and sped up the process. Take the money, reinvest, sell etc. I started offering him out, hoping to get a 40% clause on him, then saw the media message that teams were going to bid 9m for him. I actually almost didn't sign him initially, but he was on a free and cheap wages so thought why not. There are two clauses ready to sell but they're not worth much. 







Not much to talk off. Bulgaria are still in much the same ranking position, and only have one elite player. I'll look to take the international job in 5 to 10 years. 

Challenge Progress


Goals for the next 5 years:

- Win the league and cup

- Reach the group stage of the Champions League

- Continue to make money through transfers. Aim to have a settled squad by Season 10

- 3 upgrades to Training and Youth Facilities

- New stadium

- 5 foreign affiliates




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Chernomorets Balchik - Bulgaria - Build a Nation Challenge

Seasons 6 - 10 Update

Seasons 6 to 10 in challenge have been excellent, totally surpassing my expectations, and we only went and won the Champions League in Season 10. I'm loving this save. 

As at the Season 5 update above, we'd established ourselves as a top 4 Bulgarian team and were generally quialifying for the Europa League group stages. We finally picked up silverware in Season 6 with a cup win, and then won the Bulgarian efbet Liga title in Season 7. We managed to retain the leagues in seasons 7, 8 and 9, but each time was a battle, and it wasn't until season 10 that we were able to dominate the league. Being able to dominate the league was key as we were able to play a second XI in league games, meaning our first XI was well rested for the Champions League games. Also, it meant our morale was high throughout the squad.

We made it out of the Champions League group stage for the first time in Season 7, and generally were a Round of 32 or Quarter Final team from then on. Until Season 10 that is. Selling some players for huge money meant we were able to reinvest in weak areas and we put together a good squad. However, the squad is not good enough to win the champions, but we had an unbeliveable run to the finals - playing Ajax, Porto, Sevilla and Athletico Madrid along the way. Not sure I've ever had an easier path to win the Champions League. 





The key to progress was dealing in the transfer market and it's one of the favourite parts of the game for me. Finding cheap wonderkids in random parts of the world - not sure there's much better. We managed to unearth wonderkids from Mali, Kosovo, Japan and two from Bosnia. We looked to turn over players to build a bank and then repeat the process. Thos players that were Champions League potential we held on to unless a ridiculous bid came in. We made good money, but then in Season 8 we sold Mustafa Ibrahimovic for 35m. This enabled us to go after a higher class of player, which then meant more profit. Selling Gaston Padovano for 85m in Season 9 was another catalyst.

The squad is now a lot more stable and we don't need to sell as much. I'm starting to focus on bringing in U18s with 5 star potential to then go out of loan in the league or to sell them to domestic clubs. 


Some wonderkids:






Other teams in the league

The other teams in Bulgaria have been doing well, beyond what I was hoping for. They're investing in their facilties and have been regualrly making the knock out stages in Europe. I've not created a loan farm as such, but I'm been loaning out around 20 players per season. The league reputation is now up to 8th and our coefficients in up to 6th. We're only a few places from meeting the challenge criteria there but I suspect it'll take a few seasons to break the top 5


Internationally is the only part of the challenge that hasn't gone well. We took over the national team at the beginning of Season 9. We managed to gain promotion from Division 3 to Division 2 of the Nations League which was good progress. We're now halfway through World Cup qualification and it was going well after 5 games. We'd only lost to France and were sitting in 2nd. However, a home loss to Scotland has meant it'll be difficult to qualify unless they slip up or we beat France at home. 

One area of concern has been the poor quality of youth intakes in Bulgaria. I've been scouting all the youth intake players and in the past 5 seasons there's only been one player with really good potential. There's a fair few okay players but nothing of quality that will make us a better team. There are, however, a few good players aged 27 - 31 so we need to produce some soon before they retire.

I've also been learning more about how get players to represent your nation. I have an Argentinian on our team who's been with us for 5 years and just took up Bulgarian second nationality. He's really good but not good enough for the Argentinian national team. Once he got second nationality I was going to ask him to represent us, but there wasn't the option. After looking around online I believe that a player has to have the second nationality before they have any youth caps otherwise they can never represent the new country. I believe this is how it works but if anyone knows more let me know. I have a number of other players who'll reach the 5 years in the next Season or two so I can learn more. Nationalizing players was always part of the strategy. If this rule is the case then I'll need to focus on players over 21 who don't have any youth caps.  

Challenge Progress (3/10 achieved)


Goals for the next 5 seasons:

- Continue going far in the Champions League to build our's and Bulgaria's ranking

- Bring in lots of top potential players to them loan out to the other teams and then sell on later

- Become financially independent 

- Get up to 12 foreign affiliates

- Nationalize 3 good players who improve the national team

- Bring in some players who are over 21 with no youth caps. They should be good enough to improve us but not good enough for their country's national team (if only to test the system)



Edited by leyrtj
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Chernomorets Balchik - Bulgaria - Build a Nation Challenge

Season 11 - 15 Update

It's been a really good 5 seasons in the challenge and much progress has been made.

Domestically we continued to dominate, but that's expected. In the Champions League we have continued to reach the latter stages, and have beeen in the semis 3 times in the past 5 seasons. It's solid stuff, but not spectacular as we've not managed to win it again since Season 10. We have a pretty decent team, and we're gradually strengthening it. Part of the issue is we keep on having to sell 100m of players each year to subsidize our loan farm. There's very little money domestically, so it's only Champions League money that brings in money. In Season 13 we sold our star keeper for 120m as it just seemed too good to turn down. But then our 5 star potential replacement keeper ended up only being a 3.5 star keeper. But, all in all, it's good progress. The only achievement we have left at club level is getting our reputation into the top 5 in Europe. So far, we haven't got past 13th but I think this is limited by the reputation of the league, so we'll need to be a bit patient there. 


Possibly our star player. Not sure I've had a better player at 18. 



Other Teams in Bulgaria

The other teams in the league have also been doing well. Many of them are regulary reaching in the knock out stages in Europe and Slavia Sofia won the Conference League. All this meant the Bulgarian league currently sits 4th in the coefficients meaning that objective has been ticked off. The league has been steadily rising and now sits 6th in reputation, one off the target. The other teams' reputation is also slowly rising so hopefully we'll go above the French league soon. This should in turn help our own reputation.

The loan farm is going well, and we're loaning out 40 - 50 players to the domestic teams in Europe. The good part is that better and better players are willing to go there on loan, which then helps performance in Europe, which leads to a better reputation etc. Just need patience here and to keep doing what we're doing.






Internationally is where we've made the most progress. As at the last update, we'd just taken over the national team and been promoted to Division B of the Nations League. We then failed to make the World Cup, that loss at home to Scotland costing us. However, we then got promoted again in the Nationas League, and things started snowballing. We qualified for the Euros, partly because our Nations League performance gave us a first seed, which led to a much easier group.

In Euro 2036, we drew a relatively easy group of Denmark, Turkey and Serbia. A 1 - 0 win in the final game against Serbia saw us squeeze through as best 3rd placed team. Unfortunately, Italy knocked us out in the round of 16. We need to reach the quarter finals to reach the goal, so we'll have to wait 4 seasons.

Then things got a bit silly. We beat France and Germany to win our Nations League division, then qualified for the World Cup, topping our easy group. We then beat Nigeria and Japan in the World Cup group stage, which was enough to meet that criteria. I was happy and knew we'd lose soon. But then we beat China. Then we beat Germany in the round of 16, making it to the quarter finals. Only an extra time goal by Argentina saw us knocked out. All that saw our ranking hit a high of 23rd, up 52 places from our ranking at the beginning.

Much of this was down to fresh blood in the squad. A number of decent players were coming through. There are no world beaters, but a lot more strength and depth than previous. We also managed to persuade 5 players to represent us, having been on our club team for 5 years. Again, no world beaters, but each was a small increase in quality. 

The one downside. Our top regen scorer, Petar Mihaylov, retired on 74 goals, one short of the requirements. Not even qualifying for the World Cup could persuade him out of retirement. Hopefully we'll persuade him with the higher ranking, but if not we have a number of seasons ahead. We have 21 year old striker on 15 goals, but at, say 7 - 8 goals a year, we're looking at 8 seasons or so. The one difficulty here is you can't organize many friendlies due to the nations league fixture, so you can play too many games againsty San Marino and the US Virgin islands. Still we wait.   




The first player we persuaded to represent Bulgaria. 




Challenge Progress (6/10)


Goals for the next 5 seasons:

- Keep going domestically. It'll come

- Qualify for the Euros

- Reach the quarter finals of the Euros

- Persuade Mihaylov out of retirement to score one more goal



Edited by leyrtj
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