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  1. M Russia The Hosts. In many ways, this team is the opposite of Colombia! Russia has lots of good players but few great ones, this gave me the confidence to build a team to any formation. The players, for the most part, are Determined and disciplined and I can see those qualities being very helpful for an "underdog" run. I keep hearing how "3 strikers" is overpowered in this match engine so I want to try it out, and if there is any team that would take advantage of technicalities and questionable moral decisions it would be Russia. First impressions are mixed, we smashed Qatar but only just scraped past Israel in the warm up games so there are still question marks as we open the Tournament against Egypt. Game 1, Egypt. It took 7 min for Gushakov to open 2018 world cup scoring. Drilling a long shot to the bottom corner. We had plenty of chances across the half with Egypt having the odd counter-attack but not having much in the way of the ball themselves but it remained 1-0. The Second half looked to be much the same but my nemesis of this entire campaign Mo Salah only went on a break and scored the equaliser! I really love the spirit of this Russian team though, they didn't waiver and switching focus to inside the penalty box paid off as Egypt clumsily gave away a penalty on the 80th minute. Kokorin duly scored and we held on for a deserved 2-1 win. Game 2, Saudi Arabia . A win here would all but guarantee us a spot in the last 16 and I wanted to go into this match guns blazing. Kokorin took this philosophy to heart and scored a lovely header after just 4 minutes. His guns were a little TOO blazing though as a short temper span left him collecting two yellow cards just before the stroke of half-time. Being a man down is never something you want, but Russia's big weakness is most the players don't have the stamina or natural fitness to match up to how determined and hardworking they are. For once, I was playing as the cleaner team as I didn't want any more sending offs, the Saudis pressed on but over eager they gave away a freekick on the edge of the box. Dzagoev stepped forward and buried it! Cleanest strike you will ever see to put us 2-0 up and relieve the pressure. Saudi knowing that since they had already lost game 1, this loss would put them out if they were not careful and they got desperate. Artem Dzyuba got in a postion to counter and the forward finally got himself on the score sheet after harassing the Saudis for a large part of the game. 3-0 win! Bring on the Vodka. Game 3. Uruguay The South Americans also go into this game on 6 points after 1 goal victories over both Saudi and Egypt. This means We are guranteed to the last 16 and if this game ends in a draw, we will top the group! So I picked the strongest team I could, minus Kokorin who is suspended. Zabolotny the defensive striker will make his world cup entry. Things started excellently once again as we win a penalty after just 3 minutes! It appears my best penalty taker is...Akinfeev! The Goalkeeper, well I like psychological warfare. Keeper vs Keeper lined up and Akinfeev does it, he takes the rare honour of being a goal keeper on the score sheet! Things were looking acceptably dull when on the stroke of half-time Cavani snuck a header in to go 1-1. Doh! The second half carried on the same form. Dzyuba and Cavani both had look-ins on either side but it looked like we would top the group with a fine draw....oh snap. Injury time came along and Maxi Perira somehow finds Maxi Gomez and now I'm Maxi Furious. Vodka Please. 1-2 Loss. Game 4. Spain Sometimes in this challenge, Spain collapse and do nothing of note. Not this time, they scored 12 goals in the group stage and easily topped their group! Early goals have been a thing for Russia, but this time it's in the wrong net :(. Diego Costa jumps in between a mix up between keeper and defence and scores an easy goal. Opps. This is the worst team to go down too aswell, as Spain just love to have the ball and after 20 minutes had over 70% posession and 6 shots on target to my none. It got a little better but not much. I'd love to say I masterminded an epic comeback, but Spain just did to me what they did to everyone nearly a decade ago. 0-1. сука блять. ---------- Eventually, it came down to a Spain vs Portugal final, so It probably would have been a bad story even had we won the group! CR7 scored a penalty to win the game. Dem Portugal boys :D. Timo Werner top scorer with 8, David Silva best player. Next up, we are going Sub Sahara.
  2. Thanks for all the support so far Colombia My first (both this challenge and in FM) foray into South American management. Of all the Formation/Team selecting this was by far the hardest of the challenge so far. Colombia has a few great players, Cuadrado, James Rodriguez and Falcao for example but lots of missing areas or players that don't excel in one position but play many. There is a real shortage of talented right backs, left backs, central midfield (other than James R) that just make a mess of my core plans. I drafted up a 4-3-3, a 4-4-2 and a 4-4-2 Diamond before eventually dropping to just the one striker with an AM/Shadow behind with one winger. The chopping and changing was reflected in the warmup games with a 0-1 to Serbia and an embarrassing 0-3 to France. So we were far from confident for game 1. Poland. Fortunatly, Poland were woeful like real life, I have never seen a team so rigid that they would leave the ball alone rather than press with any sense of urgency. We easily could have been several goals up but Szeczney pulled off a string of great saves. Jose Izquiedo scored what proved to be the winner. The relative unknown Brighton winger was key player for all 60 minutes he played. Before a 2 footed tackle saw him booted from the game! Killed our forward momentum but really Poland never looked in it. James Rodriguez decided that to make things more interesting, he'd blow his Hamstrings. Yay :(. 1-0. Game 2. Japan Japan went in guns blazing and corner defending was nowhere near to scratch, a failed clearance and a bit of bouncing about saw CB Yoshida take a surprise lead after just 2 minutes. It took a relentless push for the rest of the half for Cuadrado to edge the equaliser but our team is looking tired from the hard work yikes, the average age of my teams is one of the higher ones! The 2nd half dragged and dragged and Japan got more and more punchy, and took the lead on shots and shots on target. On the 80th minute, my final sub of the game, I brought on Andres Ricaurte. A near unknown attacking mid who at 26 has never left the Colombian leagues. He was on the pitch a good 20 seconds before scoring his first goal for Colombia and scraping a probably undeserved 2-1 win for Colombia! Game 3. Senegal . I'm now on 6 points, Poland on 3 after defeating Senegal. The Africans are on 1 point due to a draw with Japan. So I am guaranteed in the next round. So I went ahead and "rested" most of the starting 11 for this game. I kept Falcao on because I am hoping that a goal will finally get his world cup run into gear! It is here where Barrios earned his true spot on the starting 11. The DM had more control of the game then C.Sanchez showed in the two previous. Calling the shots and providing a beautiful long ball for Falcao to finally earn a world cup goal! 4 Minutes later, Ricaurte who I never expected to even play, being the "cover man" I hired for versatility made it 2-0 and back from a red, Izqueido scored a glorious edge of the box curler to Burry the game. This was meant to be my B team, hang on? Final score 3-0. After the worst warm up period I've had with the hardest team selection. I get my first Perfect group run. 9 points. My reward. England (Who lost the Belgium game 5-1!!). James Rodriguez is still injured and after the Senegal game I had a bit of a headache trying to pick a starting 11! The formation and tactics remained the same though and England line up surprisingly defensive. With Kane, Rashford and Stirling the only players ahead of 1CM 2 DM's and the back 4. Other than the snooze against Japan, out defence had proved really disciplined. And they were even when England took the lead, it's just Harry Kane smashing it into the top corner is just something we couldn't stop. I tried to push for a more attacking focus as England were giving the ball away fairly often, nut they then struck with pace on the counter with Sterling and Rashford proving too good for our Wingbacks who play more attack then defence minded! Rashford putting us in real danger. The second half saw what is now surely national hero Andres Ricaurte score his 3rd goal in 3 games but it wasn't enough. England sharpened up and wouldn't give up the ball and we just ran out of time to get the score level and go to extra time. We are out in the knock out stage again. Egyp The rest of the World Cup was a big of a strange one. England lost to Germany, who themselves lost out in the semi final to...Egypt of all teams. Mo Salah scoring a hat trick. See, he turns up when the Ai run it :(. Egypt themselves came to face Uruguay for the 2nd time in the least expected final. Uruguay won it. Salah best player, Lewandowski top goal scorer.
  3. , Finally, my first top-tier nation. Reigning European champions Portugal. I have Ronaldo, I have creative players I have brave players. I have players that should give their all for the win. If Portugal has any weakness, it's that it does not have the greatest defence. So, from the start I wanted a Back 3 to cover gaps. From there, Guerro on the left and Semedo and Cedric (sub) on the right make fantastic wingbacks and from pre-world cup games really controlled the games. Next, I wanted to focus on the attacking end and the Ronaldo question, I want him up front, scoring the goals. Andre Silva though has too good a goalscoring record to keep out the starting 11 though as he is a force for both club and country. This leaves 3 players to cover the rest of the midfield position. Guedes, Nani, Quaresma and Bernado Silva all have great qualities for wingers that I couldn't resist so as you can see I created a very front stacked line. So I had only the one centre midfielder, who I dub, the hardest working man in Portugal, Moutinho! The Monaco man is an incredible force and ignoring the Ronaldo headlines, the true heart of the team. He can pass, tackle he is always where you want him to be and has to run a heck of a lot! So I have a heavy attack, heavy defence, wing backs and only the one true midfield player! The first game is against Morocco. I have played FM since FM2010, I have never in my life had a game with 0 on target shots from both teams. 90 minutes later, I achieved what I thought was impossible the dullest of 0-0 draws. From a team with 4 Attacking players! On the other side, Iran defeat Spain 1-0! It's the Iranians I play next. Do you want goals? I give you goals! Silva nodded 1 in front after just a few minutes after a run down the wing by Semedo. Semedo gets on the scoresheet himself a little after. Silva makes his 2nd and a quiet Ronaldo finally nods home a 4th. Guedes got himself sent off leading to a somewhat frustrating end as Iran pulled a couple back but the win was well secure by now. 4 points secured and a shock on the other side, Spain lose again to Morocco. They have 0 points they are out of the world cup! I now have the best chance to top the group, Spain have been terrible, so a quick win will see me good. We lose 0-2. It was near impossible to fail to qualify, but Iran defeating Morocco and our good goal difference means we advance in 2nd with Iran shock group winners. Russia topped group A, so this is who we are playing in knock out stage 1. Things started bad for us, Shatov thunder bastard a long-range shot in just 3 minutes. Ruben Dias playing his first game for Portugal scores an own-goal in a miss timed back pass. But we have something that Russia do not have. CR7! Ronaldo who has scored just the 1 goal up to this point starts banging them in and by half-time scores 3 goals! 3-2, what a superb comeback from the lads after 2 unfortunate goals. Dias was benched and won't play for Portugal again as long as I'm in charge! The match flowed nicely, the Russians getting desperate led to Ronaldo sprinting clear once again, this time he provides a nice assist for A.Silva to score his 3rd in the world cup. Denmark was our next opponent, having defeat surprise group winner Nigeria. Pepe was my man at the centre of defence up to this stage, but successive yellows meant I had to shuffle defenders around until I got the set up from the image above. This back three really seemed to click as Denmark could not find away through it! The stats say Denmark had 21 shots on goal, but most were wild, they had 3 on target and Patricio was alert enough to stop anything going through. Ronaldo on the over end was not so wasteful, putting 2 past the Danes early allowing us to cruise into the World Cup Semi Final! Colombia didn't have as easy a ride to the semis. They went into extra time to defeat Germany 3-2 and lost Falcao to injury in the process! We also had to make a striker change. Andy Silva had picked up his 2nd yellow and so had to miss this game. Guedes moved from winger to defencive striker and I finally got to start Nani, my creative winger that had injury problems days before the tournament. It took 6 minutes for Guedes to score his first goal for Portugal. 15 minutes later he scored again! Colombia were easy to tear apart and really offered very little in terms of attacking play. James Rodriguez was a danger man early, but we managed to injure him >:D. Ronaldo secured our ticket to the World cup Final with his 7th goal of the tournament, over taking Neymar as top scorer. Brazil had already been eliminated (by Sweden of all teams) so with just the final to come the chances are he will get Golden Boot. We didn't get to see Brazil killers Sweden, they lost to France! It is Les Bleus we will face for the cup. We are back to full strength, the team screenshot is the final 11 I had for the World Cup. I went for Silva as defence striker over Guedes who nonetheless starts on left wing. Nelson Semedo became the first choice wing back over Cedric for a variety of reasons, Semedo can defend as much as attack, has a killer passing game and is super consistent. After the first 6 games of the World cup he has the highest average rating, ahead of Moutinho, Ronaldo and A.Silva respectively. He showed why, with a sprint down the left crossing all the way infront of the keeper to Guedes, a close range header and we lead the World Cup! Just three minutes later, Semedo again dukes left, passes short across the goal mouth, this time ball kept on the ground and it's Guedes! Who one taps it into the goal. Two games, four goals for Guedes who played both striker and winger! We shift focus to defence and France just can't get in, Pogba came close hitting the crossbar. Ronaldo also takes plenty of shots but fails to improve his tally. Not that he would mind all that much. We did it, we Won! Golden Boot: Ronaldo 7 Best Young Player: Gonzalo Guedes Ronaldo also made team of the tournament, rightly so as he had more shots, more shots on target and more headers won then anyone else. LLoris made best keeper. Moutinho, Semedo (5 assists) and Patricio should all feel upset they missed out on the all star team, they were great! Whilst my defence team were superb as a team. Finally, something nice to shout about I wonder who I get next? Ohhh, South America! Overall Portugal had most shots, most clean sheets, most fouls and most yellows. We placed 25/32 in terms of possession, but with only one true midfielder this was to be expected, Direct Football for life. ,
  4. Which is probably why I should skip over Egypt! Egyptian players overall have surprisingly good tactical senses. With Positioning and Offball being key stats for most the team. Ironically Salah is not so great at this! So with locking in Salah and the 3 best goalkeepers I looked to build a free flowing team. One that would have all players Defend and Attack as the situation arises and by giving maximum creative freedom to the team. With tough warm-up games against England and Spain, we had the perfect opponents to test this out. 0-1 and 1-1 were respectable score lines I thought. In this parallel universe, it is us not Arabia that open the World Cup with Russia. This is a cagey match, our 4-1-2-2-1 Formation (Narrow Middle, Wide attackers) Gave us plenty of space to play in. But the Russias were determined opponents and were always dangerous on the ball. It took the 87th minute and Sam Morsy opened the scoring, an unexpected first goal scorer and it looked like we'd eek a win. But Fedor Smolov had other ideas and smashed in the top corner in injury time. What I hadn't yet seen with my free flow tactic is what happens when I go behind early. Cavani took the lead 20 minutes in game 2. I was worried we'd melt away from there but actually, we played well. creating chances. Salah actually had 1v1 situations with their keeper a few times but Muslera would not be beaten. Cavani slot home 1 more when I decided we'd throw it all forward in hopes of a draw. We Lose 2-0. So like the previous teams. We are in a position of weakness despite not playing badly at all. Saudi Arabia. The final game. Even a victory may not be enough, Russia and Uruguay can afford to tie this one and send us home as Uruguay won both theirs and Russia beat Saudi. Which is harsh for us as after 30 minutes we were 3-0 to the good! Hassan, Sobhi and Hosny Fathy sinking the Saudi ship. Or so we thought. Eden Hazard we key in Belgiums World Cup win, securing best player. The Saudis thought back ferociously and scored 2 before the break making it 3-2. A late penalty made it 3-3 and we finished the group 3rd on two points. Russia and Uruguay drew 0-0 anyway. Mo Salah, the Egyptian Messi. 0 Goals, 0 Assists, Average rating 6.5 I couldn't make him work at all!
  5. I was keen to show the world what Croatia could do, but unfortunately, the injury gods were not! Before the first game against Nigeria, I had 4 first team players out injured. Vrjasko was my pre-cup star, dominating the right wing, so it was nice to see him not just cut through but actually score against Nigeria after just 20 minutes. But, guess what, by minute 28 he too took a calf injury and that's his world cup over. 2-2-2WB-3 was my formation of choice by the way. Smart defence with the wing backs controlling play and it worked well as we went 2-0 up on Nigeria. Things looked good but unfortunately the team just ran out of stamina against a strong determined Nigeria and they managed to out jump the defence for 2 sloppily defended goals. 2-2. Iceland, I had to change formation, electing for a 4-4-2 but the match played out almost identically to the Nigeria game. An early lead followed by a 2-2 draw. Just Argentina to play now. Finally, FINALLY. Everything went to plan. I evidently am the worst manager ever to play FM, but like real life, Sampadoli's Argentina are even worse! Slightly adjusting to a 4-4-2 diamond, Peresic played out of skin. Chopping up Argentina time and time again, scoring twice and providing a hat trick of assists. Yes, you read that right. With his help, we put 5 past Argentina! Higuain did manage to pull in a consolation goal but we celebrated wildly making the top 16. Unfortunately, Argentina had already beaten Iceland and Nigeria beforehand so with 6 points top the group ahead of our 5. A shame really, as we were the best team in the group and now have to face the winner of Group C, France! France. We kept the same formation as the Argentine game. Peresic the new star for Croatia with Ratik, Mandzukic and Modric (back from injury) also netting during the group stage we actually look a decent team. 20 minutes in we take the lead against France, it's Peresic again! One of my aims on this challenge was to try and find heroes and there he is. But Croatia's weakness has been that of physical stamina and France have that in abundance. Pogba scored a 20 ft screamer to level and Greizeman poked ahead on the 80th minute against weary Croatia who's defence has been as chequered as their logo. Throwing everything forward to try and take it into overtime, Mbappe scored on the counter and we are out. Ouch. Like Senegal, I feel a bit salty about this one as I know I could have done better. Ho Hum. Hopefully Mo Salah will cheer me up for attempt 5. Where I plan on trying something a bit radical.
  6. I rolled Croatia for the next country. Considering how underpowered Iceland are in FM and how woeful Nigeria can be, surely I'm in the top 16? What could possibly go wrong? Oh.
  7. Senegal. Arguably the best team in Africa but in a tough group with both Colombia and Poland to deal with. The first 4 strikers this team have are better then anything Panama or even Switzerland had to offer with Sow, Babacar, Balde and of course, the star player Liverpool's Mane. This is mixed with some powerful Defenders like Koulibaly and a strong central midfield means this is physically a great squad. Unfortunately, Goalkeeping is very weak and it's hard to make the defence work as a cohesive unit. I have elected to run a narrow 4-3-3 with the aim of playing direct balls forward. Goals are what I need and goals are what I will hopefully get. Just crossing fingers not too many come the other way to be honest! A 5-1 destruction of Guinea is exactly what I was hoping for going into the world cup. Colombia should prove a tougher test. Game 1: Good news and bad, the good is Mane has scored my first goal of the challenge! Senegal certainly play with lots of passion and are thrilling to watch, but alas the bad news. Colombia just continually danced around my defence and my inexperienced goal keeper had a nightmare slipping up and letting Baca score twice. a 5.8 rating for him and low 6.2 6.3 for the others put down what was a great game for the rest of the team. Even with the direct ball approach, we had 48% possession! We go to face Poland needing at least a point. Senegal 1 - Colombia 2 Game 2: Poland come in to the game victors against Japan and within 3 minutes score against us. Lewandowski slices through and opens scoring. But on the other end of the pitch Mane mirrors this and slices in a goal of his own 1-1 and a more alert play from the Lions means we control the later stage of the first half. Ndiaye, in particular, is creating many chances for the strikers and we are looking good going into the second half. But that man Lewandowski again puts us behind. The Lions don't give up though and 3 minutes later we go back level, Mane setting up Babacar! Set pieces is something Senegal are okay at, but for Poland is one of their aces and a freekick lands perfectly at the feet of Polish boots and we go down 2-3! Looking like this may be it in a cruel world cup in which we played well but were up against it, Mane the mighty scored in the 94th minute of play, out duking defence and slotting it in the bottom left corner. I punch the air for real and wake up the dog. Senegal go against the whipping boys Japan to see if they can make the last 16! Senegal 3 - Poland 3 Game 3: Japan. Mane has been our star man and has lived up to the hype, Zinedine Zidane (still at Madrid in this universe) even stopped by to watch him last game. So all of West Africa must have looked on in horror when just 20 minutes into the game Sadio had to come off with a calf injury :(. We have a significant height advantage against Japan, but they have great technical skill and are sniping with Honda, Muto and Kagawa. I'm already playing my 3rd goal keeper, a large and agile, all be it eccentric, gentleman by the name of Ba and he actually seems to be holding his own. This is proving a cagey game, with Japan in particular keen to stop play at any opportunity but the Lions also hit back a few. There were over 30 fouls commited this game and it is there that decides the fate. Deep in the 2nd half Sakai jumps in against Babacar and the ref rules the tackle as high and impeeding, it's a Penalty! Veteran Sow steps up and easily whips it into the bottom left corner. 1-0 and news is Colombia are 1-0 up on Poland. We need just one more goal or for Colombia to score again and we are through! But just as things are looking up, Koulibaly and Osako both run for the ball in the penalty box and as you'd expect, down goes the Japanese player and we conced our own penalty. 1-1 it is. And even though Senegal have played amazingly well spirited football, we end up still winless and 3rd in the group. Colombia 9 Poland 4 Senegal 2 Japan 1 For the 2nd time Russia went all the way and won the world cup! Defeating France 2-1 in the final. Despite eeking it out my group, Poland eventually finished 4th, losing to England in a penalty shoot out. Harry Kane scored 8 goals to be top scorer and Pogba won player of the tournament.
  8. Switzerland is a team with some household names. Famed for an iron defence and also for making it to tournaments and then being kinda eh, Spain win aside! Shaqiri, Lichtensteiner and Rodriguez are obvious core squad members. But their weak link right now is lack of an out and out goal scorer. Embolo is probably first choice but is young and not quite there yet. I have decided to go for a Target Man approach and put Drediyok in the team. Switzerland don't lack strong defensive minded midfielders. I will pack 2 DM with a centre mid. Stick Shaqiri out on the wing and hope balls will get to the striker of Drediyok and a roaming Embolo. A friendly awaywith Iran, who incidentally use the same formation, yielded a win with Drediyok scoring the winner. This was the only warm up game pre tournament and a slight shift to reality, our first game saw us go in to face Serbia. We controlled possession and had 7 shots on target but could not get the goal against a stubborn Defensive Serbia. Their one shot on target all game leaks through Sommers hands and we lose the game 1-0. Now the pressure is on, against Brazil we ideally need at least a draw here and unfortunatly Gabriel Jesus proved to much for use cutting our defence to shreds and leading to a 3-0 defeat. Serbia defeated Costa Rica so we found ourselves eliminated already. Costa Rica are a weak team, so surely we can win that? Shaqiri fired shot after shot but couldn't hit a barn and embarassingly I'm 2 world cups in without a goal scored and bottom of the group once again. Stats: Germany defeat Serbia (of all teams, the team that ruined me!) in the final. Kevin Volland the scorer in a 1-0 regular time game. Higuain scored an incredible 10 goals as Argentina scored heavily before defeat in the semi-final to Germany. Ronaldo beat Messi 2-1 in the bronze game.
  9. Panama qualified as the 3rd team from CONCACAF and surprised everyone with their first world cup. I would love to say they are a promising squad with hidden gems but compared to the other teams in the world cup there is little they offer as an advantage. They do have some aerial strikers though and playing counter attack football with longballs towards keyman Luis Tejada. At 36 it highlights the age problem this team has, with the famous players mostly pushing mid-late 30's! Valentin Pimentel is probably the best player in terms of all-round attacking force with both passing and scoring so he is my creative threat whilst a whole host of solid but unspectacular defensive players meant I decided to go with a 5-2-2-1 Formation. With 2 wingback and 2 attacking wingers and Tejada the sole striker. Preseason saw two matches, a tricky Ecuador and a rather pointless match with Bermuda. The Ecuador game, the defence and wide play worked wonders with Pimentel eventually scoring an edge of the box winner. Bermuda was a rout, but with little to learn. So we went in looking alright against Belgium and for 80 minutes it was. But an unfortunate deflection lead to an own goal and Belgium scraping a win. In the other game, Tunisia defeated England meaning we need to get the results against the other teams in the group! The second game put us against Tunisia, this game went wrong early with again, a crowded defence lead to a ping pong own goal. Knowing we needed to win, we tried to surge forward and Tunisia piled in the goals sending us home early on. The England game at the end was a dead rubber, but we still hoped for 3rd. Harry Kane put an end to that and Poor Panama went out 0-0-3 with no goals scored. Hopefully something better in the next spin......Switzerland! I'll take that! Meanwhile, World Cup simulation #1 ended up with a surprise winner as Russia took out Spain, Argentina and Brazil out enroute to a final against fellow group mates, Uruguay. Where they managed a 3-1 win in extra time. Fedor Smolov winning Golden boot as well with 8 goals in 7. But on the same record and voted player of the tournament was Edinson Cavani, taking 5 POM performances on Uruguays run to the final.
  10. 1.Panama (4th group stage, 0-0-3) 1 2.Switzerland 1 3.Senegal 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10.... Total Points: 4
  11. There are obviously 32 teams in the world cup and it's frankly world cup fever right now! So I am going to load up the "real" groups of the Russian World cup and see how far I can get with each of the teams. Some teams are obviously better than others. With the likes of Brazil and France going to be easier then Panama or Saudi Arabia! I will use a random wheel to decide which teams I use and begin from there. And if anyone wants to play along and try it with me these are the settings I am using. Steam Workshop Golden Flame's real world cup. I have Japan and Germany playable. I am starting the game in Finland the April 2018 start and I have loaded all international, top players and national reputation players from every continent (roughly 80,000 players). I am setting these rules: 1) Scoring system. Eliminated 4th in group = 1 point (you tried!) Eliminated 3rd in group = 2 points top 16 knocked out = 4 points Quarter Final Knocked out = 6 points 4th place = 7 points 3rd place = 8 points 2nd place = 10 points World cup winner = 12 points! 2) No save scumming, you get 1 attempt per nation. If you cheat, shame on you! 3) No using the same tactic for every team. Don't be lame. ----------------------- https://www.randomnamepicker.net/spin-wheel Set the 32 nations and let destiny await.
  12. Thanks for the support! https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602624303391892/FF970AB102E7826C1A2AA763647B8A7B5419645F/ A look at the table after the first couple of months of action! Most teams have played 10 games and every team out there has lost at least one game! It is Tottenham that top the table (alliteration!). As a result, the reward is a view of what Tite's general line up is: https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602624303392226/5D235E9D50FA3E8CCF9D08556312EC0205F20D41/ You can see he is using the same core players for most of the games. The core 10 first team players have a rating over 7.2! It is as expected, Tevez leading the charge both in performance and scoreline. Not posting every teams first choices just yet but pretty much every team has more rotation than Tottenham on the pitch, with Gelsenkirchen having played every outfield player at least once! So Tite's non rotation is working for now at the top. Guus Hiddink is right behind with Hamburg. Hazard, Higuain and Hummels have been controlling games. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's Lionel Messi who is currently the highest rated player in the League for Man United and the phrase "Messi, Muller, Goal" is a common one! The current top scorer is Ibra in team Ibra, I mean Inter. The towering figure has been providing the goals, but Inter struggle to hold on to wins leading most games at half time only to drop down to draws! Dynamo Kiev are still punching above what many would expect, Jurgen Klopp is showing his skills, with a team that has very few constant starters, most the deep squad have played, but it is Toni Kroos that has dominated the team sheet and with good reason, he is the stand out player! Liverpool, Chelsea and Fiorentina are in a little bit of a dip from the last update and will hope it's nothing serious. Liverpool have Levandowski and Lukaku a devestating partnership whilst Chelsea have CR7 and Cavani banging them in, so should be fine. Fiorentina do not quite have the same dedicated goal scorers, with an easily injured flakey Falcao and Fred their best strike force, most their goals are coming from the midfield. There are some big teams not even in the top half of the table which shows how competitive the bunch are and perhaps just how much managers contribute. Arsenal, Barcelona and PSG are all well bellow where you'd expect, all 3 should be title contenders! Whilst at the back, it took some time for Zenit to score any points at all to drag them out of last! Xolos crucially won their game against Queritaro meaning the X team are NOT last, Xisco is currently on 5 goals as the team are surprisingly good at hitting the net, just sadly not so good at preventing scores. Xu Genbao the Chinese manager sure likes to play a risky game running an aggressive 4-2-3-1 narrow! As the league rumbles on towards the Christmas period, there are mumbles that some teams are not happy with their all star managers! To end this update, http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=892912654 it is Peckerman that is the first to face the block, here's hoping Pellegrini will have more success.
  13. Thank you. https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195872740770/E8C51AF37498000947AFC53B27FAE526BF50A9EA/ The first couple of games of the season have been played and super performances from Christiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez put their teams top of the league. PSG came back from 2 goals down to smash Sevilla 5-2, but after one game have had 4 major injuries, Pjanic will be out for at least 7 weeks! Wenger's first match amazingly was against Arsenal, Wolfsburg managed a very credible 2-2 draw. Toni Kruse is proving that Kyev are not a team to be ignored as they also have 2 victories to their name at the early days of the league. Finally, Juan Mata sets the benchmark for quickest goal, scoring just 42 seconds against Inter in a 1-1 draw. Any stats, formations or other information you'll like to know just ask. I also welcome predictions!
  14. 26 of the worlds best teams have come together to form a super league to determine just which letter is the Strongest in all of football! A cheesy premise? Maybe, but it has lead to some interesting teams. Some filled with giants of the sports and others...underdog stories in the making. Every letter is represented by a top international club and each team has a full squad of 33 players, the best 33 players Family names (or in Brazilians case nicknames) by current ability. Each team also is managed by a manager who's name begins with that letter! Representing the letter A we have Carlo Ancelotti's Arsenal https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866399241/0AC4384CAD142FAFA1A27C63F9BDC994E31732C8/ A stacked team to begin the list. Their keyman will be Sergio Aguero, many consider him the best striker in the EPL he will need to score consistently and stay injury free for Arsenal to have a chance. This team is full of Hispanic flair, it won't be the only team on the list to feature that! B Rafa Benitez's Barcelona https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866400066/DA5693D401C4771C35DD323E6AB2B82E037BC6EF/ Bale, Benzema, Boateng. That is a dangerous trio to have in a team that in terms of physical strength could well out muscle anybody. C Antonio Conte's Chelsea https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866399432/7B606E6A5055273101E13C5F1CBBC21189956375/ Christiano Ronaldo is filed under C using the Portugese/Brazilian style of naming and will be expected to lead the team from the front. Cavani is a goal scoring machine but Chiellini will need to hold what is a very attack focused team at the back. D Vicente del Bosque's Dortmond https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866399682/5688EDFFD2E893B237071C9F3F90BE103C983683/ Hard to pick the stand out player for Dortmond as all of them are solid top picks, but David de Gea is an incredible goalkeeper for a team that has all the ingredients to challenge. E Unai Emery's Everton https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866399901/806482122B6D93951BD2A734F8908F16A7221BF3/ Young Christian Eriksen will be the key to success for this team that features an interesting mix of Brazilians and African stars. A top manager to boot too makes this a team not to count out. F Alex Ferguson's Fiorentina https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866402044/A5CB13A1C2219B710272DFCF0D1BB9885F27EBF6/ Fergy out of retirement to champion a team made mostly of Brazilian stars. Fabregas and Falcao will have to be on top form for this team to have a chance, Fergie or not! G Josep Guaridola's Gelsenkirchen https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866400277/B661CAC044FFBC50CC2457699DB0C0C2A3ED972C/ Godin and Garay make possibly the strongest centre back line up so far and Greizemen and Gotze are strong attacking players, after that though the team quickly loses depth so this team will be hoping to avoid injuries more than most. H Guus Hidink's Hannover https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866400394/81E89C1F685C493E0B890E3A197FC0A1E99D1799/ Hazard is undoubtedly the star of the team with Higuain, Hamsik and Hummels great Front, Middle and Back players respectively. But like Gelsenkirchen quality quickly drops off, it's an intense season with 54 games, the team needs to hold together if it wants to win! I Giuseppe Iachini's Inter Milan https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866400173/08915DEB4F03DECDE12A4D4C9B7C92A592BE90CF/ Team Ibra have an incredibly effective looking attack with Isco and Iniesta providing for Immobile and of course Ibrahimovic! Sadly their defence doesn't quite inspire the same confidence. J Jorge Jesus's Juventus https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866400596/1A3A2B61323FF732613E7E107EA1B7C6096365D8/ Juve have a team full of quality defenders and defensive midfielders. They will be a hard team to crack and Jackson Martinez will be there to score on counters. K Jurgen Klopp's Dynamo Kyiv https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866399786/7930EB3D3828E4F8D7D5CD70ACF5058ADE7D82D2/ This team is full of mainland european powerhouses and with the likes of Kompany captaining can go very far indeed! Will Harry Kane shine? L Marcello Lippi's Liverpool https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866400706/180FCE9397E4BF94D64E1E5F2E23A1CDD8BF3C3A/ Whole lotta Lucas on this team! There aren't many weak teams in this league, but this team looks stacked! Lewandowski, Lahm, Lloris. I can't see many weaknesses here! M Jose Mourinho's Manchester United https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866400848/06B65B93F44EE229DA30F3CBCBBDA729B61D1BE9/ The most expensive line up of all the teams including the worlds most valuable player, Lionel Messi. I don't think I need to say anything else about how dangerous this team is. Can the Special One win with this special team? N Nuno's Napoli https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866400976/5284F0F0E597C96436F1C03B02EB499F9FAE8E9E/ Neymar and Neur, the strongest players line up either end of the field with solid quality in the middle. Interestingly this team features 5 Sengalese players. Keylor Navas can't catch a break as he benchwarms yet again! O Juan Carlos Osorio's Olympiacos https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866401066/5B1827ED0D0CA266CBBBFDEFDA1678F50DC8425E/ Ozil is undoubtedly the star of this team but I think it will be a big ask for them to challenge for the top. P Jose Peckerman's PSG https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195868433232/C41497AF3E498A252DAEB01F38777D942E04BE14/ Hard to pick a lead striker on this team, but don't Pjanic. This team boosts an Incredible midfield and defence with the explosive Pogba the highlight. They will be aiming high. Q Quique Flores's Queretaro FC https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866401169/FA6A7C49B0AF0BD3DDA70C4E2EE3781038F5C293/ We come to one of the underdog teams here as Q players are somewhat hard to find! Full of South American flair with many Colombians and Ecuadorians making up the team, best of luck to them. R Claudio Raneri's Real Madrid https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866401274/6A6FD9821A6B2290A2E9733AE56B9DC501E4FD5E/ An interesting mix of players with many clashing play styles, I never would expect to find Rooney, Robben and James Rodriguez to appear next to each other on a teamsheet. Incredible stars up and down the board, an entertaining team to watch no doubt. S Diego Simeone's Sevilla https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866401387/48C89D5A8D29EB57D73FBE0BD6FA664FE22BCC01/ The top 3 names on value are Suarez, Silva and Sanchez. That incredible attack should scare everyone and it doesn't get weaker as you look down, with captain Schwensteiger in the heart of things they look to challenge. T Tite's Tottenham https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866401492/DDCAD59BA936C6BF0B00912707C8FAB77F0B19F2/ The key players for Tottenham are all veterans. Tevez should lead the goal scoring, Toure can win games all by himself and John Terry will lead defence. They even have the likes of Totti and Toni to call on! U Julio Cesear Uribe's Udinesse https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866401598/5D6E38893D1830A46035B9B1C94DBDC2AA483940/ U is for Underdog. Uchida is listed as the keyplayer for the team who have multiple nationalities represented. They won't be last but they won't be first either! V Louis van Gaal's Valencia https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866401706/EF6017179958CA8AA23DE3AF8FEBBCA73F1872CB/ With powerhouse Vidal holding midfield and plenty of pacy wingers, Valencia can surprise a lot of people. Here's hoping Vardy will bang them in! W Arsene Wengers's Wolfsburg https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195868514248/82329FAA975BF05E72C255408A2F8A57A8A09FA2/ Welbeck and Walcott are there to "walk it in" for Wenger. A team with all the fundamentals covered but lacking in star power. X Xu Genbao's Xolos Tijuanna https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866401820/A092BA426AC48C1012D458DC9056B819FE20D00F/ Xavi has his work cut out here, I don't want to reveal the odds for every team as it gives the game away, but Xolos were plum last at 5000/1! Y Ersun Yanal's Yokohama Marinos https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195866401938/C9269C49A543D37243B2A5631196E970B1211325/ A mix of strong players (Yarmolenko) and unknowns means it's hard to place this team. On a lighter note, this team has a Yoda and a Pikachu in it, so yay for Pop references. Z Zdenek Zeman's Zenit St Petersburg https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/91602195868545289/49B968305FD502399DA663D58334295D0730B1FD/ Zabaleta is a class act and both captain and keyplayer. Ze Roberto is the oldest player in the competition at 41 and will catch the first half of the season before retiring at the end of December. Last team on the list, but should be strong enough not be at the bottom seasons end! What do you think of the idea? Who do you think will win? Which team will be the biggest surprise and which team will be the biggest flop?
  15. http://i.gyazo.com/00fa36188531a7978aca0c2c41bc7d7e.png
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