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Hello and welcome to the story of the ‘3 musketeers’! Abstract: This is a story about 3 friends, all eager to start their first managerial career in FM17. These managers will be playing an online save together, but will not necessarily be managing teams in the same league or nation. However it seems inevitable that the paths of these ambitious managers will cross at some point… Background: Collectively we’ve been playing FM for over 25 years and we’ve always kept each other up to date regarding the progress of our individual saves. Also we have been playing some online saves together, the longest being a 12 year Eredivisie save in FM16. Usually we would pick teams in the same league, and we had quite some thrilling encounters against each other. The most memorable being a Champions League final where Manchester City beat Manchester United at Old Trafford 6-2. However this year we decided to pick teams in different leagues and nations. Like all FM players we have different preferences when it comes to managing a club. For example LoPizzo is very fond of lower league management, Boer can’t look beyond his beloved Feyenoord and Pumba is looking to spend big money fast. Also we think that by managing in different leagues and countries we will actually enrich our total gaming experience. What’s new this year as well, is that we will be sharing our progress on this forum. We hope you will enjoy reading about our ups and downs and we sure look forward to your replies. We will now shortly introduce ourselves, our managerial styles, the teams we picked and the setup of our save. The Managers: Liborio LoPizzo: Nationality: Dutch Supports (Dutch): PSV Supports (Rest of World): Celtic, AS Roma, Boca Juniors, Colo-Colo Playing FM since: FM 2005 Memorable saves: 1. Taking Clyde from the Scottish 4th tier to a CL-victory only using Scottish players (FM 2013) 2. The ultimate journeyman save, starting unemployed with no reputation: Chavdar Etropole, Excelsior, Dinamo Zagreb, PSV, Fiorentina, AC Milan and topping it of with a CL-title in 2026 (FM 2011) 3. Taking Real Union from the Spanish 3rd tier to a CL-victory only using Spanish players (FM 2014) 4. Taking Messina from the Italian 4th to an EL-victory only using Italian players (FM 2014) 5. A south-american journeyman save through Chile and Argentina for 10 years Favourite Country to manage in: Italy (gotta love those Italian names) Favourite all-time Player: Liborio Lo Pizzo; The regen from my Messina-save who generated at my club after one year, only to become top goal scorer in the Serie D, Serie C, Serie B and Serie A and Italian all-time most capped player and all-time top goal scorer. Managing style: Experimental Favourite type of game: Lower League Management. The more obscure the better, also love to keep everything homegrown if possible Greatest achievement: Yet to be completed, but I have some ideas for a great solo adventure! Bas Boer: Nationality: Dutch Supports (Dutch): Feyenoord Supports (Rest of World): Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund Playing FM since: 2011 Memorable saves: 1. The save I started in FM15 where I started with Feyenoord and ended up with Manchester United. Winning the Dutch cup, the Super Cup and the Eredivisie once. In England winning the Premier League, 2x community shield, 2x League cup and one FA Cup, only failing to win the biggest of them all, the Champions League, against fellow manager Buchis Pumba. 2. 13 seasons as Feyenoord manager in FM16, winning the Dutch Cup 5 times, 2 dutch super cups and sadly only one Eredivisie title in the first season. Also worth mentioning, one Europa League final in 2024, losing after extra time against AC Milan. Favourite Country to manage in: Holland Favourite all-time Player: Michel Wapenaar and Danny Clement. Both in my Feyenoord save in FM16. A deadly legendary striker from my own youth setup and another youth product playing in midfield. Managing style: Attacking possession football. 4-3-3, sometimes with an defensive midfielder, sometimes an attacking one. Favourite type of game: To be honest, I usually pick Feyenoord. I like scouting the entire planet for that special gem, in combination with my own youth products. Greatest achievement: Hopefully yet to come! Buchis Pumba: Nationality: Dutch Supports (Dutch): Ajax, Ado den Haag Supports (Rest of World): Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, River Plate Playing FM since: I remember playing ‘Manchester United’ as a kid, which might be an entirely different series, but I’ve always been fond of managing type games. Been playing FM on and off, more actively the last 2 years. Memorable saves: I rarely play a save for more than 5 or 6 seasons, so I don’t feel these saves justify an honourable mention. I do like a variety of challenges (youth only, lower league management, starting unemployed), and I had a great save with Radnicki Nis in Serbia, but I tend to return to managing Ajax en Ado, the 2 clubs I support in my home country, or clubs in the Premier League or Championship since I’ve been always been a huge fan of English football. Favourite Country to manage in: Holland, England Favourite all-time Player: I have to mention 2 that stand out here. Both players pretty much single handedly won me the Champions League. #1 Jahrizinho de Boer This guy was a beast for me, ever since I signed him in 2020/21 for Ado den Haag. It was my first season at the freshly promoted club, and he was vital in the league wins that would follow. In his 7 seasons after he signed for the club, only once he scored an average rating below 8.0. He became a true legend for the club however when he took the club to beat the odds an win the champions league in 2027/28. Despite all his achievements, De Boer only made the national team once. Holland manager Fred Rutten continued to favour the likes of Depay and Ould-Chikh. De Boer was disheartened when he didn’t make the Euro 2028 squad. His manager was livid and fans were outraged, media were demanding for Rutten’s resignation. Sure enough the Dutch campaign would prove to be unsuccessful and Rutten would get sacked. I picture this guy to be a man of the people, I mean look at him! This is a hard working guy who was given a second chance and ever since payed back his manager. Purely based on his attributes he was probably the weakest guy in my first 11, but he never disappointed. #2 Ali Bayrakci I signed this guy from Fenerbahce in 2018/19. My Manchester City squad was already insanely strong, with the likes of Ronaldo, Messi, De Bruyne, Alaba and Pogba. Basically, 7 out of the world best XI were playing in my team, and I had all the money in the world. I was able to tutor this striker by Aguero, Messi and Ronaldo and by the age of 20 he was probably already the best player in the world. In the 6-2 Champions League win over Manchester United (see earlier) in 2019/20 he had a massive impact by scoring four goals. Managing style: Attacking, I like to score goals. Favourite type of game: Online Greatest achievement: Champions League win with Ado den Haag (see earlier). The Game Leagues Loaded: England (Sky Bet League 2) France (Ligue 1) Germany (Bundesliga) Italy (Lega Pro) Spain (La Liga Santander) Holland (Jupiler League) Portugal (Liga NOS) Belgium (Jupiler Pro League) Aim of the save: The overall aim is to have fun, play by the rules you set yourself and create a great story in which we (and hopefully you guys as well) are emerged. Therefore, we’ve let the choice of team and type of save all up to our individual selves. If one of us wants to start with FC Barcelona, be our guest, while the other one might want to start in the Icelandic 2nd division. This way, we have three stories running at the same time in the same save, making it more fun for everyone following each other, maybe helping each other out once in a while and making it even more special when we get to play against each other. The Teams Lopizzo: Parma I’ve decided to go ahead and settle in my favourite place to be; the Italian lower ranks. This is where my knowledge lies and my heart wants me to go. We’re supposed to have fun this time, and this is where I am guaranteed fun. The obvious challenge is to make Parma great again after a huge scandal in 2003. The financial aftermath caused them being declared bankrupt in 2015 and being relegated to the Serie D. The club was re-founded as S.S.D. Parma Calcio 1913 and immediately started climbing up the ladders again, finding themselves as the main contender for promotion in the Serie C this year. Bas Boer: Feyenoord Do I need to say more, making Feyenoord great again after not winning any serious silverware for over a decade Buchis Pumba: Fulham It was either England or Holland for me, and when Bas wanted to manage Feyenoord, he made my choice easy. I didn’t want to start competing in the premier league just yet though, and I feel Fulham is a team I can take back to the premier league. I see the club as a stepping stone though, and I’m eager to prove myself at the highest level. This means that I will be pursuing better job opportunities, should they arrive. We’ve all selected badges and reputation recommended for our teams. What’s next? Since this save is is an online game with three separate stories, we intend to post individual updates of our progress. The upcoming posts will be about our team presentations.