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[FM11] Back on the Tribute Trail - DodgeeD's Second World Tour

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Returned from the summer break with a 2-1 win at CSKA while Lokomotiv beat Zenit so the title race is wide open now. :)

I think I will stick with Argentina for now after all, quit after the World Cup and then see what comes up.

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A great read so far DodgeeD, an amazing stint in Brazil too. Will be interesting to watch you conquer a European nation now.

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Thanks Razer82. South AMerica ia always fun - just a shame I haven't had time for your challenge this year. Maybe a project for FM12 ;)

And AK22 - forgot to respond to the tycoon question. It seems there are no sugar daddy chariman at the moment. Khimki just had a consotium takeover but the news stories mentioned their immediate goal to 'get the club on a sound financial footing' rather than any talk of money being pumped in. At Spartak, my chairman 'loves the club' and 'would never leave of his own volition' so not much hope here!

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And AK22 - forgot to respond to the tycoon question. It seems there are no sugar daddy chariman at the moment. Khimki just had a consotium takeover but the news stories mentioned their immediate goal to 'get the club on a sound financial footing' rather than any talk of money being pumped in. At Spartak, my chairman 'loves the club' and 'would never leave of his own volition' so not much hope here!

Looks like the oil wells have run dry in Russia then :D Abramovich has just pulled out of Chelsea on my save too!

Glad you've decided to stay with the Argies, I look forward to reading about a successful World Cup campaign now; England's would have only ended in despair and disappointment anyway :rolleyes::D

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2025 Season Review: Spartak Moscow

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Russian Premier Division: Champions!

Russian Cup*: Reached quarter-finals *(TBC 2026)

Premier Division

Wow! At the start of the season, I would have been happy with Europa League qualification but we end the season as champions. How on earth did that happen? Read on and I shall tell you:

  1. Consistency. We were 4th going into the summer break but once it resumed, we just kept on winning. We started after the break with a 2-1 win away to CSKA Moscow that blew the title race wide open with the top 5 teams within 4 points of each other. Lokomotiv Moscow were soon on the wrong end of a 4-1 drubbing as we cut the title challengers to four. Rubin were the next team to drop away as they suffered a heavy defeat at our hands. Zenit St. Petersburg then dropped a few points too many to leave us and CSKA Moscow battling it out at the top. It all came down to our penultimate game at home to CSKA. We kept our heads to win 2-1 (again) while they lost theirs, finshing the game with 8 players left on the pitch. In total, we won 14 of our final 17 games and that's what won us a quite unexpected title!
  2. Lack of games. The league campaign was only 30 games (a very fast season after the slog that was Brazil). With no European football and only 2 cup games, that made for a very light fixture schedule and meant tired players were not an issue.
  3. Lack of injuries. The squad was very thin when I arrived and I was only able to add depth to a couple of positions so we were very lucky to only suffer a couple of serious injuries throughout the season and those were to players we had back-up for. That also meant I was able to stick with a winning line-up the majority of the time.
  4. Lucas Ludueña. If Montoro was the hero of the first half of the season, Ludueña was the hero of the second. He managed only 3 goals up to the summer break but banged in an incredible 23 goals in 15 games afterwards. Not bad for a 31 year-old!

Russian Cup

Not much to tell here but we had two straightforward games against opposition we were expected to beat. We did so and have advanced to the quarter-finals, to be held in March 2026, with Saturn our opponents.

Key Players

Paterne Diallo (DR) - I was very glad this guy didn't get injured as there was no decent back-up at the club. Ever-present in the league and that says it all.

Carioca (DC) - the rock at the back I wanted him to be when splashing out 7 million at the start of the season.

Dodo (DM) - slotted right in after his summer transfer from Flamengo. Injury kept him out of the last few games but he did more than enough to become a fan favourite.

Vladimir Yerohkin (MC) - Took a few games to settle after his transfer but 12 assists from central midfield was exactly what I was looking for from this one.

Augustine Sunday (AMR) - a constant threat on the right. Valuable enough that I tolerated his constant demands to 'move to a bigger club'.

Hernan Jara (AMRL) - a threat on either flank and made an appearance in every game we played this season.

David Montoro (ST) - 23 goals and 14 assists were vital as we stormed to the title. Voted Suppporters' Player of the Year at the end of the season.

Lucas Ludueña (ST) - in fantastic form in the second half of the season, at one point scoring 13 goals in 5 games. 11 assists as well as he struck a great partnership with Montoro. great to have both strikers in such prolific form!

Awards

Russian Football Championship Players' Select - David Montoro (1st), Lucas Ludueña (2nd)

Russian Football Championship Managers' Select - Lucas Ludueña (1st), David Montoro (2nd)

Russian Football Championship Team of the Year - featuring Horacio Molinari (GK), Paterne Diallo (DR), Carioca (DC), Hernan Jara (AML) and David Montoro (ST)

Russian Football Championship Topscorer - Lucas Ludueña (1st), David Montoro (2nd)

Player of the Year - Lucas Ludueña

Goalkeeper of the Year - Horacio Molinari

Manager of the Year - David Dodgson

The Season Ahead...

Despite our success, I was concerned by lack of depth in the squad (I wouldn't expect to be so lucky with injuries next year, plus there will be the Champions League to contend with). My concern was compunded by the dire financial situation with the club losing 3-5million every month. However, a few senior high earners will be mving on when their contracts expire and the chairman, who had paid small amounts into the club's coffers throughout the season, made a 'personal loan' of 27 million pounds to the club at the end of the season! That means I will get a decent budget for bringing new faces in for next year.

With the extra cash taken into account, I'm looking for another title challenge and a good crack at winning the cup as well. I'll take what we get in Europe!

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A great season :thup:! Seems like everything fell into place this season. I like the look of Luduena and Montoro; shame they're both heading towards the end of their careers.

Good luck for the cup draws :thup:.

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Good job. It's always nice to have a spot of luck come with the hard work. ;)

I agree with your assessment about next season's depth needs. I notice you didn't laud your GK, Molinari. Having the League 'Keeper of the year is also of great value to you!

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It seems our careers are mirroring each other's more and more these days... I predict you to finish second behind Zenit next season :D

Seriously though, great job winning the title. Remember, the TV revenue you'll get next sesaon from the Champions League will help you a lot. Even if you don't get any further than the group stages, you'll get just over £6m in TV revenue on top of the £6m in prize money. As long as you can sustain this, you should see a big impact on the club's finances. Mind you, if you're chairmans happy to pump money into the club, it doesn't really matter anyway!

How are you finding the 'maximum of six foreigners' rule in the domestic games? There's a huge void of Russian talent in my save, so I'm not finding it particularly easy at the moment.

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Good job. It's always nice to have a spot of luck come with the hard work. ;)

I agree with your assessment about next season's depth needs. I notice you didn't laud your GK, Molinari. Having the League 'Keeper of the year is also of great value to you!

Cheers. :thup: Molinari is decent but our one defeat in the second half of the season was down to him dropping a clanger against Amkar. This came just after he had a total nightmare for Argentina, conceding 4 at home to Bosnia so I'm not entirely convinced. ı guess he won the award as we had the best defensive record in the league but that is as much down to the defence as to him.
It seems our careers are mirroring each other's more and more these days... I predict you to finish second behind Zenit next season :D

Seriously though, great job winning the title. Remember, the TV revenue you'll get next sesaon from the Champions League will help you a lot. Even if you don't get any further than the group stages, you'll get just over £6m in TV revenue on top of the £6m in prize money. As long as you can sustain this, you should see a big impact on the club's finances. Mind you, if you're chairmans happy to pump money into the club, it doesn't really matter anyway!

How are you finding the 'maximum of six foreigners' rule in the domestic games? There's a huge void of Russian talent in my save, so I'm not finding it particularly easy at the moment.

I'm certainly looking forward to the Champions League money. Hopefully, I'll get to spend some of it in the summer!

The need for Russian players is a difficult one to deal with. Sometimes, I want to make one substitution but have to do two otherwise I have more than 6 foreigners on the pitch. There is also a lack of decent Russian talent in my game. Half of the national side are 'naturalised' players who have taken Russian nationality after years in the league and any young Russian stars are pricey. I just spent 5million to get a Russian right back - under normal circumstances, I would not have gone over 2.5million for him!

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2025 International Update: Argentina

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World Cup Qualifying

In the end, it was never in doubt as we topped the group with ease. The only points dropped on the way were the two draws with Brazil and a match-up with Paraguay doing what they do best and holding us to a 0-0 scoreline.Final Table

Friendlies

Only 3 friendlies this year. Cyprus were thrashed 7-0 but we came unstuck against Bosnia as an early sending off and a couple of howlers from the keeper left us chasing the game. I thought we had won in as we went 4-3 up late on but there was still time for a final twist as the game finished 4-4. The last game of the year was against England at Wembley and was a big test of our World Cup ambitions. We put up a good showing in a comeback 2-1 win with pretty much my first choice team - and yes, just to confuse things my two main strikers share the exact same name of Miguel Angel Diaz (one at AC Milan, the other at Barcelona).

2025 Results

Mexico 2026 Group Draw

2026WorldCupInformation_Stages.png

In Italy, we ended up with one of the tougher second seeds but Guatemala and Saudi Arabia should be easy enough to deal with. There is no real 'group of death' but I think Groups D & E will be tough to call and the battle for second behind Spain in Group H should be close as well.

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The Story So Far...

Club History

Season  | Club           | Nation   | Division    | Position | Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

2010-11 | Koroum         | Egypt    | 1st (North) | 3rd      | N/A
2011-12 | Koroum         | Egypt    | 1st (North) | 1st      | Promoted as champions
2012-13 | Koroum         | Egypt    | Premier     | 13th     | Survived
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2013-14 | Wanderers      | Uruguay  | Primera     | 5th      | N/A
2014-15 | Wanderers      | Uruguay  | Primera     | 3rd      | Opening Stage Champions; Liguilla winners
2015-16 | Wanderers      | Uruguay  | Primera     | N/A      | Left in Jan 2016
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2015-16 | Club Africain  | Tunisia  | CLP-1       | 5th      | Cup winners
2016-17 | Club Africain  | Tunisia  | CLP-1       | 1st      | League Champions; CAF Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017    | Suwon          | S. Korea | K-League    | 1st      | Play-off finalists; Peace Cup winners
2018    | Suwon          | S. Korea | K-League    | 1st      | Play-off winners; KFA Cup winners; ACL winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | 1st         | 7th      | Rio State runners-up
2020    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | 1st         | 1st      | League Champions; Rio State Champions
2021    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | 1st         | 2nd      | Rio State Champions; Copa Libertadores Winners; Club World Champions
2022    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | 1st         | 2nd      | Rio State Champions; COpa Libertadores Winners; Recopa Winners
2023    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | 1st         | 1st      | League Champions; Rio State Champions
2024    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | 1st         | 1st      | League Champions; Rio State Champions
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2025    | Spartak Moscow | Russia   | Premier     | 1st      | N/A

International History

Season | Team               | Competiton    | Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2011   | -                  | -             | -
2012   | -                  | -             | -
2013   | -                  | -             | -
2014   | -                  | -             | -
2015   | -                  | -             | -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016   | South Africa U20s  | -             | Qualified for African U20 Championship
2017   | South Africa U20s  | U20 World Cup | African U20 Champions; World U20 2nd Round    
2018   | -                  | -             | -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019   | Paraguay           | Copa America  | Eliminated in Group Stage
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020   | Argentina U20s     | -             | -     
2021   | Argentina U20s     | U20 World Cup | South American U20 Champions; U20 World Cup Winners    
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022   | Colombia           | World Cup     | Eliminated in Group Stage    
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2023   | Argentina          | Copa America  | Finalists
2024   | Argentina U23s     | Olympics      | Quarter-finalists
2025   | Argentina          | WCQ           | Qualified in 1st place

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Thailand made the World Cup... :D

I keep getting confused with the Spartak players between your save and AK's save. I was wondering why you didn't have that American striker anymore..before realizing you never had one. :p

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Thailand made the World Cup... :D
The Asian zone was where the main surprises came from. Thailand came second in their final group behind China and ahead of Australia and Japan, the main absentees. I checked out their team expecting they must have got a super regen or two but the squad is completely greyed out!
I keep getting confused with the Spartak players between your save and AK's save. I was wondering why you didn't have that American striker anymore..before realizing you never had one. :p
Good thing I didn't take the England job in my save then or it would have got really confusing!

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Thailand made the World Cup... :D

I keep getting confused with the Spartak players between your save and AK's save. I was wondering why you didn't have that American striker anymore..before realizing you never had one. :p

The Asian zone was where the main surprises came from. Thailand came second in their final group behind China and ahead of Australia and Japan, the main absentees. I checked out their team expecting they must have got a super regen or two but the squad is completely greyed out!

Good thing I didn't take the England job in my save then or it would have got really confusing!

I'll make sure I'll confer with you before my next move ;):D

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2026 Season Preview: Spartak Moscow

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Club Information:

Season Ticket Holders: 23,360 (up 2,134)

Stadium Capacity: 45,000 (all-seater)

Training facilities: Top

Youth faciliites: Excellent + Youth Academy

Youth Recruitment: Well established

Board Expectations

Russian Premier Division: Challenge for the title

(Media Prediction: 3rd)

Russian Cup: Not important

Russian Super Cup: Not important

Champions League: N/A

Transfer Budget: 28 million

Wage Limit: 960k p/w

After last season's surprise title win, there is more expectation around the club now with the board demanding a title challenge. They matched their expectations with cash though as the chairman pumped in extra funds, all of which I spent on the following players:

Rodrigo (ST) - my biggest signing of the summer marked yet another raid on my former employers as I splashed out 12.5million on Rodrigo, who was stuck on the bench while Chiquinho and Wellington Paulista took all the glory on the pitch. An encouraging pre-season has been followed up with some impressive early form in the league so I think this was money well spent.

Roberto (ST) - a bit of an impromptu signing this one as an agent alerted me that Real Madrid had transfer listed this youngster with a mere 3.5million asking price. He'll play back-up this year but has the potentail to be a world beater.

Vladislav Podshivalov (DR) - 5million was perhaps a bit over the odds for this player but I was in desperate need of cover at right back and of some more Russian talent in the squad. Still, he's young and has the potential to improve.

Andrey Khasanov (MC) - Podshivalov may have been over-priced but this guy was a bargain at 900k! Adds much needed depth to our central midfield option and should be good back-up.

I also brought in some youngsters who I hope will develop into first teamers over the next season or two: Juan José Tomas (DC), Serge Serge (ST) and Nikolay Sekech (GK)[/url]

Premier League

We are only 3 games in but it's been an eventful start to the season. Home wins over Terek and Rostov came either side of an absolute cracker away to Zenit St. Petersburg. 3-1 up at half-time, we relaxed a bit too much and soon found ourselves 4-3 down. However, a flurry of a finish saw Rodrigo and Montoro score two late goals to grab an amazing 5-4 win!

Current Table

Russian Super Cup

We have already tasted success this season with a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow in the Super Cup. Yet again, they had a man sent off as we won with a 30-yard free kick from Hernan Jara.

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Some very shrewd signings DodgeeD, Rodrigo looks like he's capable of banging the goals in for you :thup:

Good luck for the season, I think you'll definitely be in contention come the end.

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Thanks AK22 :thup:

Rodrigo has been worth the money spent so far and Roberto has found his scoring boots after taking a few games to settle. With Ludueña and Montoro also scoring whenever they play, goals shouldn't be a problem this season :)

I'll have an early mid-season update posted before the World Cup campaign starts

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Looks like all is well in Moscow (for both you and AK :D) I'm starting to get a bit jealous of all this money you have to spend ;). If Rodrigo continues the season in that kind of form, he'll be a bargain at 12.5 million! That game gainst Zenit sounds like a cracker.

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May 2026 Spartak Moscow Update

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Russian Premier League

We are not quite halfway through yet with only 11 games played but with the league on a two-month break as the football world focuses its attention on Mexico 2026, it seems an ideal time to update. At this stage, we sit in 2nd two points behing CSKA and level with Akmar. The other teams look unlikely to challenge so the title is set to be a three-horse race. Our two defeats so far have come away to CSKA, a result I can't complain about as we played well on the day but simply lost out to the better team (probably helped that for the first time in my tenure here CSKA finished the game with all 11 players on the pitch!) The other defeat was one I was definitly not happy about as we blew a 3-1 half-time lead to lose 4-3 at home to Baltika. That game was a nightmare for goalkeeper Molinari, who was at direct fault for two of the goals (one shot straight at him that he parried into the net and another save he spilled aloowing the striker to score of the rebound) and ball-watched for another. After he also conceded 4 in that game with St. Petersburg and made some errors last season, I dropped him. His understudy has now played 6 games and kept 5 clean sheets!I'll either stick with the number 2 or go shopping for a new GK over the sumnmer.

Current League Table

Russian Cup

The first half of the season also saw the conclusion of the cup. Saturn were no match for us in the quarter-finals as we advanced to meet Zenit. I was expecting a tough game but they are clearly a team in decline, stuttering in the league and meekly surrendering 3-0 in the semi-final match. Dinamo Moscow awaited in the final but they are a side in even worse form than Zenit and the 7-0 scoreline, achieved with 5 first team regulars unavailable, was proof of that.

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Looks like all is well in Moscow (for both you and AK :D) I'm starting to get a bit jealous of all this money you have to spend ;). If Rodrigo continues the season in that kind of form, he'll be a bargain at 12.5 million! That game gainst Zenit sounds like a cracker.
The money is good but it would be better if the Russian talent was cheaper (and better!)

The game against Zenit was a classic. I really thought we'd blown it when they went 4-3 up. Having already used all my subs, I set the quick tactics to 'Overload', 'Take more risks' and 'shoot on sight'. We immediately made it 4-4 and then I gambled by keeping the pressure on and it paid off as we got the winner! (Could have easily been the other way round though)

Looks like you found a couple great strikers in Rodrigo and Roberto. Keep it up mate. :thup:
I always like to have two strong strikers. With these guys in the squad and Ludeuña, Montoro (now with Russian nationality) and Serov as back-up, I have options :)

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International Update: World Cup 2026 Group Stage

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We headed to Mexico '26 as 2-1 joint favourites. However, the fact that the other joint favourites were Brazil, Italy, France, Spain and England showed that progression to the latter stages was not guaranteed by any means, especially as we faced one of the joint favourites Italy in our group. Here's how Group C panned out:

Matchday 1: Argentina v. Guatemala

Our opening, and possibly easiest game, was a routine win with Barcelona's new signing from Zenit St. Petersburg, Migual Angel Diaz, bagging a brace and 32 year-old veteran stirker Leandro Jiminez, who has spent his entire career at Boca Juniors, adding a third. It could have all been different though as Guatemala had the ball in the net on 5 minutes only for the linesman's flag to (contoversially) disallow the goal for offside.

Final Score: Argentina 3, Guatemala 0

Other game: Italy 0, Saudi Arabia 0

Matchday 2: Italy v. Argentina

This was the big test with Italy under pressure following their failiure to score against the Saudis. Again, our opponents scored early and again the linesman saved us. The Italians protested furiously as their man was onside as he scored off a rebound. However, replays showed he was offside when the ball was played through to his teammate who hit the post. Miguel Angel Diaz then produced a moment of magic to give us the lead with a great solo effort. The Italians pulled level after half-time but their joy was short-lived as Diaz headed us back in front 4 minutes later. Italy lost their cool after that and had a man sent off as we secured the win and qualification for the next round.

Final score: Italy 1, Argentina 2

Other game: Guatemala 0, Saudi Arabia 0

Matchday 3: Argentina v. Saudi Arabia

The Saudis had missed a trick by failing to beat Guatemala as that would have put them in a great position to make the next round ahead of Italy. As it was, they needed a win against us to go through. that never looked like happening but my players did take it a bit too easy having already secured top spot in the group and we played out a dull 90 minutes with no goals. With Italy winning the other game comprehensively, that meant the Saudis would go home having neither scored nor conceded in any of their games.

Final Score: Argentina 0, Saudi Arabia 0

Other game: Guatemala 2, Italy 7

Group Tables

Here's how all the groups finished:

Group A

| Pos   | Inf   | Team    |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | Q     | Mexico  |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 3     | 1     | +2    | 7     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | Q     | Uruguay |       | 3     | 1     | 2     | 0     | 2     | 1     | +1    | 5     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Austria |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 3     | 1     | +2    | 4     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Ghana   |       | 3     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 0     | 5     | -5    | 0     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group B

| Pos   | Inf   | Team     |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | Q     | England  |       | 3     | 3     | 0     | 0     | 9     | 2     | +7    | 9     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | Q     | Cameroon |       | 3     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 6     | 3     | +3    | 6     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Bulgaria |       | 3     | 1     | 0     | 2     | 4     | 4     | 0     | 3     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Thailand |       | 3     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 1     | 11    | -10   | 0     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group C

| Pos   | Inf   | Team         |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | Q     | Argentina    |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 5     | 1     | +4    | 7     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | Q     | Italy        |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 8     | 4     | +4    | 4     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Saudi Arabia |       | 3     | 0     | 3     | 0     | 0     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Guatemala    |       | 3     | 0     | 1     | 2     | 2     | 10    | -8    | 1     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group D

| Pos   | Inf   | Team    |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | Q     | Holland |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 4     | 1     | +3    | 7     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | Q     | Egypt   |       | 3     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 6     | 3     | +3    | 6     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Belgium |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 3     | 4     | -1    | 4     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | U.S.A.  |       | 3     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 2     | 7     | -5    | 0     | 
| ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group E

| Pos   | Inf   | Team     |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | Q     | Germany  |       | 3     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 12    | 4     | +8    | 6     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | Q     | Paraguay |       | 3     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 8     | 4     | +4    | 6     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Portugal |       | 3     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 6     | 2     | +4    | 6     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | China    |       | 3     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 1     | 17    | -16   | 0     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group F

| Pos   | Inf   | Team       |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | Q     | Tunisia    |       | 3     | 3     | 0     | 0     | 5     | 1     | +4    | 9     | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | Q     | Serbia     |       | 3     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 1     | 2     | -1    | 4     | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Croatia    |       | 3     | 1     | 0     | 2     | 2     | 2     | 0     | 3     | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Costa Rica |       | 3     | 0     | 1     | 2     | 1     | 4     | -3    | 1     | 
| ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

Group G

| Pos   | Inf   | Team     |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | Q     | Brazil   |       | 3     | 3     | 0     | 0     | 6     | 0     | +6    | 9     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | Q     | France   |       | 3     | 2     | 0     | 1     | 4     | 2     | +2    | 6     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Honduras |       | 3     | 1     | 0     | 2     | 5     | 5     | 0     | 3     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | Iran     |       | 3     | 0     | 0     | 3     | 2     | 10    | -8    | 0     | 
| -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Group H

| Pos   | Inf   | Team         |       | Pld   | Won   | Drn   | Lst   | For   | Ag    | G.D.  | Pts   | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 1st   | Q     | Spain        |       | 3     | 2     | 1     | 0     | 6     | 0     | +6    | 7     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 2nd   | Q     | South Africa |       | 3     | 1     | 2     | 0     | 4     | 2     | +2    | 5     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 3rd   |       | Scotland     |       | 3     | 0     | 2     | 1     | 3     | 7     | -4    | 2     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 
| 4th   |       | South Korea  |       | 3     | 0     | 1     | 2     | 1     | 5     | -4    | 1     | 
| -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| 

No major surprises then, except perhaps the dominant performance of Tunisia in Group F. Portugal were unlucky to miss out as 3 teams finished on 6 points in Group E as were Austria and Honduras, who only missed out due to late goals in their final games. The Asian nations had a particularly poor World Cup with Thailand and China on the end of some heavy beatings.

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International Update: World Cup 2026 Knockout Rounds

1649.png

2nd Round: Argentina v. Egypt

We were paired with Group D runners-up Egypt in the 2nd Round, a tale of what might have been as 4 seasons ago, I had deliberated over whether to take the Argentina job or the Egypt one. Anyway, we were heavy favourites and justified that billing with an impressive performance. A goal in each half from Leandro Jiminez was enough to secure passage to the last 8.

Final Score: Argentina 2, Egypt 0

Other results:

2026WorldCup2ndRound.png

Uruguay provided the main shock of the round as they knocked out defending champions England on penalties. Holland also saw off Italy in the same way with France the other big nation to fall, losing to Spain in extra time. Tunisia continued their fine form with a win over Paraguay and hosts Mexico also advanced.

Quarter-final: Uruguay v. Argentina

An all South American match-up awaited as we took on neighbours Uruguay. Having beaten them twice in qualifying, confidence was high and Diaz and Jiminez turned the confidence into goals. Even when an injury ended Jiminez's game (and, it would turn out, his tournament), we were not knocked back with Real Madrid star Bravo coming on and adding a third to set up a semi-final date with Spain.

Final Score: Uruguay 0, Argentina 3

[/url]

Other results:

2026WorldCupQF.png

Hosts Mexico battled to a narrow victory over Holland while Spain won impressively against Germany. Brazil ended Tunisia's run with an easy victory in the last quarter-fianl match.

Semi-final: Argentina v. Spain

Now it was getting interesting as we lined up against a very strong Spanish side. The match was very evenly balanced in terms of chances but both sets of strikers were struggling to find the target. That inevitabley led to extra time and then the dreaded penalty shoot-out. We held our nerve better as Spain missed twice but we only missed once to win 4-3 and advance to the final!

Final Score: Argentina 0, Spain 0 (a.e.t. Argentina win 4-3 on pens)

Other result: Mexico 0, Brazil 1

And so it comes down to a dream final between two of the bitterest rivals in world football: Argentina v. Brazil!

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Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, USA, Honduras....Canadian soccer bloody sucks.

Oh and good luck in the Final. ;)

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Sounds like a classic final in the making! Good luck DodgeeD :thup:.

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International Update: World Cup 2026 Final

1649.png

Final: Brazil v. Argentina

So after all that, it came down to the top two sides from South American qualifying. Obviously, any opponents in the World Cup final will be tough but this was a team I had not beaten in three previous meetings in my time as Argentina boss. 3 years earlier we had also lost to Brazil in the fina of the Copa America so we knew they would be up for this game. A predicatably tense affair followed but as the game went on, both sides started to create more. Luckily for us, Brazil's lone striker (a strange choice when 5 of the world's top ten strikers are Brazilian) was having a tough time getting past my defence. Not so for our right winger Blanco though as he slalomed past 5 Brazilian players early in the second half to score a great individual goal. Our opponents never really recovered from that, not really creating anymore chances until late in the game. However, it was too late as we held on to win the World Cup!!

Final Score: Brazil 0, Argentina 1

Awards


  • Says a lot about our defence that the entire back four and the goalie featured in the Dream Team along with Bianco, Blanco and Jiminez. 2 more players were featured on the bench.
  • Nicolas Natalicchio picked up the Golden Glove having conceded only one goal in the entire tournament.
  • In a tournament with plenty of high scoring games, Miguel Angel Diaz's 5 goals were only enough for 3rd in the Golden Boot standings with England's Patrick Leonard and Caemroon's Thierry Mokaké ahead of him.
  • And nice to see that Leandro Jiminez's efforts up until his quarter-final injury were noted as he was runner-up to Mokaké in the Golden Ball award.

So what next? My original plan was to resign at the end of the tournament regardless of the outcome. I didn't do that immediately instead applying to some of the more intriguing jobs that came up and waiting to see what offers I got. I guess winning the World Cup doesn't do much for your CV though as England, Spain, Italy, France and Mexico all turned me down! For now, I'm thinking I'll stay where I am and have another crack at the Copa America in 12 months time. :)

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Thanks for the comments guys. :thup: I did actually have that post ready last night but the forums froze on me while I was updating it. Luckily, the auto-save worked for once and I was able to add the screenshots and post it just now. :)

rancer - Yeah, Canada didn't even make the final qualifying group and that's with Mexico out of the frame as they were hosts. They did manage to beat the USA in the second round group phase but it was defeats to Jamaica and Barbados that cost them!

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A fantastic World Cup win :thup:. That's it then isn't it? You can't really top that! What are your goals for your career now?

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Cheers Raware. :thup:

I don't know what you mean! England manager Mike Phelan bowed out at the top after winning the Confederations Cup and I still haven't done that yet :p

The World Cup win was great but I still want to win all the continental championships at club level and I still have the UEFA, CONCACAF and O-League versions to go. As a secondary goal, the international continental championships would be nice, starting with next year's Copa America. ;)

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rancer - Yeah, Canada didn't even make the final qualifying group and that's with Mexico out of the frame as they were hosts. They did manage to beat the USA in the second round group phase but it was defeats to Jamaica and Barbados that cost them!

I could stomach losing to Jamaica, but Barbados??? This is concerning with the upcoming WCQ matches for Canada coming up... :(

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Well done on the World Cup win :thup: Looks like you made the right decision to turn down the England job after all ;)

I would have expected a few more goals and some red cards in a final between Brazil and Argentina though!

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September 2026 Spartak Moscow Update

1529.png

Russian Premier League

It still looks like a three horse race between ourselves, CSKA Moscow and Amkar with 11 games to go. We went on a run on of 5 consecutive wins after the summer break and opening a small gap at the top. However, a 2-1 loss away to Amkar closed that gap up. A 0-0 at home to CSKA Moscow the following week also saw us drop vital points to our title-chasing rivals. Luckily, Amkar have drawn a few games too many so we have been able to hold onto first place. Just. Our final game of the season is at home to Amkar and it looks like that may be a title decider.

Current League Table

Champions League Draw

As Russian champions, we went straight into the group stage. Alas, as Spartak have been absent from Europe in the last couple of years, we were seeded third, meaning a tough draw was inevitable (rivals and league runners-up CSKA Moscow, on the other hand, were top seeds). A tough draw was what we got as we were placed in a group with Barcelona and Bayern Munich... Between them, those teams have 8 World Cup Winners from my Argentina side with my best striker, Miguel Angel Diaz, at Barcelona and Marcelo Blanco, scorer of the winner, in the final at Bayern. FC Copenhagen are the other team in Group E so I think 3rd place should be our expectation.

Full group draw

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Well done on the World Cup win :thup: Looks like you made the right decision to turn down the England job after all ;)

I would have expected a few more goals and some red cards in a final between Brazil and Argentina though!

Cheers AK22 :thup:

The final was played ina good spirit. I have my teams under good control generally and Argentina are no different. We have seen quite a few opposition playes walk though, especially in qualifying!

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Congrats on winning the world cup :thup: Things are looking tight at the top of the table with Spartak good luck for the rest of the season.

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Thanks roganp :thup: It's still tight at the top and that last game of the season is looking increasingly likely to be the key one!

On the European front, after two games we're doing well. An opening 4-2 win in Copenhagen was followed by this :D

Add to that Copenhagen winning in Munich and the big two drawing with each other and we're in a good position. If we beat Bayern and Copenhagen at home, I think we can get through :)

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2026 Season Review: Spartak Moscow

1529.png

Russian Premier Division: Champions!

Russian Cup: Winners!

Russian Super Cup:

Winners!

UEFA Champions League (2026/27): 2nd in Group E

Russian Premier Division

It was a tight race all the way. I predicted mid-season that it would be a three-horse race between us, CSKA Moscow and Amkar. That didn’t quite materialise as a few too many draws saw Amkar drop off the pace in the final ten games. CSKA, on the other hand, matched us win for win, all the time breathing down our necks just a point behind. It all came down to the last day as we faced Amkar at home. Not quite the head-to-head title decider I had anticipated but a tough tie nonetheless - in three previous league meetings with Amkar under my management, we had lost all three! However, when the pressure was on we produced, storming to an emphatic 4-0 win to seal the title in style.

Final Table – CSKA must feel hard done by. Their final total of 75 points would have won the title by some distance in each of the last 8 seasons.

Cups

The season started in style with a Super Cup win over CSKA. Apart from Zenit St. Petersburg in the semi-finals, we didn’t face any tough opposition as we won the cup, a fact underlined by our comprehensive win over Dinamo Moscow in the final.

Champions League

I started the campaign expecting to get third in the group and hoping for second, if we got lucky. An away win to Copenhagen was a good start, a home win over Barcelona was a just about deserved pleasant surprise but the biggest result of all came as we won 2-0 away to Bayern Munich. A home loss in the reverse fixture a couple of weeks later brought us back to earth with a bump but we were still in a position to qualify if we could beat Copenhagen in the next game. We turned on the style to win 7-0 and secure a qualification spot meaning our final game with Barcelona was just to decide who topped the group. In front of their own fans, Barca were just too strong for us as we lost 2-0 but still, second in the group and a place in the last 16 were more than enough for us!

Final Group Table – we will play Lyon in the First Knockout Round

Key Players

Carioca (DC) – my most consistent defender. If I can find a good partner for him, our defence would be much tougher to break down.

Rinat Sidorov (DL) – my assistant manager identified this guy as the weakest link in the team at the start of the season but Sidorov spent most of the year proving him wrong match after match.

Dodo (DM) – does a great job of turning defence into attack. Always has an eye for the right pass.

Augustine Sunday (AMR) – a constant attacking threat with goals and assists in abundance. Also had a 100% success rate from the penalty spot (after missing half of his spot kicks last season)

Hernan Jara (AMR/L) – another fantastic season from our Uruguayan winger with more assists than anybody else in the league. A shame he’s over 30 now…

Rodrigo (ST) – paid back his 12.5million transfer fee with a good return of goals, especially in Europe. Would have scored more if not for injury.

Roberto (ST) – To think, I almost didn’t sign this guy! 3.8million proved to be an absolute bargain as the striker scored more goals for us in one season than he had in his entire career before the transfer!

Awards

Despite a clean sweep domestically, we were a bit light on the awards front this time around:

Russian Premier Division

Team of the Year - featuring Carioca (DC), Augustine Sunday (AMR) and Roberto (ST)

Players’ Select – Augustine Sunday (1st) and Roberto (2nd)

Top Goalscorer – Roberto (1st)

The Season Ahead…

I’ll be looking to cement our domestic dominance but in order to do that, we’ll need some more assistance from the chairman and/or a nice big slice of the Champions’ League pie as we currently sit 15million in the red. I have a few high earners leaving when their contracts are up which should help but we may not have the same transfer money to spend as the last couple of seasons. Beyond that, we’ll see how we manage against Lyon in the Champions League. We should win at home but we’ll have to see if that’s enough to get us through to the last eight….

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Excellent domestic season :thup: Good luck against Lyon in the knockout stage :D

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2026 International Update: Argentina

1649.png

World Cup

A year to remember as we were crowned World Champions! It was well deserved as we were clearly the best team in the tournament, only conceding one goal against Italy in the group stages and beating the likes of Uruguay, Spain and Brazil on our way to the title.

World Cup Final

Friendlies

Played 7, won 7 in non-competitive games including a post-World Cup 3-1 win over Italy. I also brought a few youngsters in for their debuts towards the end of the year so the future looks bright.

2026 Results - we are now unbeaten since August 2023. :)

Copa America

The first round draw for next year's CONEMBOL championship has already taken place. We find ourselves in a straightforward group with Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela our opponents. As ever, Brazil will be our main challengers. We will also be on the look out for hosts Uruguay and also Paraguay, who have a good young team developing.

Group Stage Draw

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Excellent domestic season :thup: Good luck against Lyon in the knockout stage :D
Cheers B.W.G. I just hope the players don't get too fat over the long winter break! :p

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The Story So Far...

Club History

[font=courier new]Season  | Club           | Nation   | Division    | Position | Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

2010-11 | Koroum         | Egypt    | 1st (North) | 3rd      | N/A
2011-12 | Koroum         | Egypt    | 1st (North) | 1st      | Promoted as champions
2012-13 | Koroum         | Egypt    | Premier     | 13th     | Survived
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2013-14 | Wanderers      | Uruguay  | Primera     | 5th      | N/A
2014-15 | Wanderers      | Uruguay  | Primera     | 3rd      | Opening Stage Champions; Liguilla winners
2015-16 | Wanderers      | Uruguay  | Primera     | N/A      | Left in Jan 2016
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2015-16 | Club Africain  | Tunisia  | CLP-1       | 5th      | Cup winners
2016-17 | Club Africain  | Tunisia  | CLP-1       | 1st      | League Champions; CAF Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017    | Suwon          | S. Korea | K-League    | 1st      | Play-off finalists; Peace Cup winners
2018    | Suwon          | S. Korea | K-League    | 1st      | Play-off winners; KFA Cup winners; ACL winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | Serie A     | 7th      | Rio State runners-up
2020    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | Serie A     | 1st      | League Champions; Rio State Champions
2021    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | Serie A     | 2nd      | Rio State Champions; Copa Libertadores Winners; Club World Champions
2022    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | Serie A     | 2nd      | Rio State Champions; Copa Libertadores Winners; Recopa Winners
2023    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | Serie A     | 1st      | League Champions; Rio State Champions
2024    | Flamengo       | Brazil   | Serie A     | 1st      | League Champions; Rio State Champions
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2025    | Spartak Moscow | Russia   | Premier     | 1st      | League Champions
2026    | Spartak Moscow | Russia   | Premier     | 1st      | League Champions; Cup Winners; Super Cup Winners[/font]

International History

[font=courier new]Season | Team               | Competiton    | Achievements
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2011   | -                  | -             | -
2012   | -                  | -             | -
2013   | -                  | -             | -
2014   | -                  | -             | -
2015   | -                  | -             | -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2016   | South Africa U20s  | -             | Qualified for African U20 Championship
2017   | South Africa U20s  | U20 World Cup | African U20 Champions; World U20 2nd Round    
2018   | -                  | -             | -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2019   | Paraguay           | Copa America  | Eliminated in Group Stage
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020   | Argentina U20s     | -             | -    
2021   | Argentina U20s     | U20 World Cup | South American U20 Champions; U20 World Cup Winners    
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022   | Colombia           | World Cup     | Eliminated in Group Stage    
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2023   | Argentina          | Copa America  | Finalists
2024   | Argentina U23s     | Olympics      | Quarter-finalists
2025   | Argentina          | WCQ           | Qualified in 1st place
2026   | Argentina          | World Cup     | World Champions![/font]

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A fantastic domestic season! And what a win in the final against Dinamo! You'd definitely be kicking yourself if you didn't sign Roberto! Hopefully you can make progress through the Champions League :thup:.

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A fantastic domestic season! And what a win in the final against Dinamo! You'd definitely be kicking yourself if you didn't sign Roberto! Hopefully you can make progress through the Champions League :thup:.
Thanks Raware. :thup: There is always the chance that had I not signed ROberto he would have just rotted in the reserves at Real or elsewhere and we would never have known any different.... ;)

On the financial front, just had a big boost as all our sponsorship deals were renewed and increased and the chairman pumped another 26million big ones into the club. :) Looks like our future rivals may be Ural as they've just been taken over by a Chinese tycoon

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Brilliant stuff domestically and some great results in the Champions League :thup: Good luck for the knock-out stages :)

How is Chiquinho getting on these days?

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Another top season DodgeeD :thup:

Well done on getting to the knockout rounds of the Champions League, you've definitely got a chance against Lyon.

It will be interesting to see what materialises with Ural now they're tycoon owned. If they appoint a good manager then they could be contenders in a season or two. However, from my experience, tycoons are far too quick to fire managers, so they never get a team settled enough to challenge for honours.

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roganp - Chiquinho is still at Flamengo and, having just signed a 97k p/w 5 year contract, he may well end up staying there. He's not scoring as many goals as when I was there with his toals for the last two seasons 36 and 27 in all competitions - about half the amount he was scoring per season previously. And his only hope of getting international caps seems to be if I take the Brazil job.... Here's his current profile.

AK22 - thanks for the comment. :thup: I was surprised by how poor Bayern were (losing to us and Copenhagen at home!). Ural were surprisingly quiet on the transfer front over the winter. The only move of note was the acquisition of a young Portuguese DM who was already playing in Russia at Baltika.

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