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The Ultimate Football Manager Challenge

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4 hours ago, XaW said:

Yeah, that was my reasoning as well, so I'll keep it like that unless the big boss says otherwise. :)

From what you've said, either the Nedbank or Telcom Knockout can count.

Interesting fact, or from everybody else's point of view, a fact.

When this challenge started up originally, the guy who started it, came up with the original rules, but then quickly abandoned it, and some of the rules were open to interpretation, such as whether it had to be 10 cups from 10 different nations. So we spent a year analysing the original post like it was scripture trying to discern what 'God' had intended. 

Then I started a new thread, and now I'm God, so happy ending.

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15 hours ago, vikeologist said:

From what you've said, either the Nedbank or Telcom Knockout can count.

Interesting fact, or from everybody else's point of view, a fact.

When this challenge started up originally, the guy who started it, came up with the original rules, but then quickly abandoned it, and some of the rules were open to interpretation, such as whether it had to be 10 cups from 10 different nations. So we spent a year analysing the original post like it was scripture trying to discern what 'God' had intended. 

Then I started a new thread, and now I'm God, so happy ending.

Great, good to have the almighty confirm our beliefs! :kriss: You better stay here and clear out any and all misunderstandings and such, unless we have to dig up all your old posts and do the same!

In other news, I think I'm looking good for another league title.... I'm the PSG of South Africa...

tlP5vke.png

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1 minute ago, XaW said:

... I'm the PSG of South Africa...

 

My new team, China fortune, were the PSG of China, and indeed all of Asia, until last season. Now they're the OAPs of China. Our new club nickname is the Terracotta Army. I swear I saw some of these guys on the training ground yesterday.

Image result for old chinese footballers

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Just now, vikeologist said:

My new team, China fortune, were the PSG of China, and indeed all of Asia, until last season. Now they're the OAPs of China. Our new club nickname is the Terracotta Army. I swear I saw some of these guys on the training ground yesterday.

Image result for old chinese footballers

Haha, well, I just another evidence... Playing against amateur teams in the CL qualification is plain stupid...

AvxsQhE.png

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XaW - Ultimate Football Manager Challenge - 2024/25

After we had a quite remarkable season last year, I expected us to continue the trend this season and we really delivered. I managed to get rid of just about the last of the dead weights, and I tried to get in a couple of better players before the season started. When it started we went off with a bang. We won the first 17 matches and pretty much had the league title in a bag at the half way. In the end we won it, but not flawless as we drew and lost 1 match each. In the domestic cups we won "Be the coach", MTN 8 and Telkom Knockout. We lost the final in the Nedbank cup to Bidvest Wits to stop us from another clean sweep.

In the continenal cups we first of all continued on our journey in the CAF Confederation Cup were we got past 3 qualifying round were we beat Police XI of Botswana, fellow South Africans Uthukela FC and Power Dynamos of Zambia. Then we got past the group stage ahead of TP Mazembe of DR Congo, AS Tanda of Ivory Coast and Enyimba of Nigeria. In the knockout rounds we beat Ismaily of Egypt in the quarter final and CS Sfax of Tunisia in the semi final to reach the final. Played over two legs (why of why is this a thing?!) we beat Club Africain of Tunisia to win it.

We are still in the CAF Champions League and I'll update when it's done. If we win it, I'll leave South Africa and head to somewhere in the Americas.

I've also taken over Belgium U21s to get some more international experience, but we have only played a single game and there is another year before any tournaments. I might resign from it if another national side get available.

Domestic
Season	 Team			Division		Position	Notes										Challenge Landmarks
2017	 Finnsnes IL		PostNord-ligaen 1       1st		Promoted as champions, got National C licence 
2018	 Finnsnes IL		OBOS-ligaen             9th		Mid-table, got National B and A licences
2019	 Tromsø IL		OBOS-ligaen             1st		Promoted as champions
2020	 Tromsø IL		Eliteserien             1st		Champions                                                                        First league title
2021	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    3rd		Cup winner, got Continental C and B licences                                     First cup title
2022	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    1st		Chapmions, Cup winner, ACL winner, got Continental A                             League title and ACL
2022/23	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        3rd             Took over with 2 games left
2023/24	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Domestic clean sweep, got Continental Pro licence                                League title and cup winner
2024/25	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won league and some cups

International
Year	   Team					Achievements
2021       Nigeria                                 Won ACON
2024/25    Belgium U21

Challenge Progress

Club
 3/10 top domestic leagues (Norway 2020, China 2022, South Africa 2023/24)			
 2/10 domestic cups (Chinese FA Cup 2021 and 2022, South Africa 2023/24)
 1/5 club continental championships (Asia 2022)
 0/1 club world championship

International
 1/5 continental tournaments (ACON - Nigeria 2021)
 0/2 world tournaments 

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XaW - Ultimate Football Manager Challenge - 2025

I continued to play in the CAF Champions League and after beating out Djabal Club of Comoros and Al-Merreikh of Sudan we got into the group stage. There we bested ASEC of Ivory Coast, Vita Club of DR Congo and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco to get to the knockout stages. Here we beat ES Sétif of Algeria in the quarter final and ES Tunis of Tunisia in the semi final to reach the final. There we once again met ASEC of Ivory Coast. We comfortably beat them once again to win the CL!

Even though I've enjoyed Orlando Pirates a lot, and have developed a soft spot for them, I've decided to resign and head to America. Haven't got any jobs yet, but I'm on the lookout. I've also resigned as manager of Belgium U21s since I found it very boring playing a couple of friendlies and waiting two years for a competitive match.

Domestic
Season	 Team			Division		Position	Notes										Challenge Landmarks
2017	 Finnsnes IL		PostNord-ligaen 1       1st		Promoted as champions, got National C licence 
2018	 Finnsnes IL		OBOS-ligaen             9th		Mid-table, got National B and A licences
2019	 Tromsø IL		OBOS-ligaen             1st		Promoted as champions
2020	 Tromsø IL		Eliteserien             1st		Champions                                                                        First league title
2021	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    3rd		Cup winner, got Continental C and B licences                                     First cup title
2022	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    1st		Chapmions, Cup winner, ACL winner, got Continental A                             League title and ACL
2022/23	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        3rd             Took over with 2 games left
2023/24	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Domestic clean sweep, got Continental Pro licence                                League title and cup winner
2024/25	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won league and some cups
2025/26	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won CAF CL, left in November						         Won CAF CL

International
Year	   Team					Achievements
2021       Nigeria                              Won ACON
2024/25    Belgium U21                          Played some matches and then left

Challenge Progress

Club
 3/10 top domestic leagues (Norway 2020, China 2022, South Africa 2023/24)			
 2/10 domestic cups (Chinese FA Cup 2021 and 2022, South Africa Nedbank 2023/24)
 2/5 club continental championships (Asia 2022, Africa 2025)
 0/1 club world championship

International
 1/5 continental tournaments (ACON - Nigeria 2021)
 0/2 world tournaments 

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XaW - Ultimate Football Manager Challenge - 2026

After leaving Orlando Pirates in November, there were very few jobs available, so I just had to take my time and wait. While waiting, I got offered a new international side. New Zealand were the side and I accepted, mostly because I didn't have much else to do. There are not many matches in 2026, but why not take over. I could actually win the OFC Nations cup, to take the challenge one further! ;)

After a while certain jobs became available and I applied for a few and went to some interviews. I got offered a couple of jobs, but they were not what I were looking for. Until now, that is. I finally got offered to manage in a country I have thought of managing in often, but never have come around to, the big US of A. Yup, I'm heading to MSL. I have no clue to the rules and the all the quirky things I've heard about transfers regarding marquee players, salary caps and the whole lot. Luckily, I have my assistant to guide me through it.

5KrKhNn.png

The club is FC Dallas, at least it doesn't have a "kitchy" name like Tigers, or Stars, or something like that. The club is currently sitting 11th (of 12!) in the Western Conference after 15 of 34 league matches. Should be fun.

Domestic
Season	 Team			Division		Position	Notes										Challenge Landmarks
2017	 Finnsnes IL		PostNord-ligaen 1       1st		Promoted as champions, got National C licence 
2018	 Finnsnes IL		OBOS-ligaen             9th		Mid-table, got National B and A licences
2019	 Tromsø IL		OBOS-ligaen             1st		Promoted as champions
2020	 Tromsø IL		Eliteserien             1st		Champions                                                                        First league title
2021	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    3rd		Cup winner, got Continental C and B licences                                     First cup title
2022	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    1st		Chapmions, Cup winner, ACL winner, got Continental A                             League title and ACL
2022/23	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        3rd             Took over with 2 games left
2023/24	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Domestic clean sweep, got Continental Pro licence                                League title and cup winner
2024/25	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won league and some cups
2025/26	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won CAF CL, left in November						         Won CAF CL

International
Year	   Team					Achievements
2021       Nigeria                              Won ACON
2024/25    Belgium U21                          Played some matches and then left

Challenge Progress

Club
 3/10 top domestic leagues (Norway 2020, China 2022, South Africa 2023/24)			
 2/10 domestic cups (Chinese FA Cup 2021 and 2022, South Africa Nedbank 2023/24)
 2/5 club continental championships (Asia 2022, Africa 2025)
 0/1 club world championship

International
 1/5 continental tournaments (ACON - Nigeria 2021)
 0/2 world tournaments 

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46 minutes ago, XaW said:

XaW - Ultimate Football Manager Challenge - 2026

After leaving Orlando Pirates in November, there were very few jobs available, so I just had to take my time and wait. While waiting, I got offered a new international side. New Zealand were the side and I accepted, mostly because I didn't have much else to do. There are not many matches in 2026, but why not take over. I could actually win the OFC Nations cup, to take the challenge one further! ;)

After a while certain jobs became available and I applied for a few and went to some interviews. I got offered a couple of jobs, but they were not what I were looking for. Until now, that is. I finally got offered to manage in a country I have thought of managing in often, but never have come around to, the big US of A. Yup, I'm heading to MSL. I have no clue to the rules and the all the quirky things I've heard about transfers regarding marquee players, salary caps and the whole lot. Luckily, I have my assistant to guide me through it.

5KrKhNn.png

The club is FC Dallas, at least it doesn't have a "kitchy" name like Tigers, or Stars, or something like that. The club is currently sitting 11th (of 12!) in the Western Conference after 15 of 34 league matches. Should be fun.


Domestic
Season	 Team			Division		Position	Notes										Challenge Landmarks
2017	 Finnsnes IL		PostNord-ligaen 1       1st		Promoted as champions, got National C licence 
2018	 Finnsnes IL		OBOS-ligaen             9th		Mid-table, got National B and A licences
2019	 Tromsø IL		OBOS-ligaen             1st		Promoted as champions
2020	 Tromsø IL		Eliteserien             1st		Champions                                                                        First league title
2021	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    3rd		Cup winner, got Continental C and B licences                                     First cup title
2022	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    1st		Chapmions, Cup winner, ACL winner, got Continental A                             League title and ACL
2022/23	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        3rd             Took over with 2 games left
2023/24	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Domestic clean sweep, got Continental Pro licence                                League title and cup winner
2024/25	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won league and some cups
2025/26	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won CAF CL, left in November						         Won CAF CL

International
Year	   Team					Achievements
2021       Nigeria                              Won ACON
2024/25    Belgium U21                          Played some matches and then left

Challenge Progress

Club
 3/10 top domestic leagues (Norway 2020, China 2022, South Africa 2023/24)			
 2/10 domestic cups (Chinese FA Cup 2021 and 2022, South Africa Nedbank 2023/24)
 2/5 club continental championships (Asia 2022, Africa 2025)
 0/1 club world championship

International
 1/5 continental tournaments (ACON - Nigeria 2021)
 0/2 world tournaments 

good luck in America mate. Is a frustrating league with all the rules. most frustrating thing is the transfer system between MLS clubs, I only lasted a season. If you can get some decent HG players, it helps massively. Think you can have 8 foreign players in the starting 11.

I cant wait to get off shift and get back to my challenge. 

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9 minutes ago, Lewis89 said:

good luck in America mate. Is a frustrating league with all the rules. most frustrating thing is the transfer system between MLS clubs, I only lasted a season. If you can get some decent HG players, it helps massively. Think you can have 8 foreign players in the starting 11.

I cant wait to get off shift and get back to my challenge. 

Well, I've managed to screw up once already. I noticed the youth squad had a very talented youngster, so I brought him in, apparently on a "reserve contract", but I found out I can only have 6 reserve contracts, so I had to unregister a player. I picked the poorest one, and lo and behold he got released because I "waived" him. So, that means I lost a talented midfielder. I also want to curse the previous manager! The squad have a single goalkeeper and a grand total of 3 center backs. But, I do have 8 strikers though... All 3 "Designated players" are strikers and have "Guaranteed MLS contract" so I guess I can't try to get rid of them easily. So I can't bring in any big foreigners either. Oh, and we are at our salary cap as well.

And we haven't even started on any drafting yet. I think I need to go back to school to understand all these rules and regulations. At least if I'm going to try to win anything...

Edit: Oh, and a player are at something called the "disabled" list, so I can't register him to play.

686bf45f96ce06af9dd5324453868273.jpg

Edited by XaW

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I took over New York Red Bull's during the MLS close season after my South African adventure.  So far I'm glad I've continued with my habit of delegating everything to the relevant people.  It's made the transition a bit easier to deal with.  I thought they'd have qualified for the NACL as they finished 4th the previous season and 4 qualify for the NACL.  However as I later learned it's not just the top 4 of the supporters shield :(

As it is I hope the squad sticks together for next season as we're going strong in the league so far....although now I've typed this I'll probably go on a run of defeats.

Edited by blackdevil

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55 minutes ago, XaW said:

Well, I've managed to screw up once already. I noticed the youth squad had a very talented youngster, so I brought him in, apparently on a "reserve contract", but I found out I can only have 6 reserve contracts, so I had to unregister a player. I picked the poorest one, and lo and behold he got released because I "waived" him. So, that means I lost a talented midfielder. I also want to curse the previous manager! The squad have a single goalkeeper and a grand total of 3 center backs. But, I do have 8 strikers though... All 3 "Designated players" are strikers and have "Guaranteed MLS contract" so I guess I can't try to get rid of them easily. So I can't bring in any big foreigners either. Oh, and we are at our salary cap as well.

And we haven't even started on any drafting yet. I think I need to go back to school to understand all these rules and regulations. At least if I'm going to try to win anything...

Edit: Oh, and a player are at something called the "disabled" list, so I can't register him to play.

686bf45f96ce06af9dd5324453868273.jpg

i completely forgot about the numerous different contracts, the waiving part aswel. ive noticed that happens alot on fm, the A.I stock piling players. im glad ive moved on from there.

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@XaW The OFC Nations Cup doesn't count towards the challenge. I guess when it started I thought that it wasn't possible to be in the competition without add-on leagues. Maybe that has changed, and adding Australia would now make New Zealand a playable nation, so that may have to be borne (sic?) in mind when creating the rules for the FM19 version of the challenge, (which is definitely going to have to be a bit different because of competitions coming and going IRL).

Got to admit, I've no intention of managing in the MLS any time soon, or probably ever.

It's a pity, because I like American Football, (I don't mean soccer), so the whole draft / contracts / salary cap thing sounds really interesting and enjoyable, but in FM17, it just wasn't. Early on FM17 was ridden with quite serious bugs, but these were especially prevalent in the tricky MLS. It didn't help that the reason I leaped in was because Minnesota finally had an MLS team, but being an expansion team, they were a big challenge.

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No, there is only the "Copa do Brazil" that counts.  I think most (if not all) of the state championships are a league format.

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16 hours ago, vikeologist said:

@XaW The OFC Nations Cup doesn't count towards the challenge. I guess when it started I thought that it wasn't possible to be in the competition without add-on leagues. Maybe that has changed, and adding Australia would now make New Zealand a playable nation, so that may have to be borne (sic?) in mind when creating the rules for the FM19 version of the challenge, (which is definitely going to have to be a bit different because of competitions coming and going IRL).

Got to admit, I've no intention of managing in the MLS any time soon, or probably ever.

It's a pity, because I like American Football, (I don't mean soccer), so the whole draft / contracts / salary cap thing sounds really interesting and enjoyable, but in FM17, it just wasn't. Early on FM17 was ridden with quite serious bugs, but these were especially prevalent in the tricky MLS. It didn't help that the reason I leaped in was because Minnesota finally had an MLS team, but being an expansion team, they were a big challenge.

Yeah, I know, but I just thought it could be fun to try to win it anyway. It seems to be possible to win (just not the Oceanic Champions League, unless Wellington Phoenix somehow qualifies?), but I'll let you know should it be played soon (every 4th year?).

I'm still trying to get a hold on the rules, but Dallas seems to be poorer quality than I originally thought. It doesn't help that they really aren't familiar with the tactic. So things aren't going as swimmingly as it has before, but I still have hope. Though I don't think I'll stay in the MLS for long, there are too many strange rules for my likening.

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Now it's been a long time since I took on a challenge (or even contributed to the forum in all fairness!), but this challenge looks like a good bit of fun!

As an additional challenge to myself, I'm going to play this using a moneyball mentality, no signings over 25, low transfer fees etc

Just set up my game, hopefully have a decent-ish job soon - league setup is:

*Brazil
*China
*England
*France
*Germany
*Italy
*Mexico
*Norway
*South Africa
*Spain

All to the lowest available division (vanilla, no downloaded leagues) 

 

 

Here goes....

Edited by f00kinerr0r

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2 hours ago, blackdevil said:

No, there is only the "Copa do Brazil" that counts.  I think most (if not all) of the state championships are a league format.

Yeah makes sense. Guess I’m aiming for Seria A and Copa do Brazil then 

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48 minutes ago, Danny_H22 said:

Yeah makes sense. Guess I’m aiming for Seria A and Copa do Brazil then 

I try and win a league and cup in every country I manage although I'm sure I'll miss out on one or two.  It's worth bearing in mind there's only 5 named domestic trophies you have to win and they're the league titles in England, France, Germany, Italy & Spain.  So as long as you win the Libertadores then you're all good in South America.

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1 hour ago, blackdevil said:

I try and win a league and cup in every country I manage although I'm sure I'll miss out on one or two.  It's worth bearing in mind there's only 5 named domestic trophies you have to win and they're the league titles in England, France, Germany, Italy & Spain.  So as long as you win the Libertadores then you're all good in South America.

I always prefer to win the cup and league in every country I manage in order to try and reduce overall completion time. I’ve only failed to do the double once before moving on and that was at my last club, annoyingly 

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4 hours ago, f00kinerr0r said:

Now it's been a long time since I took on a challenge (or even contributed to the forum in all fairness!), but this challenge looks like a good bit of fun!

As an additional challenge to myself, I'm going to play this using a moneyball mentality, no signings over 25, low transfer fees etc

 

Welcome to the challenge.

I suppose now it would be possible to do what I'd call a moneyball approach to FM, which would be to only use your data analysts. No scout reports at all. 

The approach you describe is kind of what Zhejiang Greentown (Lucheng in the game) were trying in China, though I'm not sure how much the game reflects these philosophies. But basically their aim was to have a team made up entirely of U23 footballers, because they could sell them on to other teams needing to make up their quotas. 

@Danny_H22 @blackdevil It's difficult sometimes to motivate oneself to stay an extra year somewhere just to pick up that one remaining trophy, (or even an extra year and a half in S Africa) but you're probably correct that it's the optimal thing to do to finish the challenge as quickly as possible. It does mean however that you really only play in one 'extra' nation, because 

Big Euro sides x 5

S Africa

MLS / Mexico

Asia (probably China or S Korea)

S America (probably Brazil or Argentina)

takes up 9 of the 10 nations, unless you win the Libertadores in Mexico.

 

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Pug's Season 2017-18

AFBmFqo.png

Here We Go I've Got Around To Get Going On This Challenge. With The Board Wanting Me To Finish Mid-Table . Expectations .We Out Did

Our Self By Winning The League 2 Games To Go . Final TableResults 1  Results 2 . In The FA Trophy We Managed To Get To The 3rd Round

FA Trophy . In The FA Cup We Got Knocked Out 1st Attempt . FA Cup . Good News Was A Take Over . Chairman ., Which Let Me Take My First Badge.

I Also Asked The Chairman To Go Pro And He Agreed.  . Transfers  . Job History .

 

                                                                       CLUB CAREER                      
                                                                       -----------
Season     Club                Leagues        Cups                                     Other & Notes
                               1st  2nd       1st  2nd    Cont    CWC  
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017/18    Soihull Moors                                                               Won Vanarama League

                                                                                     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   INTERNATIONAL CAREER
                                                                   --------------------

Season    Nation         Cups                                                                         Other & Notes
                         World Cup    Confed Cup    Euro's    AFC    ACON    Gold Cup   Copa America
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


Club
----
0/10 Top Domestic Leagues()
0/10 Top Domestic Cups   ()
0/5  Continental Cups    ()
0/1  Club World Cup      ()

International
-------------
0/5  Continental Tournaments ()
0/2  World Tournaments       ()

 

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19 hours ago, vikeologist said:

Welcome to the challenge.

I suppose now it would be possible to do what I'd call a moneyball approach to FM, which would be to only use your data analysts. No scout reports at all. 

The approach you describe is kind of what Zhejiang Greentown (Lucheng in the game) were trying in China, though I'm not sure how much the game reflects these philosophies. But basically their aim was to have a team made up entirely of U23 footballers, because they could sell them on to other teams needing to make up their quotas. 

Thanks @vikeologist, funnily enough my first job is in China at Baoding Rongda - surprising amount of resources for a team fighting relegation so hopefully a good grounding to kick off the challenge

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Season 2020/21 Review

Orlando Pirates & Egypt

orlando-pirates.png.257f88a8224b2cfc55f60f2739768180.png220px-Flag_of_Egypt_svg.png.33d52f0fcc437d9e039aa2ff884bf2b7.png

This was going to have to be the season I finally crack the top 2 in South Africa, as usual we started with the Fans Match the Black label Cup against Rivals Kaizer Chiefs. A late goal saw us go down 2-1. In the MTN8 cup (which we won last season) we got to the semi finals this year before losing to Chiefs again. A slow start in the league with a win, a loss and a draw from first 3 games made me fear for our ambitions. A subtle change in my tactic (basically we struggled to break teams down last season so I implemented a high press to try and win the ball back high up the pitch) saw us find some form. In the CAF Confederations Cup (Europa League, another we won last year) I played a back up 11 just to keep people fresh for the league an cups. We made it back to final where our 1st leg win was just about enough to see us retain the trophy (and we're in the 1/4 finals again this upcoming season) We also retained the Super Cup.
That loss set in a motion my best ever run in any FM (from memory) as we went 36 games in all competitions without losing, even better was we won 33 of them! We cruised to the league title winning it by 20 points. We also added the Nedbank Cup and the Telkom Cup to complete a domestic treble. 

For Egypt it was Cup of Nations year. We qualified with a 100% record. Our World Cup qualifying group wasn't as good though as we through away a lead to lose 2-1 away to Nigeria before conceding a 95th minute goal to draw at home with Guinea-Bissau. Ghana are the other team in the group.

In the Cup of nations we were drawn with Cameroon, Mali and Zimbabwe and here's how it went:

Group Stage
 

Spoiler

Egypt 2 (Salah, Garmal) - 3 Cameroon  - An awful start where thanks to 2 defensive mistakes we were 3-0 by HT. A good 2nd half wasn't enough to salvage anything

Mali 1 - 3 Egypt (Hassan, Sobhi, Salah) This time it was us with a fast start as 3 goals in the opening 20 minutes blew them away, they pulle 1 back ust after the break but we cruised to the win

Egypt 2 (Elneny, Ali) - 1 Zimbabwe - a poor performance from us where we took an early lead but threw it away, took a 92nd minute winner from a 17 year old kid to win it. A draw would also have been enough in the end. Group runners up it was

Second Round (If Applicable)
 

Spoiler

Benin 0 - 3 Egypt (Sobhi x2, Samir) - comfortable, we dominated and they never even had a shot on target

Quarter Finals (If Applicable)
 

Spoiler

Cape Verde 0 - 2 Egypt (Elneny, Zizo) - a penalty mid way through the first half and a 95th minute goal, was a tight game and the only game where we didn't dominate the ball. The semi finals await against either DR Congo or Nigeria

Semi Finals (If Applicable)

Spoiler

DR Congo 0 - 5 Egypt (Elneny, Salah, Hassan x2, Zizo) - was fully expecting Nigeria to win but some who DR Congo beat them, was as easy a game as we could ask for. 4-0 by HT mainly thanks to Salah with 1 goal and 3 assists. The final would be against either defending champions Senegal or Cameroon who beats us in our opening match

Final (If Applicable)
 

Spoiler

Senegal 2 - 4 Egypt (Samir, Sobhi, Hassan x2) - despite the scoreline it was an even game, we just took our chances while they couldn't. Salah again the star with another 3 assists as Egypt win for the 8th time.

Aftermath 
 

Spoiler

After the tournament I resigned. We got very lucky here, losing the opening game was a blessing. The quarter final lineup was so top heavy. In the top half you had Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana, while in our half was us, Cape Verde, DR Congo and Nigeria! When I won the Asia Cup with China we didn't face any of the bigger sides, and here we only faced them in the final. I'll take this luck and run (knowing full well I'll pay for it somewhere down the line) 
Plus with everything but the Champions League won in Africa now I wanted to focus 100% on that.

Career Overview

Season	Team				Country			Position		Notes & Achievements

2017/18	Ubuntu Cape Town		South Africa		1st			Promotion
2018/19	Ubuntu Cape Town		South Africa		7th 
2019/20	Orlando Pirates			South Africa		4th 			Won, CAF Confederations Cup, CAF Super Cup & MTN8 cup	
2020/21	Orlando Pirate			South Africa		1st			League winners, Nedbank Cup Winners, Tolkom Cup Winners, CAF Confederations and Super Cup winners			

International

Year	Country			Notes & Achievements 

2017	Australia U23		Asian U23 Champions
2019	China			Asian Cup Winners
2019/20 Egypt 			African Nations Championship Winners
2020/21 Egypt			African Cup of Nations Winners

Challenge Progress
Club
1/10 top domestic leagues – South Africa 2021 (Orlando Pirates)
1/10 domestic cups – South Africa 2021 (Orlando Pirates)
0/5 club continental championships ()
0/1 club world championship


International
2/5 continental tournaments - Asian Cup Winners 2019 (China), Cup of Nations 2021 (Egypt)
0/2 world tournaments ()

 

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XaW - Ultimate Football Manager Challenge - 2026

Joining FC Dallas I immediately identified some major issues with the squad:

  1. Only a single goalkeeper
  2. Only 2 central defenders, and one one good. (Seriously, this is their main defender....)
  3. Of the 3 designated players, only 1 have something resembling quality.
  4. The wage is at the cap

However, there were some good news:

  1. There are a lot of quality in the farmer team that I can call up for little money.
  2. There are some good strikers here

I took over with the team second to last in the Western Conference and just about half way into the season. I had to call up a bunch of defenders and a goalkeeper from the farmer team, but struggled quite a bit to understand how the wage cap works and the ways around it ("Designated players", "Off budget players", "Reserves", "Internationals", and so on). There are other strange things going on as well, such as the reward for Good Behaviour. We lost the first two matches, but we slowly improved and started to find some winning ways. In the end we actually managed to get into the playoff spots as we finished 4th in the Western Conference. In the "Wild card" we beat Seattle Sounders to get into the Western Conference semi final. There we beat Minnesota, but we lost to LA Galaxy in the Western Conference finals. I do think we have a good chance of improving next season. Especially if I manage to get rid of the DPs to get in some actual good players.

In the US Open we beat Pittsburgh before losing to Columbus Crew on pens in the 5th round.

For New Zealand I only had friendlies and we did quite well. Hopefully next year will give us some actual competitive matches.

Domestic
Season	 Team			Division		Position	Notes										Challenge Landmarks
2017	 Finnsnes IL		PostNord-ligaen 1       1st		Promoted as champions, got National C licence 
2018	 Finnsnes IL		OBOS-ligaen             9th		Mid-table, got National B and A licences
2019	 Tromsø IL		OBOS-ligaen             1st		Promoted as champions
2020	 Tromsø IL		Eliteserien             1st		Champions                                                                        First league title
2021	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    3rd		Cup winner, got Continental C and B licences                                     First cup title
2022	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    1st		Chapmions, Cup winner, ACL winner, got Continental A                             League title and ACL
2022/23	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        3rd             Took over with 2 games left
2023/24	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Domestic clean sweep, got Continental Pro licence                                League title and cup winner
2024/25	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won league and some cups
2025/26	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won CAF CL, left in November						         Won CAF CL
2026	 FC Dallas      	Western Conference      4th             Lost in the Western Conference playoff final

International
Year	   Team					Achievements
2021       Nigeria                              Won ACON
2024/25    Belgium U21                          Played some matches and then left
2026	   New Zealand							Played friendlies

Challenge Progress

Club
 3/10 top domestic leagues (Norway 2020, China 2022, South Africa 2023/24)			
 2/10 domestic cups (Chinese FA Cup 2021 and 2022, South Africa Nedbank 2023/24)
 2/5 club continental championships (Asia 2022, Africa 2025)
 0/1 club world championship

International
 1/5 continental tournaments (ACON - Nigeria 2021)
 0/2 world tournaments 

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New York Red Bulls
Major League Soccer
2026

 

I Joined New York Red Bulls on the 30th of November 2025 and due to it being the close season didn't have a match until 4th of February in a pre-season friendly against Santa Clara which saw us win 4-1.  Our pre-season form then took a downturn with us drawing 3 and loosing 2 before finishing off with a win against our U-23's.  The league season itself started off in sharp contrast with 4 straight wins followed by 3 draws and then another 4 wins to put us firmly in the driving seat in the league.  Our form throughout the season was inconsistent but thanks to the good start we kept ourselves ahead of the chasing pack who were equally inconsistent and ended the season top of the Eastern Conference & Supporters Shield.  In the Eastern Conference semi-final we faced Atlanta United and comfortably won both legs 2-1 to setup a final against a team we hadn't beaten this season, Montreal Impact.  A 3-2 defeat continued our poor run against them but an early goal and 1-0 win in the second leg managed see us through the MLS Cup on away goals.  In the MLS Cup we faced LAFC at home due to us being the higher seeded team and thankfully took advantage winning 2-1 to add another top division title to my collection.

In the US Open Cup we were caught on an off day against NYCFC and lost in a disappointing derby defeat 2-1 at the first hurdle.

 

In international matters the 2026 World Cup was hosted in Canada with South Korea already qualified when I took over.  Drawn in group G we had Senegal, Sweden and the United States to compete with.  Our first game was against Sweden which we managed to win comfortably in a surprising good performance 3-1.  Our second game saw us face the US and us fall to 1-3 defeat in a poor performance.  Our third game against Senegal was a close encounter which we lost 2-1.  This resulted in us finishing 3rd in the group and going out of the tournament.  But was a good showing according to the South Korean FA.  Of note we won some friendly matches against Argentina (3-1) & Paraguay (3-2).  We were at one point ranked 40th in the world but fell away to 44th.  Next up is the AFC Asian Cup being hosted in Australia and is likely to feature my 500th game in management against Saudi Arabia.  With the other two teams in the group being Laos and Guam.
 

Challenge Progress:

Club
4/10 top domestic leagues (CHI, BRA, RSA, USA)
3/10 domestic cups (CHI, BRA, RSA)
3/5 club continental championships (ACL-Wuhan 2020, LIB-Sao Paulo 2022, CAFCL-Ajax CT 2025)
1/1 club world championship (Sao Paulo 2022)

International
1/5 continental tournaments (MAR 2023)
0/2 world tournaments ()
 

Seasons:

CLUB CAREER
							Leagues		Cups
Season	NAT	Club			Division	1st	2nd	1st	2nd		Cont.		CWC	Other & Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017	CHI	Wuhan			CNFD		5th								Joined in 9th place after 13 games and out of cups
2018	CHI	Whuan			CNFD		1st		Qtr						Promoted as champions
2019	CHI	Wuhan			CSL		1st		Win						League & Cup double.
2020	CHI	Wuhan			CSL		1st		Win			Win			Trebble Winners (+domestic super cup)
2021	BRA	Sao Paulo		Serie A		3rd		Qtr						Joined in 17th after 11 games.
2022	BRA	Sao Paulo		Serie A		1st		Win			Win		Win	Quadruple
2022/23	RSA	Ajax CT			RSA PL		7th		n/a	Win					Nedbank Cup win
2023/24	RSA	Ajax CT			RSA PL		1st		2rnd	Final					League Champions
2024/25	RSA	Ajax CT			RSA PL		1st		Semi	Win		Win			CAF Confederation Cup, League Champions, MTN 8 Cup, Telkom Knockout Cup, CAF Super Cup
2025/26	RSA	Ajax CT			RSA PL		1st*					Win			CAF Champions League, *resigned after 7 league games in 1st place and a game in hand.
2026	USA	New York RB		MLS		1st								MLS Cup & MLS Supporters Shield winners

INTERNATIONAL CAREER
			Rank		Cups
Year	Nation		FIFA	NL	World	Cont.	Conf.	Other & Notes
2020	Serbia		21st
2021	Serbia		33rd					Failed to Qualify for World Cup
2022	Morocco		15th					Won African Nations Championship
2023	Morocco		18th					Won African Cup of Nations
2024
2025	South Korea	50th					Won East Asia Cup
2026	South Korea	44th					3rd in World Cup group
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I've not been enjoying managing in the MLS so I'm tempted to jump ship to a Mexican team with the Cruz Azul (3rd) and Pachuca (2nd) jobs being available.  Does anyone know off-hand what the NACL qualification rules are for Mexico?

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Well done on winning in the MLS @blackdevil! I'm actually starting to like it, though I have screwed up a couple of times now. It's a change of pace from the normal, but once I managed to clean up all the trash from the former manager and start to get in my players it got a lot better. However, I don't understand WHY the MLS have these rules. Quite baffling to be honest, but each to their own, I guess.

In other news, I finally found out why I have been confused with a player in the New Zealand squad. It turns out that two of my striker options have the same last name. And since the name is quite special, I've confused them several times since they both are strikers.

QBRePcH.pngl2PzVct.png

I don't know if Wortelboer is a common name in New Zealand, but they are quite different as strikers and I've still managed to mix them up several times...

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XaW - Ultimate Football Manager Challenge - 2027

In the offseason I finally got rid of the last of the legacy from the former manager in the form of the designated players and other horrible players. I brought in some very good players, even a couple from my former adventure in South Africa when I picked up Franklin Ipoua, a massive defender who were the rock of my Pirates' defense, and Ammar Alili, the midfield maestro. We went out swinging and pushed through just about each and every team who stood in our way. In the end we won the Western Conference pretty far ahead of the other teams. Of course this also meant we won the Supporter's Shield as well. In the playoff we beat Minnesota in the semi final before knocking out rivals Houston Dynamo in the final to qualify for the MLS Cup final. There we won the whole thing by beating Columbus Crew 3-0.

In the US Open we beat Houston Dynamo, Tulsa, New York City FC and New York Red Bull to reach the final. Here we beat Portland Timbers to do a domestic sweep.

My two old pals mentioned above played amazing, but even their excellent play were overshadowed by our two great strikers. One local lad in Andrew Glover who scored a lot. Luis Belalcázar are the other who are even better. I think we are heading into the NACL next season, but I have no idea yet. I'm finally getting the hang of most of the rules in MLS, though certain oddities are still strange for me. 

For New Zealand the national team have only had friendlies again, but the U23s have the Pacific Games, so I took over control and won the whole thing by far. I think this makes New Zealand qualified for the Olympics next time around, but I'm not sure.

Domestic
Season	 Team			Division		Position	Notes										Challenge Landmarks
2017	 Finnsnes IL		PostNord-ligaen 1       1st		Promoted as champions, got National C licence 
2018	 Finnsnes IL		OBOS-ligaen             9th		Mid-table, got National B and A licences
2019	 Tromsø IL		OBOS-ligaen             1st		Promoted as champions
2020	 Tromsø IL		Eliteserien             1st		Champions                                                                        First league title
2021	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    3rd		Cup winner, got Continental C and B licences                                     First cup title
2022	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    1st		Chapmions, Cup winner, ACL winner, got Continental A                             League title and ACL
2022/23	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        3rd             Took over with 2 games left
2023/24	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Domestic clean sweep, got Continental Pro licence                                League title and cup winner
2024/25	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won league and some cups
2025/26	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won CAF CL, left in November						         Won CAF CL
2026	 FC Dallas      	Western Conference      4th             Lost in the Western Conference playoff final
2027	 FC Dallas      	Western Conference      1st             Domestic clean sweep								 Won League and Cup

International
Year	   Team					Achievements
2021       Nigeria                              Won ACON
2024/25    Belgium U21                          Played some matches and then left
2026	   New Zealand				Played friendlies
2027	   New Zealand				Won Pacific Games

Challenge Progress

Club
 4/10 top domestic leagues (Norway 2020, China 2022, South Africa 2023/24, USA 2027)			
 3/10 domestic cups (Chinese FA Cup 2021 and 2022, South Africa Nedbank 2023/24, USA 2027)
 2/5 club continental championships (Asia 2022, Africa 2025)
 0/1 club world championship

International
 1/5 continental tournaments (ACON - Nigeria 2021)
 0/2 world tournaments 

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1280px-Bayer_04_Leverkusen_logo_svg.thumb.png.09a69ce0af902691b62e2e5b24fd7d40.png

2029/30 Season Update

Season Preview    Season Review    Squad       Managers Profile

Bundesliga - Results 1Results 2   - I joined Leverkusen with the idea of building a team to challenge Bayern's dominance within 2 or 3 seasons. We did it in 1. It was a very weird season, no real stand out team, and Bayern were simply awful, finishing in 6th. They actually offered me the manager's job during the season but their team is ageing and very unbalanced so I stayed loyal.  It was a tight race, and with 5 games remaining we sat 2nd, 1 point behind leaders Wolfsburg. With them still to visit our ground it was all to play for. A loss away at Nurenburg almost cost us the title but with Wolfsburg dropping points also it meant they visited us 2 points clear and a win would have gave them the crown. We pulled off a thumping 5-1 victory, and went on to beat Mainz 4-0 on the final day to win the title. 

DFB Pokal Cup - A brilliant cup run saw us seal a double. Wasnt straight forward with 2 penalty victories and tight games with only a 1 goal margin in the semi's and final.

Champions League - Drawn in a difficult Group G alongside Manchester United, old club Ajax and Krasnador, I knew this would be tough. And so it proved, as we finished 3rd, 2 points behind United. This meant we went into the Europa League.

Europa League - Resuming after the mid season break suited us here, we had managed to get some consistency going by now and it proved to be a great tournament as we ended up sealing the crown. Wins against Totenham and Arsenal were really impressive, and it meant an all German final against Schalke who were not performing well league wise. This left me confident as we sealed the title with a 1-0 win.

Been an excellent and unexpected successful season in Germany, 2 more competitions ticked off the list and now eyeing up my next move. I may resign as I can see me losing a few key members of this squad in the summer and I cant see myself winning the champions league with Leverkusen. Ideally Id like to go to Italy or France but PSG are just immense and I cant see that job coming up any time soon, and the same goes with Juventus. I may have to take a lesser role here and build a team (the same plan as here). I have the Home World Cup with Spain coming up this summer so may resign from here and just focus on that and see what jobs pop up this summer.

CLUB CAREER	
							Leagues		Cups
Season		Nation	League		Club		1st	2nd	1st	2nd	Cont	CWC	Other Notes and Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------	
2018		CHI	CJL		Beijing Renhe	1st		SF				Appointed DEC 2017, Gained C & B License, Manager of the Season
2019		CHI	CSL		Beijing Renhe	1st		WON				Gained National A, CON C License, Manager of the season, Double Winners
2020		CHI	CSL		Beijing Renhe	1st		R.U		WON	3rd	Gained CON B License, Manager of the year, CSL & ACL Winners, Resigned on 22/12/2020
2021		USA	MLS		Atlanta United	3rd	WON	RD4		WON	3rd	Gained CON A License, MLS CUP and NACL Winners, Coach of the year.
2022		USA	MLS		Atlanta United					R.U		Gained Pro License, Lost in NACL FINAL, Resigned on 25/05/22.
2022/23		RSA	ABSA		Bloemfontein	6th		R2	WON			Appointed on 31/07/22, Won Telekom Knockout Cup.
2023/24		RSA	ABSA		Bloemfontein	1st		SF	WON			Double Winners. League and Telekom Knockout Cup.
2024/25		RSA	ABSA		Bloemfontein	1st		SF	WON			Treble winners. League, MTN8 and Telekom Cup. Still in AFC Champs League Group Stage
2025/26		RSA	ABSA		Bloemfontein					WON	5th	Won CAF Champions League, Lost in CWC QF's. Resigned on 24/12/2025
2026		BRA	SERIE A		Fluminense	2nd		WON		WON	WON	Appointed on 26/03/2026. Quad Winners. State Champs, FA Cup, Copa Libertadores and CWC. Manager of the season. Resigned on 21/12/2026.
2027/28		POR	Primeira	Benfica		1st		R5	WON	L16		Appointed on 15/07/2027. Double Winners Primiera Liga and Liga De Taca. Manager of the Season. Resigned on 27/05/2028
2028/29		HOL	Eredivisie	Ajax 		1st		WON		QF		Appointed on 23/06/2028. Treble Winners Eredivisie, Dutch Cup and Super Cup.
2029/30		GER	Bundesliga	Bay Leverkusen	1st		WON		GS		Appointed on 05/07/2029. Treble Winners Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Europa League. 






INTERNATIONAL CAREER
									Competitions

Season		Nation		World Cup	Confed Cup	Euro Cup	Asian Cup	Afcon	Gold Cup	Copa A		Other Notes and Achievements
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2021/22		SENEGAL										WON					Appointed on 21/03/2021, Qualified for World Cup, ranked 13th.
2022/23		Senegal		Group Stage												Resigned on 25/06/2022, ranked 15th
2023/24		China															Appointed on 02/07/2023, Qualified for Asian Games, Ranked 54th. 
2024/25		China															Qualified for East Asian Games. Ranked 46th
2025/26		China		2nd Round												Won East Asian Cup. Ranked 45th. 
2026/27		China								WON							Won AFC Asian Cup. Ranked 42nd. Resigned on 07/02/2027	
2028/29		Spain				  WON											Appointed on 16/07/2028. Won Confederations Cup. 







CHALLENGE PROGRESS

	CLUB

	6/10 Top Domestic Leagues		CSL-Beijing Renhe 2019. MLS-Atlanta 2021. ASBA-Bloemfontein 2024. POR-Benfica 2028. HOL-Ajax 2029. GER-Leverkusen 2030.
	6/10 Domestic Cups			CFA-Beijing Renhe 2019. RSAKO-Bloemfontein 2023. BFA-Fluminense 2026. POR-Benfica 2028. HOL- Ajax 2029. GER-Leverkusen 2030.
	4/5 Club Continental Championships	Asia-Beijing Renhe 2020. CONCACAF-Atlanta 2021. CAFCL-Bloemfontein 2025. COPA LIB-Fluminense 2026.
	1/1 Club World Cups			Fluminense 2026


	International

	2/5 Continental Tournaments		AFCON-Senegal 2021. Asian Cup-China 2027. 
	1/2 World Tournaments			Confederations Cup-Spain 2029.

	Total Challenge Progress 20/33


	All Achievements
	
	Club Football.

	Beijing Renhe - Chinese Jia League 2018. Chinese Super League 2019, 2020. Asian Champions League 2020. Chinese FA Cup 2019. Chinese Super Cup 2020. Manager of the season 2018, 2019, 2020.
	Atlanta United - MLS Cup 2021. CONCACAF 2021. MLS coach of the year 2021.
	Bloemfontein Celtics - Telkom Knockout Cup 2023,2024,2025. ASBA Premiership-2024,2025. MTN8-2025. CAFCL-Bloemfontein 2025. Manager of the season 2024. 
	Fluminense - Rio State Championships 2026, Copa Perdigao do Brazil 2026, Copa Libertadores 2026, FIFA Club World Cup 2026, Manager of the season 2026.
	Benfica - Primeira Liga 2028, Liga De Taca 2028, Supertaca 2028, Manager of the season 2028.
	Ajax Amsterdam - Eredivisie 2029, Dutch Cup 2029, Super Cup 2029.
	Bayer Leverkusen - Bundesliga 2030, DFB Pokal 2030, Europa League 2030. 	

	International Football.

	Senegal - AFCON-Senegal 2021.
	China - East Asian Cup 2025. AFC Asian Cup 2027.
	Spain - International League 2029, Confederations Cup 2029.
	

 

Edited by Lewis89

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XaW - Ultimate Football Manager Challenge - 2028

During the offseason I managed to strengthen the team, but I haven't finished the season. The CONCACAF Champions League started around the same time as the MLS, and we were one of the favorites for the trophy. In the 1st round we got draw against Saprissa of Costa Rica and we beat them without much incident. In the Quarter final we once again drew our rivals Houston Dynamo, but we knocked them out once again. The semi finals saw us up against Club América of Mexico. We only managed a draw south of the border, but beat them quite comfortably at home. In the final we got Deportivo Guadalajara of Mexico. We won both legs to be crowned champion.

Being done in North America I'm heading southwards. I'm also tired of New Zealand, so I'll quit there as well.

Domestic
Season	 Team			Division		Position	Notes										Challenge Landmarks
2017	 Finnsnes IL		PostNord-ligaen 1       1st		Promoted as champions, got National C licence 
2018	 Finnsnes IL		OBOS-ligaen             9th		Mid-table, got National B and A licences
2019	 Tromsø IL		OBOS-ligaen             1st		Promoted as champions
2020	 Tromsø IL		Eliteserien             1st		Champions                                                                        First league title
2021	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    3rd		Cup winner, got Continental C and B licences                                     First cup title
2022	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    1st		Chapmions, Cup winner, ACL winner, got Continental A                             League title and ACL
2022/23	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        3rd             Took over with 2 games left
2023/24	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Domestic clean sweep, got Continental Pro licence                                League title and cup winner
2024/25	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won league and some cups
2025/26	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won CAF CL, left in November						         Won CAF CL
2026	 FC Dallas      	Western Conference      4th             Lost in the Western Conference playoff final
2027	 FC Dallas      	Western Conference      1st             Domestic clean sweep								 Won League and Cup
2028	 FC Dallas      	Western Conference      1st             Left after winning the CL							 Won CONCACAF CL

International
Year	   Team					Achievements
2021       Nigeria                              Won ACON
2024/25    Belgium U21                          Played some matches and then left
2026	   New Zealand				Played friendlies
2027	   New Zealand				Won Pacific Games
2028	   New Zealand				More friendlies

Challenge Progress

Club
 4/10 top domestic leagues (Norway 2020, China 2022, South Africa 2023/24, USA 2027)			
 3/10 domestic cups (Chinese FA Cup 2021 and 2022, South Africa Nedbank 2023/24, USA 2027)
 3/5 club continental championships (Asia 2022, Africa 2025, North America 2028)
 0/1 club world championship

International
 1/5 continental tournaments (ACON - Nigeria 2021)
 0/2 world tournaments 
Edited by XaW

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Well done in the MLS and NACL @XaW.  It took me a real life day  to decide if I wanted to leave New York RB and move to Mexican side Pachuca who'd offered me the vacant managerial post or to stay and try to win the NACL with the Red Bulls.  Hopefully should have an update tonight or tomorrow.

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I’m really starting to think that I've picked up an FA Cup curse. 

2 seasons ago, my Shenxin side won the first leg of the FA Cup semi-final by 3 goals (5-2) and I thought that we had a place in the final sewn up, before a disastrous second leg which we lost 6-2.

So this season, my China Fortune won the first leg 3-0. Awaiting us in the final is a Jia (next division down) side. Of course things are different this time. 2 years ago Shenxin were the second best side in the Jia league playing a top super league side. This time I’m in charge of the second best in the Super League and playing a mid-table side. Last time the second leg was away from home, this time we’re at home. No need to panic.

Need to panic! 

By half time we’re 3-0 down, and if we concede just one more goal we’ll need 2 to overcome the away goals. We pull a goal back, and then almost immediately we are awarded a penalty, which we miss.

In the end I went ultra-defensive with quarter of an hour to go, knowing that if we concede a goal it’s all over, but we manage to hold on.

So the curse didn’t get us in the end, but then again, we still have the final to come.

Edited by vikeologist

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@blackdevil Are Pachuca one of the top sides in Mexico. The NACL qualification can be a bit confusing, (because some sides qualify for the Libertadores as well / instead). I've never been certain whether these things are a bug in the game, or we just live in a chaotic universe that doesn't make sense.

The thing about Mexico is that it's the easiest nation to win a cup (because the very top sides don't take part, but it still counts towards the challenge), but that means if you are one of the top sides, you won't be in the cup, and might then be 2 cups behind.

@XaW Welcome to the leader board. May i point out that you have the continental champions league for North America, (congrats), not South America, which I guess is maybe your next stop. Brazil?

@Lewis89 Well done on your continued success. Yes, there should be a few really good jobs crop up in the summer. Hope they're the ones you want.

@darren1983 Congrats on the African Cup, mixed with a hint of jealousy given my ongoing run of failure in that competition, (or indeed in my current save, even qualify, though my replacement is doing his best to dig Ghana out of the mess I've left him).

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@vikeologist Pachuca are currently in the semi-final of the NACL and top of the Clausura league :D

While I'm here I may as well do an international update.

South Korea
Asia Cup
2027

We open the tournament with a 6-0 drubbing of minnows Laos and followed that up in my 500th match as a manager against Saudi Arabia which was a comfortable 4-1 win.  We rounded out the group with a 100% record by beating Guam 4-1.  Whilst the group stage was easy the knockout stages less so but we were never really troubled as we beat Iraq 2-1 followed by a 1-0 against Oman and then Iran 2-1 to set up a final against Australia where we turned on the style to win 3-0.

image.thumb.png.907fbcd6fe719f9aaf8f42e49600f26f.png

Edited by blackdevil

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2 minutes ago, blackdevil said:

@vikeologist Pachuca are currently in the semi-final of the NACL and top of the Clausura league :D

Oh, so you could vike the NACL.

I really must make sure that I fulfil my contractual obligation to vike something in my save at some point.

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9 hours ago, vikeologist said:

@XaW Welcome to the leader board. May i point out that you have the continental champions league for North America, (congrats), not South America, which I guess is maybe your next stop. Brazil?

Thanks! I've enjoyed this challenge much more than I would have thought, actually. I'm usually a one club manager, so this is something I haven't done as much before and it has challenged me to focus more on things that will help out now, rather than in the future. I try to think "What would Mourinho do?" and take it from there! ;)

Yes, I know I still have the Libertadores to go, I've headed a bit further south, but not Brazil in fact. I think I'll have an update ready in a few days.

Edited by XaW

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New York Red Bulls
Major League Soccer
2027


This season was all about the NACL, the first round saw us face CSD Municipal from Guatemala.  The first leg away saw us win 2-1 and then at home 4-1 to progress in a comfortable fashion.  The quarter-final pitted us against MLS side Minnesota, an important clean sheet at home in a 1-0 win gave us the lead for the away leg which we drew 2-2.  The semi-final pitched us against Mexican side Tigres, in the first leg away we suffered our first defeat in the competition loosing 2-1.  The home leg three weeks later saw us bounce back with a 3-1 win to setup a NACL Final between Pachuca and New York Red Bulls.
The first leg of the Final was played in the Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca which we won 3-0 with two early goals and with the third coming on the break as we saw the game out.  The second leg in the Red Bull Arena in Harrison (NJ) saw us win 2-0 hitting them on the counter in the first half and knocking the wind out of their sails for a comfortable second half finish and giving New York Red Bull's their first NACL trophy.

The league campaign started after the NACL quarter-final and it was a disaster, we lost the first five league games which if you count the first leg against Tigres was six defeats on the bounce and my worst run of my career.  We managed to turn around our league form as we approached the second leg with two wins and a draw in the league to generate a bit of momentum at just the right time.  With the NACL in the bag I'm resigning leaving them in 7th in the Eastern Conference and 12 in the Supporters Shield with a record of 4 wins, 3 draws and 5 defeats.

I resigned from South Korea post after winning the Asia Cup as mentioned in previous post.


Challenge Progress:

Club
4/10 top domestic leagues (CHI, BRA, RSA, USA)
3/10 domestic cups (CHI, BRA, RSA)
4/5 club continental championships (ACL-Wuhan 2020, LIB-Sao Paulo 2022, CAFCL-Ajax CT 2025, NACL-New York RB 2027)
1/1 club world championship (Sao Paulo 2022)

International
2/5 continental tournaments (MAR 2023, KOR 2027)
0/2 world tournaments ()

Challenge Progress:

CLUB CAREER
							Leagues		Cups
Season	NAT	Club			Division	1st	2nd	1st	2nd		Cont.		CWC	Other & Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017	CHI	Wuhan			CNFD		5th								Joined in 9th place after 13 games and out of cups
2018	CHI	Whuan			CNFD		1st		Qtr						Promoted as champions
2019	CHI	Wuhan			CSL		1st		Win						League & Cup double.
2020	CHI	Wuhan			CSL		1st		Win			Win			Trebble Winners (+domestic super cup)
2021	BRA	Sao Paulo		Serie A		3rd		Qtr						Joined in 17th after 11 games.
2022	BRA	Sao Paulo		Serie A		1st		Win			Win		Win	Quadruple
2022/23	RSA	Ajax CT			RSA PL		7th		n/a	Win					Nedbank Cup win
2023/24	RSA	Ajax CT			RSA PL		1st		2rnd	Final					League Champions
2024/25	RSA	Ajax CT			RSA PL		1st		Semi	Win		Win			CAF Confederation Cup, League Champions, MTN 8 Cup, Telkom Knockout Cup, CAF Super Cup
2025/26	RSA	Ajax CT			RSA PL		1st*					Win			CAF Champions League, *resigned after 7 league games in 1st place and a game in hand.
2026	USA	New York RB		MLS		1st								MLS Cup & MLS Supporters Shield winners
2027	USA	New York RB		MLS		12th					Win			NACL

INTERNATIONAL CAREER
			Rank		Cups
Year	Nation		FIFA	NL	World	Cont.	Conf.	Other & Notes
2020	Serbia		21st
2021	Serbia		33rd					Failed to Qualify for World Cup
2022	Morocco		15th					Won African Nations Championship
2023	Morocco		18th					Won African Cup of Nations
2024
2025	South Korea	50th					Won East Asia Cup
2026	South Korea	44th					3rd in World Cup group
2027	South Korea	31st			Win		Won the Asian Cup
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

No idea where I'll head next, most likely to an European team although I won't rule out Mexico or Argentina.

Edited by blackdevil

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Vikeologist's 2020 International Cry For Help Report

Image result for norway football angerImage result for ghana football disappointmentImage result for belgium football disappointment

What tactics do (the successful amongst) you use for international management?

For I am the worst international manager in the history of this challenge, but also I think possibly in the game.

I’m not talking about my 8 successive failures to win the African Cup. Oh no. Those are the good old days when I actually reached the finals of competitions.

Let’s look at my record so far.

Norway – 2 wins and 2 defeats left Norway (a top 20 team when I took over) 4th in the table for the European Championship Qualifying. I decided to jump ship to Ghana before being sacked. (After I left they won the group)

Ghana – Again, another top 20 team. I managed to scrape past Madagascar (ranked somewhere around 140th) courtesy of a win and a draw in the World Cup Qualifying Playoff, nearly got sacked after going out in the CHAN quarter-final, and then after picking up only 1 point in our first 2 African Cup Qualifiers (against Guinea-Bissau and Congo), I left to take the Belgium job before they could sack me. (After I left, they won all their remaining games and qualified by finishing top of the group).

Belgium – Not to worry, because Belgium had just won the European Championship, were the #1 nation in the world, and were going to take part in the Confederations Cup in about 6 months. I just had to not get sacked because of the Nations League. However, 1 point from our 4 matches against Wales and Germany meant that I did indeed get sacked.

Out of work internationally for the first time since taking the China U23 job, I applied to Turkey, (in the same World Cup Qualifying group as Belgium), but they tuned me down saying they didn’t think I was the best person for the job.

You think?

So help me. What do you do with international teams?

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Vikeologist's 2020 Hebei China Fortune Report

Image result for hebei china fortune

 

Incidentally, in case any of you are confused, the club are called Huaxia Xingfu in the game, but I mean, look at the badge. 

As alluded to previously, Hebei China Fortune are a very rich club, but the squad I inherited were very old. I mean, geriatric, and in a league where you have to play domestic U23 players, that’s not a good thing.

However, I had money to splash, and bought every top Chinese player I could, bearing in mind that you can only sign about 8 domestic players a season.

On taking over, I promised the board that I’d sign big name players. The first new laowai I brought in was a gentleman that I spotted playing for Madagascar (against my Ghana side) with the splendid name of Zotsara Randriambololona. Frankly I scouted him just because of the name (and because he was running rings around my Ghana side), but he actually is pretty good. Ironically he’s also part-Belgian, but of course, only eligible for Madagascar.

However Zotsara Randriambololona, (or Zotsy Randriambololona as I call him for short) was not a big enough name for them. I did point out that they should try fitting his bloody name onto the replica shirts, but now that they’ve clarified what they meant, next season I really must pay attention to reputation. I’m finding it difficult as I’m obviously quite hard-wired to search out bargains.

However, I did spend big on the Chinese players; £23.5 million for one.

5 of the current national starting XI play for us, and I bought in 4 of them this year.

So did this bring success? Well, half way through it did look as though we would run away with the league, but Olympic call ups and injuries intervened, and in the end we only finished 3rd, but at least the club are back in the Champions League, unlike this season.

I’ve mentioned how we nearly came a cropper in the cup semi-final, but the final, (against a struggling Jia league side) went pretty much the way you’d expect with a 9-0 aggregate score over the 2 legs, and frankly it wasn’t even that close. The cup win ensured that we enter the Champions League at the group stage.

So, I have my first challenge landmark, and I should be able to get the league next season, and hopefully also the Champions League.

Top Goalscorer – Zhang Yuning – 26 I play with just a lone striker, and he’s Chinese. Honestly, this position is probably where I need to bring in the big name. even though because of the Olympics and short league season, this was 26 goals from 29 matches.

 

Top Average Rating – Zhang Yuning – 7.68

 

 

Man of the Match – 3 players – 5

 

MVP – Gaël Kakuta The actual star of the team is my foreign left winger. Annoyingly in the second leg of the FA Cup final (which we had basically already won) he picked up a hip injury that will keep him out for 2-4 months. Good news is that the off-season in China is pretty much 4 months so he won’t miss many matches, if any. Just hope that the injury doesn’t make him regress, but at 29 he’s basically the baby of the team I inherited.

 

Domestic
Season		Team					Position	Notes										Challenge Landmarks
2017		Shanghai Shenxin (China)		9th		Took over with 5 matches left, and didn't win any of them. 
2018		Shanghai Shenxin			2nd		Promoted
2019		Shanghai Shenxin			9th	
2020		Hebei China Fortune			3rd		Won FA Cup	


International
Year		Team					Achievements
2018		China U23				Won Asian Games.
2019		Norway					Left after 4 matches of Euro Qualifying.
2019-20		Ghana					Left after 2 matches of African Cup Qualifying
2020		Belgium					Sacked after leading the #1 team in the world to 1 draw and 3 defeats

Challenge Progress

Club
 0/10 top domestic leagues 			
 1/10 domestic cups 	(China)						
 0/5 club continental championships 	
 0/1 club world championship

International
 0/5 continental tournaments 		
 0/2 world tournaments 

 

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On ‎11‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 17:24, XaW said:

I'm usually a one club manager, so this is something I haven't done as much before and it has challenged me to focus more on things that will help out now, rather than in the future. I try to think "What would Mourinho do?" and take it from there! ;)

Like you, I like to develop my team. I find it quite hard not to waste time on tutoring or not to ask my board to improve the training facilities.

As it happens, my board have just decided, even though our attendance is regularly 50% of capacity) to build a new stadium in Qinhuangdao, more than 300km away from where we presently are in Langfang. It's a bit bigger. Maybe we will get bigger attendances there. You might wonder, if we're moving from Langfang to Qinhuangdao, where the hell is Huaxia. Huaxia isn't a place, (nor indeed is Xingfu). Hebei is a province that has significantly more people than The UK, but I can't imagine people in Britain would take kindly to their football club moving 300 km, which is more than the distance between London and Liverpool or Manchester). Of course Chinese clubs do move all the time, (thousands of kms often) so this does at least reflect reality a little bit.

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7 hours ago, vikeologist said:

So help me. What do you do with international teams?

I use the same 4-4-1-1 that I've used at club level.  Although it didn't work with Serbia.

image.thumb.png.2173a12f1de0cef3617ae05828b0f98d.png

Edited by blackdevil

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7 hours ago, vikeologist said:

So help me. What do you do with international teams?

Wales hired me after the 2020 Euros and using a simple tactic, I haven't been doing too bad.

Wales_  Main Fixtures-2.png

Wales_  Overview.png

Wales_  Main Fixtures-3.png

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7 hours ago, vikeologist said:

So help me. What do you do with international teams?

Try to find the best team possible and hope for the best. I just got turned down by Belgium, Spain, Holland and France all rejected me, so now I'm going for Argentina and Serbia. Hopefully, I get one of them, but I doubt it. Might have to manage in Europe for a while before I manage to get some good international side.

6 hours ago, vikeologist said:

Like you, I like to develop my team. I find it quite hard not to waste time on tutoring or not to ask my board to improve the training facilities.

As it happens, my board have just decided, even though our attendance is regularly 50% of capacity) to build a new stadium in Qinhuangdao, more than 300km away from where we presently are in Langfang. It's a bit bigger. Maybe we will get bigger attendances there. You might wonder, if we're moving from Langfang to Qinhuangdao, where the hell is Huaxia. Huaxia isn't a place, (nor indeed is Xingfu). Hebei is a province that has significantly more people than The UK, but I can't imagine people in Britain would take kindly to their football club moving 300 km, which is more than the distance between London and Liverpool or Manchester). Of course Chinese clubs do move all the time, (thousands of kms often) so this does at least reflect reality a little bit.

That's quite a move, but nothing like keeping the club for the locals, eh? I find I have to stop myself from trying to improve youth facilities and scouting for youngsters. However, this might change when I get to Europe since I guess that will be the hardest. Only the Libertadores left before I can head homebound.

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I actually got the Serbia job! And they have some quite amazing players... have a look:

BRsTZ54.pngSHWvwbU.pngFC02KOZ.png

Serbia are ranked 12th in the world at the moment, I might have a shot at doing well here.

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XaW - Ultimate Football Manager Challenge - 2028

I left Dallas after winning the North American Champions League with the intention of heading to South America and the target was the Libertadores. I looked at Brazil, but then I noticed that I had forgotten to fix the Brazilian club names so I kind of felt I wanted to go somewhere else. I looked at Argentina, but the only clubs in danger were not near good enough. I looked at the other leagues, but in the end I finally found a team for me in Atlético Nacional of Colombia.

wmwjKSH.png

The club is a very big one in South America. So big, in fact, that they won the Libertadoes as recently as 3 years ago. This were one of the reasons I chose them, since I have a goal of winning it myself. The Colombian league as quite hard to get the hang of, but I'll try to explain. There is a 1st phase where all the 20 teams play 20 matches (One team is played twice, the rest once, no clue why). The 8 best teams then head into at two-legged playoff to crown the winner. Then the 2nd phase starts and is played exactly like the 1st phase. However, the phase winners does not play each other to crown the total winner, rather ALL matches from the two phases are added to a total table. This causes different teams to have played a different amount of matches, but it doesn't seem to matter. South American leagues... :idiot:

Anyway, I took over after the 1st phase had completed and there the club finished 10th and had fired their manager. The were also knocked out of the Libertadores and had entered the Copa Total Sudamericana.

The expectations from the board were to win everything we competed in. Fair enough, the team were really strong, so I have no idea how the former manager had done so poorly. We started to win and win from the getgo. Winning the league stage of the 2nd phase were never in doubt. In the playoff we beat Deportes Tolima and Junior FC to reach the final. Here we won against Independiente Santa Fe over the two legs to win the 2nd phase. As it turns out, that was enough to win the whole Liga Postobón total table. I think this counts as a league win, @vikeologist?

In the Copa Postobón. Here we beat Independiente Medellín, Once Caldas and Deportivo Cali to reach the final. Here we beat Junior FC quite easily to claim another trophy.

Since the previous manager had managed to get us knocked out of the Libertadores qualifiers we played in the Copa Sudamericana. We beat Delfín of Ecuador in the 2nd round, Vélez Sarsfield in the 3rd, Boca Juniors in the quarter finals and fellow Colombians Independiente Santa Fe in the semi final. In the final we met SEP (São Paulo?) and we managed to beat them to claim the title. Not one I had to win, but a nice win none the less.

I think this club have a good chance to do well in the Libertadores next season, but it all depends on how we fit the Brazilian teams. We comfortably beat SEP, but they finished 12th in the Brazilian série A.

As I mention above I took over Serbia during the year as well and we actually played real matches, unlike New Zealand earlier. We played in the European League Div B Group 4 against Hungary and Turkey. We managed to win the group quite comfortably. Next year we will play in the World Cup qualifiers against Israel, Liechtenstein, Russia and Scotland. Though it's a rather tough group I think we have a good shot at qualifying.

Domestic
Season	 Team			Division		Position	Notes										Challenge Landmarks
2017	 Finnsnes IL		PostNord-ligaen 1       1st		Promoted as champions, got National C licence 
2018	 Finnsnes IL		OBOS-ligaen             9th		Mid-table, got National B and A licences
2019	 Tromsø IL		OBOS-ligaen             1st		Promoted as champions
2020	 Tromsø IL		Eliteserien             1st		Champions                                                                        First league title
2021	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    3rd		Cup winner, got Continental C and B licences                                     First cup title
2022	 Shenzhen		Chinese Super League    1st		Chapmions, Cup winner, ACL winner, got Continental A                             League title and ACL
2022/23	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        3rd             Took over with 2 games left
2023/24	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Domestic clean sweep, got Continental Pro licence                                League title and cup winner
2024/25	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won league and some cups
2025/26	 Orlando Pirates	ABSA Premiership        1st             Won CAF CL, left in November						         Won CAF CL
2026	 FC Dallas      	Western Conference      4th             Lost in the Western Conference playoff final
2027	 FC Dallas      	Western Conference      1st             Domestic clean sweep								 Won League and Cup
2028	 FC Dallas      	Western Conference      1st             Left after winning the CL							 Won CONCACAF CL
2028	 Atlético Nacional      Western Conference      1st             Won the league, Sudamericana and the cup			                 Won League and cup

International
Year	   Team					Achievements
2021       Nigeria                              Won ACON
2024/25    Belgium U21                          Played some matches and then left
2026	   New Zealand				Played friendlies
2027	   New Zealand				Won Pacific Games
2028	   New Zealand				More friendlies
2028	   Serbia				Won European League Div B Group 4

Challenge Progress

Club
 5/10 top domestic leagues (Norway 2020, China 2022, South Africa 2023/24, USA 2027, Colombia 2028)			
 4/10 domestic cups (Chinese FA Cup 2021 and 2022, South Africa Nedbank 2023/24, USA 2027, Colombia 2028)
 3/5 club continental championships (Asia 2022, Africa 2025, North America 2028)
 0/1 club world championship

International
 1/5 continental tournaments (ACON - Nigeria 2021)
 0/2 world tournaments 
Edited by XaW

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16 minutes ago, XaW said:

In the final we met SEP (São Paulo?)

SEP are Palmeiras.  São Paulo are listed SPO.

Congrats on the success domestically and in the Sudamerica.  I don't recall ever managing in Colombia before but it does sound...interesting.

You've also put in your progress list as winning the Libertadores when it should be North America or NACL in 2028.

Edited by blackdevil

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16 minutes ago, blackdevil said:

SEP are Palmeiras.  São Paulo are listed SPO.

Congrats on the success domestically and in the Sudamerica.  I don't recall ever managing in Colombia before but it does sound...interesting.

You've also put in your progress list as winning the Libertadores when it should be North America or NACL in 2028.

Ah, thanks. I just found out they were based there, so I guessed.

It's......interesting, to say the least. A different amount of leagues games is quite odd to me, but what do I know.

I'll fix the error, thanks for noticing! (Also had to fix my last update since it was there as well! :) )

Edited by XaW

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Didn't we have someone new start the challenge this week? They must have hidden all their posts, so I guess it didn't go very well.

 

@XaW Be interesting to see how you get on in Colombia, and in particular whether you can win the Lib from there. After a couple of failed tries via Argentina and Chile, I'm pretty certain that I'll just try to do it in Brazil, although like you, I forgot to do the namefix which I'm a bit cheesed off about.

 

@Mackarosh @blackdevilThanks for your advice. Looks like I'll have to wait until after the African Cup to get another international job and have another try. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, vikeologist said:

@XaW Be interesting to see how you get on in Colombia, and in particular whether you can win the Lib from there. After a couple of failed tries via Argentina and Chile, I'm pretty certain that I'll just try to do it in Brazil, although like you, I forgot to do the namefix which I'm a bit cheesed off about.

I think I should have a shot. The team is quite good and we are rated closely to the best teams in Brazil:

bTSrddb.png

At least I can hope.

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Hi all - I have decided to give this challenge a go after getting bored of my other journeyman challenge

Here is my profile

Leagues Loaded - I have a decent PC so a fair old selection.  Large DB. July 2017 start

I got a few other offers but decided to take one in Uruguay, where I have never managed before.

Meet the manager of Villa Espanola - in 13th spot in the league but not threatened by relegation.  It works on an "average points" basis over two seasons and the bottom two are relegated, however we're about 7th so should be fine.

Squad - pretty decent actually, just need a couple of additions and we should be fine.  I already have my National C licence underway too.

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