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PaulHartman71

[FM19] The Hart Chronicles - Volume IV: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be!

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I only even noticed they'd won the Euros because of a news item that one of my strikers got the Player of the Tournament and a few others got in Team of the Year. I thought, oh well they must've smacked up some rubbish in the Group Stage and fluked their way to a Semi or something... but no they only went and won it :D 

I must be extremely lucky to have taken over the biggest Russian club at a time when Russian football is at the highest level it's ever been in history! 

:hammer:

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Amazing signings in your last season at Wolfsburg, the team looked immense by then. Looking forward to your Russian chapter.

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The main departure saw promising young Romanian winger Florin Stamin leave for Leipzig. Not a player that I would've looked to sell as he's very good, but when an offer like that comes in the player wants to leave and no harm in taking the profit, as Zenit originally signed him from a Romanian side for £7.5M. To get big money as a non-elite club that's simply the game you have to play. A few players that I didn't have many plans from were sold on, with Olympiakos taking our previous foreign keeper and an average ageing CB. 

 

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We had a tasty budget anyway, so the additional wages/fees coming in meant we could spend very well for a Russian side. 

 

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Sergey Zakharov is a hugely talented young CB who played a big role in Russia's win at the Euros. It cost a lot to prize him away from Rubin, but that's sadly the price you have to pay to get the top top Russian talent, thankfully we can afford it. 

 

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Rustem Karpov only really featured as a back-up player at the Euros, but he's still an extremely talented young Russian player and one I could not pass on. It meant another £30M going to Rubin, but it was a price worth paying. 

 

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A little bit more than you'd like to pay, especially to a Brazilian club, but he was by far the best keeper my scouts managed to sign so when they wouldn't sell him I just activated his release clause. I'm hoping if we were to sell him in 2-3 years time we'd make at least 5-10M in profit.

 

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Nikolay Izotov was a no brainer, as the young striker was Player of the Tournament at the Euros. A decent price and he will be our starting striker going forward this season. 

 

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Elias Zanotti was signed to start at right wing and he looks a very talented player, especially for the £5M we paid for him. I think we could easily make £15-20M profit on him within a few years. 

 

The rest of the players I signed were brought in as back-up to flesh out a fairly small squad. Other players of note in the squad: 

 

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A talented Ecuadorian CB who Zenit signed for £25M last summer after he was discarded from Real Madrid. Should be good for at least this and next season. 

 

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A talented Russian midfielder who came through the youth system at Koln in Germany, before Zenit signed him a few years ago. 

 

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A talented young Dutch CAM that we signed from Heerenveen for £30M a few years ago. Should be good for this level. 

 

 

I think overall the squad is very strong for the Russian league and I'd be disappointing if we didn't win the league, especially given Zenit's form in the last few years. 

 

We're a 4th seed in the Champions League and have ended up with a group of: Man United, Bayer Leverkusen and Kasimpasa. We could've done a lot worse but could've done a lot better. Kasimpasa should be interesting as they're a very strong side in Turkey, so it will be interesting to see how we do against them. I think Leverkusen and United likely have too much for us at this point, but it would be great if we could sneak through to the knockout stages.

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Mid-Season update

 

Russian Super Cup

 

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I get my first trophy in Russian football in my fast match, as we comfortably dispatch the surprise Russian Cup winners of last year. Izotov bags a brace on his debut, with Zanotti also on the scoresheet. 

 

Russian Cup

 

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Been a fairly comfortable road to the final so far, although we're not into the Semi yet, as a 2nd leg with Torpedo Moscow (over 2 months apart due to the winter break) awaits us. 

 

Russian Premier League

 

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A solid start in the league as we won our first 2 games, but then suffered a surprise set back on the road, as we lost 1-0 to Yenisey. We recovered to thrash Rubin and then beat SKA Khabarovsk also. 

 

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We dropped points on the road again at Rostov, but then won 4 on the bounce against Krasnodar, Spartak, Ural and Arsenal. Elias Zanotti's hat-trick against Krasnodar was a particular highlight of this run. 

 

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Our winning streak stretched to an incredible 8 games in a row, with only 2 conceded, but our final game of the calendar year saw a surprise loss at home to Ufa. 

 

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For some reason the way they do the fixtures means due to our cup and European commitments Lokomotiv Moscow have played 5 more league games than we have. This means they spend Christmas top of the league, however just 2 points from our 5 games in hand would see us top the league, so it would take some drop off in form for us to not be top when we've eventually played those games in hand. 

 

Champions League

 

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Tuchel's Leverkusen are a very decent side and at home they were very strong, too strong for us to get anything. However in match day two we managed to pull off a huge upset by holding strong and beating Man United 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from Nikolay Izotov. Kasimpasa were not an easy side by any means and if we hadn't got that penalty in the home match I'm not sure we would've beaten them, but we banked 6 points to put us into a decent position to make it through the group. We tried our best but couldn't get anything against Leverkusen at home, then lost at Old Trafford after they took their revenge and comfortably beat us. 

 

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If we'd managed a draw against United we would've gone through, but they were too strong in the end. It shows how tough the competition is at this level, as despite doing very well we still missed out on making it through. We're in the Europa League though and I believe we can have a decent run, although looking at it there's some tough sides we could end up facing, such as Bilbao, Juventus, Man City, Barcelona and Chelsea. 

In the first knockout round we've got PSV though. I think they did reach a 1st knockout CL round at some point in the last 5-6 years, so it will be interesting to gauge how good they/the Dutch league are at this point. Worth noting as well the first leg, away from home, for that tie is the first competitive game we will have played in around 3 months which will be interesting. Not sure how that will impact things. I'll have to make sure we have a fair few friendlies and fitness levels are back where they need to be. 

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so close to squeeze a knock out place but the Europa should be good fun. Looking at your signings, many of them are super young, so the future looks bright. 

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I love every single one of your signings mate! Thierry could be a brilliant keeper for you and Zanotti looks superb as a winger. Good luck for the rest of your season mate!

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Enjoyable weekend in one of the cities I have brought unheralded glory to: 

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The best time an Englishman has had in Rome since Raheem Sterling tore it up for us to win the Champions League :brock:

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End of Season Update

 

Russian Cup

 

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We dispatched of Torpedo Moscow 2-1 in the 2nd leg, before beating Ufa 5-2 on aggregate in the Semi Final. Krasnodar were by no means an easy team to play in the final, but we grounded out a 1-0 win to secure the trophy. 

 

Russian Premier League

 

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We returned from the winter break with a 1-0 win in Moscow, before dropping points in 3 matches in a row, hugely poor form by our standards as Krasnodar, Akhmat and Rubin all proved tough away matches. We then beat Rostov who at the time looked like our biggest challengers. 

 

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4 wins in a row pretty much put an end to anyone getting near us, with Krylja Sovetov ending our run of wins by drawing and almost beating us at home. 

 

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1-0 to the Petersburg became something of a thing towards the end of the season, with 4 1-0 wins in a row, before a draw in Moscow on the final day. 

 

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We had the title in the bag long in advance and ended up winning it by 15 points. Rostov are rewarded with Champions League football after the best season in 18 years, with Krasnodar, Lokomotiv and Arsenal Tula rounding out the European places. A poor year for Spartak and Rubin. 

 

Europa League

 

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We dropped down into the Europa League which gave us a nice chance at a trophy, as well as the chance to improve the coefficient. We got through the 1st knockout round by beating Antoine Greizmann's PSV side 4-0 on aggregate. 

 

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Hamburger are a decent side, but a strong win in Russia helped set us up for a Quarter Final place. 

 

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AZ were by no means an easy team to get past, as away from home they defended incredibly well and almost caught us on the break a few times. We were on our game in the home leg though and managed to win 2-0 to make the Semis. 

 

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I was very pleased to make it this far and unfortunately we missed out on the final, as Pochettino's Man City side were too strong for us, ultimately winning 6-2 on aggregate. 

 

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Alejandro Valencia was very good defensively, with Elias Zanotti always a threat when he was fit. Thierry kept 20 clean sheets in the Russian PL, whilst Nikolay Izotov lead the line in a team that was a lot more conservative than any of my other teams. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Career History

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club                  League             Position            Achievements/Other
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal               Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal               Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma               Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
2024/25     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A winners
2025/26     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up
2026/27     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A, Italian Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2027/28     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              3rd               N/A
2028/29     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               N/A
2029/30     Altetico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2030/31     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           6th               N/A
2031/32     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           5th               Europa League winners
2032/33     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           3rd               European Super Cup winners
2033/34     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               N/A
2034/35     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           1st               Bundesliga winners
2035/36     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               German Super Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2036/37     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

 

Champions League        x5 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG), 2026/27 (AS Roma), 2029/30 (Atletico Madrid), 
                             2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg)  

Europa League           x2 - 2018/19 (Arsenal), 2031/32 (VFL Wolfsburg)

European Super Cup      x1 - 2032/33 (VFL Wolfsburg)

Bundesliga              x1 - 2034/35 (VFL Wolfsburg)
German Super Cup        x1 - 2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg)

Serie A                 x2 - 2024/25, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Cup             x2 - 2023/24, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Super Cup       x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1                 x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue       x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions   x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

Russian Premier League  x1 - 2036/37 (Zenit St Petersburg) 
Russian Cup             x1 - 2036/37 (Zenit St Petersburg)
Russian Super Cup       x1 - 2036/37 (Zenit St Petersburg)

 

Nations Completed

 

1. England - Arsenal 
2. France  - Paris SG
3. Italy   - AS Roma 
4. Spain   - Atletico Madrid
5. Germany - VFL Wolfsburg

 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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Nations Remaining

(based on coefficient rankings)

  1. Portugal 
  2. Turkey (+1) 
  3. Holland (+2) 
  4. Russia (-2) 
  5. Belgium (+1) 
  6. Ukraine (-2) 
  7. Switzerland 
  8. Croatia (+2) 
  9. Serbia (+6) 
  10. Scotland (+2) 
  11. Denmark (-3) 
  12.  Austria (-3) 
  13. Sweden (+1) 
  14. Norway (-1) 
  15.  Czech Republic (-4) 
  16. Romania 
  17. Greece (+2) 
  18. Poland 
  19. Bulgaria (-2) 
  20. Slovenia
  21. Republic of Ireland (+2) 
  22. Slovakia (-1) 
  23. Israel (-1)
  24. Iceland (+1) 
  25. Hungary (-1) 
  26. Belarus 
  27. Finland
  28. Wales
  29. Northern Ireland

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0b9a3f54ecc7f7068e3c573e332087c3.png

 

Very happy to see my old side retain the title, with Zidane picking up his 5th CL gong as a manager. Marseille doing very very well to reach a Semi, with Benfica pulling off a surprise to get to the Quarter Final. 

 

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Poch's Man City side ultimately fell to Marcelino's Schalke in the final. Some very handy sides in this, with Bilbao, Juve, Chelsea and Porto all pretty solid sides that were kicking about in the knockout stages. 

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Benfica retain there title, with Porto 8 points behind in the end. Braga grab a Champions League spot as Sporting Lisbon have to settle for Europa next year. 

 

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Kasimpasa and Keyserispor's 8 year stint of sharing the titles are over, as Galatasaray snatch the title as a result of having done better over two legs against Kasimpasa, despite the other side having more wins and a better goal difference. Besiktas finish 3rd, with Keyser in 4th and Fener in 5th. 

 

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Dynamo Kiev retain the title and win their first since Ukraine was a playable league, but the real shock was FC Lviv running them to the wire and getting Champions League over Shakhtar. A side other than Dynamo or Shakhtar have only ever won the Ukrainian PL on one occasion, in it's debut season in 1991/92, some 45 years ago when Tavria Simferopol from Crimea won it. We've seen some crazy stuff happening in Turkey, but if FC Lviv could break the Dynamo/Shakhtar stronghold it would be even more impressive. 

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A fairly low key summer, but one where you can keep your best players and get 1 or 2 improvements is never one to be sniffed at. FC Lviv spent some of their Champions League money by taking experienced right back Emmanuel Mohammed off our hands. Sani Adebayo never played much and we sold him for a very small profit to Torpedo Moscow, whilst left back Amir Zhestokov was sold to Krasnodar. Ilja Korotkov wasn't thaaat great and wasn't getting much game time, so he got a move to Portugal. 

I only really put a scout in Central America on a whim, so I was well chuffed when he discovered the very talented young Mexican full back Moises Vargas Mata. We also signed a much better left back in Evgeny Degtyarev, more than you'd want to pay but that's the Russian premium for you. Mario Duenas isn't that great and was only really a punt signing for a back-up squad role as he was on a free. 

 

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Mid Season

 

Super Cup

 

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A comfortable 2-0 win against Rostov to secure enough Super Cup. 

 

Russian Cup

 

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I let the 2nd string have a go in the first two rounds against 2nd tier opposition, perhaps risky against a still decent Yenisey side, but we still got through and then beat Ufa 3-1 in the 1st leg of the Quarter Final.

 

Russian Premier League

 

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Nikolay Izotov missed the start of the season through injury, which meant a chance upfront for young Anatoly Radimov, who is a product of our youth system. They might have only been penalties, but 3 goals from his first 5 league games was not something to be sniffed at as we won 4 of our first 5. 

 

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We didn't concede a single goal in our next 5 games, with 4 wins from 5 as our impressive start to the domestic season continued, with Radimov banging in 2 more penalties along the way. 

 

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We ended the midway part of the season unbeaten, with dominant wins against Krylja and Krasnodar, before a draw at home to Ufa. We then struggled, but ultimately beat Arsenal Tula and CSKA Moscow, before a Radimov goal got us 3 points against Akhmat. 

 

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Arsenal Tula are having a great season and are impressively just 6 points behind, although we have 2 games in hand. You couldn't ask for any more at this point of the season, especially as I've been rotating a bit if we have a mid-week Champions League game. Rostov, who also have Champions League (or did until they were knocked out and went into the Europa group stage) have really struggled. 

 

Champions League

 

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It was by no means an easy Champions League group and not one I was convinced we could get through, but wow. A Radimov special from the penalty spot saw us secure an upset and huge win at my old side Arsenal, before two early goals from Popkov and Radimov got us through against Benfica. We had to work hard for a victory in Monte Carlo but we did secure it, before beating them a bit more easily at home. Arsenal came at us in the return game at home, but we held firm and managed to pick up yet another win to knock them out and secure passage through. We lost in Benfica 4-1 at the last day, but a hugely impressive campaign, especially since 11 of our 12 goals came from Russian talent. 

 

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Benfica ultimately top the group. Despite being 2nd seeds we've managed to get a tie that's not too terrible in Schalke, which given we could've got Atletico, Man United, PSG, Wolfsburg or Man City - you have to be pleased with. It will still be very tricky and I'm just pleased we managed to get out the knockout stage, but we certainly have an outside chance at it given how well we've played in the group stage. 

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It was a low key summer and I expected much of the same in the winter transfer window. Boy, I was wrong. It was all happening. 

A number of German sides were very interested in our hot young central attacking midfield player, Kyle Jonker, who had his head well and truly turned by a move away. He wasn't a player that was playing well enough to justify not selling for decent money when the foreign players are pretty replaceable, so I let him go to the highest bidder and Manuel Baum's RB Leipzig took him. 

Alejandro Valencia had 18 months on his contract and despite being a good CB he was ageing, on big money and if I'm honest I planned to sell him in the summer rather than give him another renewal, so a Chinese club coming in for good money when they did was the perfect scenario for all parties. I let him go and wished him well. 

Rustem Karpov was someone I really didn't want to sell, but the young Russian CM had a whole host of clubs, including Benfica, Bilbao, Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen. I found a decent young CM I could replace him with and eventually relented for £40M, with him choosing Benfica to move to in the end. 

Mario Duenas who joined in the summer wanted to leave after not getting any games, so I let him go to Almeria for £245K. I'm not too sure why PSG were so keen to sign one of my back-up CBs in Danijel Djuric, he is a good young talent who my coaches reckoned had high potential, but a £5M profit having only played 12  games for us was not something I was going to turn down, when again back-up CBs aren't hard to come by. 

 

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Josef Adigov was brought in to replace Kyle Jonker at CAM. He's not quite as good but is still a very decent player, especially physically and I was hoping he would have a big impact. He tore his hamstring in one of his first matches and would go on to start just 4 games before the season was up. 

 

 

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I overpaid a little for Muslim at £30M, but with the 6 foreign players limit I had to replace Karpov with a CM and this guy was far and away my best option. He's not played for Russia yet, mainly because there's good competition at CM, but I believe he will get there. 

 

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I went with a young player to replace the departing CB and Yavuz Karakaya is a fantastic Turkish prospect. I fought off some decent sides to land his signature by giving him and his agent a fairly tasty signing bonus and have no regrets. He should go on to be a great player for us, who we in the worst case scenario should at least make the £24.5M back that we signed even if he does flop. 

The other lads were back-up players who I took some punts on. I had limited options at ST when one of Radimov or Izotov was injured (which is almost all the time), so young Serbian striker Miroljub Tasic was brought in from Partizan, with Sebastian Herrera joining from Argentina to be a back-up CB. Antonio Marculeta signs from Valencia B to fill Mario Duenas' role in the squad.

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End of Season Update

 

Russian Cup

 

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We lost the 2nd leg to Ufa, but progressed anyway and then didn't have too many problems on our way to securing my second Russian Cup. 

 

Russian Premier League

 

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The league was more or less wrapped up by Christmas, but we still had 15 games left and an unbeaten run to maintain. We won our first 3 games after Christmas with ease, before struggling to a draw in Rubin and then beating Torpedo Moscow. 

 

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With rotation in play this month we still somehow managed to keep our unbeaten run going along, even despite in the games with Dinamo, Rostov and Arsenal Tula I was playing a 2nd string with a subs bench full of U18/U21 players, some were even starting and scoring like Vadim Skvortsov and Mikail Zimin. Arsenal Tula and Krasnodar represented games we could well lose, but we didn't, even smashing Krasnodar 6-2 away from home in a very impressive win. 

 

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Our bid to become invincible somehow ended up going to the final day, where Ufa, who given that they came 2nd and it was away, on paper were the hardest game of the season, we ended up getting smacked up in what almost felt like a cup final. Oh well. We still won it :D 

 

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We actually ended up with the same amount of points as last year despite looking very dominant at times. We did pick up a fair few draws when rotating but it has to be done when you're in other competitions...

 

Champions League

 

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Schalke put up a big fight in both games and it was very close in the end. Zanotti put us up in the first half at home, but they pegged a goal back in the 2nd half and almost got a 2nd away goal which could've killed us. I've got experience playing in Germany so perhaps this helped us as we secured a vital away goal in the first half through Bruno Dias, who had stepped up in the absence of any other fit CAMs due to injuries to the new boy and Radimov. 

 

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I wasn't too optimistic when we drew against Atletico as I know what a good side they are, but Manuel Baum has left them now and with him leaving perhaps their dominance has too, as we absolutely pumped them in the first leg 3-0. Of course we did have a completely fit team from resting in the league game, which is a luxury Atletico don't have, but what a performance. Zanotti ran rings around their defence and had a field day. 

We went into the 2nd leg at my old stomping ground in an incredible position, but with no guarantees. Thankfully we got an away goal early on to kill the game, but it still became quite exciting as Atletico made it 2-1 on the night to give their fans a glimmer of hope, but then we killed them off in the 2nd half to incredibly reach the Semi Final. Unbelievable scenes. 

 

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Manuel Baum left Atletico for RB Leipzig so I would face off against one of the top managers in the game today and what a huge result we got in snowy Leipzig! Izotov came back into the team following Radimov's injury and his early first half goal had us in dream land, with Yury Ageev's adept finish in the 2nd half putting one foot into an unprecedented Champions League final...

 

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Absolutely crushing result back at home. Izotov made it 1-0 on the night inside half an hour and with it 3-1 on aggregate we were in absolute dreamland, but it soon became a nightmare as Kyle Jonker set up their first goal just before half-time. They made it 2-1 early into the 2nd half which made it even on the night and the prospect of extra-time lingered, but it wasn't to be as a 65th minute strike made it 3-1 and sunk our hopes and dreams of a Champions League final, made all the more gutting by the fact it was (at least on paper) a very winnable game against Marseille that awaited us in that final!

What a huge effort though. I wasn't even sure we'd get past the group stage, so to dominate that and then do so well in the knockout stage is unbelievable. I genuinely thought it was going to be our year when we beat RB Leipzig in the first leg and thought it was going to be hilarious how I'd have managed to complete Russia so much sooner than Italy or Germany :D

Oh well. 

 

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Anatoly Radimov really took his chance when Izotov got injured, with Izotov having a half decent season himself. Yury Ageev was great in midfield, with Thierry, Elias Zanotti and Sergey Zakharov worthy of praise too. 

 

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Career History

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club                  League             Position            Achievements/Other
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal               Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal               Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma               Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
2024/25     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A winners
2025/26     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up
2026/27     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A, Italian Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2027/28     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              3rd               N/A
2028/29     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               N/A
2029/30     Altetico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2030/31     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           6th               N/A
2031/32     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           5th               Europa League winners
2032/33     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           3rd               European Super Cup winners
2033/34     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               N/A
2034/35     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           1st               Bundesliga winners
2035/36     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               German Super Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2036/37     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
2037/38     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

 

Champions League        x5 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG), 2026/27 (AS Roma), 2029/30 (Atletico Madrid), 
                             2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg)  

Europa League           x2 - 2018/19 (Arsenal), 2031/32 (VFL Wolfsburg)

European Super Cup      x1 - 2032/33 (VFL Wolfsburg)

Bundesliga              x1 - 2034/35 (VFL Wolfsburg)
German Super Cup        x1 - 2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg)

Serie A                 x2 - 2024/25, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Cup             x2 - 2023/24, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Super Cup       x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1                 x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue       x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions   x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

Russian Premier League  x2 - 2036/37, 2037/38 (Zenit St Petersburg) 
Russian Cup             x2 - 2036/37, 2037/38 (Zenit St Petersburg)
Russian Super Cup       x2 - 2036/37, 2037/38 (Zenit St Petersburg)

 

Nations Completed

 

1. England - Arsenal 
2. France  - Paris SG
3. Italy   - AS Roma 
4. Spain   - Atletico Madrid
5. Germany - VFL Wolfsburg

 

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Posted (edited)
On 18/06/2019 at 18:49, PaulHartman71 said:

Enjoyable weekend in one of the cities I have brought unheralded glory to: 

5d8cf3ba7a214a5c3a9a999e95e3b892.png 13614e1ff4817b94012e95f404d30ce5.png

 

96e339342875d32a2dfa48338ef12bc8.png 05324bb911c3a616f6a56ffba535cdb1.png

 

The best time an Englishman has had in Rome since Raheem Sterling tore it up for us to win the Champions League :brock:

Rome is beautiful, but it can be a twit to get around.

Edited by Nobby_McDonald
It seems we have an auto changing sensor in place.

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Nations Remaining

(based on coefficient rankings) 

 

  1. Portugal  -
  2. Holland (+1)  
  3. Russia (+1)
  4. Belgium (+1)
  5. Turkey (-3)
  6. Serbia (+3) 
  7. Croatia (+1) 
  8. Scotland (+2)
  9. Switzerland (-2) 
  10. Ukraine (-4) 
  11. Denmark - 
  12.  Romania (+4)  
  13. Austria (-1)  
  14. Norway -
  15.  Czech Republic - 
  16. Sweden (-3) 
  17. Greece - 
  18. Poland - 
  19. Republic of Ireland (+2)
  20. Bulgaria (-1) 
  21. Slovakia (+1)
  22. Iceland (+2) 
  23. Slovenia (-3) 
  24. Israel (-1) 
  25. Hungary -
  26. Belarus -
  27. Finland - 
  28. Northern Ireland (+1)
  29. Wales (-1)

 

Russia rising with our performances last season, but worth noting Holland doing well too, most likely be the next nation I load up. Serbia very impressively moving up the rankings, with Ukraine dropping off massively since I've loaded them. Scotland doing reasonably well all things considering, whilst Greece are a notably poor side given how you might expect the likes of Olympiakos to do better than the bigger teams from some of the countries above them. Republic of Ireland another one that is noticeably over-performing and higher than you'd expect them to be. 

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Just now, Nobby_McDonald said:

Rome is beautiful, but it can be a twit to get around.

 

Agreed. Was around 35 celsius most the time we were there, which was a little too hot for our liking given the amount of walking we did. Excuse for a few extra drinks and gelato though and glad to have ticked Rome of the bucket list all the same. 

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f4f6d582057b1bcd99e59c09b61def8d.png

 

Probably one of the more bonkers looking knockout trees I've posted so far, with Benfica, Marseille and Zenit all in the Quarter Final stage. We had a brilliant tournament, reminiscent maybe of Ajax this year in real life with a young side who suffered the ultimate heart break in the Semi, but the craziest story by far has to be Marseille. 

Marseille actually reached the Semi Final last year and I wrongfully wrote it off as a blip, as they've gone on to win the bloody thing and become the 2nd team since the game started to win the Champions League for the first time without being managed by me.

PH71 5-2 AI so far. 

Perhaps the most interesting part of Marseille is the story around how and who has managed to pull this off. They weren't really much of a threat when I was at PSG and if they finished 3rd would've had a massive season, but it seems like in the last 2-3 years they've really turned it around. They reached a Europa League final 2 years ago and obviously since then have made a Semi and then won the thing in a huge upset as I expected Manuel Baum to win it with Leipzig. 

Who is there manager though? 

Did they luck out and get Zidane? Unai Emery? Tuchel? Simeone? Nagelsmann? 

No. 

Step up none other than a 60 year old Thierry Henry! 

Yes, Thierry Henry is the unlikely mastermind behind this magnificent Marseille side who knocked his old Barca side out on penalties before winning the thing on penalties against Benfica. This a huge achievement for Henry who has a middling management career at best. He started off at Monaco, before spending 5 years at Rennes who were an up an down yo-yo club, before he went to mid-table Malaga in Spain and then Besiktas in Turkey. His biggest success before Marseille came at Swiss side Basel where he won the domestic double on two occasions, before spending 2 seasons in Germany for Hertha Berlin and then that was when Marseille snapped him up 2 years ago. 

A crazy story but what a story. Va-Va-Voom, indeed!

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5b1543b0be874e9b466d1fe1506026b9.png

 

Benfica win their 3rd title in a row and now have to be considered the dominant force in Portugal after Porto dominated for so long. You'll see that Benfica, Sporting Lisbon and Porto's fine efforts in Europe in the last few years have resulted in them surprisingly overtaking Italy and France to bag 4 Champions League spots, which is huge for them and it's Academica who have benefited from that this season. 

 

 

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It's back to reality a bit in Turkey as the old guard fight it out for the title once more, with Fener winning their first title for 10 years. 

 

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Dynamo Kyiv win their 4th title in a row, but the real story here is an absolute disaster of a season for Shakhtar which sees them finish as low as 7th and completely outside of the European spots - which given Ukraine's already dwindling ranking, seems like an absolute nightmare for the league. Chornomorets end up in the Champions League in an unbelievable season for them as they've spent most the save as a yo-yo club that are lucky to stay up each year. 

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We're 20 years in so we'll have some more updates on what's happening in the save. First a recap of the last 10 years of CL and EL winners, with the 5 leagues that have now been gone too. 

 

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International Tournament winners

 

World Cup

 

bf34e5c5f203eefb7801f2f0ed940992.png

 

South Korea an obvious shock here as they emerged winners of this summer's cluster**** World Cup of 48 teams after Germany impressively won 2 on the bounce, although Serbia did very well to reach the final last time out. 

 

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A bit gutted to see my lads go out when they did, as Ukraine is a winnable game, as was Peru in the Quarter Final, then you could've fancied them to beat South Korea and have a real shot at the final. Scotland doing quite well to get as far as they did, with only penalties seeing them miss out on a Quarter Final themselves. 

 

Euros: 

 

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Russia of course the surprise winners last time out. 

 

Copa America: 

 

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ACON: 

 

e544036af82095c7f95fd49a1993257a.png

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Managerial All Time Hall of Fame

 

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Pep remains top of the pile and is adding to his trophies as a result of spending 2 years at PSG. Conte's had a good decade with a spell at PSG himself, before a return to United which saw another Premier League win - he's not at an Atletico side which are dominating in Spain, having completed 2 domestic trebles in a row. Zidane's also had a good spell at PSG this decade, then he inherited my Wolfsburg team which has seen him pick up another Champions League medal and numerous German trophies too. 

Ancelotti retired in 2030 with a league title as Basel in Switzerland being his last medal. Unai Emery had a brief spell at my old side Roma where he won a title and some cups, then went off to United and did very well with a few titles and a Champions League. He had a fairly quiet spell at AC Milan, with just a Super Cup to his name, but he's now joined Benfica so should pick up some trophies there. I'm now in 7th, having leap-frogged Jorge Jesus who has been retired for most of the decade. 

Manuel Baum was very dominant with Atletico for much of the last 10 years following a good spell at Bayern, but he's now joined RB Leipzig where he's not really won anything, although to be fair to him he was a shoot-out away from another Champions League medal this year. Thomas Tuchel's had a quiet decade, with a title at Chelsea at the start before ending up in Ukraine with Shakhtar where he got 1 Ukrainian Cup before getting axed and ending up at Ajax where he won a domestic treble before getting poached by Leverkusen. His highlight was winning the Europa League in 2035, since then he's won nothing is unlikely to do much more with what years he has left in his career imo. 

Simeone's not done much in the last 10 years really. Despite managing Man United, Atletico, Inter, Dortmund, Benfica and now Chelsea in that time, he only really has a Premier League, Bundesliga and Portuguese PL to show for it. Julian Nagelsmann looked set to burst on the scene and absolute dominate when he left Arsenal and started smashing it with Man City, but he then moved to Real Madrid and flopped a bit, before moving to Dortmund a few years ago where he's won nothing. Bruno Lage emerges in 20th after a quietly good decade with Real Madrid and Man United. 

Ages of the guys on there: 

Pep (67), Conte (69), Zidane (66), Emery (66), PH71 (53), Baum (59), Tuchel (65), Simeone (68), Nagelsmann (51), Lage (62). 

 

Pep probably adds some more trophies at PSG before retiring and he will sit on top for a while. Baum should overtake me if he leaves Leipzig for a club who actually regularly wins things, whilst Nagelsmann is stagnating at Dortmund and also could do with a move if he wants to rise up. Lage could certainly rise up a bit more before he retires given he probably has a good few years left.  

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Excellent work again. Keep it going!

Crazy to see Wolfsburg at the top of the pile. In fact seems to be dominated by your exes :D

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7998f6bf60f5a27c2fb6e5396f530b61.png

 

Bruno Dias stepped up last season when there were injuries in the latter part of the season and played a decent role in our road to the Semi Final, but he was desperate to leave so I let him go for £7M. The biggest departure saw Mexican right back Moises Vargas Mata leave after just one season to my old side Wolfsburg. I was happy to make £14M profit and I think this is the level we're at, where we bring in players for middling sums and then sell them for a nice profit to the elite clubs. It's worked before and is good for building money. 

 

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It wasn't a very high profile summer, although we did of course have a crazy winter. Rodolfo Eduardo comes in from Santos to fill the right back role, perhaps a bit more than I'd have liked to pay but it was his release clause and they wouldn't sell him otherwise. Christian Emmanuel is a young Nigerian who replaces Bruno Dias' back-up midfield role in the squad. I've actually had my eye on Emmanuel since last summer, as I had a scout at the U20 World Cup who watched Nigeria navigate their way to the final, thanks to a number of decent young players, with Emmanuel captaining the side. Only time will tell as to whether he's good enough at a higher level, but worst case scenario I should at least break even on the pittance I paid for him. 

 

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Mid-Season Update

 

Super Cup

 

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A resounding 5-0 victory secured our first trophy of the season on the first day of the season. 

 

Russian Cup

 

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Our run of Russian Cups is over, as Rubin, who look strong this season manage to beat us on penalties after a frustrating match. 

 

Russian Premier League

 

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A 1-1 draw on the opening day, but we won our other 4 games with relative ease. 

 

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Rubin gave us our first loss of the season after an impressive display, before we dropped points to Rostov and later Ural after we beat Orenburg. We did beat Arsenal though. 

 

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We made short work of CSKA Moscow, but then drew to Yenisey and lost to Spartak, before beating Krasnodar. 

 

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3 more solid wins, although we slipped up in Akhmat. 

 

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Rubin have done well this season and currently lead us on results played, but have a game in hand which could see them improve and give them a points advantage on us too. I have been resting players for the CL games, but can't really blame that as we did that last season too. We've just not been as ruthless and actually have some competition this time. 

 

Champions League

 

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We were 2nd seeds this year and you have to say you'd take that as a group in the Champions League all day long. Sporting Lisbon gave us a couple of tricky games and Fenerbache were strong in Turkey, but not too many problems for the most part which you like to see. 

 

8d8b1a70d59ea8942335239720deeb20.png

 

Happy days. Unbeaten which will have done some good things for our coefficient. Valencia await us in the knockout round. 

 

 

 

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Ufa, Tula and Rostov in top 4, guess Moscow is not a capital anymore in 2038 :D 

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Great read! absolutely love this challenge!

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The January window was one of the dullest I can remember, but when you're in a position of trying to keep hold of the best Russian players from leaving to better clubs abroad, then a quiet window is more than welcome. 

3c4b5072e7c97939ac59b86192fef693.png

 

Iulian Lupulescu has been a long term emergency back-up option in defence. He wanted out and returned to Romania to get the first-team football he desired. Our back-up GK who is a decent Russian prospect (not amazing though) was moaning about not playing, so I let him go on loan to keep him happy as I don't want to lose him long term in-case he turns out alright. 

 

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I signed a replacement back-up GK from Argentina and a replacement emergency back-up defender from Braga, both reasonably young but it would take a bad injury crisis for either of them to see any serious minutes over the next few years. I like to have a decent sized squad so often have quite a few filler players like this who at best can turn out good and make a nice profit or at worst we didn't waste any real money on them. 

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End of Season Update

 

Russian Premier League

 

322ab6adbea0d0c155e011f92c754c37.png

 

We got the calendar year off to a bad start in the PL, with a 2-1 loss at home to title rivals Rubin who have now beaten us home and away. We did manage to go on a winning streak after dispatching SKA, then Rostov, Ufa and Ural. 

 

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The way the fixtures worked out meant we soon had to play Ufa again and this time they had our number. Following that big disappointment we did manage to beat CSKA, Arsenal and Orenburg. 

 

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We extended the winning streak to 5 games by beating Yenisey and Krylja too, but lost to Spartak on the last day. 

 

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We still won the title, but Rubin gave us a hell of a scare this year. They were in fine form for the first half of the season, but thankfully dropped off massively in the closing stages, as they dropped points in 5 of their last 9 games which allowed us to get back into the title picture. To from losing 1 game on the last day to 5 is a bit of a step backward though. I did rest players in the CL again, but I did that last year so it's not an excuse this year. We desperately lacked goals this year. Radimov spent much of the season injured and Izotov was hardly in elite form. I may well sign a foreign striker in the summer. 

 

Champions League

 

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We stayed firm defensively against a decent Valencia side in the 1st knockout round and it paid off, with Thierry keeping two big clean sheets that helped see us through, with Muslim Lyaschenko in fine form. 

 

f9f7ca01099cfed57320a1c03f14feb4.png

 

We managed to get past Schalke in the Champions League last season, so I was relatively pleased when we got them in the Quarters. A brilliant first leg in Germany saw us come away with a big away goal and win thanks to a Yury Ageev goal. 

 

f8ab6fdf312a733fdaa81eba73af2f28.png

 

We set up defensively again with the idea to break on the counter with our good physical players, but it wasn't to be. The result doesn't quite tell how gutting the story was. It was 0-0 for 90 minutes and Schalke only managed to get a goal on the night in the 91st minute through a corner. This took the game to extra-time and to be honest that last minute goal absolutely killed us. Heads down and we were holding out for penalties, but just minutes before the end of the first half of extra-time Schalke got another one in the 103rd minute and that was truly us out. Really gutting to go out with a foot in the semi-final once again, but a good effort from the sides overall and we're about the same level as teams like this so they're always going to be close ties. 

 

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As mentioned before we didn't score enough goals this year, with problems up-front. Josef Adigov had a terrible first full season, as the Serbian struggled with injuries yet again - this time a broken ankle that put him out for like 3 months. Since signing last January he's managed just 18 starts in all competitions which is abysmal, I'll try and shift him in the summer. 

Thierry had another good year in goal, with 7 clean sheets in the Champions League, whilst Sergey Zakharov, Yury Ageev and Muslim Lyashenko are all also worthy of praise. 

 

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Career History

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club                  League             Position            Achievements/Other
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal               Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal               Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma               Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
2024/25     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A winners
2025/26     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up
2026/27     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A, Italian Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2027/28     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              3rd               N/A
2028/29     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               N/A
2029/30     Altetico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2030/31     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           6th               N/A
2031/32     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           5th               Europa League winners
2032/33     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           3rd               European Super Cup winners
2033/34     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               N/A
2034/35     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           1st               Bundesliga winners
2035/36     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               German Super Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2036/37     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
2037/38     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
2038/39     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League & Super Cup winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

 

Champions League        x5 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG), 2026/27 (AS Roma), 2029/30 (Atletico Madrid), 
                             2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg)  

Europa League           x2 - 2018/19 (Arsenal), 2031/32 (VFL Wolfsburg)

European Super Cup      x1 - 2032/33 (VFL Wolfsburg)

Bundesliga              x1 - 2034/35 (VFL Wolfsburg)
German Super Cup        x1 - 2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg)

Serie A                 x2 - 2024/25, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Cup             x2 - 2023/24, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Super Cup       x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1                 x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue       x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions   x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

Russian Premier League  x3 - 2036/37, 2037/38, 2038/39 (Zenit St Petersburg) 
Russian Cup             x2 - 2036/37, 2037/38 (Zenit St Petersburg)
Russian Super Cup       x3 - 2036/37, 2037/38, 2038/39 (Zenit St Petersburg)

 

Nations Completed

 

1. England - Arsenal 
2. France  - Paris SG
3. Italy   - AS Roma 
4. Spain   - Atletico Madrid
5. Germany - VFL Wolfsburg

 

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Nations Remaining

 

(based on coefficient rankings) 

 

  1. Portugal  -
  2. Holland - 
  3. Russia -
  4. Turkey (+1) 
  5. Belgium (-1) 
  6. Scotland (+2) 
  7. Serbia (-1) 
  8. Switzerland (+1) 
  9. Ukraine (+1) 
  10. Denmark (+1) 
  11. Croatia (-4) 
  12.  Austria (+1) 
  13. Romania (-1)
  14. Greece (+3) 
  15.  Sweden (+1) 
  16. Norway (-2) 
  17. Czech Republic (-2) 
  18. Poland - 
  19. Republic of Ireland -
  20. Bulgaria -
  21. Slovakia -
  22. Iceland -
  23. Slovenia - 
  24. Israel -
  25. Hungary -
  26. Belarus -
  27. Northern Ireland (+1)
  28. Finland (-1)
  29. Wales 

 

Not a huge amount of change, although Scotland going further up the table and might soon get a nosebleed. Celtic are actually currently managed by John Terry, who previously managed Hull for a season and then spent 16 years managing Huddersfield Town. Rangers were briefly reunited with Steven Gerrard 5 years ago for a season, although he left in the summer that Terry arrived at Celtic Park, with Rangers replacing him with another English manager, former Tottenham Academy graduate Kyle Walker-Peters. 

Croatia drop down a bit, with Greece trying to gain a bit of respect back, whilst the only other noteworthy change is Northern Ireland going above Finland. 

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c529619876f352fc2b4273875e6cb5e6.png

 

A very open year this time. Galatasaray a noteworthy side who no doubt helped the Turkish coefficient, whilst Real Sociedad are not a side you see there too often. Thierry Henrry's Marseille went out in the first knockout round to Unai Emery's strong Benfica side who did well to reach the Semei Final. It was a tale of two of my former clubs in the final, with Zidane's Wolfsburg facing off against Pep's PSG. My former player Pedro Diaz got the goal that won yet another Champions League crown for Guardiola and indeed PSG, who now have won it 5 times and get to keep a trophy. 

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ba074e188a98948d059f8c47cfba17b5.png

 

Benfica were strong again as they picked up their 4th on the bounce. Academica and Braga snatch the other two CL spots, as Sporting Lisbon surprisingly miss out under manager Kieran Tierney. 

 

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Kayserispor are back with their first title for 4 years to show they're not done as a force in Turkey just yet. Fener get the remaining CL spot, with Gala, Basakehir and Kasimpasa with the remaining EL spots. 

 

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Alvaro Morata guided his Kyiv side to a 5th straight title (his 3rd), but the story is perhaps Shakhtar bouncing back from an unbelievably poor season last year. Lviv, Karpaty and Olimpik D get the remaining European spots.  

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104f819b310e3db196dec202765f8cdf.png

 

The summer saw us depart with two talented Russian guys who I didn't particularly want to sell.

Zakharov was a very talented CB who attracted interest from a whole host of top clubs, the most serious of which were Barcelona. I only bought him for £31M so to only get £8M profit was a bit annoying, but he proper wanted out and wasn't too much I could do without breaking the morale of the squad. A decent price but he was probably worth more to us than that. 

Degtyarev was another one I didn't particularly want to sell, but Wolfsburg are a very attractive club and turned the LBs head. I made about £8M profit on him too, if he wasn't Russian I'd say it was definitely a fair price but as he was Russian, again, he's worth more than that to us, but I couldn't really not sell once he'd made his mind up about leaving. 

I made a £10M loss on Adigov but I was just relieved someone would take him, probably the biggest flop I've had in terms of reasonably big money signing, possibly throughout the entire save. Just could never stay fit. 

A decent price for rotation LW option Ibrahim Sesay who wanted first team football, think I only signed him for £2-3M so he's a rare example of a good profit on a punt back-up option. Jose Cortez also left for first team football in the SPL, with a decent price for him too as I think we paid less than £1M for him from Wolfsburg. 

 

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We had a tasty budget so we made do with it. I conducted something of a raid on Sporting Lisbon who just happened to have some of the best foreign players in the positions I was looking for. They've done reasonably well in Europe in the last few years, with a Europa League win just 2 seasons ago. We also picked up a few more talented Russian players, primarily in attacking positions, which means I can have more foreigners in the defence. 

 

0a1796a4b97fbcf440a01ad80abbc90b.png

 

Carlos Escobedo wasn't cheap by any means, as we broke the Russian record to sign him, but the Mexican striker is a very exciting player. He scored 94 goals for Sporting Lisbon in 155 games in just 3 years, which is pretty good going by anyone's barometer. 

 

f3d0603892bc49d92a2eceeac39a9f6c.png

 

I've had my eye on Zakharov for a while as he's been a highly rated young Russian player since I joined Zenit, but the timing was never right to sign him. It was this summer and we paid £37.5M to prize him away from CSKA Moscow. It should be great value as there wasn't really that many CAMs I could've signed that were foreign who were better than him anyway. 

 

9796d2fd8f793c9e1b780431a5d8cb43.png

 

Wim Hornix is Dutch LB who will fill the void and booster our defence. 

 

78b2b51884d7a4d08ccae9fbb7213690.png

 

Sergey Vorobjov joins to rotate and challenge Evgeny Popkov at LW, as the more experience Russian has been a bit meh in the last season or so, so this young lad will put him on his toes a bit. At £32M he was absolutely a luxury signing, but when you have a big budget you can afford to splash out on this type of signing. 

 

7ad5db8ded8ebbf1ca4fa2bc6016134a.png

 

The vast majority of foreign CBs who looked proper good all had clubs or agents who were demanding insane money for transfer fees or wages, so we had to make do with another Sporting Lisbon player. He's still good, although I think we could probably upgrade in a few years if he doesn't improve a bit. 

 

Leandro Eguren joined from Uruguay and will fill Jose Cortez's role as emergency back-up RB, but he can also play CB and LB so is a good versatile talent to have around. Koudou M'Boua is a 19 year old back-up CB who joins as he was available so cheap, much like the Nigerian I signed last year he impressed my scouts at the U20 World Cup so when I saw I could get him for peanuts I did. 

 

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Mid-Season Update

 

Super Cup

 

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A brace from a centre back is a pretty rare thing, but it was Rinaldi's double which gave us the win on the first day of the season for yet another Super Cup crown. 

 

Russian Cup

 

4e61e68db9afed0e5da957c4a7c977e8.png

 

We're not through to the Semi Final just yet as there's a 2nd leg with Ufa to play, but they're not coming back from that...

 

Russian Premier League

 

96134777fd7c79729a8f15eccd06c1bd.png

 

We got the season off to a cracking start with a 5-0 on the opening day, which saw a brace from new boy Carlos Escobedo, he scored again in the next match and then incredibly put 5 past Arsenal Tula in a stunning 7-0 win. We then smashed Spartak and Akhmat too. 

 

e0f3e8c7ce64c80f8318acf874e1927b.png

 

Rubin caused us to drop our first points of the season, but we remained undefeated and then beat Krylja and Ufa, before a surprise draw at SKA. 

 

b07c0c57148ba4eb7968866710abe611.png

 

We rounded the calendar year and the 2030 decade off with 4 wins on the bounce. 

 

6a8b64c88c181c9d1df93bb617434391.png

 

I've still not really worked out why some seasons we've played the same amount of games as others and sometimes haven't around Christmas time. The only thing I can think of is that it's something to do with the other Champions League and the Europa League sides maybe making it to the EL group stage and in cases where lots of them make it then it makes it harder to rearrange the fixtures with those teams? Not too sure really, but we're 3rd, although not really 3rd as we have 7 games in hand on 1st :D 

Krasnodar a point ahead of us but we have 3 games in hand on them too so we should really be fine for the title providing we don't blow it big time on the other side of Christmas. 

 

Champions League

 

7897ce5cca9383b47e2fcacb528fd0d3.png

 

Not an easy group by any means as PSG are a strong side and PSV are nowhere near as poor as they were at the start of the game. RB Salzburg don't seem to have done much in recent years and Austria's ranking dropped a bit so I think they're some way off where they were 5-10 years into the game where they seemed to make the knockout stages semi-regularly. 

We had a tough match with Pep's PSG but got a respectable 2-1 loss in France, before smashing PSV at home. We then struggled to a draw in Austria, before winning the return leg in an important game. We then pulled together to pull off a spectacular 2-1 home win against PSG, with Escobedo the hero late on. He got a hat-trick in our final group game with PSV. 

 

9fdbd00e8602c9982393dece2b3055ca.png

 

2nd in the group and we've drawn Wolfsburg in the next round. One of the toughest possible draws we could've had as my old side have made 3 of the last 4 finals, if I'm honest I'm not sure we're strong enough to get past them really, but we will give it our best shot. We have a strong defence and Escobedo is in brilliant form this season, with 22 goals in 21 games. 

 

 

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d6fdbb8a42da4f1570976d6a7550a7ad.png

 

A key departure this winter saw right wing talent Elias Zanotti leave for PSG in a £32M deal, with some add ons included. He really wanted the move and whilst he's had a good start to the season, he was pretty quiet last year and isn't irreplaceable. I only paid £5M for him too so a tidy profit. Miroljub Tasic was tired of being a back-up striker so he went off to Bremen. 

 

 6ae59d3c396c3b2fb047cb693a00cc82.png

 

 

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We replaced Zanotti with talented Serbian winger Sasa Sladojevic from Benfica. There's not much resale value on him but he was the best player available and we're in a position that we can spend big money now so we must do that to improve. Sladojevic looks a real talent and will add to our squad greatly. 

Oriol Planaguma will be the new emergency back-up striker. He's not that great but he's a cheap body happy to not really feature that much, whilst Vallejo is a decent young keeper who will act as back-up when current back-up Joaquin Godoy leaves for Quilmes of Argentina in July. 

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In your CL games - do you still play with 5 russians or is your best possible lineup non-russian?

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2 minutes ago, scarp said:

In your CL games - do you still play with 5 russians or is your best possible lineup non-russian?

 

In previous seasons the way I have structured the team it meant that 5 of my best 11 players were Russians anyway, so in previous years I typically would always have at least 5 Russian players in the PL and CL without really having to worry too much. 

This has changed slightly this season as due to a few unexpected transfers it ended up with my best team probably being 7 foreign to 4 Russian, which has never been the case before. So in the Champions League this season when everyone is fit I have been starting with 7 foreign, yes.

It's not caused too much of a problem in the league itself as the back-up Russian players I have like Samsanov at CB, Molev at LB, Maximov and Yakovlev in midfield and Izotov upfront are all still good enough to start for any Russian PL side, so I tend to rotate which foreign guy I will rotate in the league to keep everyone happy. I typically play the 2nd string if we have a league match on Saturday and CL game on Tuesday anyway, so not too many complaints about not playing that wouldn't have occurred anyway. 

I don't think I would want to be in a position in future seasons where I had say an 8-3 ratio of first 11 foreign to Russian, as I think it would take its toll eventually in terms of morale and it's important to keep the good Russian players that I have already as happy as I can, as in more or less every position it would cost me an arm and a leg to replace them and often the player coming in would be worse anyway.

This is partly why I sent out Anatoly Radimov on loan this season, as he's a good young striker and this season he would've been 3rd choice, which would've seen him very restless. If I can loan him out whilst Izotov is currently 2nd choice striker then this should keep him happy until a situation possibly arises when Izotov demands to leave because he's not starting every game, which he won't as long as I have Escobedo producing the insane numbers he is. 

I probably should hover up more Russian youth players and sort of Chelsea it where I have loads of them out on loan, but we're in a position domestically where I don't really need to do that at this point and if I ever am short on Russian players I can just splurge in the summer. 

The main thing I've been disappointed in is our youth academy, which is state of the art and we have quite good everything else, but ever since I've been here every intake has been mostly garbage. Probably only been 2 or 3 players that I could ever see even being squad options for us and certainly nobody who would challenge for a first team spot. 

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Just caught up, good read this.  I'll be keeping tabs on your progress

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End of Season Update

 

Russian Cup

 

63c5d3783b13cd2931c082b9f87832cc.png

 

A 2-2 draw  with Ufa, but we then won both Semis and the Final 2-0 to secure another Russian Cup. 

 

Russian Premier League

 

c3c7ed736c333663c0488522d3322333.png

 

An unbeaten start to the new decade with 4 wins from our first 5 matches, which saw Oriol Planaguma score his first goal for the club against Dinamo Moscow. 

 

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Our good form continued with another 3 wins on the bounce, before drawing at home to Rubin. We then beat Ural and then Arsenal. 

 

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We ended the season very strong, with 6 wins from our last 6, which actually meant we won all 8 of our last matches, despite having the title sewn up long before then. 

 

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The eagle eyed among you would have spotted that yes, that meant we went the entire season unbeaten. A great achievement, especially since we had a lot of rotation this year with CL games etc and a few injuries towards the end of the season. We do spend a lot of money and have a great squad, but it's still not an easy thing to do so I'm very happy with the squad. We dropped points just 4 times which means we wrapped up the record for points in Russian PL history as far as I'm aware. 

 

Champions League

 

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We dug very very deep at home to my old Wolfsburg side and I was content with a 0-0, but star striker Carlos Escobedo popped up late on with a huge goal in the tie to put us into advantage going into the 2nd leg. 

 

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We came extremely close to sealing the win in normal time as it looked like it was going to be 0-0, until it was Wolfsburg's turn to score a late goal. Maurice Francois, who I bought for them all those years ago was the man with the cute finish late on. The game stretched to extra-times and then to penalties, which did see Yury Ageev miss, but our 4 other takes missed and thankfully Thierry saved two, including one from Milo Jonckheere who was another player I took to Wolfsburg. 

 

 198d897eff9767da3a352a56250f8de2.png

 

We faced another one of my old sides in the Quarter Final and we started the first leg brilliantly, with new boy Sasa Sladojevic getting a big brace to put us one foot in the Semi. 

 

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I knew that Atletico wouldn't go down without a fight and they didn't as they stormed to a 3-0 lead, with former player Federico Boscolo among the scores, as well as an uncharacteristic mistake from goalkeeper Thierry who ended up with an own goal after an unfortunate defected shot that hit the post, then him and went in. But it was the new boy Sasa Sladojevic who scored again, with his 84th minute goal sending us through on away goals. 

With a penalty win against Wolfsburg and away goals against Atletico I thought maybe it could be our year and then we got drawn against yet another of my old sides in Pep's PSG. 

 

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We did have Carlos Escobedo missing in both games due to injury, but you can't blame a 5-0 loss on your star striker not being fit. It was a combination of PSG being really good and us just being really poor and capitulating. It was a vintage Pep side who played great with possession and pace and we just couldn't match them. Pedro Diaz who I had at Atletico got a goal in the first leg, as did Kyle Jonker, who we sold to RB Leipzig a few years back for £38M and they recently sold to PSG for a whopping £126M!

A disappointing end to a tournament that I thought was ours to maybe win this season, but we were ultimately outclassed by a far superior side and manager. We go again next year! 

A Semi is no mean feat and it took a lot of work to get here. It will have done both ours and Russia's coefficient more good and that can only be a good thing.

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Career History

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club                  League             Position            Achievements/Other
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal               Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal               Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG              Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma               Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
2024/25     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A winners
2025/26     AS Roma               Serie A              2nd               Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up
2026/27     AS Roma               Serie A              1st               Serie A, Italian Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2027/28     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              3rd               N/A
2028/29     Atletico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               N/A
2029/30     Altetico Madrid       La Liga              2nd               Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2030/31     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           6th               N/A
2031/32     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           5th               Europa League winners
2032/33     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           3rd               European Super Cup winners
2033/34     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               N/A
2034/35     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           1st               Bundesliga winners
2035/36     VFL Wolfsburg         Bundesliga           2nd               German Super Cup & Champions League winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2036/37     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
2037/38     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
2038/39     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League & Super Cup winners
2039/40     Zenit St Petersburg   Russian PL           1st               Russian Premier League, Russian Cup & Super Cup winners
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

 

Champions League        x5 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG), 2026/27 (AS Roma), 2029/30 (Atletico Madrid), 
                             2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg)  

Europa League           x2 - 2018/19 (Arsenal), 2031/32 (VFL Wolfsburg)

European Super Cup      x1 - 2032/33 (VFL Wolfsburg)

Bundesliga              x1 - 2034/35 (VFL Wolfsburg)
German Super Cup        x1 - 2035/36 (VFL Wolfsburg)

Serie A                 x2 - 2024/25, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Cup             x2 - 2023/24, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Super Cup       x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1                 x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue       x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions   x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

Russian Premier League  x4 - 2036/37, 2037/38, 2038/39, 2039/40 (Zenit St Petersburg) 
Russian Cup             x3 - 2036/37, 2037/38, 2039/40 (Zenit St Petersburg)
Russian Super Cup       x4 - 2036/37, 2037/38, 2038/39, 2039/40 (Zenit St Petersburg)

 

Nations Completed

 

1. England - Arsenal 
2. France  - Paris SG
3. Italy   - AS Roma 
4. Spain   - Atletico Madrid
5. Germany - VFL Wolfsburg

 

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