In this Football Manager 2018 series the aim is to provide some inspiration for you to decide which club you will manage in game. We will hopefully put forward a larger selection of teams from some of the more popular regions and countries in the game.
We will be focusing on clubs with an interesting challenge (based on my own personal football knowledge) and therefore may not use a team from every country. The series will be split into several posts, each with a focus on a region. In this post, we will look at clubs to manage in southern Europe. This will include the countries of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Who to Manage in FM18 | Southern Europe
Celta de Vigo | Spanish La Liga
Over the course of FM17 Celta Vigo became a real favourite of mine. When it came to choosing a team to manage from the Spanish La Liga, I wanted to pick a team outside of the better known Spanish sides. The likes of Sevilla, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao all make for a fun challenge (that being to break the big 3) but Celta just wins it for me.
How long will it take for you to break into the top 3 of Spanish football? Can you end Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance?
Palermo | Italian Serie B
Based on the Italian isle of Sicily, Citta di Palermo will play the 2017/18 season in the second tier of Italy after suffering relegation from Serie A last year, their second relegation in five seasons. The club have been very prominent in Italian football over the last decade and provided four players to the National side that won the 2006 World Cup.
Can you take them back to former glory? Your challenge will be to earn immediate promotion back to Serie A. And once you are back, many great teams stand in your way of success. This could be a hugely fun save.
AS Monaco | French Ligue 1
AS Monaco won the French Ligue 1 last season, comfortably beating Paris-Saint Germain to end their four-year winning streak. It was Monaco’s first title since the 99/00 season and could be the catalyst for a spell of dominance in France. Yet a significant part of their title-winning side (Mbappe and Bakayoko to name a few) have departed. To add to this, PSG have splashed the cash in bringing in Neymar.
Will you be able to hold off the imposing PSG threat to retain Ligue 1?
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Real Zaragoza | Spanish Liga Segunda
Our second Spanish side to include in this ‘Who to Manage’ guide is Real Zaragoza. Similar to Palermo, Zaragoza were at their peak in the mid 2000’s, finishing as high as 6th this millennia. But relegation in the 2012/13 season has left them stumbling in the Spanish Segunda ever since. Nonetheless, Zaragoza continue to have a high reputation which could be of an advantage over the other Segunda sides.
Your job is to build this Zaragoza team into one of the most feared in Europe, breaking the Barca/Madrid dominance and marching forth into Europe.
FC Porto | Portuguese Primeira Liga
FC Porto are another team I managed in Football Manager 2017. The Portuguese giants are well known for importing South American talent and selling them on for huge profits. However, I played with the self-imposed ruling that I could only use homegrown players. This made the challenge of retaking the Primeira Liga from Benfica all the more difficult.
Can you produce an entire homegrown Porto team to dominate Portugal and challenge in Europe?
Paris FC | French Ligue 2
Paris FC earned immediate promotion back to Ligue 2 after their relegation in the 15/16 season. Your job will be to ensure their survival in Ligue 2 before developing a squad that can win promotion to Ligue 1. Once there, you’ll need to find a way of overtaking your inner-city rivals in PSG. Will you ever have the financial resources to match that of PSG?
This presents as one of the most interesting challenges in FM, but one that could take some time to achieve. If you are into your long-term saves then this could be the one for you!
AC Milan | Italian Serie A
AC Milan have had one of the most eye-catching summer transfer windows this year. In total, Milan brought in £175M worth of players, including former Juventus star centre-back Leonardo Bonucci and Portuguese striker Andre Silva. Milan’s last title came in the 2010/11 season and they haven’t finished in the top 5 for the last four seasons. Their summer spending heaps even more pressure on having a successful season.
Will you cope with that pressure and win Serie A at the first time of asking? Milan are one of the biggest teams in World football. Champions League football is undoubtedly where they belong.
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Thank you very much for reading our ‘Southern Europe’ post in the new Football Manager 2018 series ‘Who to Manage in FM18’. Let me know your thoughts on the clubs mentioned by leaving a comment!
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