Are you debating on who to manage in FM22 and need some suggestions for challenging saves to do? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here is our definitive list of Football Manager 2022 teams to manage featuring clubs ideal for an FM22 youth development save, restore the glory challenges, and pioneering clubs around the world which you can rebuild to your liking.
Who to manage for Football Manager is an eternal debate ahead of every release of a new FM edition. Finding the perfect club that is as challenging as possible and remains exciting even 3 or 8 seasons into the save is difficult. It’s even harder when you got so many great clubs around the world to pick from. You don’t want to manage the same club this year as last, right?
To help you get some recommendations of clubs to manage for Football Manager 2022, I’ve come up with a great number of different clubs from all around the world. This list builds upon the FM21 teams to manage and club recommendations for FM20 meaning you will have a broad list of teams to select from within the categories; youth development saves, restore the glory, sleeping giants, club pioneers, and lower league management. This list of FM22 clubs to manage will be extended upon in the lead up to FM 2022 release as our partners will share their recommendations of challenging saves.
- Football Manager 2021 Clubs to Manage | FM21 Sleeping Giants & Entertaining Youth Development Saves
- Statistics and data we WANT in Football Manager 2022
- FM22 Nextgen Database
- Potential Football Manager 2022 Wonderkids
- Women’s football is coming to Football Manager
Feel free to use the comments section below to share your recommendations for clubs to manage in FM22 – either there are clubs on your watchlist for an FM22 long-term save or a club you had fun managing in one of the last editions of Football Manager.
FM22 Restore the Glory Saves
IFK Gøteborg – Swedish Allsvenskan
When IFK Gothenburg finished the Allsvenskan 2020 season at the 12th place, it was almost like the club had hit rock bottom. With a 10th place finish in 2017 and 11th in 2018, the 7th place finish and winning the Swedish Cup in 2019 became a poor reminder of their golden years where consecutive participations in one of Europe’s biggest tournaments were as normal as winning the Swedish championship.
With only one Allsvenskan trophy in 26 years, IFK Gothenburg is now challenged by IFK Norrköping and Djurgårdens IF to be considered as one of the Swedish “Big Three” clubs. In reality, both Norrköping and Djurgårdens will find it difficult to copy their remarkable feats, especially if we shall take into account their records in the biggest European tournaments in the 80s and 90s.
Read more | The rise and fall of IFK Gothenburg by Thesefootballtimes
With 18 Swedish championships ranging from 1908 to 2007, three away from Malmö FF, 8 Swedish Cup trophies, and almost as many runner-ups, their long and proud history speaks for itself.
Under the leadership of Sven-Göran Eriksson, and his former assistant manager Gunder Bengtsson, IFK Gothenburg turned into a European powerhouse.
By winning the UEFA Cup trophy two times in five years, in 1982 and 1987, IFK Gothenburg can pride itself as the first and only Scandinavian club to win a UEFA competition.
Those days, IFK Gothenburg were no strangers to participate in the European Cup, the former Champions League or the UEFA Cup. Their participation in the Champions League 1985-86 was close to reaching the finale. 3-0 win over Barcelona at home soil in the first leg turned into 3 conceded in the second leg. The match should be decided by penalties. With 4 penalties scored out of 5, the sixth became the decisive one as Norwegian defender Per Mordt stepped up and missed it, meaning FC Barcelona progressed to the final, where they should face a similar fate as IFK losing on penalties to Steaua Bucuresti.
In 1992-93 they became runners-up again, but this time the current knock-out rounds were replaced with a group stage, whilst in 1994-95 IFK lost in the quarterfinals on away goals to Bayern Munich.
Now it’s time to restore the glory of IFK Gothenburg in Football Manager 2022 and get them back to the top of the league, where they belong, and challenge for European trophies yet again!
Follow in the footsteps of the Swedish legendary manager Sven-Göran Eriksson and start off your Football Manager 2022 adventure taking charge of IFK Gothenburg.
Your task is to rebuild the club and lay the foundation for European trophies in the years to come incorporating an attacking 4-4-2 with a similar pressing ideology as Arrigo Sacchi.
While the main quest may be to lift the UEFA Europa League or the Champions League before moving on, the overall mission besides making IFK Gothenburg into the most successful club in Scandinavia and Sweden will be the mission to win The Double (league and cup) in three different countries, just like ‘Svennis’.
How you go about taking IFK Gothenburg back to former heights is up to you but it will be especially rewarding if you limit yourself to a transfer policy where you restrict yourself from buying players outside Scandinavia and put more attention on improving the quality that comes from the youth academy to make the next big Swedish star coming through the ranks of IFK Gothenburg.
Ipswich Town – English League One
From one former UEFA Cup title holder to another. Ipswich Town is one of the most venerable football clubs in England as they won the UEFA Cup the year before IFK Gøteborg.
There’s something special about 1981. Not only did I get born, but my local club, Moss FK competed in a European tournament for the first time. For Ipswich Town goals from Frans Thijssen, who became the first Dutchman to be voted the English Footballer of the Year, club legend James Wark and Paul Mariner, who sadly passed away in July 2021, ensured Ipswich won the UEFA Cup trophy for the first (and last time). Trashing Michel Platini’s Saint-Etienne 4-1 on their way to the final shows you how much a European powerhouse Ipswich was back then.
1981 was definitely the beginning of the end for Ipswich Town’s golden era. Under the leadership of Sir Bobby Robson, a tenure which started in January 1969 and lasted until August 1982 when the international job of England got offered and accepted, the Blues recorded two successive runner-up finishes in the Premier Division, 1980-81 and 1981-82.
Within the Bobby Robson era, Ipswich did not only won the FA Cup 1977-78 but managed to qualify for European tournaments from 1972 until 1982. In fact, since they managed to qualify for the European Cup back in 1962 after they won the Premier Division under the leadership of Alf Ramsey, Ipswich remains undefeated at home in European football sanctioned by UEFA – a record which stood for 45 years until AZ claimed the record.
What is a club?
It’s the noise, PASSION, feeling of belonging, pride in your city!Bobby Robson
Despite a short stint in Premier League for two seasons at the beginning of 2000, Ipswich Town has been a regular Championship club for 15 years until they were relegated to League One ahead of the 2019-20 season.
With new owners and a takeover by a US-led consortium agreed upon earlier this year and popstar Ed Sheeran being a shirt sponsor, Ipswich enters a new era with great ambitions. The question is, are you ready to restore the glory of Ipswich in Football Manager 2022?
Read more | Sir Bobby Robson: An Ipswich Town legend by Football Pink
While being able to bring Ipswich back to the Premier League and win a European tournament is a big challenge in itself, you can increase the challenge by following Sir Bobby Robson’s recruitment policy where youth development stood in focus, rather than importing players. Your objective could be to nurture loanee Louie Barry into the next Paul Mariner or Rakeem Harper to become the new Ipswich legend of the 21st century.
You could set up a transfer policy where you are only allowed to sign under-23 players from the UK that are either released on a free transfer or have come through the youth intakes of bigger clubs than you, who haven’t acquired a professional contract.
TSV 1860 München – German 3.Liga
1860 Müchen was one of the founding clubs of the German Bundesliga back in 1963. Founded in 1860, 161 years ago, as a physical fitness and gymnastics association, the club didn’t establish a football club until 1899, meaning they aren’t the oldest football club in Germany, as both Hertha Berlin and Hannover, which competes in a professional level, are older.
Three years after the establishment of the Bundesliga, 1860 München became Bundesliga champions (1965-66). 1963 to 1967 was definitely 1860 München’s golden era. With their second DFB Pokal added to their trophy cabinet in 1963-64 it meant qualification to the European Cup Winners’ Cup the following season. The end result was reaching the final where they were up against Bobby Moore’s West Ham. The match ended 2-0 to West Ham with both goals scored by Alan Sealey.
Since then, despite a period of 10 seasons in the Bundesliga between 1994 and 2004, the club has played most of its time on the second level. Since their relegation from the Bundesliga in 2003-04, they had 13 consecutive seasons in the Bundesliga 2 before getting moved down to Regionalliga ahead of the 2017-18 season due to the inability to obtain the necessary 3. Liga licenses due to their investor’s unwillingness to pay the necessary fees. They were quickly promoted to the 3. Liga the year after have steadily improved their league position the following seasons. Perhaps 2022 can be the year they promote to the 2. Bundesliga and by 2029 the club can celebrate their 130th anniversary by lifting the Bundesliga title!
At least, everything is possible in Football Manager!
While it may seem impossible at the moment to compete against Bayern München as the best club in the city, your objective must be to rebuild the club with that mission in mind. It will require a lot of micro-management where you put equally focus on improving the backroom staff, player development, tactical tinkering as well as being smart in the transfer market using a Moneyball transfer policy.
To honor Gerd Müller, aka Der Bomber, who passed away earlier in August, your mission with this save could be to develop the next Gerd Müller from the 1860 Münich Academy, despite his career was mainly at Bayern Münich.
Der Bomber holds the Bundesliga all-time top scorer record with 365 goals in 427 matches. Behind Lewandowski, with 282 goals we actually find a former 1860 München striker Klaus Fischer at 268 goals. Der Bomber even held the record for the most goals in a season (40) before Lewandowski claimed it in the last minutes of the game week 34 match by scoring his 41st goal of the campaign.
The clinical forward will go into the history books as the greatest ever German goalscorer. With 68 goals in 62 appearances for the West Germany National Team, top scorer in the World Cup 1970 it will be a tremendous achievement to develop a similar player in Football Manager!
Can one of the players coming through the youth intake manage to beat these records? Take on the special Gerd Müller challenge!
Cruzeiro Esporte Clube – Brazilian Serie B
Let us cross the Atlantic Ocean to the nation that gave us Pele, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Romario and Dunga. As one of three clubs based in Belo Horizonte, Cruzeiro is one of the most successful football clubs in Brazil despite only being founded in 1921, which means they will celebrate their centenary this year in Serie B! What a shame right?!
The Brazilian football club of Italian origin tops the chart of the most Copa do Brazil titles (6), and have won the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A on 4 occasions (1966, 2003, 2013, 2014).
In fact, they have won a total of 78 major and minor international, national and regional cups and competitions. Their biggest achievement is to win the Copa Libertadores on two occasions (1976 and 1997), the same number as Flamengo or Palmeiras. Since winning the Copa do Brazil in 2017 and 2018 the club has been on a decline after their relegation to Serie B in 2019. The 11th place in 2920 and a current 14th four points away from the relegation zone reveals how much of a mess the club is in.
It must hurt the Cruzeiro fans, even more, when their biggest rival, Atletico Mineiro, currently tops the Serie A. It’s time to rebuild the club and make them a contender for both the Serie A title and the Copa Libertadores by getting the honorable club back to Serie A.
Your mission will be to win the Copa Libertadores, Serie A, Copa do Brasil, and then Campeonato Mineiro to achieve a magnificent quadruple. It will improve upon Cruzeiro’s records as one of two teams to have won the Brazilian triple crown, Cruzeiro 2003 and Palmeiras 2020) (Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Copa do Brasil, the Campeonato Mineiro or Campeonato Paulista).
Apart from hunting national and international trophies, your long-term objectives should be to produce the most players for the Brazilian national team on a regular basis.
Bursaspor – Turkish TFF 1.Lig
Let us get back to Europe and focus on a nation we rarely see Football Manager saves from; the Republic of Turkey. Featuring a number of wonderkids with blistering technique and flair in FM21 and assumably Football Manager 2022, it’s a nation that has caught my attention both in regard to youth development saves and scouting for wonderkids.
As a combined youth development and restore the glory save for FM22 we got the prospect of managing Bursaspor. The club who was founded only 58 years ago, won the Süper Lig as recently as 2009-10 for the first time – becoming only the second club outside Istanbul to win the championship.
They won the Turkish Cup for the first time in 1985-86 and have reached the final on 5 other occasions. In 1974, despite ending as runner-ups, Bursaspor got the place in the European Cup Winners’ Cup on behalf of Fenerbahce who did the Double. It resulted in a quarter-final finish which is Bursaspor’s best performance in Europe to date. They were also in the Champions League group stage in 2010-11, meeting Manchester United and Valencia, as well as competing regularly in the Europa League between 2011 and 2015.
The club is one of many Turkish clubs with a great youth academy. Former players coming through the academy include goalkeeper Altay Bayindir, who was brilliant for me in FM21, Ozan Tufan (Watford), Zeki Celik (LOSC Lille), and Enes Ünal (Getafe).
In FM22, the Bursaspor squad will have an average age of around 24, as most of the Turkish players come from their own Academy. Your mission is to use the youth facilities and their great foundation to bring Bursaspor into a new era.
You can restrict yourself to only sign under-23 players from Africa and Turkish neighbouring countries like Greece, Bulgaria, Iraq, and Romania to enhance the club’s finances by looking for young talents to import and develop meanwhile keeping the overall spine of the squad of Turkish players.
The Pioneers | FM22 Teams to Manage
Preston North End – English SkyBet Championship
Preston North End, or the Lilywhites, founded in 1880 were one of six clubs that participated in the founding of the Football League and would go on to win the double as the first English club! By winning the FA Cup and the league championship 1988-89 without conceding a goal, the team became known as ‘the Invincibles’.
With a champion’s title the season after and runner-ups in the next three seasons, Preston’s club career was off to a magnificent start. But it should go 40 years until they won the FA Cup again. This time with the help of Bill Shankly, who was 25 years old at the time.
Since then, it’s been slim pickings for Preston. While they have stabilized themselves in the Championship the last 7 seasons, the club has never managed to get promoted to the premier division since they got relegated in the 1960-61 season. In fact, they have spent 34 out of the last 52 years in level 2 or below!
Getting them promoted to Premier League for the first time and hunt for their first trophies in the modern era will require a lot from you. You will need to take advantage of all your Football Manager experience and use any FM22 tips at your disposal relating to team building, tactics, and recruitment to build a title contender in Preston.
Do you have what it takes to bring Preston up to Premier League and eat cherries with Manchester City and the big boys? On your way to the top, you will have the pleasure to take part in the West Lancashire derby, meeting your fierce rival Blackpool in the Championship – a derby which Preston has won the most times (45).
Associação Académica de Coimbra – Liga Portugal 2
Académica is based in the beautiful city of Coimbra, which is the fourth largest city in Portugal. The city dates back to the Roman era and has kept architectural structures and monasteries from the middle ages intact. Famous for hosting the oldest University in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe, the ‘city of students’ has affected the choice of the name for the Portuguese football club, Académica Coimbra.
The club was founded in 1887 and is the oldest football club in Portugal. Despite a long history in professional football, Académica has only two ‘major’ trophies; as they won the Taca de Portugal on two occasions (1938-39 & 2011-12). They have only competed in European tournaments four times with their best performance reaching the quarter-finals of European Cup Winners’ Cup 1969-70, entering the tournament on behalf of Benfica despite losing to them in the Taca de Portugal finals.
After 13 consecutive seasons in the Primeira Division, the club was relegated to level 2 ahead of the 2016-2017 season. As the club with the second biggest stadium in Liga Portugal 2, they have not yet managed to promote despite they were 3 points away from a promotion play-off last year. At the time of writing, Académica finds itself in 17th place with only 1 point in four matches. Perhaps the challenge for FM22 will be as much about avoiding relegation as topping the league?!
Santiago Wanderers – Chilean Primera Division
Are you tired of managing at Europe in Football Manager and want a completely new experience? Why not head to South America and select one of the minor nations along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, for instance, a club in Chile.
Instead of just picking one of the top 3 most successful clubs in Chile; Colo-Colo, Universidad Católica or Universidad de Chile, you could pick the oldest football club in Chile, and in fact entire Latin America!
Santiago Wanderers was founded on 15th August 1892 in Valparaíso, an important seaport for Chile. Competing in the Primera Division for their ninth time since 2010 the club currently sits at the end of the league table this season with only 2 points in 17 matches. 16 points behind Curico Unido at 16th place.
Despite their long history, the club’s trophy cabinet is fairly small. They have only won the league title three times, one less than their biggest rival Everton. Their first trophy came in 1958, while the last league title was acquired in 2001. Their latest trophy came in 2017 when they won the Copa Chile by beating Universidad de Chile 3-1 in the final.
They have participated in the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana three times each with their best achievement reaching the quarter-finals in 2002 losing on penalties to Santa Fe.
The club is more renowned for the players that have come through from their Academy rather than their trophy cabinet. Reckoned as the best defender of all time in Chile, Elías Figueroa, has come through the academy along with David Pizarro and Eugenio Mena. Moisés Villarroel is another one who has come through their ranks who have over 30 appearances for the Chilean national team. He is now part of the backroom staff as the Academy Manager and one you might work closely with within your quest to rebuild the club.
As one of the clubs with the lowest squad value according to Transfermarkt, your mission must be to avoid relegation and establish the club in the top half of the league.
To make it even more challenging you could set yourself the objective to install a 3-6-1 / 3-3-1-3 replicating Marcelo Bielsa’s Chile tactics.
You could restrict yourself to only sign players from Peru, Argentina, and Colombia at the age of 21 or below. You might even emphasize Work Rate, Stamina, Aggression and Off the ball to find suitable players to replicate Bielsa’s football philosophy at Santiago Wanderers.