A new season of Football Manager, FM24, is soon upon us and in this event it’s time to look at the best teams to manage on Football Manager 2024.
By providing you the ultimate list of Football Manager 2024 teams to manage you will experience 16 football clubs we think could make an interesting save on FM24, with all its different challenges and levels of difficulties that comes with promotions and relegations for 2023/24 season.
For the 2023/24 season, we’ve seen a number of bigger clubs relegated from their nation’s premier division, meanwhile new clubs has promoted to the top tier and will embark on a momentous task of keeping their spot in the highest league.
In this regard, we will take a closer look at fallen giants, lower league clubs that you can take on a road to glory save, or rising clubs that are close to promotion to the top division.
- Bolton Wanderers – English League One
- Malaga – Spanish Primera Federación
- 1.FC Nürnberg – German 2. Bundesliga
- U. C Sampdoria – Italian Serie B
- Sochaux – French Championnat National
- IFK Göteborg – Swedish Allsvenskan
- Notts County – English Sky Bet League Two
- Rijeka – Croatian SuperSport HNL
- Delfino Pescara – Italian Serie C
- Fudbalski klub TSC – Serbian SuperLiga
- RFC Liège – Belgium Challenger Pro League
- Real Valladolid – Spanish LALIGA Hypermotion
- Birmingham City – English Sky Bet Championship
- Santos FC – Brasileirão Série A
- Rosenborg BK – Norwegian Eliteserien
- Olympique Lyonnais – French Ligue 1
In the mixer, we will also hand you a few excellent rebuilding saves for Football Manager 2024, if you fancy a quicker save that takes you 2 to 5 years into the future to complete your mission.
Whether you are an FM old-timer or completely new to the Football Manager series, which team you manage on Football Manager 2024, and what type of save and its challenge you embark on, will have a huge effect on your overall experience of the game.
Who hasn’t started a save with one of the biggest giants and ‘won everything’ there is by the end of second season. It’s perhaps exciting at that moment but doesn’t really challenge your abilities – something that makes you perceive the game boring.
Instead, it’s useful to put certain rules and restrictions and instead of for a long-term save down the leagues. That’s why we have found these teams to manage on Football Manager 2024 that could be an exciting challenge. All with their own little twist.
Read on to find the best clubs to manage on Football Manager 2024 as we recommend some challenging save ideas for FM24.
This article be the first of many in a series where we will give you our recommendations on FM24 clubs to manage to let you find interesting save ideas to embark on as soon the new game is available to play.
Bolton Wanderers – English League One
- Founded: 1874
- Nickname: The Trotters
- Stadium: Toughsheet Community Stadium (28723)
- Main rival(s): Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End
- Trophies: 4 FA Cup (1922/23, 1925/26, 1928/29 & 1957/58), FA Charity Shield (1958), 2 x EFL Trophy ( 1988/89 & 2022/23)
Bolton Wanderers was probably one of the hardest challenges in Football Manager a couple of years ago when the team went into administration due to financial difficulties that resulted in not only termination of player’s contracts, but 12-point deduction and a board takeover. After a short stint in League Two for the first time in the club history, the Wanderers earned promotion to League One for the 2021/22 season and has recently risen from the ashes by winning their first trophy, Papa John’s Trophy 2022/23. This was exactly 100 years since they won their first FA Cup trophy, and the first trophy since they won the FA Cup in 1958/59.
However, despite being one of the founding members of the English Football League and being a regular competitor in the Premier League with 73 seasons in the top-flight, Bolton Wanderers have never won the English Premier League.
Bolton’s highest position in the modern era of English Premier League was a 6th place in the 2004/05 season under the Sam Allardyce era. This meant the club was qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time in the club’s history.
Under ‘Super Sam’ Bolton’s squad included players from over 20 different nationalities with French striker Nicolas Anelka, Finnish goalkeeper Jussi Jääskeläinen, fan-favourite Nigerian Jay-Jay Okocha as well Danish Henrik Pedersen, Ivan Campo, Bruno Ngotty and Israelic defender Tal Ben Haim being some of the team’s key players.
The prospect of managing Bolton on Football Manager 2024 is the idea to continue the club’s rise back to the top and win their first ever English Championship.
Bolton will also celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2024 and why not honour this legendary English club by taking them on a road to glory save in FM24?
Level of challenge: 3/5
Malaga – Spanish Primera Federación
- Founded: 25.05.1948
- Nickname: Los Albicelestes
- Stadium: La Rosaleda (30044)
- Main rival(s): Granada CF (Andalucia Oriental derby)
- Trophies: UEFA Intertoto Cup (2002)
After a 4th place in the Spanish La Liga 2011/12, it’s been a steady decline for Málaga Club de Fútbol. The Andalusian-based club were relegated from La Liga 2 last season and will therefore have a huge task ahead to restore to previous heights.
Their finish in 2011/12 resulted in qualification to the Champions League 2012/13. Bolstering a squad featuring Argentinian stars Martin Demichelis and Javier Saviola, the ever-young Spanish winger Joaquín, French defensive midfielder Jérémy Toulalan, Brazilian tank Júlio Baptiste, as well as Roque Santa Cruz and up and coming Spanish wonderkid Isco, manager Manuel Pellegrini led the club to their best performance in the club’s history.
After winning their Champions’ League group ahead if AC Milan, Malaga would go all the way to the quarterfinals, where they were eventually knocked out by Borussia Dortmund.
But the massive spendings to compete for a top 5 position in their domestic league and trying to win a European trophy came with a price. Failure to comply to the FFP regulations resulted in exclusion from the Europa League.
You could say it was the beginning of their ’demise’.
However, under the new ownership of Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani and his family, Malaga can be rebuilt from the ground up.
By managing Malaga, you will have fairly free rein to leave your mark on the club’s football philosophy and how the club is run relating to transfer policy and playing style.
However, aided by their stadium capacity of 30,000 spectators at La Rosaleda and their great training and youth facilities (above 15), Malaga can be a wonderful choice for a youth development save in Football Manager 2024.
Notable talents who have come through the Malaga Academy in the past are Pablo Fornals, Brahim Diaz, Samu Castillo and late bloomer Youssef En-Nesyri.
Can you create a golden generation who can lead the club to a new era where domestic and international trophies are entering the club doors?
In terms of the level of challenge, Malaga may be one of the favourites to promote directly to the LaLiga 2 the first season. Then things will become harder to get a competitive squad who are compete for a top 6 position in Segundo División. Overtaking the dynasty of Real Madrid, Barcelona and At. Madrid is nearly impossible but a wonderful quest for a long-term save.
Level of challenge: 4/5
1.FC Nürnberg – German 2. Bundesliga
The German 2.Bundesliga is jam-packed of fallen giants. Out of 18 clubs, 11 clubs have been crowned Bundesliga Champions at least one time in their club history. Besides Bayern Münich, who is the most successful club in Germany, newly relegated Schalke 04 has won it 7 times, while Hamburger SV and Kaiserslautern has six and four Bundesliga titles. Since Kaiserslautern was focused on for teams to rebuild on FM23, I wanted to put attention to the exciting prospect of managing 1. FC Nürnberg.
1.FC Nürnberg won their first German Championship only 20 years after being founded. Before the World War 2, Der Club was one of the most dominant teams in Germany. 7 out of 9 Bundesliga Champions came between 1920 and 1948, including 2 DFB pokals. Besides two Bundesliga championships in 1961 and 1967/68, it would take another 40 years until their last trophy won.
Now it’s been 16 years since they lifted the DFB-pokal for the fourth time in the club’s history, and for those last 10 years, the legendary club have been more of a 2. Bundesliga regular than being in position to compete for a Bundesliga qualification spot.
For FM24, 1.FC Nürnberg could be a great club to instil a Moneyball theory. By putting attention to statistics and performances within your transfer policy, you can aim to replicate Thomas Frank and Brentford’s success by emphasizing on the Moneyball philosophy to compete against the bigger clubs with bigger budgets.
For now, it seems like the best option to restore the glory of 1. FC Nürnberg in Football Manager 2024, as we might expect a limited transfer budget. However, the current squad includes a few players with decent abilities which you either can build your squad around or sell for profit to rebuild the club.
Johannes Horn, Florian Flick, Lukas Schleimer, Can Uzun and the two Japanese forwards Daichi Hayashi and Kanji Okunuki are all players capable of taking ‘Der Club’ to a better position than their 8th place last year. Perhaps you will even manage to turn the club into the most successful club in Germany by overtaking Bayern Munich 33 wins and their total dominance in the past 40 years.
However, that’s only possible if you determined to spend 50 seasons managing 1.FC Nürnberg in FM24.
Level of Challenge: 3/5
U. C Sampdoria – Italian Serie B
Sampdoria has probably one of the most iconic football shirts in Europe. Since being founded in 1946 they have played with their classic blue and white kit with a horizontal stripe of red, black, blue and white, which represents the colours wore by the two original clubs that merged: Sampierdarenese and Andrea Doria.
After the iconic Italian club relegated from the Serie A last season, much has happened that provides a great foundation for future success. Since 2019 I Blucerchiati have had 6 different managers in four years, something that doesn’t bring the stability and composure to focus on on-pitch performances.
Now, led by Andrea Pirlo and former Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani saving them from bankruptcy, a new dawn is waiting.
Playing in the Serie B will be the first time for Sampdoria since 2020/11. But their glory days dates back to the beginning of 1990s, when they won their first and so-far finally Scudetto in 1990/91 when the squad bolstered world class players like Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Mancini, Attilio Lombardo, Gianluca Pagliuca and Moreno Mannini.
Mannini was one of the players to appear in both club’s UEFA finals; the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup 1989/90, which they won, and the European Cup final 1991/92, when they were beaten by Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team.
At the end of 2023/24 season, it will be 30 years since Sampdoria won their last trophy, the Coppa Italia. Previously, they had won the trophy three times earlier, all between 1985 and 1989.
Of Sampdoria’s seven major trophies, former manager Vujadin Boškov has been the leading figure behind five of their trophies. On top of that he steered the club to the second place in both the 1992 European Cup and the 1988/89 European Cup Winners’ Cup. Both times defeated by Barcelona.
Your challenge for FM24 is to replicate the achievements made by Boskov and trying to win the club’s first Champions League trophy with a squad made up of 80%* homegrown players. By focusing on building a team of Italian under-23 players, you can replicate Barca’s youth development success to establish a future Italian powerhouse who develops the best wonderkids in Italy, as well as future stars for the Italian National team. The only reason you should have to buy foreign players is if they are better than one of the players within the squad, or of Italian nationality.
*In a 23 man squad, this means a maximum of 4 foreign players available to sign.
On top of that, if that’s not a challenge enough, you should have the ambition of creating a FM24 tactic using one of the specialist roles – either the Trequartista, the Libero, the Half Back or the Carrilero.
Level of challenge: 3,5/5
Sochaux – French Championnat National
At the moment, Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard has hit rock bottom of their 95 years history after being administratively relegated from Ligue 2, despite ending on a 9th place due to a financial crisis.
The French club based in Montbéliard in eastern France, close to the border of Switzerland, has been playing in the second tier for the past 10 years. Despite of a Coupe de France victory in 2007, FCSM hasn’t won a major trophy since 1938, when they won the league title.
Sochaux is probably more famous for the development of players and could be a lovely choice for a FM24 youth development save.
Over the last 30 years, Sochaux’s youth academy has seen players like Jérémy Ménez, Ibrahima Konate, Marcus Thuram, Benoît Pedretti and Ryad Boudebouz use the club as a steppingstone.
They have been amongst the top 10 youth academies in France.
In FM24, you can profit from great training facilities, excellent youth facilities, good junior coaching and good youth recruitment – something that will increase the likeliness to get a golden generation at the annual youth intake.
Read More | The best youth academies in Football Manager
In this save, you will spent an effort on improving the coaching staff rather than scouting for wonderkids. Your task is to develop the next Zinedine Zidane, Kylian Mbappe or Karim Benzema – players that can compete for the Ballon D’Or in the future.
This will require a huge focus on training and taking advantage of the feedback from your head of youth development within the Development Centre. As a result of nurturing talents, it will be a cost-effective way to build a sustainable club.
Level of challenge: 3/5
IFK Göteborg – Swedish Allsvenskan
With 18 Allsvenskan trophies, 9 runners-up, 8 Svenska Cup trophies as well as two honourable UEFA Cup trophies, IFK Göteborg is one of the most successful clubs in Sweden. None other clubs in Scandinavia have ever won any of the main UEFA competitions.
However, despite a second place in Allsvenskan 2014/15 we need to head back to 2006/07 for their last Swedish title won.
Änglarna (the angels) best era were between 1982 and 1996 when most of their titles were achieved.
The iconic club has beena regular competitor in the Allsvenskan since 1977 but have lately struggled to repeat former feats. So far this season they are positioned on a 12th place, 2 points above relegation spot with as many points as another iconic club, AIK.
This makes them an ideal club to rebuild on Football Manager 2024!
To put it in perspective, since being founded in 1904, IFK Göteborg has regularly brought up players for both Swedish senior and youth national teams, such as Glenn Hysén, Pontus Kåmark, Marcus Berg, Jesper Blomqvist, and Oscar Wendt to name a few.
Read More | The rise and fall of IFK Göteborg [by Thesefootballtimes]
These days the squad includes only three players being called up for one of the Swedish national teams: Johan Bångsbo (U21), Elis Bisheshari (U18) and Linus Dahlgren (U17). However, two players have been called up for Sweden Under-16, something that may signal future is bright.
Regardless, they are still miles away from AIK, Brommapojkarna, Malmö and Djurgårdens IF, who have developed some of the most interesting Swedish talents in my perspective, such as Isak Mulugeta, Roony Bardghji, Jonah Kusi-Asare, Yasin Ayari or Hugo Larsson.
However, IFK got two players called up for Sweden U16, which you can have fun developing in FM24.
Managing and rebuilding IFK Göteborg into a club with youth development as focus can be an interesting long-term save for FM24, especially if you need a new challenge outside the top 5 leagues.
Notts County – English Sky Bet League Two
If you are an admirer of a possession-heavy playing style where you can dismantle the opposition by using the ball to your advantage? Then you will love this year’s edition of Notts County.
Under Luke Williams, Notts County has propelled through the National League by gaining promotion via play-offs to League Two for this season. Last year they scored 117 goals and conceded the second least goals, but it was not enough to beat Wrexham – a team many will opt to manage for FM24.
So far this season Notts County has scored 1.8 goals per game at 60% possession. Promising figures for a direct promotion to League One – a level they have not been on since 2014/15 season.
Despite being the oldest professional football club in the world, Notts County has never won the Premier League. The last time they played on that level was in 1991/92 – the year before Premier League as we know it was born.
The only major trophy won by ‘The Magpies’ is a FA Cup title in 1893/94. That’s 32 years after the Nottingham based club was founded. Unlike other clubs who build new stadiums or move to a bigger ground, The Magpies has played their matches at Meadow Lane.
Since Notts County is one of the pioneers of English football, it could be an interesting challenge to emulate the W-M formation using a box midfield, or the old-school quick short passing football used by River Plate in the 40s. The link to Herbert Chapman, who revolutionized football with his 3-2-2-3 formation, exists but is vague. He had a short unsuccessful stint at Notts County, getting only 7 apps in 2 years and was later sold to Northampton.
Managing Notts County in FM24 let you embark on an English lower league save where you have a decent foundation to hunt for future trophies with their average training facilities and decent squad led by Macaulay Langstaff. He’s probably one of the English lower league gems due to his 15 in finishing, 15 in acceleration, 13 in off the ball and 14 in work rate. True class for such a level.
Level of challenge: 4/5
Rijeka – Croatian SuperSport HNL
For outsiders Croatian football seems to be dominated by the two major clubs; Hadjuk Split and Dinamo Zagreb. However, if you look at the last 10 years HNK Rijeka has managed to win 4 Croatian Cups out of a total 6 Cup trophies won throughout the club’s history.
Rijeka was originally founded in 1904 as Club Sportivo Olimpia. Over the years, the club has changed its name several times, and once was forced to play in the Italian Serie A as US Fiumana following the Italian nation annexed the city of Fiume (now called Rijeka).
As a recurring theme throughout this article, HNK Rijeka is the oldest football club based in the territory of today’s Republic of Croatia.
To date they have never been relegated from the Croatian top league and is regarded as the third most successful club in the country. Despite finishing as runners-up seven time, the Rijeka’s Whites has only been crowned Croatian Champions once. That’s now six years ago.
For FM24, the task is to turn Rijeka into a dominating force, both domestically and internationally. Try to improve upon their quarter-final loss in the European Cup Winner’s Cup, and continue the tradition of qualifying for the group stage of one of the main UEFA competitions.
In your hunt for trophies, you should limit yourself to only signing under-21 players from Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. Your aim should be on gaining reputation as the best club in the country to develop players for the Croatian National team by replicating the Ajax way.
Level of challenge: 2/5
Delfino Pescara – Italian Serie C
The Italian Serie C is loaded with a number of notable Italian football clubs. From L.R Vicenza, which we recommended as one club to manage last year, to Catania Football Club who promoted from Serie D after a reformation in 2022, it features many former Serie A clubs.
One of them is Delfino Pescara , a club based in the Abruzzo region in Southern Italy.
Founded in 1936, I Delfini is currently managed by tactician Zdenek Zeman – probably most know for his managerial tendure at Lazio and AS Roma, where he was a significant figure behind Alessandro Nesta and Francesco Totti rise to the top.
Zeman also managed the club back in 2011-12 when his attacking football resulted in a promotion to Serie A for the first time in 19 years.
The performances can be credited to the talent of youngster Marco Verrati, but also the abilities of loanees Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne.
When they all moved on following the promotion, the club went straight back to Serie B.
Despite of a handful Serie A appearances, Pescara have never really managed to become a regular top division club.
They have never won the Italian Scudetto, nor the Coppa Italia. This gives you almost full freedom to manage Pescara however you want.
For the first seasons, it could be beneficial to primarily focus on signing players on loans, and find free agents who you can sell for profit.
To replicate the vision of Zeman’s football philosophy, I believe you should try to adopt an attacking tactic – perhaps using a 4-2-4 or his traditional 4-3-3 system. Or, if you have never tried it, rebuild the club with the intention of emulating the Catenaccio style of play and play the Italian way with s back five and a Libero.
The long-term ambitions will be to promote to the Serie A and battle against AS Roma and Lazio to be the best club in that region of Italy.
Level of challenge: 4/5
Fudbalski klub TSC – Serbian SuperLiga
From time to time, there’s nothing as exciting than watching football when teams beat the odds to spring up surprises that would only be possible in movies or fairy tales. As we all know, the Serbian league is dominated by the heavy-weights Partizan Belgrade and Crvena Cvezda.
Last season FK TSC managed a remarkable second place, 20 points behind Crvena Zvezda, in the same year they celebrated their 110th anniversary.
TSC, or formerly known as Backa Topola, has had a steep rise through the leagues in the past 7 years. From Vojvodina League North at the third level to promotion to the SuperLiga 2019-20. In their first season in the top division TSC finished on a honourable 4th place securing Europa League first round qualification.
Their stunning performances has continued with not only two of their players becoming joint top scorers in the SuperLiga 2019/20 but qualification to the third round of Champions League 23/24. However, with a loss to Braga, they will compete in the 2023/24 Europa League group stage.
Drawn in the same group as West Ham, Olympiakos and Freiburg, they have entered a tough group but can qualify for the Conference League.
Despite of their recent rise in reputation, TSC is probably best known for their youth development. Former Ajax legend Dusan Tadic is one Serbian international player who have come through the club’s academy. Another is Golden Boy nominee Petar Ratkov (20), who moved to RB Salzburg for €5million this summer. He scored on his debut and could be the new Dusan Vlahovic.
Get to know potential FM24 Wonderkid Petar Ratkov by watching footages of his best skills.
Managing FK TSC in FM24 let you battle for European success whilst also maintaining their focus on developing young players. You should try to promote at least one youngster to the first team every season and have built a squad around players from the Academy.
RFC Liège – Belgium Challenger Pro League
Royal Football Club de Liège is one of the pioneers of Belgium football. Founded in 1892 they won the first ever Belgium Championship being held in 1896. Afterwards they have won the title on four occasions but it’s now 70 years since the last Champions trophy. Then they won the title for two consecutive times, 1952 and 1953.
Until the club went bankrupt in 1995, RFC Liège has played most of their history in the First Division but soon started to struggle moving up and down between the second and third division.
Last season saw a glimpse of hopes for Les Sang et Marine, when they promoted to the Challenger Pro League for the first time in 13 years. The reality of promoting has hit hard.
Besides having the second most experienced squad in the league at an average age of 27.1, you would think they would be able to compete against the Under-23 teams of Genk, Club Brugge, Anderlecht and rivals Standard Liége. However, RFC Liége find themselves on the 14th place with 3 points after 4 matches.
This gives you a great opportunity to rebuild RFC Liége in Football Manager 2024, whilst aiming for promotion to Jupiler Pro League to once again battle in the Liége derby to become the best club in the town.
Real Valladolid – Spanish LALIGA Hypermotion
The Spanish second division bolsters several former honourable top division clubs. Espanyol, Real Zaragoza, Racing Santander and Tenerife has over 200 combined seasons in the Spanish top division. Some of them have also done brilliant in one of the main UEFA tournaments.
All valid choices for a team to manage on Football Manager 2024.
However, for some the idea behind who to pick for their long-term save isn’t former glories or current reputations. Some gets intrigued by an amazing kit design or a club situation in dire need of help.
Real Valladolid is probably an untraditional choice but ticks both boxes. What caught my attention was their stunning third kit that is inspired by Miami Vice and GTA Vice City.
Even though Real Valladolid traditionally plays in purple and white, their third kit made by Kappa let me feel the nostalgia of the 80s and the beloved version of Grand Theft Auto.
However, the current situation at the club is far from as exciting as their kit design. Over the past months fans have protested Ronaldo Nazario wanting him out of the ownership. The former Brazilian striker legend of WC 2002 has 82% ownership in the club but has recently tried to sell parts of his shares. When he entered the club as majority stakeholder in 2018, he had the ambition to create a bigger and better club than ever before.
The result, bouncing between first and second division. In the four seasons they have participated in LaLiga since 2018/19, they have only scored an average of 0,8 goals per game.
This gives you a great foundation to turn Real Valladolid into one of the best attacking football clubs in Spain. Even though the Pucelanos is regarded as one of the most successful clubs in the region of Castile and León with 45 seasons in the top division and participation in the UEFA Cup 1984/85 & 1997/98, as well as the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup 1989/90, Real Valladolid has never gained a reputation for their style of play.
In this event, you could try to establish an attacking football philosophy where you replicates the Brazilian ‘traditional’ 4-2-2-2 system the Brazilian National team used at the World Cup 1998. Their 4-2-4 / 4-2-2-2 formation featured two attacking wingbacks, Rivaldo and Ronaldo 9 combining down the left flank, as well as a double pivot in Dunga and Sampaio.
Due to the Brazilian link, you could even take a step further and establish a transfer policy where you aim to create a team of 25% of the players of Brazilian origin. This means a greater emphasize on recruitment focuses on South America than in Europe. Perhaps you’ll be able to create the Pucela Dream Team of the future.
Birmingham City – English Sky Bet Championship
If ownership status and the financial powers are a reason for who to select, then you will probably be intrigued by the new stakeholder at Birmingham City FC. After 16 years under Chinese control, American Tom Wagner along with former NFL quarterback Tom Brady buying stakes in the Championship club.
Birmingham City has a long and pride history. Founded in 1875, The Blues has had their home ground at St. Andrews since 1906.
Throughout their history, Birmingham is one of four clubs who have participated in two FA Cup finals, but never won it. The last time came in their golden era in the 1950s / early 60s.
After finishing 6th in the First Division 1955/56 and ending as runner-ups in the FA Cup, Birmingham would eventually become the first English club to participate in a European competition. Yet again, luck wasn’t on their side and ended up losing in the final twice in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1960, against Barcelona, and 1961 versus Roma.
For the last 10 years, since relegating from the Premier League 2010/11, Birmingham have found themselves struggling on the bottom half of the Championship and have avoided relegation on the season’s final day a handful times.
In this period, they have done a remarkable job developing players. Not only Jude and Jobe Bellingham but also Demarai Gray and Nathan Redmond have come through the Academy.
After 13 years in the Championship it’s time to rebuild Birmingham in FM24.
Are you able to change the faith of Birmingham and make them the best club in the city? Perhaps winning their first English Championship as well as couping the FA Cup trophy they ‘should have had’?
Santos FC – Brasileirão Série A
If you want a totally new managing experience in Football Manager, then heading over the Atlantic Ocean to South America can bring you a new challenge. In Brazil, the season normally starts in the middle of April and ends in December. Here you will compete in both national and state competitions to qualify for Copa Libertadores or the Copa Sudamericana by finishing top 12 in the Brasileiro Série A.
Santos Futebol Clube is one of the most successful clubs in Brazil. Founded in 1912, the Peixe has become Brazilian Champions 8 times, four less than Palmeiras.
However, despite finishing as runner-ups in 2016 and 2019, Santos has not won the title since 2004! Back then, they had just come through a financial crises but managed to win both in 2002 and 2004. That was 34 years since their golden era when the team was made up of legends such as Pele, Zito and Coutinho, to name a few players of Os Santástico.
The Santos in the 60s was a dominant force. Not only won they six national championships, five Taca de Brazil, two Copa Libertadores and two Intercontinental Cups, along with numerious minor trophies, but they manage to spread Jogo do Bonito to Europe globetrotting the world to showcase the Brazilian flair everyone today associates with Brazilian football.
«I compare the Santos 62 team with the national team of Brazil in 70. These are the two best football teams I have ever seen. The 70 side is the confirmation of a game model that Santos already demonstrated long ago.»
Since 2004, Santos has been on an ever-going rebuilding process mostly because of their financial situation. Forced to rely on youth, which brought great success as Neymar entered the club in 2009 that brought more marketing rights and greater revenues on the one hand to constant changes in manager appointments and Presidents put the club in a consistent chaotic situation.
Despite of reaching the finsl of Copa Libertadores 2020 and finishing at 2nd place in the league, state championship and the Cup in 2019 (under the guidance of Jorge Sampaoli), Santos has been on a decline the past five years (8th, 10th and 12th). Now they find themselves in the relegation area st 17th place when half of 2023 season has been played.
Restoring the glory of Santos in FM24 can be a great short-term rebuilding save where you aim to win the club’s second Double, or first treble in the club’s history.
To help you, you’ll have the skills of Marcos Leonardo and Yeferson Soteldo. Apart from these gems, the squad is rather experienced and huge. This season the squad’s average age is 26.4 and the Uruguayan manager, Diego Aguirre, has used a total of 43 players in 21 matches.
It screams consistency and slimming the squad is needed together with finding back to their roots as a youth development club.
Level of challenge: 1,5/5
Rosenborg BK – Norwegian Eliteserien
Rosenborg Ballklub is probably the Nordic equivalent of Brazilian Santos FC. Formerly a Scandinavian powerhouse who competed in the Champions League group stage for 12 consecutive seasons between 1995/96 and 2007/08.
Under legendary manager Nils Arne Eggen, RBK won the Double six times and managed to reach the group stage of UEFA Champions League six times in row. His passion for attacking football and getting the best out of every individual within a 4-3-3 system made Rosenborg into a Scandinavian powerhouse in the 90s and early 2000s.
In that period, Rosenborg won the Norwegian Championship 13 seasons in the row, out of 26 total titles won. They have aldo won the Norwegian Cup 12 times.
However, Rosenborg has been a major decline the past few years. In fact, they have not won a trophy since 2018. Some pundits will even claim the current RBK side is the worst throughout their 106 long history.
At the moment, Gutan is far behind Bodø-Glimt and Molde both in terms of performance, financial strength and recruitment of players. Less players find it intruiging to play for RBK. Perhaps due to the lack of a consistent football philosophy and vision – like how it was in their golden era.
Frankly, they have lost their standing as the best club in Scandinavia.
At the moment they find themselves on the 9th place in Eliteserien 2023 – 10 points above relegation, or 17 points behind the top spot.
Rosenborg is one among one of the biggest fallen giants in FM24 that deserves a rebuild. It could be a great short-term save that expands over five years before your manager journey continues to a bigger league.
Olympique Lyonnais – French Ligue 1
A similar fate as Rosenborg finds themselves in, is also the current situation for Olympique Lyonnais’ fans. Rock bottom in the French Ligue 1 after four matches played, only acquiring 1 point, forced the Lyon board to sack Laurent Blanc. This comes after Jean-Michel Aulas sold his ownership to American businessman John Textor, which resulted in transfer spending restrictions imposed by the French financial watchdogs, DNCG.
Their financial problems has put the club into a full-blown crisis.
The sale of Bradley Barcola and Castello Lukeba has helped the club a little, but it has had a huge impact on the current abilities of the squad. However, Lyon has a number of interesting talents who might shine in the years to come. I’m of course thinking about Saël Kumbedi (18), Mamadou Sarr (18) and Rayan Cherki (20).
Managing Lyon in Football Manager 2024 could be a great FM24 beta save. Here you got great opportunities to create a worldwide scouting network to track down the best wonderkids in Football Manager 2024. Or, you can choose to prosper from their famous Academy who have brought the world Karim Benzema, Hatem Ben Arfa, or Ludovic Gily.
You will be able to sign and register a maximum of 5 non-EU players. This helps you to track down and sign some of the best cheap foreign wonderkids in FM24 and try to profit from sales of high potential players whilst battling for the club’s eight Ligue 1 title.
Actually, it’s about time to retain the title, as the club hasn’t won Ligue 1 since 2008! Now, it’s 11 years since they last won their last of five Coupe de France trophies.
Which clubs are on your to-do list for Football Manager 2024? Let us know your favourite save and biggest achievement you