FM16: “The Academics” – part XVIII – Developing for Barcelona

If you think I’m crazy because of the title of this new part of my Akademisk Boldklub save you will find I’m not. I knew it was coming but it hurts very much. I build very young squad during previous months and many of my players were wanted around the Europe. And during winter transfer window in the 2025/2026 season many of them left the club for bigger clubs.

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Transfers 2025/2026

I’ll start with income transfers because it will be shorter. We brought back striker Henrik Michaelsen from Bournemouth for a fee around £1.9M meanwhile we sold him to this English club a year ago for £4M.

Another new player was central midfielder Lasse Jensen from Idtjylland and young Asle Runar from IK Start. The most important between these transfers were French Full back Florian Tissot from Stade Rennais and right wide playmkaer Frederik Kristensen. He is originaly from Randers but he was in Leverkusen and Düsseldorf in previous two seasons. We signed him for a free! One of the key players for us now.

And there are outgoing players…

Expect some free transfers there were two big transfers in the summer. Central defender Kevin Sandberg left for Nottingham Forest for £3.5M and midfielder Marco Ramkilde moved to VfL Wolfsburg for £8.5M what is our record transfer income in history. With Ramkilde departure we lost around 15 goals and 20 assists per season…

The most depressive time during this save so far was in winter 2026. There were around 30 clubs interested in five or six players and we were absolutely unable to compete with them. Every time I declined some offer players were unhappy because they wanted to go to bigger clubs.


Midfielder Ole Rasmussen, the perfect wide playmaker, left for £1.5M to Barcelona. Central Defender Rasmus Koch who made great progress during last six months moved to Real Sporting Gijón. Young left defender Jakob Kirk to Lazio, central defender Mikel Nielsen to Wolfsburg and Jakob Tonnesen to AIK Solna.

There was an interest to our regen strike Michael Hansen as well. I declined some offers but he wanted to go. Firstly he was willing to wait until the summer but when Barcelona offered £3M+2M in next 12 months+30% from next transfer and his loan until the end of the season our chairman accepted it.

The financial profit is great but it was sad to see some of these players went…

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If this is not crazy, what is? Barcelona buying players from Akademisk Boldklub………..

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Champions League 2025/2026

Very good season from us in Europe this term. We progressed to the Group Stage because we beat ÍBV, Lech Poznan and Astra Giurgiu.

We met three european giants in the main stage when we played against AC Milan, Benfica and Manchester City. We won against Benfica at home thanks to goal by Aakjaer but then we lost three matches in a row against Milan and both with Manchester City.

We were still in the race for second place in the group before last two matches but I was not too optimistic about that because of some injuries and very hard schedule. But we had Henrik Michaelsen!

We won at Benfica stadium 4-2 thanks to four goals by Michaelsen and this guy was in form during last match with AC Milan as well. We were last in the table despite win with Benfica but we beat AC Milan thanks to Michaelsen hattrick and one goal by Ole Rasmussen. With Benfica dres with City we moved to the second place!

That means we for the 1st time in AB save we’ve qualified from UCL Group Stage!

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In the first knock-out round we met Real Madrid and it we were a massive outsiders but we achieved great results. We beat this Spanish giant 1-0 at home thanks to a goal by Michael Hansen fifteen minutes before the end.

The second leg was very one-sided because Real was more active and more dangerous and they scored just after the half-time. But the match ended with a 1-1 draw after the 90 minutes and we scored thanks to Frederik Kristensen just before the extra time half-time. And this results stand after the final whistle and we were through to Quarter Final.

There we met another big european giant – Juventus. A 0-0 draw at home in the 1st leg was good but we had to score away. The second leg was tight, Juventus had 20 shots but only 6 on target and only one clear cut chance. Same as we had. Both team played with a variation of 4-4-2 formation.

When everyone thought there will be extra-time we made the last attack and our regen striker Michael Hansen scored the winner in the 91st minute and we could celebrate the Semi Final of Champions League.

Bayern? If you think matches with Real and Juventus were difficult, Bayern was a different level. Much much better than previous two teams. We drew with them 1-1 at home and I thought it’s the end of our journey before the second leg in Munich. And I was right.

Wilhelm Rousseau opened the score in 65th minute but we equalised just three minutes later thanks to Kenni Aakjaer. Home side took the lead at the start of the 2nd half of the extra time when Oxlade-Chamberlain and Hernández scored within four minutes. And we had no more power to come back.

Great season in the Champions League and proud moment for the whole club. Biggest achievement in the history of this Danish club. Especially when the best players left the club during winter transfer window and we played with the much weaker side.

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Domestic competitions 2025/2026

Domestic cup was sacrificed. We won DBU Pokalen five times in the previous five years but this year we had no power to compete in it. After the players departures in winter we played the Quarter Final against Brondby (away) with the average of 17-years-old and mainly with players without experiences and they are good only for Under 19 level. Despite that we lost to Brondby after penalties…

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The Superliga was different. The main goal of the Board is to win the league so I could ignore it despite the players exodus in winter. We only lost two matches during the first half of the season and we made some advantage in the table ahead of FC Kobenhavn so we could play with any stress.

Paradoxically, we lost only one match (the last one of the season) during the second half of the season after the players departure. I gave chances to many younsters in the league and they did very well. I was very pleasantly surprised with performances of young goalkeeper William Thorhauge who wanted to play more competitive matches (he is 19-years-old) so I gave him twenty apperances this season and he is progressing very well.

In case of big interest in our number one goalkeepere Ondřej Březina, Thorhauge will be probably our number one next season.

We secured fourth title in a row just seven or eight matches before the end. Our midfielder Sergei Eremenko had 8.10 average rating, the best from the whole league and Ondřej Březina kept 13 clean sheets.

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It was very interesting season mainly thanks to Champions League adventure. I think we can not count with similar success every year so it’s special for our club.

The main negative of the season is the player exodus because we can not play with this squad at the highest level for many years. We have to buy some new players during summer transfer window and we have to try to get the best from our own players.

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Senior squad 2025/2026 stats

There will be training and youth facilities improvements during the 2026 and I signed also new Head of Youth Development Maurizio Lanzaro so I hope the youth intake will be beter next year and I hope he could bring some young players to youth squad.

This year we have very good financial balance at the end of the season thanks to Champions League results. UCL prize money were around £30M.

Another great news at the end of the season was that club cleared debts so there are no loans.

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We had 9,837 average attendance in the domestic league which is great in case we have 10K stadium capacity.

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Denmark have moved up 5 places to 11th position in the European nation coefficients table so Denmark will receive an extra Champions League place for the 2027/2028 season so there will be league champion in the Group Stage which is great!

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There is again interest in our players from around the whole Europe so it will be very difficult to keep them all in the club. We had not too good youth intake this year so I will probably have to invest some money to young players from other Danish clubs.

Thanks for reading, @KeysiRensie


A Football Manager addict and lover for many years. You can follow me on Twitter or in Football Manager Slack – #fmrensie channel.

5 Replies to “FM16: “The Academics” – part XVIII – Developing for Barcelona

  1. Wow what a season mate!

    Firstly, I’m very sad about the outgoing players… but it’s sadly the part of the game. I think you will got the green light now, as your club had cleaned the debts, perhaps your chairman won’t accept those low prices for your awesome young players…

    Grats on winning the championship, the cup is not the important at this stage I think.

    And what an awesome season for you in the champions league. And what an awesome season for you in financial terms…

    Reaching the group stage by winning the league is a very good achievement, you don’t have to play those one-sided qualification matches throughout the summer.

    Awesome post as usual! Keep up the good work! Have a nice week! 🙂

    1. Thank you mate 😉 New season just started and some other players left the club again and I had to buy and will play with many youngsters but I’m happy with that. It’s a big fun 🙂

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