FM16: “The Academics” – part XXVI/1 – Champions League Semi Final

Hi everyone, I’m back after some busy weeks in real life and work. I finished the 2029/2030 season with AB and it was very interesting one. I decided to split this season in two parts so you will find the “part XXVI/2” in next days. In this first part you can read about our this season’s transfers and the Champions League journey which ended in the Semi Final. 

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Transfers 2029/2030

You could read about the stadium expansion and long serving players departure in the previous parts but there were a lot of other transfers before this season.

During summer 2029 we lost some players – Jesper Curth to VfL Wolfsburg (£17M), Kim Karlsen to Sevilla, Mladen Pepic to Mjondalen, Kent Moller to Barcelona and some others for a free or onloan. We earned £28.07M during this season thanks to outgoing transfers.

Some very talented young players left our club for bargain prices like Hedelund to Leverkusen or Andreasen to Dortmund but I had to sell them because they did not want to be part of our squad because their ambition to play abroad was too high and they were unhappy with my approach to not sell them.

In case of new players we did not pay too much as we earned. We bought new players for £4.12M. All of them were players with the age between 16-18 years. They were signed not for our under 19 squad or reserve team but they will play some part in the Senior squad matches during the whole season as usual.


Champions League 2029/2030

As I mentioned above this post is mainly about our Champions League route. In previous season we finished in this competition after the group stage as we finished third in the group and then lost in the Europa League Final.

Two years ago, in the 2027/2028 season, we qualified from the group but we lost twice 0-3 to Real Madrid and were knocked out from the competition.

This year we wanted to repeat something similar as in the 2025/2026 season when we progressed to the Semi Final.

We got very strong opponents to the Group D as we faced Dinamo Zagreb, AC Milan and FC Barcelona. We started our campaing with the precise performance and 3-0 win over Croatian side at their stadium thanks to hat-trick by striker Henrik Michaelsen.

Two home games after this win were on the agenda as we played goalless with AC Milan but we beat Barcelona 2-1 when Martin Hansen scored the winner three minutes before the final whistle.

Match at the Camp Nou was absolutely different as we lost 1-4 as we were 2-0 down after 22 minutes and “Barca” scored another two goals in the 2nd half. I really really wanted to progress from the group so we concentrated a lot on the rest matches as table was very tight.

The most important result for the rest of the group was our home match with Dinamo. We won 3-1 and we keep a hope for the last match in Milan. We needed some point because I did not bealive Dinamo will beat Barca. And of course, Barca trashed them 4-0. But…

…we drew in Milan as Nichlas Meyer opened the score six minutes after the break and Milan equalised 24 minutes before the end. This point means that we finished second in the group just one point behind Milan and one point ahead of Barcelona! Great drama in the group stage.


The 1st Knockout Round draw was very hard again for us as we got Arsenal FC, our former senior affiliate club. They have some unreal regen players with attributes between 18 to 20 and they are like robots but we made it very hard to them.

Arsenal took the lead in the first leg but Anders Toxvaerd scored a brace and we won 2-1 at home. It was very tight game as both teams had 14 shots and possession was 48 – 52.

The second leg in London was crazy. Thre goals during 12 minutes as Arsenal took the lead and we were 2-1 up in three minutes thanks to Thomsen a Sali. Arsenal scored two goals during two minutes before the half and they were 3-2 up.

We levelled the scored three minutes after the break but they scored fourth goal after the hour of play. They have a lot of another chances in the rest of the match but were unable to score so we were through thanks to away goals rule.

AB v Arsenal FC_ Overview Overview

Arsenal FC v AB_ Overview Overview

Benfica in the Quarter Final. I was very happy we started this tie away. The home side was better then our team but somehow managed a draw thanks to goals by Hansen and Meyer who scored in the 91st minute.

The second leg was a different story from us. We were much better and more dangerous. We were 3-1 up at the half time and they played without Chernorukov who was sent off just after twenty minutes of play. When Michaelsen scored his second goal in the 61st minute I was 100% sure we are in the Semi Final.

SL Benfica v AB_ Overview Overview

AB v SL Benfica_ Overview Overview

Same as in the Quarter Final we started the Semi Final away from home. But Manchester City is absolutely different class. They have 20 shots (10 on target) in the first match and they scored three goals. We scored two minutes before the final whistle thanks to Martin Hansen but it was nothing but only small consolation.

The second leg was reward for the whole season and we wanted to give our fans good performance and maybe a better result than lost. But they scored one goal in each half and won 2-0. We were eliminated but we fought bravely until the end.

Manchester City v AB_ Overview Overview

AB v Manchester City_ Overview Overview

Manchester City were defeated 0-1 by Wolfsburg in the Final. City were in their fifth Champions League Final during last five years, won it twice. Great job.

It was great european season by our small Danish club and I’m very excited if we could repeat it in next seasons. We earned around £40M thanks to UCL prize money, TV revenue etc.

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.

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