”It’s a good feeling when everything comes together…” The sentence from press conferences in Football Manager I use for a very long time in my Twitter profile and I think it perfectly fits for the latest season I played within my FM18 save with Hungarian side BFC Siófok.
It was the 2034/2035 season and I my club won the treble.
Back in summer 2034 and transfer window. I decided to clear the squad a little bit and a couple of players left for a decent amount of money.
This clear out included also long-serving central defender László Mihálszki who wanted to leave to find a new challenge but also some young players like Géza Szabó or Bira who were good players but I felt I don’t need them and I want to develop different players.
On the other hand, I decided to bring back Sándor Vass. This striker was a national hero when we progressed to the EURO 2028 with Hungary and he was the best goalscorer. He was available for a free after a spell with Juventus & Tottenham.
I sold him for €20M to Juventus in 2029, he moved to Tottenham a year later for €28M but he struggled to make it to the starting XI in London and he is back at home.
There are other signings I made. The stand out player is surely Silvestre Forti. This Argentinian midfielder moved straight to the starting XI after his transfer from AC Sparta Praha and it doesn’t matter if we played 4-1-4-1 or 4-2-3-1.
Back to outgoing transfers because expect loan deals we had also record sell during the winter. Our own newgen László Szalai moved to Real Madrid for €55M (up to €75M).
This guy who I called “oh Salah” every time he scored was wanted by big clubs like BVB, Liverpool, Atlético etc. during last two season. Real offered about €30M at the start of negotiation and it ended with this deal.
This is how the transfer window looked like after this season…
The biggest advantage of Champions League Group Stage place thanks to first place in the domestic league competition is we have the whole summer just for league matches and we are able to build some lead.
Usually, MTK Budapest, Puskás Akademia and Ferencvárosi are very competitive at the start of every season but I think they had to be sceptical about their chances for the league title after the first matches of the season.
We beat all three mentioned clubs before the first international break and Ferencváros travelled back from Siófok with six goals in the bag.
When we made it 20 from 20 I started to think about the unbeaten season. When we made it 25 from 25 I started to think about the season without a loss of point.
And it happened, we won all league matches during this season and we set new records in terms of gained points, number of wins etc.
When Szálai left the club and moved to Real Madrid I had to decide which striker will be my main striker for the rest of the season. Sándor Vass was the first choice but he was injured for the last six weeks of the season.
That meant I had to decide between Bence Kovács (17 years old newgen) and Ádám Rodenbücher (22 years old newgen). In the end, I decided for the younger one and if you take a look back higher to the picture with results we can agree I made a good choice.
Btw. Bence Kovács was called-up to the national team for the first time after the end of the season, he made his debut and scored three goals against Faroe Island.
Domestic Cup was funny again this season. We let play youngsters and backup players in most matches and they were great until the first quarterfinal leg away against Újpest where we lost 1-0.
But I’m not right, they were great even we were defeated because I had to play against top tier team with players from the U19 + Szoboszlai who retired from the national team + all Argentinian players who stayed. That meant there were 6 debuts.
We also played against Kisvárda with kids, one of them Valentin Laki scored in his debut but it doesn’t mean his chances to be in the first team are bigger than before. He is just a below average youngster who will be released.
The cup final was scheduled a four days after the Champions League and we won it after penalties.
If you read my previous post about this save about my bogey team (Manchester City) you know I was eliminated by this English side for several times in different stages of the Champions League.
This year we were included in the group with AS Monaco, Dynamo Kyiv and Real Madrid. We started with a boring goalless draw in Monaco and defeat with Real Madrid at home.
But we won all the rest four matches including the last one at the Santiago Bernabeú and we won the group stage.
We were drawn against Schalke 04 in the first knockout stage and we progressed quite comfortably after 4-0 and 2-1 wins.
Same as last season we played against Chelsea in the quarterfinal and we tied 0-0 in the first match at home same as last year. We won 2-1 at the Stamford Bridge last season in the reply. This year we tied 1-1 and progressed to the semifinal thanks to away goals rule.
The biggest surprise was that Tottenham eliminated Manchester City in the quarterfinal and I started to think about the trophy. For the first ever I had a feeling I can make it.
Do you remember I wrote earlier in this post about the main striker decision? I selected Bence Kovács and this guy was a key to our both matches against Barcelona in the semifinal.
He scored both goals during a home 2-0 win and also scored only one goal in reply when the second leg ended with a 1-1 draw.
I will not repeat the whole Final story as I shared updates in my FMSlack channel. The most important things were – disallowed goal in opening minutes for Tottenham. Tottenham took the lead in 10th minute.
We won it despite one of our key players Viorel Cojocaru had to be subbed off before the halftime and our 16 years old newgen played the rest of the match as a left winger what is not his best position but he made an assist before the second goal.
Expect already mentioned two young newgens, the starting XI included also Rensie Jnr (19y) or László Lipták (18y).
The average age of players which appeared in the Final was around 23,5. It was also great to see long-serving players Gergely Hutvágner, Dominik Szoboszlai and György Benedek to lift the trophy.
I think it was the last chance for the first two mentioned players who will turn 35 during 2035. They are also the last two players who are not newgens in the club.
This is the senior squad at the end of the season. Some of the players are wanted in China, mainly the more experienced player like Csaba Vargo-Jancsó, János Major and Sándor Vass but I don’t see a point to let them leave.
Someone asked me on Twitter “What’s next?” after I shared the picture of 33 league wins. The answer is really simple – I will continue this save until I will want because despite I won all domestic trophies multiple times it doesn’t mean I will end the save.
I just only need to think about the future transfer policy. I currently have 11 foreign players under the contract but they are on-loan. Their value is higher before they went to different clubs and I think I will sell most of them.
My DoF and HoYD both are trying to buy foreign players time from the time during last seasons and I trust them on most occasion so I will let them continue with it. If nothing more I will have some foreign players which I can develop and sell.
My current thoughts are that I will try to include as many my own newgens as I will can and I will only use foreign players if they will be too good to keep them on-loan or in the dugout. The best example is Argentinian players like Paolacci or Forti.
I already mentioned the youngster who appeared in the Champions League Final. It’s Milan Buzás who was among other players in the latest Youth Intake. There was also a promising striker Benjamin Szücs who will probably also be promoted to the senior squad before the next season.
In terms of finances, we are absolutely alright. We earned more than €85M thanks to Champions League prize money+TV revenue and we passed the €600M barrier bank balance this season.
We had a lot of money for transfers and wages too but I will not use most of them.
I like our club reputation changed to “worldwide” straight after the Champions League Final and we also earned a new big sponsorship deal, probably also thanks to it.
One thing I would like in the future of this save is the new stadium. The current one has the 12K capacity and I think we miss a decent amount of money from tickets during Champions League matches. I’m sure we would be able to sell out the stadium with at least doubled capacity.