Imagine you are several months top of the league table. Two seasons in a row. But you finished second. In both these seasons. Welcome to the life of Indepentiente. The club that hates us. If you read the last season summary, you know we won the second league title in a row in the 2031/2032 season.
Independiente was in the lead from 12th round to 34th round. But we moved over and won the title. After some my squad and transfer decision between the season, I expected to not fight for another league title but it ended with even more interesting and funnier end of the season.
Let’s take a look.
The main question of this season was if we will be able to keep Santiago Ortiz. This perfect striker was the most wanted player in Europe. His value was around €10M and I wanted at least €15M with some clause from his next transfer.
The first bids were even under €10M so I was rejecting them. After some time Napoli came with the offer and I decided to take it – €16.25M with a potential rise up €19.75M and 50% from his next transfer.
If you consider I signed him two years ago for free from River Plate… 89 matches, 49 goals + 22 assists during two seasons. Goodbye. (At the end of the season, his value is €47M, the potential transfer could be huge for our club).
My secondary aim for the transfer window was to offload some older players for some cash. And it was really successful because I made €28M thanks to outgoing transfers in the end.
For example, striker Andres Díaz moves to Vancouver for €2M despite he was out of contract in the summer 2033 but they bought him straight. Good for me. I had high expectations from him but he was mostly injured or very inconsistent.
Juan Ignacio Desagastizábal was great in his first season with us but injuries took a lot out of him and he was only backup player and I rather let play younger player.
There was also one interesting loan. Left defender Santiago Bolano who is 29 years old and he has a contract for one more season, until 2034, was moaning about the transfer to a bigger club but no club was interested. Fluminense offered €93K p/m loan fee + €20K p/m wage what is 100% of his wage and €170K bonus for a potential qualification to Copa Libertadores.
I already knew I will want to refresh our defensive line in the summer as all my defenders are close to their thirties, I was 100% it would be like robbing your own family if I would not accept this bid. Almost €100K per month is one-fifth of our whole wage budget.
On the other hand, we secured a permanent transfer of Santiago Ascacíbar for another one year despite he announced he will retire but the date was set to October 2033 so we were able to enjoy more time with this legend.
We also signed backup keeper Gabriel Gutiérrez, young talented Croatian striker Filip Ilic and two young Argentinian players Franco Somoza and Matías Arriola.
I don’t want to go through all the results of the season. The highlight of the first part of this season was surely our progress to Copa Libertadores Final again. But this time, we were defeated by Flamengo who scored the only goal of the final match from a penalty kick.
But the continuous continental success has a much-needed effect to all other areas of the club. More below…
We went to the second part of the season with three matches in hand and with almost ten points behind the leaders from Independiente.
We had some hard times during the second part of the season due to injuries. We had 9 injured players in one time, some of the key players like Filip Ilic or defender Contreras were out of action for several weeks. We were also without right defender for several weeks as Contreras and also the young Somoza were injured at the same time.
But despite some defeats in February and draws in March including a draw with Independiente at home, we moved to the first place after the 35th round.
Independiente took the first place back after the next round but we were tied at the top with 74 points two matches before the end. Independiente was first thanks to a goal difference and also thanks to goals scored but they lost to Vélez in the 37th round and as we beat Unión we were three points ahead.
We beat River Plate in the last round thanks to Renzo Contreras (our own newgen Inside Forward or Complete Forward who signed a new contract until 2037 during the season) and the third league title was ours.
The end of the season is also dedicated to the Superleague Cup and after two wins after penalties and perfect team performance against Boca we made it to the Final where we beat Tigre 3-0 very comfortably.
The winning goal against Boca in the Superleague Cup Semi Final.
We also made it to the Copa Libertadores knock-out stage again where we will face Gremio in the 2nd round.
Setting new heights & aims
“What’s the thoughts @ondrej? Staying for another?” FMSamo asked me in my FMSlack channel recently during the end of the 2032/2033 season before we won the league title.
It would be probably logical to leave after three league titles and due to the fact we also won the Copa Libertadores already in the previous season but the answer is a no.
I want to stay with this club. Maybe until the end of the FM19, that’s not 100% sure but my current aim is to develop this club much further.
Despite the league titles and continental grow, the club background, facilities and environment are absolutely disgrace. Players from other clubs are still not even want to join us as we are not considered as a big club.
I want to improve facilities, youth recruitment and all these things to a maximum. And there is hope.
Firstly, the youth intake this season gave us three new potential stars with Damián Guevara leads the line. All these three will be promoted to the first team in the summer.
I already know 6 first team players will leave at the end of the season for free after their contracts will expire. I’m not unhappy they will leave for free. Their departure will give us around €100K per month to the wage budget. And I will rather give a chance to young newgens.
There were also improvements in terms of available staff members and I was able to hire new coaches for the first team and also for the youth team. But not only coaches, we improved also scouting department with a new Chief Scout by Mariano Giménez from Estudiantes or with a new Head of Sports Science by Marcelo Casaccia from Huracán.
The club is slowly developing more and more and that’s what I like. I’m sure there is more to come on and off the pitch. I don’t need to win another league title next season, I just want to develop players and the club itself. That’s what I like.
During the first part of the season, the stadium expansion to 20,375 was completed and we sold out season tickets (13,386). More importantly, at the end of the season, the board announced training and youth facilities will be upgraded. They are currently at the level of Adequate and Below Average respectively.
I was also able to improve data facilities to some level of ‘Poor’ and the board also gave us information about the plan to build a completely new stadium. No detailed info about the capacity or costs so far.
But as I said, there is hope to develop this club despite the board refused to upgrade anything during the first four seasons.
Despite I played this season with 4-1-2-3 wide formation, we also played some parts with 4-4-2 but our main formation still remain the flat 4-3-3 and I’m looking forward to the next season already.
Four years ago we had -€1.75M bank balance, we now have €27.5M at the end of the 2032/2033 season. We can’t compete with Boca, River or Independiente in terms of wages but that’s not what I would expect and what I would want. I will rather sell the player who will want €100K p/m or more than to pay it.
This is our current squad at the end of the 2032/2033 season. The average age is slightly over 21. With the newgens incoming in the summer it will be even lower next season.
It’s time to develop all of them…
Thanks for you time and enjoy your own save(s).
As always, if you would like to ask something, just let me know.
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Until next time…take care!