The Sports Interactive series, including his past as Championship Manager, has anticipated big pearls … but sometimes it didn’t catch on.
Football Manager is a very powerful simulator, thanks to an immense database that has guaranteed him the status of talent scout for many talents who have emerged in real football. However, many footballers who became top players in the “meta” of the game have not managed to break through in their clubs or national teams. Coinciding with the release of Football Manager 2022, set for November 9 for PC and Xbox, here’s a rundown of the 10 best iconic players who haven’t made it to the top.
Freddy Adu has even been defined as heir of Pele in the United States, where he played in the MLS as part of DC United. Players will remember that after signing a $ 13 million dollar contract with Nike, he was revered as something of a football god in Football Manager 03/04 two years later. Speed, dribbling and determination in the game even earned him the European call in Portugal, in which however he was unable to show all his numbers. His last appearance was in Sweden in 2020.
Anthony Vanden Borre —
Super cheap purchase required at the start of every Football Manager 07/08 match, Anthony Vanden Borre quickly became the best right-back ever to hit the… virtual playing fields. In just a few years, all of his stats on ball touch, technique, passing, off-the-ball moves and dribbling were at the highest level. Vanden Borre has never made a breakthrough in football that matters, actually, but he still recorded a couple of passes in Serie A between Fiorentina and Genoa, for the delight of gamers, between a sudden retirement and another.
Igor Akinfeev —
We cannot really say that Akinfeev was a flop, having even led his country, Russia, to the World Cup. However, from the time of his debut at 16, he was spoken of as of a new Yashin and Football Manager really believed in it: since the year following his debut, when he became a regular at CSKA Moscow, he became an almost discounted purchase for all the players of the Sports Interactive series, who still remember him with great affection. Although he was certainly not a rival, as he seemed to be at some point in his career, of the eternal Gianluigi Buffon.
Cherno Samba –
Cherno Samba was even available as a free agent in Championship Manager 01/02, forerunner of Football Manager. The former Millwall youth team, already at 22 in the game was practically unmissable, developing in a few seasons maximum values on finishing, strength, team play, endurance, header, speed, acceleration and dribbling. At whatever level he was taken, he guaranteed 25 goals per season. In real life? Samba has made fewer than 30 appearances in minor professional leagues including England, Spain, Finland and Norway.
Kerlon acquired the status of an icon thanks to his seal dribbling, which earned him insane ratings in Football Manager 2006, where he was literally the nightmare of any defense. In fact, he made just 51 appearances in his career after leaving Brazil in 2006, failing to blossom the crystalline talent the series had envisioned for him. He retired in 2017, three months after his last venture.
Maxim Tsigalko –
The Belarusian Tsigalko cost just a couple of million at the time of Championship Manager 01/02, but he scored in a burst thanks to a perfect finish and very high statistics for balance, speed and determination. His story is actually very sad: despite having done well at Dinamo Minsk, Tsigalko had to retire young after just 74 appearances as a professional and a good haul of 22 goals, and he passed away under tragic circumstances at the age of 37. Certainly, however, many of you will remember him fondly.
Yaya Sanogo –
Sanogo was a star of Football Manager 2011 but the ’93 class did not meet the high expectations placed in him. Still in business, precisely at Huddersfield Town, the French star had convinced Football Manager who had rewarded him with fantastic finishing values. And he had seduced, perhaps also thanks to the series, The Arsenal, where, however, he was shown the door after just eleven appearances (and zero goals).
Carlos candle –
In 2007, Vela was regarded as one of the crystalline talents who should have made their mark on the world of real football. Football Manager 2009 strongly believed in this vision, making it practically impregnable once deployed on the field, despite a not exaggerated outlay. Things did not go badly for him, having passed through Arsenal and Real Sociedad, but he soon had to “settle” for the MLS and the nice retreat from Los Angeles. Certainly not what FM had predicted …
Khouma Babacar —
In Football Manager 2010, Khouma Babacar just needed a few seasons: after his debut at 16, always became one of the best strikers in the world, and we bet that you too have some friends who still do not understand how so much talent has not exploded even in reality. A reality where Babacar, ex Fiorentina, had to settle for a life as a wanderer without ever finding a place to explode: now he is in Turkey, hoping that, at 28, it will be the right time.
Henri Salvet –
The Frenchman born in ’90 disengaged himself at the end of last season from Newcastle, where he never blossomed and limited himself to an infinite series of loans – the most recent, he too in Turkey, at Bursaspor. The times of Bordeaux, with 21 goals to their credit, seem to have been the pinnacle of a career that promised much more. On Football Manager 2008, the midfielder made people dream, presenting himself as a real messiah for his ability to combine technical and physical skills.
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Football Manager: 10 iconic players (who didn’t break through)