11 top teams to manage in Football Manager 2024
Whether you opt to chase instant glory with one of the game’s elite or choose the longer route to the top by developing a club in the lower divisions, there’s no better feeling than starting your first save in a new edition of Football Manager.
FM24’s new additions elevate the experience of every career and with the game now available worldwide, we’ve pulled together a list of 11 of the best teams to kick-off your journey with.
Brighton & Hove Albion
The Seagulls have become the envy of the footballing world in recent years thanks to their rise through the ranks, their international recruitment strategy and the exciting tactics of their boss Roberto De Zerbi.
This summer they responded to the loss of first-team regulars Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo by bringing in proven talents like Mahmoud Dahoud and James Milner, and the exciting prospect Carlos Baleba.
As you step into the hotseat in FM24, you’ll be leading the club into their first ever UEFA Europa League campaign. Have you got what it takes to make further progress at home and on the continent, all the while continuing to bring through young talent?
1. FC Heidenheim 1846
The job Frank Schmidt has done at FC Heidenheim over the last 16 years is as Football Manager as it gets – he’s guided the club from Germany’s fifth-tier up to the Bundesliga for the first time in their lengthy history.
That doesn’t even tell half the story, with the club scoring twice in injury time on the final day of last season to turn around a 2-1 deficit and dramatically seal the title, dislodging Hamburg from the promotion places in the process.
It’ll be an uphill battle to avoid relegation in your first season but their story has a number of new chapters left for you to write.
Perhaps the most remarkable entry on this list, the village of Loughgall is the smallest settlement in the whole of Europe to have a top-flight football team. To put it into context, you can fit the village’s total population of 283 into Loughgall FC’s 2,000 capacity Lakeview Park stadium seven times.
Despite their home base being small, the team known as The Villagers demonstrated tremendous heart last season as they won promotion back to the Northern Ireland’s Sports Direct Premiership for the first time since 2007.
They’ve more than held their own in the opening weeks of the 2023/24 campaign in real-life, so we think you’ll be able to do the same before really taking Loughgall to new heights.
In one of the most dramatic moments of last season, Hellas Verona were spared relegation from Serie A thanks to the reintroduction of a tie-breaker rule that was last in effect back in 2005.
I Gialloblu finished level on points with Spezia but won their single-leg play-off 3-1, goals from Davide Faraoni and Cyril Ngonge securing Verona a fifth straight season in the Italian top division.
Having so narrowly survived last year, it’s now time for you to push them forward and up the table in FM24. Use FM24’s new transfer tools to shape a dream squad that’s capable of adding to the club’s sole Italian title from 1985.
Champions of England just seven years ago, Leicester City’s relegation from the top-flight last season seemed improbable. It happened though and that’s what makes The Foxes one of the most intriguing clubs to take over in FM24.
Having seen more than a dozen first-team regulars leave over the summer, a big rebuilding project was in order. Ten quality new additions walked through the King Power Stadium doors and that saw Leicester start the Sky Bet Championship season as favourites.
Can you prove similarly dominant, guiding them back to the top division at the first time of asking before eventually reestablishing them among the elite? With a number of dynamic attacking midfield talents, they’re primed for you to experiment with FM24’s changes to positional play and player rotations.
For a tougher challenge, why not opt for the new Your World mode and approach the club’s rebuild yourself?
A lot of fresh eyes have been on MLS in recent months following the arrival of an international superstar.
That extra attention is something LA Galaxy, the five-time MLS champions, know all about after they broke new ground for the league with a major addition of their own all the way back in 2007.
The California side haven’t won MLS’ top prize in nine years though, so your task is to get the most of a squad that’s packed with familiar faces for European fans: Maya Yoshida and Martín Cáceres in defence, Riqui Puig in midfield and Chicharito and Billy Sharp up front.
FM24 is the first title in our series to feature Japanese as a supported language and in that spirit, we’re turning to Belgium for our next challenge on this list.
Sint-Truidense V.V. are owned by a Japanese e-commerce company and they’ve currently got eight Japanese players in their ranks, including highly-touted young goalkeeper Zion Suzuki and the experienced former Leicester City forward Shinji Okazaki.
Close rivals with Genk, Sint-Truidense V.V. have never won the Belgian league title. In fact, the closest they’ve ever come was a second-place finish in 1966. With 2024 marking the club’s 100th anniversary, writing a new chapter in the club’s history seems a no-brainer.
1. FC Union Berlin
Football fans around the world have been drawn to Union Berlin’s remarkable rise in recent years and last season they achieved another milestone by securing UEFA Champions League football for the first time.
They finished the Bundesliga campaign just nine points off the title and having led the way in the opening weeks, they’ve shown that they’re here to stay among German football’s elite. Their performances stand in stark contrast to those of city rivals Hertha BSC who were relegated after a disappointing season.
Summer signings Robin Gosens, Kevin Volland and Leonardo Bonucci add quality and depth to Union’s ranks, so can you keep that upward trajectory going and deliver more memorable moments for the capital side?
Competition has been incredibly tough in the Vanarama National League over the last couple of seasons, with established clubs dropping down from the EFL and other sides benefitting from new celebrity owners.
Bromley FC fit into neither of those categories and only reached this level for the first time in 2015. Their superb organisation off the pitch has made them one of the most competitive and entertaining sides in the division in recent years though. Having reached the playoffs twice in the last three seasons, the expectation for The Ravens is a maiden promotion to Sky Bet League Two.
The squad you’ll inherit at Hayes Lane in your first season is a good, well-rounded one – Byron Webster offers experience and leadership in defence, a host of loanees from England’s top two divisions will give you energy and plenty of running, and Michael Cheek, Jack Marriott and Corey Whitely guarantee goals.
Once you find the right tactical approach, you’ll be all set to hit the ground running and compete with the likes of Chesterfield, Gateshead and Barnet at the top of the table. Secure a first season in the EFL and you can start dreaming of further progress up the football pyramid.
The latest club to make the most of the reforms to the Scottish football pyramid, The Spartans make their Football Manager debut this year after beating Albion Rovers in last season’s promotion/relegation play-off.
Initially formed as a team for graduates of Edinburgh University, the capital-based club have been one of the dominant forces in Scottish non-league football in recent years and have made impressive runs in the Scottish Cup.
Having seen the likes of Cove Rangers, Kelty Hearts and Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic make an immediate impression in their new surroundings in previous years, you should be looking to hit the ground running in cinch League Two. Although it’ll be a way-off, competing with the likes of Hearts and Hibernian makes for a tantalising long-term challenge that’ll really allow you to stamp your style.
A challenge perfect for those of you that love a rebuild project.
Last season was a tough one for FC Groningen as they won just four league games all season, finished bottom of the Eredivisie and were relegated after a 23-year stay in the Dutch top tier. To cap off their misery, they were eliminated from the Dutch Cup by an amateur side.
Kevin van Veen, who had scored 40 goals in all competitions across the last two seasons with Motherwell, has come into lead the line, while Michel Verrips and Marco Rente offer new quality at the back. Build your team around those additions and try to get the club back in the Eredivisie at the first time of asking before eventually leading them into title contention at home and in Europe.
The 11 teams listed here should give you some inspiration for your first FM24 career but with 55 nations to choose from in FM24, the perfect save game is waiting for everyone.
Indeed, a brand-new licensing agreement with the Meiji Yasuda Insurance Ltd J.1 League, J.2 League and J.3 League unlocks Japan as a playable nation and 60 new teams for you to guide to glory.
Let us know where you kick-off your journey to the top on social media @FootballManager.
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