Best of: Why I Love FM

At Football Manager we have celebrity fans from all walks of life.

They all have their own love affairs with Football Manager and we gave them the platform to tell their stories in ‘Why I Love FM’, an interview series on our website that allows us to discuss their managerial highs and lows, their best signings and how they initially got involved.

Oh… and the small matter of why they love the game as much as we do.

Here are some of the best bits from the last year.

Best of: Why I Love FM

When was the first time you got involved with the game?

Larry Nance Jr (professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers):

My love for soccer really drew me to FM. I was looking for any way to get more involved in the sport in general and now my friends and I are completely hooked.

What is your greatest managerial achievement in FM?

Jonny Sharples (Social media personality and CALM ambassador):

My save with Celtic on Football Manager 2013 has been, and continues to be, a lot of fun. However, I’d have to say my best save came on Football Manager 2010 when I took Gateshead from the Conference to the top. The star of the show was Wesley Ngo Baheng, a striker who ended up scoring in every season in every division on our way to the top tier.

Eliaquim Mangala (Professional football for Valencia CF):

With Borussia Dortmund I won five titles in one season. League, Cup, European Cup, Super Cup and Club World Cup. Everything there was to win. In this year, three of my players were on the podium for the World Player of the Year. We did it all.

Duke Dumont (Music Producer and DJ):

Wycombe Wanderers many years ago. The stadium is already called Adams Park (my real name), so no need to change the name. I can’t remember exactly, but I got to the top flight, although I’m not sure if I won it!

Joe Lolley (Professional footballer for Nottingham Forest):

I had a save with Shrewsbury and by about 2035 I had a squad where 50% of the players had come through the academy. We played a 2-7-1 formation and won every trophy going. I can remember beating Atalanta away 13-0 in the group stages in Europe and having 50 odd shots. Total domination.

Who has been your best signing or newgen?

Diogo Jota:

In January 2031 I was able to sign myself for Gondomar, just in time for the most important campaign of the entire save. I scored the decisive penalty in the shoot-out to be crowned champions of Europe in May. What a moment!

Adam Le Fondre:

That's a really tough one, with my Ashton side I signed Tyler Hamilton on loan for a couple of seasons and then managed to make it permanent. He scored 20 a season from out wide – quality.

Joe Lolley:

There were three players I had when I managed Derby (forgive me, I was a young University student and didn’t know any better). One, Giamarchi, was my record goal scorer with about 700 goals. I signed him when he was just 16 and he retired when he was about 36. Legend. Then there was a 6’4 winger called Kevin Smith with a bullet throw. He was a genius on the pitch and like Delap with a ball in his hand… a lethal combination. Last of all, we had a right-back called Gonzalo. He had 20 for dribbling and just used to go on mazy runs from all areas of the pitch and score and assist consistently.

Greg Johnson (Editor at Football.London):

Fausto Esposito. A mixture of all of the world’s best in one player. Italy’s greatest ever footballer. The talisman of Cagliari, the dominant force in European football throughout the 2020s and 2030s.

Why do you Love FM?

Michael Cox (Author, journalist for The Athletic):

I love that it’s helped me learn more about real football. Back when I first started playing the game, there wasn’t so much information about European football around, and you really found out so much about European competitions by playing it – even just little things like the Italian Cup final being two legs, the Spanish transfer window being mid-December to mid-January, the German season starting with a cup competition… it might have been me, on my computer in London, but it made me feel like I knew more about the footballing world.

Diogo Jota (Professional footballer for Wolverhampton Wanderers):

I always set one big goal to my save and the most recent one was with Gondomar in the Portuguese third division. I said to myself that I will not stop playing until I we become the best side in Europe… that happened in 2031. Meanwhile I had great success throughout, I built a new stadium and dominated domestically, too.

Adam Le Fondre (Professional footballer for Sydney FC):

I think I've played since I was 13/14 years old. With football, I'm always away, even more so nowadays, so it helps to pass the time when travelling. It's just a great way to stimulate yourself and build a dynasty while you're at it. Well, that's what I do anyway...

Emerson Palmieri (Professional footballer for Chelsea FC):

It's great to enjoy with friends, we discuss the best tactic, signings, and preparations for our own clubs. Football Manager, for me, is a way to challenge myself in my free time. It’s impressive that each year the game becomes much more real, nowadays some aspects of the game are entirely the same as reality.


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