As the press room filled, one side with journalists and the other with first team players, the manager took his place in front of a set of microphones. The youth squads all watch on from training ground live feeds but no-one knows what to expect. The club Press Officer gives a nod to the manager to as if to say ‘it’s time’.
A single tear rolls down the face of the manager, he clears his throat…”I have decided that after this season, I will not take Vitoria Guimaraes any further”. The players drop their heads, some showing slight emotion. “I’ve done all I can here, winning in Europe is too far away.”
Shockwaves sent around Portuguese football from this news, after the Press went through a series of questions the conference came to an end.
Welcome back to you all, so there you have it I have decided to call it a day on the save at the end of season 7. For me, it has run it’s course and in terms of playing FM I need a new challenge as we approach the second half of the FM22 cycle.
Still, there is plenty to look at and I will still be going for all silverware this season. Season 6 cemented our Portuguese football domination as a domestic quadruple was secured – check it out here, in this season opener the transfer window turns crazy, I bolster the squad with new talent and there is one last Supertaça final against Porto.
The Save Aims & Rules
With how I want this save to work, I need to be mindful of the squad season on season. As there is a lot of emphasis on the youth setup as these players will shape the first team in seasons to come. Here are the aims and rules to give some context of what I’m trying to pull off here.
- Squad average age must be a maximum of 23 every season.
- Disrupt the Top 3 and become a top team in Portugal (Porto, Benfica, Sporting Lisbon). PASSED
- Win the club’s first league title. PASSED
- Win the club’s first European title.
- Win a domestic treble (League, Cup, Supercup or League Cup) or a European treble (League, Cup, European Cup) PASSED
If the average age is over 23, then I MUST RESIGN FROM MY POSITION!
Summer Transfer Window 2027/28
It was difficult outgoing wise, some notable players left from the last season or two. Clinical scorer Samuele Mulattieri’s time was over at the club as he secured a £11.5m move to Fenerbahce – easily one of my favourites during this project, he will be missed. Amadou Onana was sold to PAOK for £16.5m. He spent last season out on loan before departing permanently due to his crazy contract demands.
Young playmaker Giovanny Duarte decided he wanted to go to Rangers (£2m) despite featuring a lot last season. Then last season’s top scorer Marcos Aurelio had his head turned by Borussia Dortmund meaning he departed in a £18m move. Gutted by this one as he took some great strides forward in his development.
Then the defensive madness, Toni Borevkovic was made available as I had too many defenders, he joined Sampdoria on loan. Then with 15 minutes left of deadline day, disaster struck as Celtic triggered Jose Garbanzo’s release clause! (£4.4m). No time to get another defender in, I play 3 at the back and only have 4 first team defenders…
After last season, wholesale changes were definitely not needed. It’s more of a case of replacing players who have left or improving in certain areas.
The first signing was young Mexican centre back Luis Lopez, signed for his release clause of £6.5m from Leon. A very good player for his age, this will provide great competition to the starting back 3. Next in was a signing where myself and the DoF combined, Santiago from Flamengo for a very cheap release clause of £34.5k. A good prospect with first team potential, we could see the Brazilian appear later in the season, he will start with the B team in Liga 2 for now.
After Mulattieri’s exit and Marcos Aurelio stepping closer to the exit door, I needed a new number 9 and I found that in Roko Simic. The Croatian came in from RB Salzburg for £11.5m, the same price received from the Mulattieri sale. Nuno Quintas was signed by DoF Luis Campos, the utility player still has work to do in terms of his development.
Another striker was brought in, Diogo Wilson arrived on loan from Inter with an optional future fee agreed of £14m. I’ve been tracking Wilson for a little while, essentially the loan is an extended trial to see if he has a place in the team after my time here. Lastly, a midfield boost was brought in as Xavi Simons comes in from Brest for £11m. Simons can play a range of central midfield roles which fits in with what I need for the squad.
For our last season, I scraped it but the average age is 23 meaning I can complete the journey!
The Squad & Pre-Season
Another very good squad with some quality in each area. Diogo Rodrigues has come back from loan and seemingly a better player to bolster the options up front, however with my shortage of centre backs a player from the youth teams may get an unexpected first team chance.
Jordi Toril has turned into a star player at 4.5 stars and thankfully wasn’t swayed in the transfer window and lastly, Gilson Almeida has been promoted from the B team after a couple of seasons out on loan.
It was a tour of America in pre-season amongst a couple of other games against notable opposition.
A very successful pre-season taking away four victories and a draw. Plenty of goals scored too which was pleasing as we made good domination of our games in the USA. Barcelona was a big test but the boys held on to a respectable 0-0 draw despite not seeing too much of the ball.
Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira
Could this be our last cup final? Who knows at this point but I’m definitely keen to carry on the dominance over Porto.
VITORIA GUIMARAES WIN THE 2027 SUPERTAÇA!!!
A game where my side were in control but didn’t take a few chances, which made for a nervy finish. Nevertheless, they held on to add another Supertaça to the list! Ye Silong seems to love a goal in the final against Porto after doing it in the domestic cups last season too.
Champions League Group Draw 2027/28
Into pot 1 we go as a league winner but as I found out last season, this can still make for difficult proceedings.
It will be a test with Atletico Madrid before taking on OGC Nice & PAOK. Last season, I underestimated Real Sociedad and they ended up topping the group so this year I’m definitely keeping my eyes on OGC Nice…hopefully no surprises this season!
Next up, we’ll of course crack on to the mid-season point where it will be all systems go across the competitions. I can confirm however, even though this is the last season being played, there will be a save review episode after it’s all said and done. In that review, I will also go five seasons into the future to see if Vitoria SC continue their dominance.
Thanks all for reading, it’s been a good start to the season and let’s hope it continues. Take care all and I’ll be back soon!