Track 17 – All Around the World
All around the world,
You’ve gotta spread the word,
Tell ’em what you’ve heard,
You’re gonna make a better day..
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And hello again! That didn’t take long but of course we are now here for a good time and not a long time. Having just won the league with Angers in our 9th season, the first Ligue 1 trophy for the club in 109 years – we decided to end the save there and finish with a bang by accepting France’s offer to manage the international side for the 2030 World Cup qualifying campaign. An Irishman at the helm of Les Bleus – what could go wrong?
Our missions are simple:
- Win the World Cup with France (which would make it their 3rd win in the last 4 tournaments)
- Do so with a minimum of one Angers players in the first XI (i.e. as many as possible)
First order of business to contend with is our World Cup Qualifying Group and wouldn’t you know it, we are drawn alongside none other than this manager’s home nation the Republic of Ireland. Flashbacks of Thierry Henry’s handball and Irish heartbreak in 2009 will most likely haunt our dreams as we navigate this group fully expecting to finish top of our group and be seeded first for the finals next June.
If you’re thinking he will probably just pick all Angers players in his first ever France squad – YOU BETTER F*CKING BELIEVE IT.
We won’t dwell too much on the qualifiers seeing as we went unbeaten and in the process caused Ireland to miss out on qualification at the hands of Ukraine (our narrow draw with them probably didn’t help).
What we do care about is the actual World Cup, wherein not only do we hope to lead France to glory but also put Angers on the global stage to see how our (former) players perform at international level. Let’s do this.
Of course it’s the new World Cup format where it’s 3 teams in a group and 48 teams overall, how could we possibly forget that? We open our campaign in pretty good fashion – an 8-0 win over Iran which included 4 Kylian Mbappe goals is followed up with a 2-0 win over Senegal, setting up a Second Round clash with Australia.
The Ozzies proved to be trickier than planned as we ran out with a 2-1 win courtesy of an Angers double whammy from Amine Gouiri and Theo. Iran, Senegal, Australia – a good warm-up run to take on the World #1 right?
They said we couldn’t do it with a bunch of lowly players from Angers however we started the game with 5 of our former title winning legends – Silvestri at RB, Ait-Nouri at LWB, Giraud in the HB role, Morand in the AMC position and of course Amine Gouiri up top. The temptation to play Bernardoni and Theo was real but we couldn’t ignore the quality of Meslier and of course that man Eduardo Camavinga.
Angers players + Angers tactic + Angers ex-Manager = WINNING.
An outstanding individual performance from Michel Morand against a Brazil team largely made of of single-name Brazilian newgens – Football Manager at it’s finest, and suddenly sh*t is getting serious as we enter the World Cup Quarter Final. Our opponents?
Where should we start? The fact that Simon Grayson is England Manager in 2030? That Rashford, Mount and Rice are all 30+ veterans of this talented England squad? How about Phil Foden being the only non-English based player in the squad where he is kicking it at Real Madrid after scoring 10 and assisting 10 last season? This will be a big test for us…
A test it was but another Angers masterclass from Gouiri and Thimon made all the difference and despite a late equaliser from 33 year old Marcus Rashford, we replied instantly before putting the game away with 5 minutes remaining. WE MIGHT ACTUALLY WIN THE THING. In the other quarter final games, Spain beat Italy 1-0 courtesy of a late Mikel Oyarzabal winner; Germany overcome Argentina on penalties with 35-year-old Leon Goretzka scoring in the shoot-out (no doubt the lad is still ripped AF after 10 years of pumping iron in this save); and the surprise package of this year’s World Cup Algeria manage to overcome Portugal in Extra-Time with another of our former Angers players Jessim Pesslissard on the scoresheet. It’s been a good World Cup so far for the boys – maybe we should have stayed 😄.
Brazil’s early exit means that Spain have somehow leapfrogged them into 1st place in the World Rankings already before the competition has even ended, we ourselves jumping from 10th to 5th following our steady path to the semi-final. This Spain squad is no joke – despite being littered with ridiculous Newgens from PSG, Liverpool, Barcelona and of course Newgen haven Bilbao – they also still boast the likes of Ansu Fati, Ilaix Moriba, Nico, Dani Olmo and of course the aforementioned Mikel Oyarzabal. 90 minutes from a World Cup Final…..
They made us work hard for it and our players were absolutely knackered by the end, however that man Morand sparked a 3-2 win with talisman Camavinga scoring the winner on 67 minutes. It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done, so far avoiding any notorious FM penalty shootouts and we now find ourselves preparing for a World Cup Final with France, their second consecutive final having beaten Belgium last time round in 2026. It all comes down to this – can this Angers inspired French side reign supreme and most importantly – who will be our opponents?! (surely not Algeria….)
2018: France 🇫🇷
2022: Germany 🇩🇪
2026: France 🇫🇷
2030: Uh oh….
If we were playing what comes next you might naturally guess Germany, and they are all that stand in our way in the 2030 World Cup Final, a chance for France to win their 4th ever World Cup and in doing so bring 8 World Cup winners medals back to Angers where the boys will live in infamy and never have to pay for a drink for the rest of their lives. I suppose it’s the least we can do after all they have done for us in this save right? Here we go – the last ever game to be played in this FM21 save universe…I’m not crying you are 😅
WHEN WE WIN. Over-confidence much? I mean, we scraped a league title after PSG effectively got stuck in the mud and threw it all away – greatest manager ever right? The Germans are elite – prime Kai Havertz is still only 31; Karim Adeyemi and Jamal Musiala make up a ridiculous front two not to mention WeStreamFM favourite and friend of the pod Nnamdi Collins who is a rock at the back with veteran Joshua Kimmich just ahead of him. Also, did I mention who is managing them?
We make two changes – Meslier made two silly mistakes in the Semi-Final and with our stalwart keeper from 9 seasons at Angers waiting in the wings, it’s 33-year-old Paul Bernardoni who gets the nod for the final. He is also joined by our Captain and arguably best player from the entire save at Angers, that man Theo Zidane who let’s face it, has World Cup winning DNA coursing through his veins which means he gets the nod ahead of Camavinga who is lacking match fitness following our semi-final exploits. Surprisingly there is no place for Karim Adeyemi in the German starting eleven with Klopp opting for a Liverpool Newgen instead. Will the history books sway in favour of Mbappe and the misfits of Angers SCO, or is it to be Joshua Kimmich that lifts the Jules Rimet trophy in 2030? Get your limbs ready..
0‘ – France kick off the 2030 World Cup final here at Camp Nou
2‘ – GOAL FOR FRANCE!! (Amine Gouiri) – a cross comes in from Mbappe, Morand scuffs the shot but Gouiri manages to get a foot on the loose ball to smash home and give France a perfect start to the game! France 1-0 Germany
7‘ – GOAL FOR FRANCE!! (Amine Gouiri) – it’s goal number two for the Angers Striker, or is it?! Morand plays a through ball but Gouiri is deemed to have been in an offside position by the linesman. Still France 1-0 Germany.
40‘ – Substitution for France as Eduardo Camavinga replaces the injured Theo who will be gutted to leave this World Cup final.
47‘ – Half Time, France 1-0 Germany.
45‘ – Germany get us going for the second half of this World Cup final – they will need to step up a gear if they have any hope of getting back in this game.
60‘ – Treble Substitution by Jurgen Klopp as Rausch, Adeyemi and Maina replace Kimmich, Havertz and Bachl-Staudinger. The Germans are going for it!
62‘ -Substitution for France – Mbappe is looking exhausted, what a tournament he has had. Mario Thimon replaces him.
75‘ – GOAL FOR GERMANY!! (Karim Adeyemi) – the Chelsea Striker shows why he should have started with an excellent 20 yard finish, and it’s all square with 15 minutes remaining. France 1-1 Germany
76‘ – Yellow Card for Germany (Jamal Musiala)
82‘ – Substitution for France – final change for Manager MaddFM as Striker Tanguy Renucci replaces Michel Morand. Perhaps the Manager is thinking about the possibility of penalties?
89‘ – GOAL FOR FRANCE!! (Tanguy Renucci) – unbelievable, the substitutes have changed this game as Swansea Striker (you heard me) bags what looks to be the winner as France break away on the counter from a Germany corner, with Mario Thimon running the length of the field before teeing up Renucci to slot home in the bottom right corner. Is this it? France 2-1 Germany.
90‘ – There will be four minutes of added time.
94‘ – FULL TIME! FRANCE HAVE WON THE 2030 World Cup!!
MaddFM exhales and wheels back from the desk quietly. There is no suit for the Cup Final, no open top bus, no waking of children to witness greatness, no flares out the window, no Tweets or Tik Toks to be shared to capture the occasion. There is only relief and a brief sigh of content – we came to France to make our mark on domestic football and bring Angers to heights never-before-entered, and we depart France leaving only one thing behind: legacy. What a save, what a game, what a year – there’s only one thing left to do…
One last time – thank you for reading, we will return soon with a brand new save and an entirely new collection of absolute nonsense and seamless Football Manager rambling. In the meantime, you can catch me on Twitter or most Mondays on the 5* Potential Podcast.
Over and out, stay safe and keep FM’ing it large.
MaddFM aka Paul.
As always feel free to leave any comments or questions below, hit that Follow button and if you want to chat further you can always catch me on Twitter , Slack or Discord. You can also get more involved in the FM community by checking out @WeStreamFM on Twitter and Discord as well as some excellent FM content on WeStreamFM.com.
Superb work, was a brilliant read throughout!
a f*cking WC win!! 😂 well done mate – great series 👏🏽