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Top 8 Smallest Countries with the Best National Teams in Football Manager 2017

Managing a national team is always a challenge, but managing a national team that has a small national pool of players is even more challenging. Here's a list of top 8 smallest countries with the best national teams in Football Manager 2017.

Most Football Manager players don't choose the path of managing a national team as they don't see a challenge there or simply become bored because there's a lack of fixtures that come their way. But winning some major national tournament is more fulfilling than winning silverware at some random club, and winning a major tournament with a nation that has a small roster is even more rewarding and a greater achievement.

To make this challenge more compelling, I've picked eight national teams that have some top class players at their disposal but also have an inhabitant smaller than five million people.

Here is a list of eight nations that are small in population but with whom you could possibly stun the world in FM 2017.

#8 Ireland

Small country but still had legends and one of the most football loving nations in the world. Should you take Ireland the FA will expect from you to qualify for the 2018 World Cup from a group that features teams like Austria and Serbia and one fierce rival - Wales. You have players like; James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman, John O'Shea, Robbie Keane, Shane Long and Harry Arter to help you achieve this task. It is not going to be easy, but it surely will be fun.

#7 Bosnia and Herzegovina

With talents like Dzeko, Begovic, and Pjanic, Bosnia could be great. They are young and developing but could quickly make their way up the football ladder. Bosnia didn't qualify for the UEFA Euro this year so the FA are looking for their manager to qualify them from a fairly easy group to 2018 World Cup in Russia. Two toughest group fixtures will be with the Belgium side, so you should be able to qualify with players such as Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic, Emir Spahic, Asmir Begovic and Senad Lulic. Once at World Cup anything could happen.

#6 Northern Ireland

Second smallest nation on our list with a population of only 1.78 million. The Green and White Army has competed in three FIFA World Cups, reaching the quarter-final stage in the 1958 and 1982 tournaments. At UEFA Euro 2016, the team made its first appearance at the European tournament and reached the second round. They also take pride in having one of the best footballers that ever played, George Best. Qualifying them for their fourth World Cup won't be easy as they are seeded with Germany, Czech Republic and Norway. Players like Jonny Evans, Steven Davis and Chris Brunt should help you progress further and maybe find the next Best in the progress.

#5 Costa Rica

Highlight of Los Ticos was in 2014 when they finishing first in their group that consisted of three former World Cup champions: Uruguay, Italy, and England. During the Round of 16, they defeated Greece 5–3 via a penalty. Reaching the quarterfinals for their very first time the "Ticos" were defeated by the Netherlands also in a penalty shootout (3–4). In Football Manager 2017 they are already qualified for 2018 World Cup and you should look to focus on getting the right players and tactics to get as far as you can in the tournament. Players such as Keylor Navas, Bryan Ruíz, Joel Campbell and Bryan Oviedo will help you on that quest.

#4 Iceland

A nation more famous for Volcanoes and unpaid debt than football, until their performances at UEFA Euro 2016. They are the smallest ever nation to qualify for a major tournament. After advancing to the knockout stages of Euro 2016, Iceland defeated England in the Round of 16, advancing to the quarterfinals, where they lost to France 5–2. The FA expects for the team to qualify for the World Cup tournament, but group fixtures against the likes of Croatia, Turkey and Ukraine will make this a hard but not an unachievable task. Gylfi Sigurðsson, Aron Gunnarsson and Alfreð Finnbogason will help you achieve this goal.

#3 Croatia

Arguably the Croatian national team has the best players of all on this list. They currently enjoy their second "golden" generation with the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mario Mandzukic, Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Perisic, Marko Pjaca and many other top class players. Expectations are high from the FA, not only for the team to qualify for the World Cup in Russia but also to try and win the tournament altogether, which would exceed their current top finish back in 1998 World Cup in France, 3rd placed. With the superstars Croatia has at their disposal and many young ones emerging, your goal should be winning all the major tournaments with Vatreni.

#2 Uruguay

By far the smallest nation to have won the World Cup by population size, and they did it on two occasions back in 1930 and 1950. They also added 15 Copa America titles, last one in 2011. Their last major success was the 4th position in 2010 World Cup tournament hosted in South Africa. More is expected from a team that has prolific strikers like Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani, a world-class defender in Atletico's Diego Godín, and other top players like Fernando Muslera, José Giménez and Maxi Pereira. You are expected to lead the team through tough qualifying fixtures and with 6 games already played, with 3 wins and the same amount of losses, to the final stage that is World Cup in Russia. This Uruguayan generation deserves another trophy and it will be your job to either win the World Cup or the Copa.

#1 Wales

After reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro cup this year the Welsh people expect to see more great things from this talented generation. Progressing from their World Cup qualifying group should be a good challenge and a preparation for the final tournament, as you are expected to progress further. But given you have players like Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Joe Allen and Andy King, your main objective is to get as far as you can at the World Cup. They reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup, you should definitely look to better that result with this team.

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FM20 Blog - Best Football Manager 2020 Content: Top 8 Smallest Countries with the Best National Teams in Football Manager 2017
Top 8 Smallest Countries with the Best National Teams in Football Manager 2017
Managing a national team is always a challenge, but managing a national team that has a small national pool of players is even more challenging. Here's a list of top 8 smallest countries with the best national teams in Football Manager 2017
FM20 Blog - Best Football Manager 2020 Content
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