Although Football Manager is scarily accurate in gauging player abilities it does have slip-ups here and there.
Sometimes the game has sky-high expectations of a player only for him to become very average or vice versa.
This list contains 5 footballers who were underrated by the Football Manager engine but broke their ceiling to end up being world-class footballers.
1. Jamie Vardy
Back in 2010, Vardy was an eager 21-year-old who played for Stocksbridge Park Steels, in the low echelons of English Football. A season later he moved to Halifax FC and later to Fleetwood Town. Barely anyone outside of managers managing low tiered English teams had heard of Vardy. The game gave Vardy very ordinary stats with not a great ceiling.
A Few years later Vardy now has a PL title, A PL Footballer of the year award and several individual honours to go with it. He has represented England 26 times and scored 7 goals for his county. Additionally, at the age of 33, Vardy is one of the frontrunners to win the EPL Golden boot in 2020. Vardy’s growth has been so phenomenal that there have been talks about a movie being made on his life. This is one footballer that the game engine massively underrated who ended up becoming world-class.
2. N'Golo Kante
In the 2013 version of the game, N'Golo Kante had just signed for Caen in the French League and was a very average playmaker. He barely had any room for growth and never really blossomed in most Football Manager saves, often ending his career in the lower tiers of French Football.
On August 2015, Kante joined Leicester for a fee reported to be around £5.5m after being thoroughly scouted by the legendary Steve Walsh who was also responsible for bringing in players like Vardy & Mahrez. This proved to be the turning point in Kante’s career and he helped Leicester clinch an unlikely PL title that very same year. After he moved to Chelsea, he helped them win the league title and was crowned the PFA Footballer of the year. Today, Kante is one of the best Box to Box Players in the world and is highly sought after by multiple clubs. Safe to say the game definitely underrated his potential.
READ ALSO: 5 Times Football Manager Got It Right
3. Mohamed Salah
Right from the 2012-2013 versions of Football Manager, Salah was never rated very highly as a winger. He always had the pace and acceleration in the game but his technical stats were never really good and his potential was also not really very high. There was a small boost to his stats after his transfer to Chelsea but ever since he failed to make it into the squad and was transferred to Roma, it died down.
A couple of years later Salah is now one of the best players in the Premier League and in the world. The game engine also reflects this fact and he has mindboggling numbers making him easily one of the best players in the game. His finishing from being in single digits in his early days is around 18 (18/20) now making him an extremely lethal goalscorer. He has also delivered a Champion’s League for Liverpool and has helped the Reds break their league title drought.
4. Robert Lewandowski
Back in 2010, Lewandowski was the subject of a £4m transfer from Lech Poznan to Dortmund. There were several doubts about his ability to perform in the Bundesliga with many fearing that he may be too frail to ever work in the league. His Football Manager stats also reflected this with his having poor physical stats and not a great ceiling (low potential ability).
Fast forward a few years and Lewandowski has absolutely ripped the Bundesliga apart. He has several titles with both Dortmund & Bayern Munich along with a plethora of individual honours. He is one of the most accomplished strikers in the world right now and is in hot contention to challenge Messi/Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or in 2020/2021. His in-game stats also reflect this now with Lewandowski having extremely high finishing, composure stats and is easily one of the best strikers in the game.
5. Andrew Robertson
Back in FM 2015 or 2016, Robertson was a young Scottish left-back at Hull who was looking to break into the Premier League. Unlike some others on this list, he did have some room for growth and would end up as a decent left-back for lower mid-table premier league sides. However, his growth was still limited and he was never even close to being called world-class.
His career as never looked back after he made the switch to Liverpool in 2017. He displaced Alberto Moreno to become the main left-back for the club and helped them win the UCL and now a domestic league title. His attacking runs and crosses are vital for Liverpool and he has cemented his place as one of the most important cogs of Klopp’s wheel. His Football Manager stats have also had a major revamp with Robertson now being one of the best left-backs in the game in terms of Current & Potential ability. He is also one of the players that the game definitely did not rate very highly but ended up becoming world-class nonetheless.
This concludes the list of 5 underrated footballers by the Football Manager engine who went to become world-class. But bear in mind that despite having misses here and there, the game mostly is accurate in its ability to gauge players are there are more hits than misses.
READ ALSO: 5 Times Football Manager Got it Wrong