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5 FM21 Fallen Giant Teams To Manage If You Like The Challenge

Football Manager 2021 Teams to Manage Fallen Giants FM21
Here's our pick on fallen giant teams to manage in FM21. Extreme challenges await if you decide to take over any of these teams in Football Manager 2021. 


Football Manager is all about challenges. Seasoned players like to push themselves that one extra bit to make their game experience more enjoyable and rewarding. Restoring a club to its former glory and taking them where they originally belong is certainly a favourite challenge for many. 

In this article, we will look at 5 teams who have fallen off the pedestal for various reasons. Managing these “fallen giants” in FM21 and restoring their pride is certainly satisfying and challenging at the same time.

1. FC Kaiserslautern


FC Kaiserslautern FM21

The Bundesliga 3 is surprisingly filled with clubs with a rich history in German Football. However, the name that stands out the most out of the lot is FC Kaiserslautern. The “Red Devils” were founding members of the first-ever Bundesliga in 1963-64 having previously won two German championships in 1951 and 1953. 


In the modern era, the south-western club has also had some memorable moments, the most noteworthy coming under the management of Otto Rehhagel in 1997-98. After having won promotion to the top flight from Bundesliga 2 the previous season, Rehhagel’s team stunned German football by winning the Bundesliga title.

FC Kaiserslautern FM2021

Recent times have not been too kind to Kaiserslautern, however. Since 2006-07, the club has only had two seasons in the Bundesliga and recently in 2019; the club suffered a historic relegation into Bundesliga 3. Revival of Slautern is no easy team with finances at an all-time low and managers taking over have no transfer budget to work with. The ambitions of the board, however, are still lofty with managers expected to get promoted into the Bundesliga 2.

2. Sunderland AFC


Sunderland AFC FM21

Sunderland were once a highly respected PL club with a fanatic fan following. Having won the 1st division title in England no less than 6 times (bettered only by 5 clubs) Sunderland are one of the most decorated clubs in English football. However, Sunderland have not won a first division title in over 85 years and their last big title came in 2013-2014 when they won the league cup.

Sunderland AFC FM2021

Sunderland have had a disastrous few years in terms of performances. After successfully spending 10 continuous seasons in the top flight of English football, Sunderland suffered relegation to the Championship in the 2017 season after finishing rock bottom in the PL table. The following season, the club were shockingly relegated from the Championship into League 1, the 3rd tier of English football. 


Since then, Sunderland have been an upper mid-table club in League 1 and in the 2019-2020 season, they finished 8th, their lowest ever league table finish of all time. Although steeped in history, the revival of Sunderland is once again not an easy task with the club not being financially very stable and having a mediocre squad.

3. Cruzeiro Esporte Club


Cruzeiro Esporte Club FM21

Formed in 1921, Cruzeiro are amongst the biggest clubs in Brazilian football having won four Brazilian Serie A titles, Six Copa do Brasil titles and two Copa Libertadores titles. Legendary players such as Ronaldo & Rivaldo have donned the Cruzeiro colours and up until a few years back, Cruzeiro were a club steeped with talent.

Cruzeiro Esporte Club FM2021

However, 2019 saw the club endure arguably their worst ever season. Part way through the campaign, after news broke during a TV documentary of reportedly controversial internal club governance in addition to reportedly concerning financial problems, results began to suffer and Cruzeiro won only 5 of their remaining league games out of a possible 26 and were relegated to the 2nd tier of Brazilian football for the first time in the club’s history. 

It is no easy task reviving the club as they are financially close to bankruptcy and have a negative bank balance at the start of a save. Obviously, there is zero transfer budget and wage budget. To add to the manager’s woes, the board want an immediate promotion to the 1st division and also want the team’s average age to be reduced, letting go of some aged players.

4. Stade De Reims


Stade De Reims FM21

Founded in 1910, Reims first won promotion to Ligue 1 in 1945-46. This proved a catalyst for their greatest period which also proved to be one of the best periods for a club in French football. Reims won their first Ligue 1 title in 1948-1949 and proceeded to win a further five titles over the next 13 years.


The club were finalists in the first-ever edition of the European Cup in 1955-56. Reims went on another magical run in the 1958-59 edition, reaching the final again becoming one of the very few French teams to appear in 2 European finals.

Stade De Reims FM2021

Since their last title win in 1962, Reims has endured a rollercoaster ride between divisions, even at one stage playing at tier six of the French football pyramid. Recent seasons have seen a resurgence for the club. A four-year spell in Ligue 1 between 2012 & 2016 was then followed by three years back in Ligue 2 between 2016 & 2018 and promotion back to Ligue 1 for 2018-19. 

Reims are even in contention for European football spots in recent seasons. Although Reims have not fallen as far as some of the other teams on the list, they still are nowhere close to what they had achieved in their earlier years and are in the shadow of popular Ligue 1 clubs like PSG, Lille & Lyon. The board is ambitious and there is a decent transfer budget to work with, but competing with financial stalwarts and taking Reims to the very top is certainly a challenge.

5. Deportivo La Coruna


Deportivo La Coruna FM21

Founded in 2006, Deportivo have won the Spanish first division title once in 2000 and have finished runner up on 5 occasions. Deportivo have also won several Spanish cups and are one of the more successful clubs in Spanish football. Deportivo enjoyed their best years between 1991-2010, finishing in the top half of the La Liga table in 16 out of 19 seasons. Deportivo were also a regular in the UEFA Champion’s League qualifying 5 times in a row and reaching the semi-finals once and quarter final 5 times during this time.

Deportivo La Coruna FM2021

Deportivo’s decline began in 2010 when they ended up getting relegated after a disastrous season finishing 18th in the league. After a few rollercoaster seasons, Deportivo have suffered successive relegations and find themselves in tier 3 of Spanish football. With a decent squad definitely capable of immediate promotion, the first task of the manager taking over should be to get the club into the Segunda division. However, achieving stability with the club is still no easy task with the club struggling financially and big players wanting out.

Summary


The common theme among the 5 clubs listed here is that they were all amongst the top performers at some point in their history but are currently struggling financially and with stability. It will prove to be an immensely satisfying experience to resurrect these giants and bring them to their former glory.

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FM BLOG: 5 FM21 Fallen Giant Teams To Manage If You Like The Challenge
5 FM21 Fallen Giant Teams To Manage If You Like The Challenge
Here's our pick on fallen giant teams to manage in FM21. Challenges await if you decide to take over any of these teams in Football Manager 2021.
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