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10 Teams to try & win the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League with on FM22


10 Teams to try & win the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League with on FM22

10 Teams to try & win the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League with on FM22.

If you are looking for useful ideas on making the most of the latest release from Sports Interactive, then we have a series of ideas waiting for you to explore. Whilst it was a feature in previous FM editions under the rather awkward title of "Euro Cup II" once a few seasons into a save, 2021/22 sees the debut of UEFA's new third-tier competition, the UEFA Europa Conference League. With any new competition, the opportunity to have one's name as the first to be engraved on the trophy enshrines a club in history.

So here is where you come in. Can you win the inaugural edition of the UEFA Europa Conference League with any of these 10 clubs? All clubs below could have been viewed at the beginning of the qualification rounds of the competition in July 2021 as being worthy contenders to have decent runs in the inaugural Europa Conference League. Should one fail to win the Europa Conference League in the first season, it should still be your goal to win the competition two or more years into your save.

Feyenoord Rotterdam

Of all the places to start for the challenge of winning the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League, Feyenoord Rotterdam probably cannot be bettered. One of Dutch football's traditional "Big Three" clubs alongside PSV Eindhoven and fierce rivals Ajax Amsterdam, Feyenoord only secured qualification for the inaugural Europa Conference League on the final day of the 2020/21 Eredivisie.

A fifth place finish saw De Trods van Zuid (The Pride of the South) qualify for the European competition playoffs. Consecutive 2-0 victories over city rivals Sparta Rotterdam and FC Utrecht secured a place in the inaugural new UEFA competition. An apt send off for veteran manager Dick Advocaat who left in the summer to make way for new manager Arne Slot, who had impressed in previous Eredivisie seasons at AZ Alkmaar.

In terms of Dutch titles, Feyenoord, with 15 to their name, rank considerably below their fellow members of Dutch football's "Big Three", with PSV having 24 and Ajax 35 titles, respectively. In fact, the Rotterdam outfit have only won three Eredivisie titles in the last 30 seasons (1992/93, 1998/99 and 2016/17). Feyenoord once again find themselves in a rebuilding phase with many young players throughout their squad, such as Marcos Senesi, Marcus Holmgren Pedersen, a summer signing from Molde, Guus Til, Orkun Kokcu, Luis Sinisterra and Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson.

So why are Feyenoord the best option for this challenge? A victory in the inaugural Europa Conference League would complete a set of European trophies won by the club. Feyenoord won the 1969/70 European Cup/Champions League and the 1973/74 and 2001/02 UEFA Cup/Europa League. In addition to winning the inaugural Europa Conference League, your target with Feyenoord is also to emerge as Dutch football's dominant force once more and surpass Ajax and PSV.

RSC Anderlecht

If the Eredivisie is not to your fancy for this win the inaugural Europa Conference League challenge, maybe a look across the border at neighbouring Belgium might be more to your liking? There really is only one club out of those from Belgium who qualified for the inaugural new competition who we could pick for this challenge. RSC Anderlecht.

"RSCA" as Anderlecht are often abbreviated to hold the record for most Belgian titles won with 34 championships. In addition to this domestic pedigree, Anderlecht also were once a feared name in European competition. The Brussels outfit won the UEFA Cup in 1982/83 in addition to two UEFA Cup Winners Cup titles in 1975/76 and 1977/78.

Currently, in addition to not being a big hitter in European competition anymore, RSCA are undergoing a domestic drought, their last Belgian Pro League A title came in 2016/17, their last Belgian Cup victory was in 2007/08. In real life, just over a year after announcing his retirement as a player, former RSCA playing hero Vincent Kompany is starting his management career at Lotto Park Stadium.

Anderlecht is a fun save owning to the fact that players can look to establish them as the dominant force once more in Belgium in addition to maybe eventually building them up to maybe challenge Europe's elite and win the Champions League. First things first though, can you lead Belgium's most successful and well-supported club to the inaugural Europa Conference League title to act as a starting spot to another glory era?

FK Rubin Kazan

Fancy a new FM22 save in Eastern Europe? The next club on the playing list for you is undoubtedly a favourite amongst Eastern European FM aficionados now made even better by the possibility of winning the inaugural Europa Conference League with them. Russia's Rubin Kazan.

Founded comparatively late in 1958, Rubin Kazan never played in the top division of Soviet football, the USSR Higher League. In the first decade post-perestroika, The Red-Greens endured an unspectacular time of things. However, come the time of the 2003 Russian Premier League season, which was Rubin's first season in the Russian top flight, the Tatarstan club's fortunes began to change.

Led by legendary manager Kurban Berdyev, Rubin won the 2008 and 2009 Russian Premier League titles. In addition to domestic glory, Rubin during this timeframe also made a considerable impact in European competition too. A run to the 2012/13 Europa League Quarter Finals where only eventual winners Chelsea FC were able to stop them was a fine achievement.

However, Rubin's greatest moment in European competition came in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage. On Matchday 3, an away trip against Pep Guardiola's all-conquering FC Barcelona, Berdyev's Rubin achieved a stunning 2-1 away win at Camp Nou in what many still consider the greatest European club competition upset in the modern era, arguably ever.

After a five-season European competition's absence between 2016/17 and 2020/21, a 4th place finish in the 2020/21 Russian Premier League sealed Europa Conference League football for Rubin in 2021/22. Rubin will enter in the Third Qualification Round, and you will need to win two ties to make the group stages. Can you inspire the spirit of that famous night at Camp Nou and enshrine Rubin's name in the history books by winning the inaugural Europa Conference League?

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Outside of the "Big Five" European leagues, one popular league for FM 2022 new saves is Greece. No Greek club has ever won a European club competition. The closest any have ever come was the 1970/71 European Cup/Champions League. In that edition, Panathinaikos ranked 2nd for Greek titles, reached the final where managed by former legendary Hungarian player Ferenc Puskas, the Athenians were defeated by a Johan Cryuff inspired Ajax Amsterdam.

Greek football has a "Big Four" set of clubs, Olympiakos are the most successful of these, based in the port city of Piraeus, just outside Athens. Panathinaikos and city rivals AEK Athens are two other members of this quartet from the Greek capital. Completing the quartet is PAOK. Based in Greece's second-biggest city of Thessaloniki, PAOK are three times Greek champions (1975/76, 1984/85 and 2018/19) in addition to having won eight Greek Cups, including the 2020/21 edition.

Ranked 4th behind Olympiakos, Panathinaikos and AEK Athens for Greek titles, can you now steal a march on these clubs by making PAOK the first Greek club to win a European club competition? The new Europa Conference League is a competition primarily set up for sides outside of the "Big Five" leagues. In addition, PAOK have reached the knockout rounds of the Europa League in its modern format on four previous occasions (2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2016/17), so they should be well set-up for a good run in the new competition.

FC Copenhagen

The next name to try and lead to the inaugural Europa Conference League title is a name familiar to many a follower of European club competition in the modern era. A club who one thinks will soon become the most successful club in terms of titles won in their country. That club is Denmark's FC Copenhagen.

The Lions or FCK as they are commonly known by Danish supporters have made a strong impression on European football despite the fact that they are one of the newest clubs in Denmark. 1992 was such a fundamental and seismic year in footballing history, and it was on this very year that FCK were founded. A merger between 15-time Danish champions Kjobenhavns Boldklub (KB), the oldest club side in continental Europe and seven times Danish champions Boldklubben 1903 brought life to a side who has dominated Danish football with 13 titles in the 30 seasons since foundation.

First reaching the Champions League group stages in 2006/07, FC Copenhagen have achieved some terrific results in European competition, including a Champions League group stage victory over Manchester United, reaching the Round of Sixteen of the Champions League in 2010/11 and reaching the Quarter Finals of the Europa League in 2019/20.

Scandinavia and the Nordic countries are often overlooked for new FM saves by players, thus why not take FCK's impressive domestic pedigree, attempt to maintain that and win the inaugural Europa Conference League? A Danish side has never won a European club competition despite the Danish national team having won a European Championships. Can you make history and bring home continental honours to Parken Stadium?


Another popular league for FM players outside of Europe's "Big Five" is the Turkish Super Lig. Like the aforementioned Greek top flight, Turkish football has a "Big Four" group of clubs. Three of these clubs are based in the Turkish capital Istanbul, Galatasaray, Fenerbache and Besiktas, the fourth club are based in Turkey's North East, Trabzonspor.

The Black Sea Storm as they are commonly known enjoyed their greatest era during the late 1970's and early 1980's when they won all six of their Turkish Super Lig titles (1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81 and 1983/84). The club are also nine time Turkish Cup winners and arguably their most impressive performances in Europe came in 2011/12. As Turkish Super Lig runners-up, Trabzonspor qualified for the Group Stages of the Champions League, finished third in their group before then losing in the Europa League Round of 32 to PSV Eindhoven.

Establishing Trabzonspor as the dominant force in Turkish football once again by wrestling Turkish Super Lig titles away from the Istanbul giants is a good enough reason to play as the Eastern outfit. However, winning a European trophy and joining Galatasaray as one of only two Turkish sides to win a European club competition is also a fine goal to work towards. Can you lead Trabzonspor to the inaugural Europa Conference League?

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FC Basel

The next club in this challenge is another who even a casual viewer of European club competitions will be familiar with in the shape of FC Basel. The club supported by tennis great and Basel native Roger Federer rank 2nd in terms of Swiss Super League titles won with a large portion of these triumphs achieved during the clubs recent glory era.

Rotblau have won 12 of their 20 Swiss championships since the millennium, being especially dominant domestically during the first halves of the 2000's and 2010's. In addition to domestic domination, Basel have also achieved some noteworthy results in European competition over the years. Rotblau have achieved seven qualifications to the Champions League group stages, more than any other Swiss club.

During this golden era for the St Jakob Park faithful, Basel have reached the Round of Sixteen in the Champions League three times (2011/12, 2014/15 and 2017/18). In addition, the club has reached the Quarter Finals of the Europa League twice (2013/14 and 2019/20) and the semi finals of the Europa League in 2012/13, where they lost to eventual winners Chelsea FC. These results have cemented FC Basel as one of the best performing sides outside Europe's "Big Five" leagues throughout the 2010's.

With Young Boys Bern being the dominant force in Swiss domestic football having won the last four league titles to break Basel's dominance, Rotblau are now in a transitional period. Establishing Basel as the dominant force in Swiss football once more is a good enough excuse for a save with this club. However, their participation in the inaugural Europa Conference League with the chance of making them the first ever winners is an additional extra motivating factor. Can you achieve a first European club competition win with a Swiss club?

FK Austria Wien

One of UEFA's most upcoming leagues in recent seasons has been the Austrian Bundesliga. The exploits of Red Bull Salzburg in particular with their semi-final placing in the 2017/18 Europa League have led to increased publicity for the competition.

RB Salzburg are the current dominant domestic force in Austria having won eight straight Austrian Bundesliga titles and look in a strong position to make it nine in a row come the end of 2021/22. The last side other than RB Salzburg to lift Austrian football's top honour was FK Austria Wien in the 2012/13 season. The Violets as they are commonly known are currently ranked second overall for Austrian championships with 24 titles, only trailing fierce rivals Rapid Wien.

Austria Wien are also a side with a famous European history. No Austrian side has ever won a European club competition, however, both Austria Wien and their fierce rivals Rapid have been beaten finalists. Rapid lost the finals of the 1984/85 and 1995/96 UEFA Cup Winners Cup to Everton FC and Paris St Germain respectively. Austria Wien lost the 1977/78 UEFA Cup Winners Cup to Anderlecht.

Breaking the dominance of a domestic giant is always a great FM save idea and is a perfect reason to play as Austria Wien. However, the opportunity to finally break Austria's duck in European football is also another great reason to play a new FM save with The Violets. Salzburg's chances of Champions League glory despite their domestic domination remain slim. However, in a lower level of competition, can you lead Austria Wien to an inaugural Europa Conference League title?

1 FC Union Berlin

Although primarily a competition set up for leagues outside of Europe's "Big Five", each of England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will all be allocated one spot in the new Europa Conference League. For the inaugural Conference League, however, Spain will not take its place. Villarreal were scheduled to play in it after their 7th place finish in the 2020/21 La Liga. However, their victory in the 2020/21 Europa League final qualified them for the Champions League and thus left Spain's Conference League spot blank.

Villarreal it must be stressed have established themselves as European football regulars over the last two decades. However, one side for whom European football qualification is very much a special occurrence is 1 FC Union Berlin. Die Eisener are based in the Eastern part of Germany's capital and like all other former East German clubs were inaugurated into the West German football pyramid upon reunification in 1990.

Prior to 2021/22, Union had only qualified for European competition three times, participating twice in the Intertoto Cup in the 1980's when playing in the East German championship and once in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup/Europa League. Union qualified for Europe in 2001/02 by virtue of being runners-up in the 2000/01 German DFB Pokal to eventual winners Schalke 04.

Urs Fischer was widely praised for his work in 2020/21 with Union who after securing 7th place in that campaign's Bundesliga qualified for European competition for the first time in 20 seasons in the shape of the Europa Conference League. Can you make it a dream return to European competition after so long away by winning the inaugural Europa Conference League?

Stade Rennais FC

The final side to attempt to win the inaugural Europa Conference League with is one which we feel that FM players will enjoy and are a side who really should for a variety of reasons look to take cup competitions seriously. That side is Stade Rennais FC.

The Breton outfit finished 6th in France's Ligue 1 to qualify for the inaugural edition of the new competition. The previous campaign, under the management of former coach Julien Stephan, Rennes finished third in the curtailed 2019/20 Ligue 1 season, their highest-ever league classification. The season prior to that saw Rennes win the Coupe de France, defeating PSG on penalties in the final following a 2-2 tie after extra time.

Clearly a side on the up, with a fine academy whose most recent noteworthy graduate Eduardo Camavinga sealed a move to Real Madrid earlier this summer, Rennes are an excellent FM save for those who like developing young talent. The lure of nurturing young talent and eventually dethroning PSG in France is also enough of a motivation to do a new save with Rennes. The Breton side's roster is well stacked with talent too featuring the likes of Lovro Majer, Adrien Truffert, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Jeremy Doku, Loic Bade and Gaetan Laborde.

However, winning the inaugural Europa Conference League is another excellent factor in starting a new game save with Rennes. French football has been historically unsuccessful in European club competitions, with Olympique de Marseille's 1992/93 Champions League and PSG's 1995/96 Cup Winners Cup triumphs being the only European titles won by French clubs. Rennes start as one of the new Europa Conference League's favourites, are a well-established Ligue 1 side who barely battle relegation and in the absence of frequent league title challenges, see cup competitions take on extra importance. Based on all this, can you lead Rennes to Europa Conference League glory?


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FM Blog: 10 Teams to try & win the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League with on FM22
10 Teams to try & win the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League with on FM22
10 Teams to try & win the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League with on FM22. Be the first to win this new trophy in Football Manager 2022.
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