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FM22 Challenge - A New Sheriff in Town

FM22 Challenge - A New Sheriff in Town

FM22 challenge, called ’a new sheriff in town’, is about 5 clubs from countries that have never reached the UCL group stage. Can you help them qualify? 


This season, Sheriff Tiraspol caused quite a stir when it became the first club from the Republic of Moldova to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage. Moreover, they managed to win their first two games in the group, at home against Shakhtar Donetsk and at the Bernabeu against the mighty Real Madrid

A real-life story that sounds straight out of an FM22 save! This got us wondering, what other nations have yet to qualify in the Champions League group stage? Only a few, and luckily enough, 5 of them are playable in Football Manager 2022. 

So without further ado, here’s another FM 22 challenge for you to try: 5 clubs from countries that have never reached the UCL group stage to manage in FM22.

1. Valur (Iceland)


The 2020 champion of Iceland, the best rated Icelandic club in FM22, and the second-best all-time domestic club with 23 national titles, Valur is our pick for bringing the Champions League anthem to Iceland. The club is qualified for the 2021-2022 UCL season, but you probably won’t have many chances in your first season. In real life, the club was knocked out by Dinamo Zagreb from the First qualifying round, a stage they never got through from, with previous eliminations in 2008, 2018, and 2019. It won’t be easy, but that’s why it’s called a challenge. But with your help, Valur can get into Champions Group Stage on FM22!

2. Dundalk (Republic of Ireland)


No Irish team has ever qualified for the UCL group stage, and for this challenge, we decided not to pick Shamrock Rovers but Dundalk, the club which actually was in grasping distance of the Champions League. It happened in the 2016-17 season when Dundalk knocked out FH of Iceland and BATE of Belarus in the first two qualifying rounds but was defeated in the playoffs by Legia Warsaw, who went on to play in the group stage. Currently, the Irish start out in the First Qualifying Round having to play an extra leg, but anything is possible for the most successful club in Ireland. Alternatively, if you might want to try out the challenge from your first season and select Shamrock Rovers, the Dublin club has the best Training & Youth Facilities and Youth Recruitment system in Ireland.

3. Riga FC (Latvia)


Despite coming in 4th in 2021 Latvian First League, Riga FC was the champion of the previous 3 editions. With a hefty £3m transfer budget, the club is the best option to become the first Baltic club in the Champions League group stage. In real life, Riga was knocked out by Malmö in the first qualifying round this season. Skonto Riga, a different team from the Latvian capital that went bankrupt and disbanded in 2016, actually came close to the UCL group stage, reaching the last preliminary round on several occasions: in 1997, knocked out by Barcelona, in 1998, knocked out by Inter, and in 1999, knocked out by Chelsea. Three tough draws denied Latvia of Champions League football, but maybe you can change that!

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    • NOTE
      • For the next two clubs on this list, the mission of qualifying to the Champions League group stage seems almost impossible. To cut you some slack, qualifying for the Europa League or Conference League group stage will also count as completing this challenge since both countries have never had a club qualified in these competitions. Unlike Ireland and Latvia - Iceland also never had a club in the Europa League group stage, but the league’s reputation is good enough to mount a serious challenge for the UCL groups.

4. The New Saints (Wales)


The club that dominated Welsh domestic football for years has now failed to win the last two editions of the Cymru Premier to the Connah’s Quay Nomads. However, they are still the most reputable and the only professional club in the league while also having the best finances. As mentioned before, if qualifying for the UCL group stage seems a bit too daunting, you can settle for getting into the Europa League groups or even the newly established Conference League. TNS was very close to reaching the Europa League groups in 2010 when they were knocked out in the playoffs by CSKA Sofia.

5. Linfield (Northern Ireland)


Probably the most challenging club on this list, Linfield has won the previous 3 Danske Bank Premiership titles but has failed to go past the qualifying rounds. However, it reached the playoffs of the Europa League in 2019, coming annoyingly close to the group stage after being knocked out on away goals by Qarabağ (4-4 aggregate). Do your best and try to bring European group stage football for the first time in Belfast!

Summary


The clubs we mentioned on this list only serve merely as suggestions. You can choose any club in the countries mentioned above and guide them to a continental group stage for a more difficult challenge.

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FM Blog: FM22 Challenge - A New Sheriff in Town
FM22 Challenge - A New Sheriff in Town
here’s another FM 22 challenge for you to try: 5 clubs from countries that have never reached the UCL group stage to manage in FM22.
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FM Blog
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