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The Prodigal Son FM22 Challenge

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The Prodigal Son FM22 Challenge

A challenge I try out on every Football Manager game is the Prodigal Son, a challenge which is different every year because of its characteristics, and so it is with FM22.


Every time a new Football Manager comes out, one of the first things I do is to check out the free agents available at the start of the game. This is how I got the idea for this challenge; back in 2015, I signed a 37-year-old Eidur Gudjohnsen for Valur in Iceland, the club at which he actually started his career. This is what The Prodigal Son Challenge is all about, bringing a veteran player who had a great career back to his first club and rebuilding the team around him. 

The challenge consists of winning a national title or gaining promotion with his help while also keeping him at the club until he retires. When he finally hangs his boots, you can always make him your assistant manager and continue the save. If you’re unsure which club to start this challenge and what players could qualify as a “prodigal son,” here are my 5 suggestions for this challenge.

1. Christian Maggio (39) at Vicenza (Serie B)


FM22 Christian Maggio

A native of the Vicenza province, Christian Maggio was a youth player and also started his professional career at Vicenza, making his Serie A debut in 2000–2001, but the club relegated to Serie B at the end of the season. Maggio stayed with Vicenza in Serie B until 2003, making 38 appearances. After leaving his childhood club, Maggio had an impressive career in Serie A with Fiorentina, Sampdoria, and Napoli. He won the Coppa Italia on two occasions with Napoli and was named in the Serie A Team of the Year for three consecutive seasons. He also made 34 appearances for Italy. For this challenge, your goal is to sign Maggio as manager of the Serie B side Vicenza and with his help win promotion to the Serie A. Extra points are awarded if you achieve this in your first season and then convince the wingback not to retire, giving him the chance to play a few more Serie A games at the age of 40.

2. Andrea Rispoli (33) at Brescia (Serie B)


FM22 Andrea Rispoli

In another Serie B challenge, you will take charge of Brescia and sign Andrea Rispoli (33). In real life, he signed for another Serie B club, Parma, but at the start of the FM22, he is a free agent. Born in Cava de' Tirreni, Campania, Rispoli started his professional career at Brescia Calcio. Having played for the reserve team from 2005 to 2008, he made his professional debut with the first team during the 2007–08 Serie B season. After leaving his childhood club, Rispoli played 143 Serie A games for Lecce, Parma, Palermo, and Crotone, and another 155 games in Serie B for Sampdoria, Padova, Ternana, and Palermo. Signing him for Brescia should be fairly easy; your challenge here will be to win promotion and keep Rispoli at the club until he retires, even as a squad man, as he will surely decline in quality over the next few seasons.

3. Ljubomir Fejsa (32) at Partizan Belgrade


FM22 Ljubomir Fejsa

The 32-year-old defensive midfielder started his career in his home town at Hajduk Kula. Still, for this challenge, we will consider the Serbian giants Partizan, where he played a total of 69 games between 2008 and 2011 and won 3 consecutive national titles. After leaving Serbia, Fejsa enjoyed a successful career at Olympiacos and Benfica, winning 3 more league titles in Greece and 5 more in Portugal. This means that he holds a rare record, winning 10 consecutive league titles across the three clubs. After two one-year spells with Alaves and Al-Ahli, Fejsa finds himself a free agent, the perfect target for Partizan. With him running the midfield, your goal is to win back the Serbian Superliga, a competition dominated by rival Red Star for the past 4 years. If you want to make this save more interesting, there are a couple more Serbian veterans you could sign, such as experienced center-backs Dusko Tosic (36) and Branislav Ivanovic (37), and striker Aleksandar Prijović (31).

4. Fernando Llorente (36) at Athletic Bilbao


FM22 Fernando Llorente

Born in Pamplona, Llorente joined Athletic Bilbao’s youth system in 1996 at the age of 11, making his La Liga debut for the club in 2005. He would end up playing 333 matches and scoring 118 goals for the Basque club before signing for Juventus. He played 92 games for the Italian side, scoring 27 goals and winning 3 Serie A titles. For the next years, he bounced around England, Spain, and Italy, failing to make an impact at clubs such as Sevilla (1 season), Swansea (1 season), Tottenham (2 seasons), Napoli (1 season) and Udinese (1 season). In real life, Llorente signed for Segunda Division side CD Eibar, but even though he might not be the quality you are looking for in a La Liga striker, signing him as a backup for Athletic Bilbao and using him as an experienced squad player, capable to step in when needed, is what this challenge is all about.

5. Willy Caballero (39) at Boca Juniors


FM22 Willy Caballero

Caballero started his playing career with Boca Juniors in 2001, making only 19 appearances over the course of 4 seasons, winning 3 major trophies with the club in 2003: the Argentine Primera División: Apertura, the Copa Libertadores, and the Intercontinental Cup. He moved across the Atlantic in 2004, first to Elche, where he played 186 games in Segunda Division, then to Malaga, where he played 117 games in La Liga. In 2014 he moved countries once again, this time to England, where he played 48 games for Manchester City, 38 for Chelsea, and 2 for Southampton. With Chelsea, he won both the Champions and the Europa League. He also made 5 appearances for Argentina, winning the Summer Olympic Games in 2004. In this challenge, you will have to sign Caballero at Boca Juniors as a backup or first-choice keeper; it’s up to you and give him the retirement he deserves by winning the Argentinian league. After retirement, make Caballero your Goalkeeping Coach and continue the save, discovering and polishing the next Argentinian star goalie.

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FM Blog: The Prodigal Son FM22 Challenge
The Prodigal Son FM22 Challenge
A different challenge every year due to its characteristics, the Prodigal Son challenge for FM22 ensures you have a lot of fun trying it out.
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