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Biggest football players with a knack for Football Manager

One of us! One of us! These elite football players are massive fans of the Football Manager games.
Biggest football players with a knack for Football Manager

One of us! One of us! These elite football players are massive fans of the Football Manager games.


Playing Football Manager might be as close as you can get to managing an actual team. From drafting wonderkids to devising a winning strategy, and giving pep talks in the locker room at half-time, FM has it all. Some avid players even made the jump long ago, going from mere die-hard fans of the franchise to professional scouts sought after by all major clubs. But several pro players have turned out to be massive Football Manager fans, all the same. So, when they’re not sporting the jerseys of their real-life teams on the pitch, here are four football stars with a vocal passion for the best football management sim out there.

Diogo Jota


At age 26, Diogo Jota already has quite a few trophies to his name. The Portuguese forward was part of the squad that lifted the first Nations League cup on home soil, and he would go on to win the FA Cup with Liverpool FC. Before he joined the Reds in 2020, though, Jota made his Premier League debut with the Wolverhampton Wanderers. And he obviously drew inspiration from local club Telford United for his FM career.

A keen gamer during the 2020 quarantine, Jota steered Telford from the depth of the English sixth tier up to the Premier League. The Liverpool star also began a campaign in the Portuguese third division, even signing himself in his first club to score the decisive penalty that would lead Gondomar to be crowned champions of Europe.

Ousmane Dembélé


French striker Ousmane Dembélé is a big gamer and quite the Football Manager nerd, to boot. The FC Barcelona winger has been known to play FM for years — France’s triumphant campaign at the 2018 Russia World Cup notwithstanding. While other Les Bleus stars let off steam by playing card games or watching movies, official videos from the French Football Federation showed him toying with his on-screen team throughout the tournament.

Yet Dembélé did not pick a top Premier League football club to snatch every trophy in the book. Instead, he created from scratch a fictional club named Winchester FC. And starting from the lowest lows of the eighth tier, Dembélé worked his way up to the first spot of the Premier League table. According to his French squad co-star Antoine Griezmann, though, there might have been a few financial irregularities at play. Funnily enough, still, Dembélé’s fictitious run as manager sparked some interest in the real-life Winchester City FC.

Antoine Griezmann


Antoine Griezmann is a notorious gamer. A former ambassador of the Yu-Gi-Oh collectible card game, the Frenchman has tapped into esports as well. But Grizi, as per his moniker in France, is an avid FM fan first and foremost. The Atletico Madrid player has led multiple Premier League clubs to success. Griezmann even drafted Kylian Mbappé into Newcastle United for a hefty transfer fee, which left the French superstar rather perplexed in a viral video ahead of the Euro 2020. But while his love for Football Manager didn’t bring him any luck in 2020, the French midfielder has come back to form in Qatar.

Following a stellar performance against Poland, Griezmann dazzled the crowds against England with a brilliant assist. Thus, punters can visit bookies like SBO to go all-in on Griezmann striking the most assists at the World Cup. Top online sportsbooks offer an array of betting options, some of which even include live in-play betting. Newcomers might benefit from exclusive bonuses such as free bets to fund a bankroll. And the best betting platforms boast handy mobile apps to wager from home or on the go.

Emerson Palmieri


Italy international Emerson Palmieri has been a long-time FM fan. The Brazilian-born left back candidly opened up about his love for the game in an interview with Football Manager as part of the “Why I Love FM” series. Emerson was first spotted playing FM during his Serie A years at AS Roma. As he himself confessed, his biggest achievement yet was winning the treble in England.

The Italian player also stated his best save was with Chelsea. Ironically enough, Emerson’s actual run at Chelsea was short-lived, and he only made a handful of appearances on the pitch before being loaned to the Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais. Still, Emerson found his way back to the Premier League with West Ham United. And chances are, his love for FM hasn’t withered one bit.

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FM Blog | FM23: Biggest football players with a knack for Football Manager
Biggest football players with a knack for Football Manager
One of us! One of us! These elite football players are massive fans of the Football Manager games.
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