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How Football Manager Has Become Really Realistic

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Explore Football Manager 2023: the bridge between virtual gaming and real-life soccer strategy. Dive into unparalleled realism in soccer management.
How Football Manager Has Become Really Realistic

Football Manager 2023: Bridging the Gap Between Virtual Tactics and Real-Life Football Strategy


2023 sees the 19th edition of Football Manager hit the shelves. It’s the most popular soccer management game around and, like all sporting video titles, it’s developed considerably since its first release in 2004.

The key to success for any video game lies in its realism. How close to the real thing can it possibly get? In that respect, Football Manager is a winner, and few of its competitors can even come close.

True to Life


It’s been widely acknowledged that the latest edition of Football Manager is the most realistic yet. Most recent versions of the game have seen great improvements in terms of tactics. It is now possible to assess opponents’ strengths and weaknesses while trying to combat them or take advantage.


If a virtual manager wants to play in a certain way, they can assemble a squad that will meet those requirements. The biggest improvements in the current edition relate to player performance and the way in which managers can scout and recruit new talent.

The latest release breaks the information down and displays it more readily, and that’s a definite bonus. However, it’s the realism attached to the player statistics that makes FM 23 really stand out. In fact, it is so true to life that many football clubs use it in their own operations.

Filling a Gap


Another benefit of Football Manager is the fact that it can be played all year round. We all miss the Premier League season when the summer arrives, and games such as these can help to fill the void.

Players of the game can take charge of their favourite team and see if they can drive them up the EPL table. Current Premier League odds show Manchester City as the team most likely to win the division at the end of the season. The closest challenge is expected to come from Arsenal, while Newcastle United, Liverpool and Manchester United may also be in contention.

Could results from Football Manager hope to mirror those that we see in the Premier League? There is one way that the theory has been tested, and the results make for interesting reading.

Crossing Over


Could anyone who succeeds at Football Manager ever become a coach in the real world? A lack of football ability isn’t necessarily a barrier to coaching at the top level, and modest players, including Jose Mourinho, can testify to this.

In 2020, the FM Coaches Project ran a competition, putting a Football Manager player up against an existing professional coaching staff. The amateur’s results were encouraging for the game’s developers, but the study also revealed that many pro coaches were familiar with Football Manager.

Included in the survey were Ben Cole from Chelsea and Craig Clark, who worked with Kilmarnock’s Under 23s. Both men confirmed that they had learnt much from FM that had proved useful in their careers.

The research produced interesting parallels to a brand-new film release for 2023. Gran Turismo tells the story of Jann Mardenborough, a dedicated gamer who managed to carve out a career in the world of professional motor racing.

The Best Endorsement


The fact that current football clubs use Football Manager in various ways is the best possible endorsement that the game can have. The biggest positive is the database of professional players from around the world and the statistics that are attached to them.

The stats used by Football Manager are stunningly accurate, and this is a real bonus to the scouting network of any team. It’s suggested that a club such as Manchester City have only forty scouts worldwide, so FM could even help to swell their coverage.

At lower levels, the game can be a huge advantage to clubs that have small budgets for recruitment. Football Manager really is that close to real life, and it’s being utilised in leagues across Europe and beyond.

While it’s unclear as to how many clubs are actually using the system, the Football Manager website confirms that it really does help teams in their recruitment process. Maybe it’s a little embarrassing for those sides to admit to the usage of a video game, but we should see more openness on this subject in the future.

Into the Future


Could we see professional coaches emerge from the gaming world and become successful managers? There may well be some resentment among the existing coaching fraternity, but the latest edition of Football Manager is as close to the real thing as it’s possible to get right now. Because of that, and due to precedents in other sports, we shouldn’t rule it out as a potential pathway to professionalism.

As an endorsement of its accuracy, there can be no better evidence than the fact that many professional clubs already use its data. As a soccer management game, it simply has no equal.

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FM Blog | FM24: How Football Manager Has Become Really Realistic
How Football Manager Has Become Really Realistic
Explore Football Manager 2023: the bridge between virtual gaming and real-life soccer strategy. Dive into unparalleled realism in soccer management.
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