Brilliant to see you get that title win, and in some style!
23 assists in absolutely nuts too. How have the national team been getting on recently?
Pop the skin in a message on here if you can please - I've stupidly forgotten my password to Twitter (but it's signed in on all my devices except my PC) and I can't download it on my phone!
Orellana is one of the best players I have ever managed. His two-footedness skews those attributes (but playing the game as I am now teaches me to pretty much ignore them anyway!) but he's so good, and so good in two ways - as an out and out wing back but also as a really creative presence. His crossing has attributed to maybe 75% of the assists but I've seen him move into the attacking half space (despite his trait of hugging the line) and thread a inch-perfect ball through. It's like having a Mez(s) and a WB(a) in the same squad at the same time. When you actually add another creator in an AP(s) into that team - those link ups have been outstanding. Maybe one of my 'best/favourite' tactical moves I feel like I've ever made.
The national team have stagnated a bit, to be fair. Still in the 60s in terms of world ranking and constantly finishing 2nd/3rd in their qualifying group - the seem to be just a little short of making the next step. However - their national league is getting better (maybe as it's loaded) and a couple of the tycoon driven teams have splashed over £250k on players.
I've become my own worst enemy - as the game has gone on, I've become more and more in depth, setting up training for all teams based upon their needs (although I have stopped posting the accompanying Excel document, this is still happening), setting up a thorough pre-season schedule, analysing individual training, making depth charts etc - and this, combined with significantly less FM time over the past few weeks, has meant that I've progressed very little.
However - here is the squad I am taking into next year:
Waye-Hive and Tomarchio are, rightfully, in my eyes, awarded first team births after successful loans and they both come into the side with 1 in 3 goal to game ratios, better than first choice Zavoli's, in this early stage of their careers. Francesco Renzi is all a beneficiary of my loan program as he comes into the team in either the DM or AM role and is, like the other two, now classed as a wonderkid. 17 year old defender Veronesi is entrusted as a fully-fledged first teamer and the youngster is a classy player and surely will be our first world class central defender at some stage of his career.
You may notice a new face, Madson Mesquita, and notice some old faces are missing. Here is why:
I wanted to freshen the squad up so moved on some established players - three youth candidates in Cervellini, Colombini and Canti. The first two are now in their mid twenties and now just satisfy the backup option rather than a promising youngster and Canti, after 400+ games for us, moves to spend the remainder of his years in South Korea. The 29-year-old has also struggled for games and, with a few injuries, left me no room for sentiment. Andrea Poggiali shows us how much our empire has grown, and how much Juve's has fallen, as the previously untested Serie A midfielder moves to Turin to be a regular first team player. A good season there will surely see him return as an important player and the long term successor to 30 year old Davide Zafferani.
I said that I'd not make a profit on marquee signings but Gonzalez moves on for an £8m as that is what Arsenal offered, out of the blue. He was good, better than 20 goals in 51 games good, but good never the less. However - with the two returning forwards being home-grown and me being unsure about his wing-play, I decided to cash in.
To fill that gap, I went completely against my signing restrictions (this is pretty much the last season or two of my game anyway, so, whatever!) and signed 18 year old Madson Mesquita from Flamengo. His contract was unprotected so he came for an initial £3m with payments that could take it to £8m. He's a classy inside forward with bags of potential in an area that we are really weak.
My plan is to turn on game timeout and maybe instant result some of the easier games and cup ties - I really want to see how much more I can get in before I eventually cave the day before the beta is made available. I may also holiday some seasons to see what my replacement can do to this side I've painstakingly assembled!
With the groundwork in place, I think I should be able to move through the season quite quickly. A solid start - too many draws for my liking but all against teams that have been near the top of the league of late and all away from home.
We have been drawn in an RB heavy group, with Leipzig and Salzburg accompanying us as Celtic as we look to make a serious dent in the CL this year.
With my youth and reserve teams having a few decent prospects in, but relatively small in depth, and having their progression, even at this stage of the game-season, carefully marked out. It's time to get stuck in! Reserves
Still chugging away at this and, unfortunately, a little off the pace, both in terms of update quality and the league. A poor performance at home to Roma has been our only loss of the season but draws, like the three in these two months, are holding us back. The solace I take from this is that if Inter turned around a near twenty point gap in the second half of the season to retain their Scudetto, we can do the same.
We are safely through our CL group despite an absolute routing in Leipzig against a free flowing counter attacking side built with nearly a billion pound of talent.
715 league games, a further 116 games in the cup and 169 international appearances means that Stefano Stefanelli becomes the first player that I have ever managed to reach the milestone of 1000 senior competitive appearances.
We won the league at Catanzaro last year, but we may just have lost it there this time out. Those two defeats and, three league defeats in five games - all 2-1 losses away from home, have probably left us with too much to do in the last sixteen games. Essentially, to overturn this eight point deficit, we definitely need to be unbeaten and have as close to a 100% record as we can. However - we have the small task of still being in the Coppa Italia and the Champions League - the last trophy yet to adorn our cabinet.
We're going to go literally for broke. It's now a score-one-more-than-you approach.
I got a little carried away in what has probably been the most dominant period in this save, maybe aside from our run in during our Serie C promotion season. We haven't lost a competitive game since late January and have blown away all competition to be almost guaranteed to retain the league and in a strong position as the second leg of the CL semi is at home and we have an away goal.
We made a switch from a balanced mentality to an attacking mentality in this period and our offensive prowess is really being shown - with goals coming from any of the front four and DM Caicara continually chipping in, too.
I also had my youth intake during this time:
With the game drawing to a close - I am almost bypassing this but I am really concerned that I'm 'leaving' this club in a really poor position for the future. There is nobody, at all, from this intake who looks to have the ability to be in the first team and we've only had a handful from the last few intakes. Since I have stepped back a little bit of depth from the intake focus, I have been a lot more open to writing people off quickly - and that is something that I want to return to focusing on the next iteration.
...RB Leipzig came to town, knowing a score draw with two or more goals or an away win would see them through to the Champions League final, the first one in their history and a chance for now-manager Jurgen Klopp to win his first CL trophy.
I used the week to prepare for game - focusing on ground defence knowing they had pacy wingers and short attackers, ensuring that penalties were practised, in case of emergencies and making sure players were fit and ready to go. I made a point to look at when they scored most of their goals in order to ensure that we were vigilant in those times. I also made sure that I had two full backs on the bench, aware of the prowess of their strong wingers and I needed to make replacements for tired legs or my players on cards.
Basically - I was ready.
Then this happened. We played Leipzig off the park - our AR of 7.8 eclipsed their 6.51 and 17/8 shots with 7/3 on target demonstrated our strength both going forward and at the back.
Our reward - a trip to Greece to face Arsenal, fifth in the Premier League, managed by now-72 year old Antonio Conte, hoping to win their first CL at what will be their fourth appearance in game. They're favourites but we've got a whole country behind us!
...and this time it's Bari coming to town. Last year, we won the league. Last year, we played on a Saturday and beat Catanzaro but it was two days later when Inter failed to win that we were officially crowned champions. We did our bit in the south of Italy, but we didn't actually leave the pitch as champions. This year, it could all be different:
It's pretty much secure with such a huge goal difference swing needed and we play bottom of the table Bari, whilst Cremonese travel to 13th placed Napoli and Inter host 18th placed Genoa. With the situation as it is, I have decided to send out a slightly different team that stands for a lot of the things I have tried to achieve over the course of this game:
Stefano Stefanelli makes his 1027th appearance - an absolutely fantastic record, considering his debut came nearly twenty years ago in Serie C and he's missed just one game in the ten years that we have been in Serie A for. At right back starts converted winger Emmanuele Rech - he initially was a M/AM(R) at 16 but I've developed a range of new roles for him - initially a wrong footed winger but then using his already 'competent' ability at WB(R) to improve defensively before moving, and training, to be a fully fledged wing back. He's to the right of a pair of 18 year old centre backs - in an ode to my youth development over the course of this save and not being scared to throw youngsters in at the deep end. At left back is my first 'marquee signing' and probably favourite, Dario Samaniego. He's decided that, at nearing 32, he's moving on at the end of his contract in the summer but this model has been great for me. I've then opted for another golden boy, Davide Zafferani as a Regista, once again showing the thought I've given into positional flexibility and not being afraid to play people who aren't natural there. To the right of him is his brother - something that I've always aimed for. No son in the intake this year at all but a brother is a first for me. Another youngster and full debut for youngster Compagnoni, who could be fantastic and, in front of him, Tomarchio, who has developed amazingly from a loan deal, something I wanted to explore.
Never in doubt!
There will actually be parties in Serravalle tonight.
One night in Serravalle OAKA Spyros Louis, Athens...
...we faced our destiny. Arsenal. Antonio Conte. 90 minutes from not only the clubs first ever Champions League title, but my first success in 40+ seasons on FM19. 90 minutes from making the little country of San Marino home to the best team on the continent. 90 minutes from a famous quadruple and writing Teles' name into folklore, if it wasn't already pretty much permanently etched there.
Once again - I'd spent the work working on tactics and specific approaches, once again including two penalty sessions. Bruno Lage, my assistant, decided that, initially, the week was to be used for complete rest, but I was certainly against that. We also worked specifically on a plan that could be used to destroy Gustavo Gonzalez, who, playing against his old club, would of course be a defining factor.
Once again - I was ready.
To say that I executed the game plan well would be a lie. We were second best for large portions of the game and we lacked creativity going forward. We did have 20/15 shots and 8/3 on target but there was a lot of speculative efforts as we tried to counter a team, who, themselves, had set up to be reasonably solid at the back. A break of 2 on 2 was more like 2 on 4 as they retreated as quickly as they went forward. Arsenal dominated possession, with 61% to our 39%, playing most of the stuff between our lines and their average rating of 6.97 to our 6.89 again suggests their upper hand.
However - it was down to penalties. Gustavo Gonzalez stepped up second for the Gunners, a good penalty taker and an excellent all around forward, but smashed his penalty straight into Stefanelli. World class midfielder Jacques Mbarga did the same- again, a similarly good player who couldn't find a corner. Our practice paid off - four penalties into the corners and, against most odds - we'd won the Champions League.
Given our perilous position at Christmas - this season must both go down as hugely unexpected but also a season that will never be rivalled again in terms of our domination across all competitions. Given that we are still unbeaten in all competitions since the end of January - winning 25 of those 27 games, suggests that this juggernaut will continue to roll on. Given the changes in FM20 release (well, compared to what everyone was thinking) I think I've got another couple of weeks left of this save still and I reckon I'd like to go on and win the Super Cup and hopefully the Club World Cup, too.
Plus - there's some player related stuff that I want to address, both for longevity in this same and as preparation for my next save.
Here are the players that have made this wonderful season happen:
Once again - every minute for Stefanelli. It's a tribute to both his long-serving nature but also how little, if at all, he ever gets injured or a knock that he can't and won't play through. Valentini is one of three 'elite' players, along with Zafferani and Hernandez and has shown why - 16 goals and 22 assists is a magnificent return. 18 year old Francesco Veronesi has cemented himself as first choice, disposing of team leader Giacomo Selva, who will spend the last couple of years of his career in the reserve squad. It is, once again, worth noting the experience I will lose as Samaniego makes his move to PSG on a Bosman deal, leaving only Lazzari as a senior (or pretty much any level) left back at the club.
Quadruple winners. Champions of Europe. Not much left? Wrong. I'll continue with this save for a little bit but I may end up resigning and holidaying a few years to see what happens to the side that has achieved so much. It's this point that worries me. Over the past few years - we've only really had three players come through the youth intakes that could be/are first team players - striker Filipo Zanotti, midfielder Ruggerio Compagnoni and centre back Francesco Veronesi, who has gone on to make over sixty appearances already. That is all. Many of the other players have already found their level - in the Sammarinese league or at the lower levels of Italian football. This worries me. With Giacomo Selva now 33 and resigned to second string football and Dario Samaniego now in France - our team (not squad, literally team) has the below players who are either at the expected level or players who I believe will be at the expected level.
Four strikers, well, three strikers and Andrea Poggiali, who has spent the majority of his unsuccessful loan at Juve playing and being trained there (but it does actually suit him), five defenders, with four favouring the right hand side, yet only one goalkeeper, one left back, one right sided holding midfielder and one left winger. This is of huge worry to me.
The game has focused on youth development - either from solely my own academy at the start of the game or later through signing older players who can help develop the squad and, as such, help those marginal gains on the players I do have. But, when the academy is going through a barren spell - and, I get it, San Marino has no more than thirty thousand inhabitants and I imagine it can't continue to produce this amount of good players! 15 a season for 20 years in 300 players. My club, alone, has had a part if 1% of the whole population of the country - and then we add in the teams in the Sammarinese leagues and realise it's not viable, long term.
My aim has, in most of my games, been to focus upon players from my own nation. As I've just said - this isn't doable with San Marino. I haven't been able to sign a marquee player as we have generated them all and I won't be able to raid academies for young Sammarinese talent, as there isn't any.
I have, over the past few years, built a quite solid scouting department. My aim for FM20 is to further utilise this and look at how I can efficiently track players throughout their careers and plan transfer windows in advance - aiding my own club's development and academy intakes. My pretty rudimentary shortlist houses fifty or so players who I'd like to sign as they fit the general ethos of the club, the DNA, if you wish. With little coming through my own academy and several key players in my first team approaching the end of their careers, now is a good time for me to branch out and utilise this.
I have deals arranged for just over £20m for nine players, who come to fill in various holes across the team. This is what my team will look like once I pass into the summer transfer window:
Clearly, this is a gamble. I have 20 year old's at the club who aren't included, yet an Albanian I have signed from Partizan Tirani makes this list. My scouts say he's good. So what? I have attempted to keep the whole South American/Spanish or Portuguese speaking link here as a) the manager profile of Teles is Brazilian and I like that link and b) I already have a few South Americans within the first team so I hope that they can settle my new players.
I'm just clicking through the last few things in June before I post screenshots etc!
Probably my last FM19 'window' and one that I wanted to demonstrate/explore how I could 'refresh' a team and use my scouting network in advance to sign players who can be of use for the future. In the past on this save, I've gone over ten years without signing anyone, then the next few signing just one player, so these nine signings represent a hugely busy window.
For the first team - Jhon Trivino comes in from South America. He was wanted by a host of top European clubs and participated in the Ecuador squad that somehow finished fourth at the 2042 World Cup - making some key appearances. He's a player in an area where, in real life, I'd be very much against his signing - purely on the back of a breakthrough in a major tournament - but actually my scouts found him over a year back. The fee and the £15k p/w wage is over the odds but I wanted to secure his signing. He'll slot straight into the first team behind Veronesi and Hernandez as I have moved Giacomo Selva on. His fantastic technique means that I can hopefully turn him into a true ball-player, which seems to be rare among out-and-out defenders. Next is Leonardo Costa - a dual national from Spanish side Valladolid. I paid his release clause but was most impressed at his two, rather contrasting, natural positions. He's big in size and has good technique and crossing - perfect for the slightly deeper wing back I want to deplot.
Next, Sweeper Keeper Enzo Rinaudo comes in as, even though I'd love him to, Stefano Stefanelli won't be here forever, although Enzo's time will probably come once I have left the club. Razvan Albuis a player who I had my eyes on but it was a loan spell at Atalanta which confirmed the want to bring him in. Lacking slightly compared with Trivino (but his two-footedness does skew things), he's potentially the replacement for Hernandez when he retires in a few years time. Daniel Vanegas, a rarity in that I don't think I've seen many Colombian/Spanish dual nationals, comes in with the intent of replacing legendary Caicara in a few years time. Two footed and a hard-worker, he is similar to the man he'll hopefully replace with his insane ability from 20+ yards out. Taulant Koci is a strange one - great scoring record in Albania and quite decent attribute-wise - he'll either be a diamond from the rough or nothing more than a flop.
In addition to these - I've added Ayoze, Aimar and Aldair Fortes - three youngsters who all have something about them to my youth ranks - thanks to some excellent scouting of youth competitions.
My squad feels a lot more balanced now and I feel like I've got a few things in place for the future!
Amazing effort to win the Champions League, something I haven't managed myself on FM19 with both Samp and Rapid only making it as far as the semis.
You don't fancy a short break before 20 comes out? Can I make a prediction that your manager in FM20 will be called Stefano Stefanelli?
I didn't think I was going to do it, myself! The win over Leipzig was a truly great moment for me as, in the past, I've relied on just playing the game long enough to eventually get success - but I really felt that I deserved that second leg victory. That was a similar case against Arsenal in the final.
I may indeed have a break - but that will be after I've resigned and holidayed a few years. I just haven't decided at what point I want to resign with the European Super Cup and CWC still available to me.
In terms of manager names, I actually don't think so. I fancy a job in Spain and, as such, want to go with an Iberian/South American vibe so will probably go with Samaniego as he was my first marquee signing and really led my charge - to see him move on as well was nice, kind of getting his farewell as he captained the side in the CL final. Hopefully I will actually get some links through my intakes as I didn't at Beira-Mar with my Argenine manager and haven't here either.
I think this is the right time. Champions League winners, retaining our Serie A title and now with a little bit of depth and quality for the future within the club - it's time to see how the club can do without me at their helm.
The plan now is to holiday for five years or so and have a look, from the outside, at how San Marino continue.
The first bit of news is that they have turned to Julian Nagelsmann as my replacement. Whilst he is world class, his career, of late, doesn't give me confidence that he'll be around for long following my departure. After leaving Hoffenheim in 2028, he spent a year at HSV, Eintracht Frankfurt, Mainz and Werder before two years at Valencia, two at Sporting Lisbon, a few months at Sociedad, two years at Schalke, a year at Real Madrid and eighteen months at Bayern. Following a manager who spent 20+ years in his job, this seems like a step back in terms of long term stability. Plus - he cost nearly £17m!
Not content with the depth already in the squad - he then spent £60m on Cocconi from Fiorentina and £20m on Christoforou from PSG, also adding some extra youngsters. He then decided to sell first choice left back Michele Lazzari for £17m, turning to right back Orellana to cover that role and then rotating a mix of youngsters and centre backs in the right back slot - a definite early sign of AI's lack of sensible decision making.
I'm going to holiday the season and look at how he and the club have performed.
Julian's first season in Serravalle is over and I continue to worry about how long he will continue at the helm for.
The league was a relative cakewalk - Inter's demise as well as Cremonense's inability to finish in the top half saw new challengers in Atalanta - although they never really got close to challenging San Marino.
However - this was to be Julian's only success, aside from a largely meaningless Club World Cup victory, with a 2-1 win over Lanus. As I entered the season, the board expected a solid run in the Champions League but clearly a new manager means lower expectations - as they surprisingly crashed out, finishing 3rd in their group - when, in reality, PSG are the only side that should cause them problems.
The new year saw similar issues - an early Coppa Italia exit to Inter and this:
Losing to the eventual winners is one thing - but only reaching the second knockout round of the Europa League, facing a team that we beat in the Champions League final the year before is a) a tough blow but b) surely a disappointment to a board that would have wanted so much.
In terms of playing staff - here are his best performers:
Some notable names here - with the two huge signings joining the team I assembled. Unfortunately, the end is nearing for Stefanelli, who was usurped by Rinaudo in January. Caicara has been, for some reason, retrained as a centre back - completely nullifying his ball carrying and long range shooting abilities. He also barely featured, which is a travesty considering his stature as an elite, yet aging player. Similar happened to William Hernandez, the Colombian, who also appears to be getting phased out - with Ecuadorian Jhon Travino appearing in a fair few games alongside Christoforou.
A steady start for Julian here but I feel that the board will want some more continental success next year. As I post - Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool are without managers so I feel that the merry-go-round may be in full swing too.
The big news to start the season is that San Marino would, once again, have a new manager - a third different person in the last three seasons. As I mentioned, the merry-go-round was in full flow and, as a replacement, San Marino appointed Clarence Seedorf. For me - this is another bad move. After eight years at the helm of Cameroon, he's gone on to manage Palermo, Werder, Everton, Ingolstadt, Celta, Leverkusen, RB Leipzig, Man Utd and Tottenham over the course of just over ten years. He's also spent over £1bn on transfer fees and, probably most concerning, likes to play a direct, zonal marking approach - pretty much a polar opposite of what myself and Julian Nagelsmann have done.
His first moments were spent splashing £40m on a new goalkeeper and £15m on a central midfielder - letting three San Marino stalwarts - Stefano Stefanelli (£1.4m to Middlesbrough), Caicara (£14m to Liverpool) and Davide Zafferani (£3m to Sparta Prague) leave. He also sent out Taulant Koci, Daniel Vanegas, Aimar, Ayoze and Leonardo Costa on loan along with several other players who were already at the club, and, once again, let former first-team player Stefano Cevoli spend a year elsewhere, despite making a hundred or so appearances for the first team.
The league table represents the most dominant season in the clubs history with their best record. Elsewhere, the table sees Juve return to their form of the last five or six years, finishing thirteenth and Udinese, once a solid Serie A club, now being relegated to the regional levels of Serie C. Unlike last year, they added a Coppa Italia but once again fell foul in Europe - losing in the first knockout stage against a Barcelona side who definitely aren't what they used to be.
These stats paint Clarence as the most successful manager on paper but with another European failure as well as an ever-escalating wage bill and continued high spending - I fear that there may be more movement as the board attempt to stop a potential decline.
Second season down for Clarence and his regime in Serravalle. He started the season by adding 33-year-old striker Duarte to the team - a strange 'replacement' for 31 year old Lorenzo Zavoli. Midfielder Davide Garafolo was also added for £21m but Lorenzo Zafferani (£24m to Man City), Andrea Amici (£10m to Sporting) and a whole host of loanees left the club.
Once again, the league was easy, just falling one point short of last year. They went a little better in Europe though, but their run was ended by Real Madrid in the quarter finals of the Champions League - still some way off what their ability should dictate.
The close season is interesting - as news that Thomas Tuchel has taken over at Folgore, adding to the list of strange employments that show how much that league has grown.
Clarence maintains a really strong win percentage and this largely mirrors his career stats - making my 47% look poor. However, he's yet to have a job where he's had to scramble around at the bottom of Serie C! I'm looking forward to club visions come FM20 and surely, even in this iteration, the board must be getting a little impatient at San Marino's fall from the European elite, despite their continued domestic dominance.
I'm going to holiday one more season before I conclude this save.
Clarence is trusted for his third season at the helm and spends relatively modestly, bringing in Victor Manuel (free from Tottenham), and spends £20m on right back Ronilson Donizetti as well as adding some youth players. Two of his own signings, Josimar (£11m to Fiorentina) and Garafolo (£17m to Stoke) leave as well as prospects I'd initially earmarked - Marcello Bianchi (£9.5m to Milan), Ruggerio Compagnoni (£10.5m to VFB Stuttgart) and Leonardo Costa (£24.5m to Schalke).
It is clear that he doesn't really have a long term objective here - the youngsters are coming in and are being loaned out for several seasons before being moved on for little to no profit and his big money signings are coming, being rotated and moving on after a couple of years. There are very few players that have been here for the duration that haven't been brought through or signed by me.
The infrastructure at the club is so strong and this is now league title number five in a row. With only a last game draw against Napoli stopping them from reaching the magical 100 point margin, they have blown away any kind of competition.
The Champions League was strange. Just like us in 2041/42 they faced an English side in the quarters - we played Man Utd, they played Tottenham. Just like us they faced RB Leipzig in the semi final, drawing away from home and then being too strong at the San Marino stadium and, just like us, they faced Arsenal in the final. History would not be repeated as they lost on penalties at Wembley - leaving them unable to repeat a remarkably similar journey that we did four years previous.
Clarence has worked wonders with the team - with this being his longest tenure for some time and his win record being absolutely phenomenal. The team was already great and he has successfully transitioned it into the next generation. But before I completely sign off- here is a quick run down of each player I highlighted in my last ever squad depth post:
- Stefano Stefanelli: the 39 year old is now at Reading in the Championship and has spent two years there after two at Middlesbrough. 843 league games, countless (literally - the game has broken now and won't show them) 209 international caps and a hatful of awards mean he's an absolute legend. Retiring at the end of the year to become a Goalkeeping Coach.
- Enzo Rinaudo: Backup at San Marino still. 57 appearances in his four years but now classed as first team. At 24, now is his chance.
- Alexis Orellana: Now listed as a club legend, he's made 208 appearances for the club and, probably most importantly, has shared his M.Citizen personality with several members through some good AI mentoring. Probably the best full back in the world right now.
- Emanuele Rech: Little to no football at San Marino before joining Gent three years ago. Has averaged way over 7.20 in his 67 games and is attracting interest from some bigger European clubs. Now with 44 caps for his country to show.
- Michele Lazzari: One of Julian Nagelsmann's first sales - moving to Roma for just under £17m. Spent two years there before moving on to Bournemouth. Has recently spent a season on loan at Marseille and is joining permanently for £26m. 79 international caps and a strange departure, all things considered.
- Francesco Veronesi: 173 league appearances at just 22 years old with a bumper contract to boot. Was originally played out of position at right back, where his lack of quality going forward probably did nothing. Established as one of the best defenders in Europe.
- Marco Angelini: Made 20 appearances under Nagelsmann but Seedorf has sent him to Milan, Fiorentina and now Betis. Clearly not part of his plans but happy to pay him £70k p/w to play elsewhere. Now with 114 caps, he's entering the twilight of his career.
- Andrea Amici: A loan at Varzim and Genoa before a £10m move to Sporting. Not a single first team appearance under new management for this ex-wonderkid. 22 now but not really making much of his career.
- Luca Fiorini: Loans at Benevento, Varzim and Cremonense in Serie A and a hatful of international caps. Moving to Freiburg on a Bosman so clearly not wanted.
- William Hernandez: Finally retired at 36, ending his career with a bunch of great performances, albeit in the Reserve team. An absolute hero who didn't get the recognition he deserved from AI management.
- Jhon Trevino: Forged an outstanding partnership with Veronesi. Valued at £65m, 41 caps for Ecuador and nearing 100 appearances for his club - Jhon looks every bit the bargain.
- Razvan Albu: Now a M.Citizen left back, who doesn't offer a lot going forward, yet is averaging well over 7.20 for San Marino. A year at Benfica before coming back to the first team has seen him flourish. Also valued at £65m with a contract in excess of £150k p/w.
- Ayoze: The wonderkid has had a good season on loan at Cagliari after two previously successful loans at Eibar in La Liga and SPAL in Serie B. He's developing into a really strong ball-playing defender.
- Caicara: 10 games under Nagelsmann before moving to Liverpool, where he played 30 times. £10m later and he joined Wolves for an awful relegation season and now a season in the Championship. I can't understand how a man who scored 52 times in 130 games for me has gone on to have a career record of 59 goals in 429 games. At 36, he's still listed as elite and, on his day, was a truly outstanding player.
- Daniel Vanegas: Loans at Montpellier, Koln and Werder before returning to the club - he's made 38 appearances although largely from the bench. Now 23 and valued at £54m, his time must surely be coming.
- Eduardo Nardella: Pretty much playing full time under both managers, but not quite at the levels under my own management. Now 27 and with 77 international caps - he's possibly running out of time to ever be world class.
- Stefano Cevolli: Loaned to Angers, Real Sociedad, Porto, Caen and now joining Inter on a Bosman - there must have clearly been something that Seedorf hasn't liked about this lad. Never a 'first name on the team sheet' but over 100 appearances for the club. I really rated him.
- Madson Mesquita: If Orellana is the best full back in Europe, Mesquita may be the best player in Europe and probably the world. Valued at £86m and with 26 caps behind him, the winger has matured into a fantastic player. 74 goals in 165 league games, including a Serie A high of 22 this season. He's the top paid player on £235k p/w but is completely world class.
- Lorenzo Zafferani: Stuck around as backup until 2044 before a £24m move to the blue half on Manchester. Nothing of note there before a loan at St Ettiene, in which he's done even worse!
- Davide Zafferani: The first of the brothers to move - £3m to Sparta Prague in 2043. He played pretty well and is now a 35 year old Enganche, having a torrid season at bottom of La Liga side Valladolid. He was world class in his day but is sadly falling away very quickly.
- Francesco Renzi: A rotational option now, with 30+ appearances each season but largely from the bench. Doesn't seem to have developed much more than when I left him.
- Ruggerio Compagnoni: Previously a wonderkid and, following a good loan spell at Serie A side Sampdoria, I thought he would kick on - now a backup at Stuttgart following his £10m move.
- Aimar Hernandez: 36 games for Bologna in Serie B but not a single minute of first team action. Looks great on paper but never been fancied by the two managers. I would expect him to move on soon.
- Alessandro Valentini: 28 years old with over 500 games under his belt and 93 international caps - he is probably the greatest player that my academy has ever produced. His partnership with Mesquita on the opposing wing, even when the latter was a youngster under me, was frightening. A true legend of Sammarinese football.
- Taulant Koci: 3 goals in 15 at Toulouse, 1 goal in 9 at Bayer Leverkusen and 10 in 39 for San Marino is about all he has to show. Stupidly highly valued at £63m for a player who has achieved almost nothing.
- Lorenzo Zavoli: San Marino's record scorer with 66 goals but now, at 32, is off to spend the remainder of his career in Saudi Arabia with Al-Hilal. Barely seen football for the last two years and only 21 league goals since I left kind of leave a dirty mark on a great career - essentially forged when we were a side who historically struggled for goals. In the top 3 (behind Valentini and D.Zafferani) of the best academy products ever.
- Manuel Tomarchio: Some rotational game time and now a loan at Fiorentina with 18 goals in 37 games. Probably will come back to the club but doesn't ever seem to be first choice.
- Andrea Poggiali: Now valued at £71m and on £135k p/w, Andrea is a big deal at the club. Listed as a first team player but with only 19(8) starts this season - things don't look great. I always liked him as a forward but the pressure is on for him to perform.
- Filippo Zanotti - Loans at Angers, Cesena and now Hoffenheim (8 goals in 18 at 7.05) have propelled him into the international fold, where he has started with 3 goals in 6. Quite far back in the striking queue but a good prospect, even at 21.