ACF Fiorentina - The second Renaissance of Florence


Apr 8, 2013
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Hi and welcome to my first story & indeed post on this website (you will have to excuse me if this is a tad boring and lacks banners etc! Firstly, a bit about myself. I've been loyally tallying up the hours on FM since 2006, spending hours tweeking tactics, tearing my hair out at missed penalties and fist pumping at 90th minute winners. I have a general philosophy in football in attractive attacking whilst maintaining possession, to an extent (I actually don't enjoy watching Barcelona). Workhorse midfielders and creative attackers, alongside attacking wing backs are central to my game. I also like to keep a tight lid on finances. Anyway, lets crack onto the story!
Note: I do like to play lore friendly and so use correct pictures and realistic names (or just ones that sound cool).
I must also warn you that I do go into a lot of detail - my OCD shines through.

ACF Fiorentina
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ACF Fiorentina, affectionately known as Viola due to their purple kits, are a Florentine club founded in 1926. They play and have played at the 47290 capacity Estadio Artemio Franchi since 1931, with its most recent redevelopment coming in for Italia '90.

In the 50s and 60s, Viola were an Italian powerhouse regularly finishing in the top 5, winning their only two league titles in 1956 and 1969. Indeed most of their professional existence has come in Serie A, with only 4 teams playing more Serie A matches. In 2001, this famous old club was forced to declare bankruptcy as they were in huge debt and couldn't pay this bills and so was relegated so the fourth tier. In 2002, Diego Della Valle bought the club with the aim of clearing the finances and re-establishing them as a top flight team. That season they won the Serie C2 with consummate ease and due to a re-shuffle of leagues, gained access to the Serie B which they then again gained promotion back into Serie A from. Despite a promising resurgency into Serie A, with the highlight a champions league run in 2008/9, they have once again been showing signs of decline with their last league position coming in at 13th.

However, all is not lost - an investment from Della Valle to bring in Guiseppe Rossi, Alberto Aquilani, Borja Valero and Stefan Savic amongst others to add to the likes of Jovetic, Pasqual, Camporese and Ljajic has brought together a talented squad capable of some fantastic ball play and with some young talent. The stage is set for a talented manager to come in and take this once great team and bring them back to power - much as the Renaissance era Italian artists brought back the beauty of Florence herself.​
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A New Era & The Pre-Season

My first move was to assess the staff - I believe a good backroom is central to any team hoping to be successful. I also dislike the 'Italian way' of overpaying staff in just about every area of the club and so found myself releasing every member of staff outside of u20 Manager Leonardo Simplici, Coach Gianni Vio, Youth Coach Federico Guidi and Chief Scout Eduardo Macia - all of which I gave new contracts extending them onto 2017.

I brought in former Athletico Director of Football Paolo Futre, and former Bayern Head of Youth Development Werner Kern as my two key backroom members which I saw as a coup given their ability and history. I signed Giovanno Bucaro as my assistant - he will also be handling Reserve Matches.
In the Coach department I signed Sergio Zanetti from Inter, and Massimo Bonini, Tulio Gritti and Marcel Lucassen on free transfers and quickly got them studying for licences. My Youth Coaches that I brought in were u20 AM - Bruno Conca, and u20 Coaches' Fabian Calcaterra and Goran Djorovic.
At GK Coach I signed Italian legends Franco Tancredi and Marco Onorati and in Fitness Coaching I brought in former Chelsea coach Antonio Pintus and the Brazilian Anselmo Sbraglia.
I signed a somewhat average Head Physio in the form of Luciano Dati but only on a 2 year deal so I can terminate his contract and replace him at a later time. My other Physio's were Daniel Lasfargues, brazilian Lenoardo Reis and promising Italian Armand Cistero.
In the scouting department, I filled up with 6 average scouts from around the world on £500p/w contracts with 3 year deals to boost my knowledge, and Sidnei Lobo on a 5 year deal at £750p/w with any serious scouting to be done by him.

And so we have my backroom - my training (General - Team Cohesion ; Match - Attacking Positioning) now looks like this.


All coaches have a 4.5* potential at the least, more than satisfactory for my team as many are already studying for Continental licenses.

My main tactic is a controlling 4-3-2-1 where I seek to impose on smaller teams by keeping the ball and playing my way into the box; my ST, Jovetic, will drop deep and join in the play whilst remaining my main goal scoring threat along with my WBs getting involved. For larger teams I play the same formation but on the counter, with my AMs looking to sit in the hole rather than sit back and full backs staying back. I also use 3 shout options depending on whether I want to keep the ball, attack or sit back. (If this tactic works for a season I will post it online - if you want to try it out let me know and I will send you it)



I assessed the team myself, then looked at the assessment of my new Assistant and found that there were several dead-weight players, un-required and expensive loanees' and a lack of depth in many positions. Annoyingly I see Cassani and Vargas, two players who would fit perfectly into my system, on the bench.

To counter this I released all loanees' with the exception of Viviani, my keeper (although I plan to slowly bring Neto in), and put Comper and Roncaglia up for loan with a recall option so I can sell them in January. I also released
Lupatelli, an aging GK in my Reserves. I then placed Futre in charge of selling senior players I list and Kern in charge of selling or loaning my youth players.

I signed several free players - firstly Goulon on a £8000p/w contract as a solid back up BWM. Secondly Zanetti on £1500p/w with a 20 game extension clause as a back up DLP, Akos Buzsáky on a £6000p/w deal with the extension clasue as AP back up and Simon Vukcevic on a 3 year deal on £7500p/w.

Goulon is a young French DM who can play CM and serves as a good back-up to my first choice who will be mentioned later. Zanetti has played for Fiorentina twice before and brings Champions League and International experience to the team. Buzsáky is a solid back up CM with BPL experience last year and good passing - then finally Vukcevic is a great back up until Rossi is fit in the New Year and for a free his has very good attributes. He also adds to the Montenegran camp with Joevetic and Savic - he did exceptionally well in the pre-season.


My first money signing was Maxime Gonalons, a young French DM who has recently broke into the first team - he joined on around £30000p/w which is well within my strict self-imposed budgetary controls - and is looking like a bright player for the future with a 4* potential and already a key player for my team.


I then persuaded a 15 year old French ST from OGC Nice, Neal Maupay, to join me on a free (with £1.3 compensation) on a 4 year deal worth £4000p/w with clauses. This was a real coup and he has a 5* potential and already brilliant stats - if the dreaded day comes when Jovetic does hand in his transfer request, hopefully Maupay can step in.


On loan I took Spaniard Xabi Castillo for a price of £7000p/w with a buyout clause of £600000 which if I receive any money during the season, will maximize on as he is a great player for low wages. I also took in De Sciglio as a back up for LB and RB as a result of a 3 month injury to my best LB Pasqual and to RB Romulu.


Going into the first pre-Season matches - this is how my squad looked. Many of my players were, in my opinion, very underrated!


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love the detail...hope you do well in italy as im half italian!!!
Pre-Season Fixtures

Seen as my much of my team was very newly assembled, I organised a very easy pre-season so to allow them to get to know each other, play together and boost their morale. To contribute to this I set my general training to very high team cohesion. My first games were at home against local team Fiorano and Sammarinese Fiorentino who I beat 8-0 and 13-1 respectively.

My next two games were away against Baniyas of the UAE and Al Jeel of Saudi Arabia as I recieved 400k for each of these games. These were tougher opposition with Baniyas having some interesting players. I beat Baniyas 2-0 and then drew 2-2 to Al Jeel as I played my 'second team'.

Following the disappointing Al Jeel result I came into my final pre-season game against Serie C1/A side Reggiani who I am affiliated with. As i'm a nice guy I played mainly u20s and nearly paid for it with my only goal coming through Maupay in the 85th minute to win 1-0 - I then offered Maupay to Reggiani on loan to allow him to gain some experience but he rejected the deal. Sadly in this final match I brought on Aquilani in the final minutes who took one to the ribs which inevitably broke and so he is out for 4 weeks. This match marked the ending of my real pre-season. I found that I had a great deal of the ball but my team hadn't quite clicked yet.

The day after this, Jovetic announced that he wanted a big move and I had to promise him qualification into the knock-out rounds of the ECL from this season - a target which I believe do-able, though admittedly I had only targeted the Europa League for next season.

In the commencing days I loaded my player rewards with a high bonus for a Serie A peformance and a low bonus for cup success. Ideally I would like to place both high, however Viola are a team in debt and I realise we need to save money. My next move was to formerly introduce myself as Head Coach to which the whole squad reacted well. I then went onto sort out who would be taking my set pieces and changed my captain. My initial captain was Manuel Pasqual who was injured for 3 months and as you will see had low stats - and so I changed it to who I believed was the ideal candidate Gonzalo Rodriguez who brought age and determination to my squad.

At this news half of my teams morale dropped to low, with Viviani and Jovetic going to very low as they both believed they should have been captain. Despite their protestations I stuck to my guns as Viviani is a loanee and will hopefully be second string by the end of the season to the promising Neto (who Inter and Milan keep annoyingly co-ownership bidding for, I hate co-ownership) and Jovetic is only 22 and has lower determination - I also prefer defending or goalkeeping captains who can bark orders from the back and just get the job done.

The First Game
My first competitive match was in the third round qualifier of the Italian Cup against Crotone, a Serie B team expected to finish 14th.


With 7 days following this game until the season opener against Inter, I decided to field my strongest possible team in my controlling formation with my possession shouts active. Worryingly, it remained 0-0 at half time and they had around 60% possession, yet failed to get into the final third with it. I began to fear that I had made a grave error in changing Captain's at this point until in the 74th minute my new Captain himself stepped up to the mark and scored from a corner, with the victory being secured in the 80th minute by an edge of the box curler by Vukcevic. My team peformed far better in the second half equaling out the overall possession (although it was still lower than I would have liked). Much of Crotone's possession came from their CMs exchanging with CBs and so no threat came of it and when they got forward my team stamped out any danger quickly. I was delighted when I looked at my passing stats at the end of the game also as they were very promising with Valero, Pizarro and Tomovic the stand out performers. I believe this was a good, solid first competitive performance to build upon for the long season ahead.



And so marked the true end of my pre-season and the countdown to match day 1 - I am very happy with my transfers and performances on the whole and i'm looking forward to testing myself and the team against bigger opposition in the form of Inter.
Note - From hereon in my posts will be less lengthy, I just wanted to get the pre-season out of the way.​
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Nice. Always loved Fiorentina, hope you will bring them success.
Thanks man! My Serie A match day 1 result was outstanding so lets hope! These tactics seem awesome!
I notice that the only area where you have less than 4 stars training is tactics. Get in Batista Dos Santos - free and less 1000 per week wage. He has 4.5 stars.
good luck mate, great job with staff and transfers so far though Facundo Roncaglia is a bit of a cult hero for the Viola fans and you should keep him ;)
Thanks for the tactic advice, but Gritti is studying for his B license and will have it for January which I can put up with - Batista also has no photo and my OCD doesn't allow any member of the club to not have photos!

edit - I thought you said Redriguez for some reason. Yeah Roncaglia is doing well out on loan but I don't see a place for him with Rodríguez as captain and Camporese/Savic fighting it out for RCB - he also brings quite a bit of money from his sale which could be needed!
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Match Day 1 & September Review

My first month in Serie A has been eventful to say the least playing 5 games (with Inter included) obtaining 3 wins, 1 loss & 1 draw. Coming into this month 5 players were missing through injury which I was ok with - with a few bad ones such as Zanetti for 3 months and so I decided to Sign in Papa Bouba Diop as back-up.

Match Day 1
This game gets my full match review for this month due to a fantastic result.


The first match of the season was a difficult away tie to Inter, who are expected to finish 2nd this year and they started like they meant business. Kuzmanovic put Inter ahead after 13 minutes and it stunned my team. Vukcevic managed to curl a peach in from 30 yards in the 31st to equalise however before Kuzmanovic could post another for Inter just before half time.

In my team talk I told the guys that they were unlucky, which resulted in them all reacting positively. Following the break, in the 54th Vukcevic was brought down in the box for a penalty which Jovetic tucked away. Inter again went ahead with a Milito header in the 56th - yet this had didn't affect my team. Gonalons was brought down in the box to force the penalty which subistitute Fernandez put away tidily. Inter were then on the back foot though defending admirably, until the last minute when Gonalons was hit in the air from a corner and anther penalty was brought up - which Handanovic got a hand too but couldn't stop from going in to make it 3-4. I was very satisfied with this result.

Final Score - 3-4
MOM - Kuzmanovic (Inter)


The boys did fantastic at sitting back which was a highlight for me!


Match Day 2


This saw a Home match to Udinese who are predicted to finish above me in the league but had lost their first game 2-0 to Parma. Both Borja Valero and Jovetic returned injured for this fame and so I faced an up hill challange - but I went out to control them and maintained most possesion - El Hamdaoui missed a couple and hit the bar but other than that his game was largely boring.

Final Score 0-0
MOM - Gonalons

Match Day 3


This match was away to Chievo who were sitting in 3rd but expecting 14th. For this game I had 10 players out injured and so looked to counter them with 16y40d Maupay leading the line. At half time we went in 1-0 down and so I changed the tactic to go into controlling the game and Maupay managed to hit two in before the end of the game.

Final Score 1-2
MOM - Maupay

Match Day 4


My fourth match was a home tie to Catania, sitting 1 position above expectations in 13th. In this game I started with 9 out injured. Pizarro picked up an Injury in the fourth that forced him off, and Buzsáky went off in the 84th injured. Aquilani, Diop and Viviani all managed to pick up niggles in this game. Due to injuries, my team couldn't get started and so we lost. My team really missed captain Rodríguez.

Final Score - 0-2
MOM - Lodi (Catania)

Match Day 5


I actually feared going into this away game at Napoli as by this stage I had 13 players out Injured and Napoli were sitting in 2nd. I set up to counter them and set my shouts to defend. Despite my injuries, my team held out admirably keeping Napoli out - despite injuries (yes again) to Aquilani and Xabi Castillo. Gonalons scored in the 80th to make it 1-0 and we managed to hold out.

Final Score - 0-1
MOM - Zuniga (Napoli)

Monthly Overview
Game wise this month has been exceptional beating Inter and Napoli with the only hiccup coming in the form of Catania. I'm pleased with the peformances of Tomovic, Gonalons and Rodríguez along with Xabi Castillo. Maupay's debut brace was also magnificent.

Top Players of the Month
1) Gonalons - G-1 A-2
2) Tomovic - G-0 A-2
3) Maupay - G-2 A-0

The board are happy with my management and capture of Gonalons (he was initially badly received, coming from OL. However, I am disappointed with the loss of £91000 as the stadium was fairly empty in both home games; I hope it improves for better teams.


Overall I am fourth in the league. Strong opening month of Serie A.


For a laugh, here is my injury crisis at it's worst.


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