NOT Another San Marino Story

kandersson

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Nov 13, 2010
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San Marino 2011-2026: The Club

Special update to celebrate a fantastic career with San Marino, these 15 years have been truly amazing both at club and NT level. Time for a little recap here, quite hard to do actually as so many things have happened during this journey... let's start with the club first:


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I think it's fair to say we have won literally EVERYTHING we could at club level: from lower leagues to European cups, from obscure trophies to Serie A championships, not to mention San Marino's recent dominance at youth level. The highlights of these 15 years would probably be our 10 consecutive Serie A title (2016-2026) together with 8 Champions Leagues and 7 Club World Cup Championships. As a result San Marino have established themselves as one of the (if not THE) most powerful football club in modern football, currently regarded as the most popular club in the world and 2nd richest club only behind Real Madrid (we're very close though!)


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The brand new Fab Arena has now reached 65,000 seats which I guess is OK for a COUNTRY of 30,000 people... All the club facilities have been maxed out and San Marino currently boast one of the finest youth academies in football. Team records include a 10-0 win in Serie A against our 'parent club' Cesena and an absurd 63 games in a row without losing. As for the players, Alex still holds the record for most league goals for the club (201) though Alessandro Paolone is just a few goals behind and has a few records of his own including most goals in a single season (58 including 54 in the league) and youngest scorer for the club (16 years).


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We've had so many great players in these 15 years, some of them have been true heroes for this club like lower leagues legend Enzo Scorza; the Brazilian maestro Eric; Golden Ball winners Alex and Fabio; local kid Alessandro Paolone and many others. A few of these players have become Icons for the club, while Sammarinese superstars Emanuele Bartoloni and Alessandro Paolone are now regarded as Legends for the mighty Titani (fans seem to appreciate the Cantera Policy!), joining long time board member (now owner) Germano De Biagi and godlike manager M. Fab in this special club :p. The all-time Best 11 features lots of players that have really made history for our club, looks like a fair selection though my personal Best 11 would be slightly different. Next update will in fact show MY San Marino All-Star Team 2011-2026 ;)
 

gogogo golem

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Mar 15, 2012
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Good update but I'm sad we won't see from Paolone, Vignoli and Bartolini again. Especially Vignoli, as for some reason I grew attached to him even though he was your player in your save.
 

kandersson

Member
Nov 13, 2010
1,925
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San Marino 2011-2026: All-Star Team

It's kind of tough for me to choose an all-time best eleven for San Marino as we had so many great players during all these years, and each of them gave his contribution to push our club to the very top of football. I will always remember our Serie C squad led by Enzo Scorza, as well as the heroes of the first Treble and of course the Cantera kids... but I can only choose eleven here, so here's the San Marino All-Star Team 2011-2026, listed in our trademark 4-3-2-1 formation:


Goalkeeper:#1 SANTI CARROZA

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Total Apps: 286

Serie A Goalkeeper Of The Year (5 times); Club World Cup Best Player

Spanish shotstopper Santi Carroza joined San Marino for free from Barcelona and immediately became first choice despite his young age and relative lack of experience. In his 7 years at SM Carroza became a world class keeper and won every possible trophy at club level. Joined Chelsea for 25M as the club decided to implement the famous Cantera Policy.


Right Back: #2 SERGE AURIER

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Total Apps: 243
Goals: 7
Assists: 37

Signed from RC Lens for 8M, French/Ivorian full back Serge Aurier became a familiar face for San Marino as he spent 10 seasons in Serravalle before retiring at 33. A reliable defender and one of our most consistent performers, Aurier currently works as a coach for Serie A side Cagliari.


Centre-Back: #3 GIUSEPPE PRESTIA

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Total Apps: 337
Goals: 93
Assists: 23

Italian Player Of The Year (3 times); Serie A Defender Of The Year (5); Serie A Young Player Of The Year; Club World Cup Best Player

Signed for 2M from Serie A strugglers Torino, Giuseppe Prestia joined San Marino as a promising defender and in his 10 years at the club he developed into a top class centre-back. Prestia won countless trophies and awards during his time at SM, though in my eyes his biggest 'win' was retiring from international football at only 23 - one of the highlights of the infamous Italy VS San Marino crisis. Was sold to Liverpool for 6M as per club policy, still looking good at 32 tbh.


Centre-Back: #4 EZEQUIEL ROSSI

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Total Apps: 270
Goals: 36
Assists: 10

Serie A Defender Of The Year (3 times)

Italian/Argentine centre-back Ezequiel Rossi joined SM as a cheap 18 year-old from Boca Juniors, and spent 9 years with the Titani as he became a world class defender forming an excellent partnership with Giuseppe Prestia. Was delighted to see him choose Argentina instead of Italy despite a youth career with the Azzurri U19/U21. Joined his old buddy Prestia at Liverpool in a 18M deal.


Left Back:
#23 JOHN VAN DE KRAAN

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Total Apps: 256
Goals: 1
Assists: 29

Dutch left-back John VDK quietly became a key player for San Marino in his 11 seasons with the club, joining as a cheap prospect without much fanfare yet becoming the owner of the left flank for a successful SM club. A solid performer for so many years, currently unattached after his contract expired in June 2026.


Central Midfielder: #15 KARA

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Total Apps: 234
Goals: 9
Assists: 18

One of the first high-profile transfers for San Marino, Kara joined for 8M from Twente and spent 9 seasons with the Titani, patroling the midfield in our trademark defensive MC role. A true professional and an excellent role model for many of our youngsters, Kara retired as a SM player and is currently a coach (unemployed atm).


Central Midfielder (Right): #24 RUBEN

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Total Apps: 224
Goals: 17
Assists: 47

Another product of Barcelona talent factory, Ruben was signed for 8M and in his 7 seasons playing for SM he successfully made the transition from wonderkid to world class midfielder. A hard working, tough tackling playmaker who can contribute on both phases, Ruben is still signed with San Marino prisoner of a rich, long-term contract but hasn't played a single minute in 2025/26 due to the new Cantera Policy. Surely an excellent mentor for our youngsters, and probably a typical case of mobbing in football...


Central Midfielder (Left): #8 LORENZO CRISETIG

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Total Apps: 384
Goals: 36
Assists: 56

Holder of the record for most apps for San Marino, and probably the most loyal player in the history of the Titani. Lorenzo Crisetig joined as a youngster when SM were playing in Serie B and quickly became the leader of our midfield. The versatile midfielder spent 13 seasons in Serravalle, most of them as the club captain. Proudly retired as a SM player, currently he's an assistant manager at Napoli.


Attacking Midfielder (Right):
#10 ERIC

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Total Apps: 242
Goals: 77
Assists: 96

Serie C1 Player Of The Year; Serie B Player Of The Year

I reckon fellow Brazilian Fabio (Golden Ball and World POY winner) could be here as well, but a SM All-Star Team without the original No.10 Eric just wouldn't feel right. Left-footed playmaker Eric joined San Marino in Serie C1 and was an integral part of the club's transformation, from obscure lower league club to worldwide superpower. Eric was always a fantastic performer for the Titani - Serie C, Serie B, Serie A, Europa League, Champions League, Club World Cup: it really made no difference for Eric, who had always the quality to play at the highest level. Became a coach for San Marino after he retired as a player.


Attacking Midfielder (Left): #10 EMANUELE BARTOLONI

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Total Apps: 105
Goals: 33
Assists: 62

Italian Player Of The Year; Serie A Young Player Of The Year; Best Player In Europe Award

We've had a number of fantastic players at the right-footed AML position in the years, with the likes of Marco Verratti, Felipe Anderson and Kingsley Agbo. In fact the constant rotation at AML seemed to keep them pretty much at the same level; Agbo could have become the top dog here but his career with SM was cut short by the infamous cantera policy. Local kid Emanuele Bartoloni gets this spot mainly for his 2025/26 season, one of the best individual efforts I've ever seen in my career. Bart was always a special player for SM, the first legit wonderkid produced at the club, his talent for beating defenders off the dribble has always been amazing. Gained Legend status for the club at only 23 of age.


Striker: #11 ALESSANDRO PAOLONE

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Total Apps: 219
Goals: 242
Assists: 40

Serie A Top Scorer (4 times); European Golden Boot (4); Serie A Player Of The Year (3); Serie A Foreign Player Of The Year (3); Serie A Fans Player Of The Year; Golden Ball; World Player Of The Year; Champions League Golden Boot.

San Marino definitely have a history of great strikers from lower leagues legend Enzo Scorza to one-hit wonder Ailton, all the way to world class forwards Diego Toranzo and Alex. Sammarinese legend Alessandro Paolone has to be my choice here, for what he was able to achieve at the club and for what he represents for SM football. The worst part of this challenge has been freezing Paolone's career for 5-6 years (from 19 to 24) to prevent Italy from calling him up for their NT. Before and after that limbo, Paolone has simply been my biggest joy as a football manager. His numbers and individual accolades speak for themselves really, I knew this was a special player when he scored 19 season goals in 30 matches as a 16/17 year-old sub. The inspirational leader of the Cantera Treble, more than earned his club Legend status at the end of 2025/2026 season.
 
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Iceman362

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Feb 16, 2011
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really going to miss this story was fantastic inspired me to try the same fantastic read and i really hope to see this in fm13
thanks for such an entertaining read mate
 

gogogo golem

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Mar 15, 2012
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Great post, I think Eric, Bartolini and Paolone really deserved their place but I think Jacopo Villa and Carlo Vignoli should have also made the team as although they weren't massive to your club they were crucial to the NT.
 

kandersson

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Nov 13, 2010
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Great post, I think Eric, Bartolini and Paolone really deserved their place but I think Jacopo Villa and Carlo Vignoli should have also made the team as although they weren't massive to your club they were crucial to the NT.
Villa and Vignoli would definitely make the team if I played another 4-5 seasons but as of 2026 I felt other players were more deserving. Nonetheless Carlo and JV were absolutely vital for the success of NT and undisputed first choice for the Cantera Treble squad.
 

kandersson

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Nov 13, 2010
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as FM13 has been a bit disappointing for me (last ME patch was an improvement but still far from enjoyable imo.. main issues for me: goalkeeper and tackling) I was thinking I might go back to FM12 until next patch for FM13.

could be a good chance to reprise my SM save and finish the job trying to win World Cup and qualifying for Olympics. Anyone still interested in following this story?
 

gogogo golem

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Mar 15, 2012
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as FM13 has been a bit disappointing for me (last ME patch was an improvement but still far from enjoyable imo.. main issues for me: goalkeeper and tackling) I was thinking I might go back to FM12 until next patch for FM13.

could be a good chance to reprise my SM save and finish the job trying to win World Cup and qualifying for Olympics. Anyone still interested in following this story?
I'm definitely interested.
 

kandersson

Member
Nov 13, 2010
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I'll play a bit in next days so should post an update soon, hopefully some of you guys will keep following :)

main goals for this 'new' adventure:

- insist on a strict cantera policy
- make Alessandro Paolone all-time top scorer for club and country
- win a youth competition with NT (U21/U20/U19)
- qualify for Olympics
- win World Cup!
 

sammyt

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Feb 2, 2010
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I also reckon that Bartolini will easily set a new record for most appearances and then if it gets too easy at club level again you could always insist on a strict only sammarinese policy where dual nationalists aren't allowed.
 

Fabio Borini

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Aug 22, 2012
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haha i love this, this inspired me to do my own "San Marino" save... It's actually a lot of fun, love the challenge. But it takes a lot of time and unfortunately I don't have that.. But I still hope you can win the World Cup here..
 

kandersson

Member
Nov 13, 2010
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Alessandro Paolone sets new record

Godlike striker Alessandro Paolone keeps adding to the legend with a new record for the club:

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Paolone started new season only a few goals behind former club idol Alex in the all-time scoring charts, and with some vintage performances in Serie A it didn't take long for him to set a new San Marino record for league goals with 203 goals - and still counting as you can see...

Good to see Alessandro bouncing back from his terrible World Cup form, we could have used a couple of these goals back in June though...


Next update at the Christmas break, with latest EURO qualifying matches for NT and a recap of first half of the season for the club (Serie A, CL, Club World Cup). Still doing a good job with the Cantera kids despite annoying injuries to ALL my best AML's at the same time - had to start a 16 years old for a couple of matches...​
 

kandersson

Member
Nov 13, 2010
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have you started this again?
yeah I'm going back to my old San Marino save until next ME patch for FM13 comes out :p

I've no doubt this ME will be great at some point and much better than FM12, but right now I find it a bit flawed (eg GK and tackling) and not very enjoyable so I thought I'd continue my old, long-term save. Still a few goals to achieve actually, including the World Cup...
 

kitchin75

Member
Feb 3, 2010
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yeah I'm going back to my old San Marino save until next ME patch for FM13 comes out :p

I've no doubt this ME will be great at some point and much better than FM12, but right now I find it a bit flawed (eg GK and tackling) and not very enjoyable so I thought I'd continue my old, long-term save. Still a few goals to achieve actually, including the World Cup...
cool will keep a eye on this
 

flez85

Member
Jan 10, 2011
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Just read your end of career updates again, very impressive stuff man. If I would have known you were considering this challenge again for FM13, I wouldn't have started a story on it myself. Your success is extremely humbling, I don't know if I'll every reach the standard you have!
 
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