The Letter Challenge - a single letter to make the team ! --> S for SCHALKE

Wich club should i choose for this challenge ?

  • Aston Villa (A)

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  • Frankfurt

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  • Leeds

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  • Monaco

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  • Rennes

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  • Porto

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  • Total voters


Apr 12, 2012
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Today is the beginning of a new story : The Letter Challenge

This challenge is something special and you will quickly understand it :
The club could only buy and put in the first team, players whose first letter of the name is identical to the first letter of the club. For exemple : Busquets in Barcelona.

Could you help me choose the club with which I should complete this challenge?
I have prepared a list of clubs with which I have an affinity and with which I would like to try this challenge. Vote for the one you want to read my story for 👆


Rules of the challenge :
- Only recruit players whose first letter is the same to the first letter of the club (buy, loan, end contract, youth, ...). When a player have double letter, or when it's a composed name, or with " - ", the first letter is used (for example : Hudson-Odoi is for H, Ter Stegen is for T, Diego Costa is for D).
- Players in the club could play the first season. For the beginning of the second season, every players that don't match the challenge must leave the club (sell or loan them).
- Youth and newgens that appear in the academy can stay at the club to grow (and be sold) but not play for the first team if they don't fit the rule 1.
- No use the editor to change club, players and competition or make transfers.
- Staff isn't concerned by the challenge.

So my objectives for the save are :
- Take club to Europe 🇪🇺
- Win a national Cup 🏆
- Take the club to the 1st place of the League 🥇
- Win an European Cup 💪
- Build the best youth facilities of the country 👶

VOTE for the club you want me to play with ! ☝👀
Voting ends the 17 of july​
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UP !

I Need you :) Come and vote for the challenge you want me to do ! :D
As a Betis supporter IRL I have a couple of things to say:

-It's not "Betis Sevilla" but Real Betis (or just Betis for short)
-My vote is obvious, let's see how far they can go with such a peculiar set of guidelines ^^
As a Betis supporter IRL I have a couple of things to say:

-It's not "Betis Sevilla" but Real Betis (or just Betis for short)
-My vote is obvious, let's see how far they can go with such a peculiar set of guidelines ^^

Yeah sorry for that, in french we often say Betis Seville and not Real Betis as it is in the game. So i apologise for this ;)
Would be an interesting challenge for me, thanks for voting :)
The votes have spoken : the “One Letter Challenge” will be done with Schalke 04 in Germany. Thank you to everyone who voted! :)
I will now introduce you to the club, as well as the objectives and how I hope to meet this challenge :


Schalke 04
FC Schalke 04 is a professional German football club originally from the Schalke district of Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The “04” in the club’s name derives from its formation in 1904 1. One of the early versions of the club was called Westfalia Schalke and formed in 1904. After twenty years of existence and a couple of failed mergers and name changes, the club took the name Schalke 04 in 1924.

Schalke have been one of the most popular professional football teams in Germany, even though the club’s heyday was in the 1930s and 1940s. As of 2023, the club has 176,000 members, making it the second-largest football club in Germany and the fourth-largest club in the world in terms of membership.
In real life, Schalke now play in the 2. Bundesliga, the second tier of the German football league system, following relegation from the Bundesliga in 2022–23. But in FM23, at the beggining of the game, they still play in the first Bundesliga.

Schalke 04 won the Bundesliga title seven times, but the last title was in 1958 (seven German Championships, prior to the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963). The club has come close several times, finishing as runners-up in the league on ten occasions, last was in 2018. However, they have won other major titles, including five DFB-Pokal trophies.
In Europe, Schalke 04 has never won the UEFA Champions League or the European Cup, which was its predecessor. However, they did win the UEFA Cup in 1997 (now known as the UEFA Europa League).
The last time Schalke 04 played in a European Cup was in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League season. They also played in the Europa League in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

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Stadium :
The Veltins-Arena is the home ground of FC Schalke 04 and is located in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. It was inaugurated in 2001 and was originally called Arena AufSchalke. In 2005, it was renamed Veltins-Arena after the club’s former sponsor, Veltins.
The Veltins-Arena has a capacity of 62,271 spectators for league matches (standing and seated) and 54,740 spectators for international matches (seated only).


Goals :
For the season, my boss have set 3 goals :​
  • Stay in Bundesliga​
  • Be competitive in DFB Pokal (cup)​
  • Become self-sufficient​
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The fans want us to stay in Bundesliga, to be competitive against rival Dortmund, and to get young players to the first team

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And so here is the configuration of the game :
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So i put a lot of "big" countries to have a lot of players to look for that fit the callenge.
And i also add some configurations for every continent : International players, players from big clubs, from clubs in continental cup, players with continental reputation.

I will now talk about tactics, team and transfer market in next post ;)
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Team and Tactics :
For the first season, i will try to do my best with the team i have in the beggining of the game, and trying to buy some targets.
I love @DeliciousStory 's works on tactics and i will use two of them that i tried with succes in other saves : 4-2-4 Structura VII, and 4-2-3-1 Structura X. and for thoose who want a look at it ;)
I think i could find lots of players that fit in these 2 tactics. The 4-2-4 will be used for home games against lower or same level teams, and 4-2-3-1 will be used for away games, and against very strong teams.

My board gave me 1 million € in transfert market and i've still 2 millions/y in wage budget. So i can't do lot of things in the transfert market, and i have to find some tips to get more money !!

1st thing is to look at my team : Schalke have a lot of players in loan at the club. Most of them are 3rd picks for their position, or are inferior to club owned squad players. I will therefore try to end their loan to recover this money in wage budget.
Secondly, i will try to sell some of the players that dont fit in my tactics or, that are also 3rd choice for their position. So i could get back some money and look at the tranfert window.

Here are the only players in the entire club (with second team and youths), that fit the challenge and that we could keep in the club for the second season :
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Tim Starke on loan could be bought for 1 million and could be a decent player.
Sidi Sané will be a decent player too for the club, so we have to make him grow !
The other players aren't realy interesting and will be kept if we don't find someone else.

Transfer Market :
After ending 6 loans and getting back 2 players (Florain Flick DM, and Jordan Larsson RW), my remaining wage budget is now €7 million per year, giving me some liberty in transfert market.
I tried to sell 2 players of the team : Sebastian Polter (sold to St Pauli for 2M€) and Tobias Mohr (Sold to Al-Halil for 2.2M€). That was a great job to beging the market !
Then, I put on transfer list, and get offers for other weak players or youngster that didn't fit the challenge : Simon Terodde - 400k, Marcin Kaminski - 1.3M, Kenan Karaman - 2.7M, Joey Müller - 2.3M.
I also loan some youngsters to make them grow, and to keep their wage.

Now we can look at the transfer market and look for some targets !
Here are lists of players that fit with the Challenge and that we must keep an eye on during this save :

Some of the best players in the world :
Mohamed Salah, Bernardo Silva, Heung-Min Son, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané, John Stones, Milan Škriniar, Luke Shaw, Yann Sommer, Unai Simón, ... And so on

This list contains players who are not affordable for our club for several years, or even perhaps at the end of the contract or the end of their career. I will therefore not dwell on these players at present and will keep them in the selection in case a good opportunity arises.

Some of the biggest futures :
Giorgio Scalvini, Antonio Silva, Dominik Szoboszlai, Benjamin Sesko, Xavi Simons, Emile Smith-Rowe, Josip Sutalo, Mario Stroeykens, Andreas Schjelderup, Nico Serrano, Gianluca Scamacca, Mohamed Simakan, Oumar Solet, Oihan Sancet, ... And so on

This list of players represents the future of world football. Currently, the club's finances will not allow the purchase of one of these players, except in exceptional cases or at the end of the contract. However, they will be one of our priority objectives in the coming seasons in order to be able to achieve our title and European objectives. I will therefore not dwell on these players at present and will keep them in the selection in case a good opportunity arises.
The U18 players will be one of my main target in the 2 first years to make them grow in the club, so they will become club / country trained !! This is a condition for the European cups and we need it in long term !!

Some of the old players :
Wojciech Szczesny, David Silva, Luis Suarez, Alexis Sanchez, Kasper Schmeichel, Adrien Silva, Salvatore Sirigu, Moussa Sissoko, Kevin Strootman, Roberto Soldado.

These players at the end of their career could be a good opportunity to bring quality for one or two seasons, giving me time to earn some money to sign younger and talented players. They will therefore be a priority from the first season if they are financially affordable, or during the transfer window at the start of the second season.

Transfert Window :
I look to free agent and found some interesting players to sub my squad :
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And Salif Sané, who played for Schalke last season. I don't know why they let him go free, he is still decent for mid table team ! :)
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And i also bought some players for the future days :
Diogo Spencer (Benfica - 1.5M)
Maximilian Schuhbauer (Bayern - 120k)
Nicolai Skoglund (Sporting - 500k)

And finaly found 3 very good decent players to now improve my team :
Riccardo Sottil from Fiorentina - 7.75M (8.5M) : He will be a very good first team player as a winger left or right in my tactic !
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A decent experienced Central Defender to be a substitute to my team : Saul Salcedo
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A decent goalkeeper for a so low price : Juan Soriano (Tenerife - 1.8M)
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And finally, one of the future stars of the team : Luka Sucic
Bought for 4.5M€ now and 17M in 3 years (21.5M), he will be one of the best players of the team for the next years
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We can now begging this season with a decent team to fight !
Here we go ! Los geht's!
Mid-season Results
I didn't know the Bundesliga was so easy :eek::eek::eek:

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Transferts :
In January, i bought 2 young players for the future :
Cristian Shpendi (ST) - Cesana - 375k, potential : ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Artem Sokolov (AMCL) - Krylja Sovetov Samara - 575k, potential : ⭐⭐⭐⭐

i also bought for the end of the season, one of my favourite striker :
Martín Satriano from Inter for 2M now and 6.75M in 3 years (8.75M total). Potential : ⭐⭐⭐⭐


I also rebuilt a quality staff for the first team
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And now it's on for the second half of the season !
I hope my team will manage to stay the course, and finish at least on the podium

EDIT : i forgot the crazy World Cup result :
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ECUADOR ... WTF ?! :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
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