The Ultimate World Football Manager Game


Aug 12, 2021
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Saturday 26th December 2020 (in real life)

Boxing Day is arguably the most important day in the world sporting calendar. Traditionally and in a normal year it was the day when men would ‘escape’ after spending the previous day with family and loved ones. This year was different, the year we were advised to be ‘jolly careful’ by our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and it was the time where I only had one day to see my parents on Christmas Day.
My original plans for Boxing Day 2020 had been kyboshed by the tightening of restrictions just days before. My Dad though has a saying, ‘Preparation meeting opportunity’ Sat in my living room with just my laptop, a can of coke and some background Christmas telly, Boxing Day 2020 was the perfect day to start my epic footballing journey. The one I had been planning for the past three months…
Back in October and with a second lockdown in the UK looming I had an idea. Having relegated my Football manager fix from FM18 to Football Manager Mobile 2019 and 2020 over the past couple of years due to family reasons I was ready to make a comeback to the full fat FM. As a trial I downloaded a free version of FM20 from Epic in September 2020 and started messing around on it, starting random saves, but not really settling on one. Then the beta version of FM21 came out on the 14th November 2020 and so I downloaded this from Steam, loaded England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and started unemployed with not many badges or reputation. I ended up at Brechin City and then probably wished I hadn’t. Their club vision was to qualify for the Relegation Play Off in Scottish League 2. While I could not help but admire the pragmatism of the Brechin board, nor could I ever accuse them of being overambitious, which was in line with the pretty weak squad that I had inherited, the seeds of an idea started forming in my head.
What if I could download or create on the editor every league in the World and find a way of choosing any team at random and take them on, regardless of the country and their standing in the football world.
In other words, the ULTIMATE world journeyman save which could take me to any country in the world, manage any club, in any situation and in any league.

Collecting Every League In The World – November/December 2020 (in real life)

So where do you start in collecting the leagues from all the countries in the world on FM? The rule was that I must have a representation of every country in the FIFA World Rankings, plus any others which were available, such as Greenland, The North Mariana Islands and Kiribati for example. I would really have to find my inner Richard Osman here!
Football Manager already gives you 52 default nations, including all the major European and South American countries, you know the ones. However, there’s only one African nation, South Africa, only Australia in Oceania and Mexico is the only default representation in Central America and The Carribbean.

I did have a few things in my favour though. Firstly I have had previous experience and a working knowledge of the Pre Game Editor in creating new leagues, which I have used on previous versions. Secondly, despite having never travelled beyond Italy, my world geography is pretty good, although I did have to look up where on earth Mayotte was? Turns out it’s a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean, in case you didn’t know.
On 24th November 2020, the full version of FM21 was released. I was on the Steam Workshop every night hastily subscribing to any created league that appeared. I don’t know who you are but @Timo, you are the man! This guy must sit in his bedroom morning, noon and night churning out these extra league files and uploading them to Steam. Kiribati and Angola to The Cape Verde Islands and French Guiana @Timo (and a few others) cover the lot and in a matter of just weeks.

By mid-December my collection of editor files was getting close to the target of every league in the FIFA World Rankings. I was determined to get the lot. I also expanded some of the larger nations, for example the ubiquitous ‘England leagues down to Level 10’ file was included and Holland down to Level 8 (every square inch of this small country must have a football team) and some other major nations.

Just one week before Christmas I had downloaded most of them, except for a few outstanding countries dotted around the globe. Jamaica was an obvious missing country, El Salvador was another, while I nearly left out Kyrgyzstan because I nearly forgot this country even existed, let alone spell it! The missing countries were filled by my own basic FM editor skills which can just about join a few leagues together with promotion and relegation, along with a cup competition if available to a reasonable standard of realism.
By around the 21st Dec I was ready with all leagues sat squashed like sardines in my editor data folder on my laptop. After a couple of test runs, to make sure by loading every league in the world at the start of the game didn’t result in steam coming out of the side of my laptop; and that I wasn’t waiting two hours for the game to load, I was ready to go. Boris’ last minute change of rules meant I was game on for Boxing Day night to start the ultimate footballing journey.

The Aim Of The World Football Manager Challenge

The aim of this was to manage a team picked at random from any of the 200+ nations and leagues in the world. How was I to determine the country and the club that I would take over and become my first team on the save?
Boxing Day night and I switch on my laptop and load Football Manager 2021, select start new career game and load up all the leagues. I then made a cup of tea because this may take a while. In fact it took around 10-15 minutes to get to the screen below

In Part 2 I will explain how I chose completely at random the club which would become my first team to manage on The Ultimate World Football Manager Game!
Choosing The Nation & Choosing The Team

To choose the ten random countries I opened my web browser and went to the site Random Country - Explore the World which is as the name suggests an online random country generator. This website is a beast and in the run up to Boxing Day had been testing this site to make sure that all countries in the world had an equal chance of being selected. I wasn’t disappointed as places that were not even recognised countries came up such as Guernsey and Northern Cyprus. The site even showed you where it was in the world and a little bit of information about it. I guess this site is perhaps used by travellers who cannot decide where to go on their next exciting expedition. I also think this site must not have been used much recently as travelling had just about come to a standstill in 2020.
I was to generate ten random countries by pressing the ‘next random country’ button on the site. It’s dead simple, have a go its fun! The first country that came was Hong Kong, followed by Namibia. The full ten countries are shown below in the order they came up in.



  • 1. 1. Hong Kong
  • 2. 2. Namibia
  • 3. 3. North Korea
  • 4. 4. The Maldives
  • 5. 5. Gibraltar
  • 6. 6. Cambodia
  • 7. 7. Bolivia
  • 8. 8. El Salvador
  • 9. 9. Fiji
  • 10. 10. Lithuania
I then found a random number generator to determine which country I would start the game in. This came out as number four which meant the game started in the Maldive Islands in July 2020 (There’s worse places in the world to start and it could have been North Korea at the end of the day!)


Managerial Ability and Reputation

In order to maximise the amount of clubs available to possibly join I decided that I would put myself somewhere around the middle in terms of coaching badges and reputation. Now admittedly none of the ten nations selected are hardly powerhouses of world football and to my knowledge only two out the ten, Bolivia and North Korea have ever qualified for The World Cup. I started the game with a National A License coaching badge and a Regional Professional Footballer reputation. My managerial stats are as below which gives me something to work with at least on the training field wherever I end up.


Job Centre and Applying for Jobs

I went into the Job Centre and filtered on each individual nation, starting with 1- Hong Kong. Unfortunately there were no jobs available in Hong Kong, probably because it is a default nation on the game and there are only eight teams in the league.

The rules were that I could apply to two clubs per country. To determine which clubs I applied for I found a random letter generator on the Internet. From here I chose a random letter which the clubs I applied to must begin with. If there was more than two clubs which began with the same letter I would draw a second letter which the club’s name must also contain.


If there was only one club which started with the chosen letter then I simply drew another letter for the club’s name to begin with, which is why some countries have two letters in the list below.

The second country was Namibia. The letter drawn was C. I applied to two clubs called Chief Santos and Citizens. I repeated this process for the other 8 nations as below.
North Korea – RY – Ryongaksan & Ryongnongen

Maldives – T&G – TC Sports & Gaamagu

Gibraltar (No available teams)

Cambodia – E & R – Electricitie Du Cambodge & Rithy Sen

Bolivia – V – Vasa Diez & Virgen De Chijipata

El Salvador – J & I – Juaye & Ilopaneco

Fiji – R & S – Rewa & Suva FC

J & N – Juventa 91 & Neptunas

The Job Centre for El Salvador below.



I then attended each of the 20 job interviews that I was offered from the applied jobs. Only two, TC Sports of the Maldives and Ryongaksam of North Korea did not offer me the job and employed somebody else. All the other clubs I applied to offered me the job. To decide which team I would start the game in, I loaded the first letter of each club who had offered me a job.



The wheel drew the letter E, which meant the club I would be starting the game with was Electricitie Du Cambodge of Cambodia…
Therefore through the turn of a random country generator and the spin of a letter wheel my footballing journey starts in the South East Asian Kingdom of Cambodia at a club called Electricitie Du Cambodge, also known as EDC!


In Part 3- I start my world footballing journey with a struggling Cambodian C-League outfit, Electricitie du Cambodge in the middle of the league season. I have bought my apartment in Phnom Penh, but know not one word of Khmer. How will I get on?

Can't Wait? Read Part 3 Here!


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Part 3 - Starting Out At EDC (Part 1) (Thanks to the Annoying 10000 character rule)


About EDC

EDC are the Cambodian Electricity Company’s football team, or I suppose the country’s equivalent of the National Grid. They are based in Phnom Penh the capital and play at a ground called Prey Veng. EDC were only formed in 2015 are semi-professional. They play in the C-League, the top flight of the Cambodian domestic league. Thanks to @Timo I have the C-League, along with the Cambodian Second League, which is split into three groups A-C and each contain fourteen teams, with the top team from each group gaining promotion to the C-League. The Cambodian season runs from March to October, which means as I am starting the game in July 2020, I take over EDC halfway through the season. After 14 games we lie in 10th place, but a reasonably comfortable 7 points above relegation. My remit from the board is for me to keep EDC in the C-League this year. This would not normally be a problem if this was say in The Conference North, where I know the teams and league inside out, but as I am on complete unknown territory here, it makes the task somewhat harder. Such is the beauty of the journeyman save! By the way I absolutely love the fact that the EDC club badge has electricity pylons on it. Brilliant!

What I Know About Cambodia

I know little about Cambodia, other than where it is in the world, sandwiched between Thailand to the West and Viet Nam to the East. It has a coastline on the Gulf of Thaliand and its capital is Phnom Penh. The country is perhaps sadly most known for the horrendous regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s which resulted in a mass genocide of the population. Thankfully the Khmer Rouge was thrown out of office and the current Prime Minister is called Hun Sen and has been in power since 1985, which makes him the longest serving Prime Minister in the world. He even has the Cambodian FA cup named after him, the Hun Sen Cup, also known as the Prime Minister’s Cup which EDC will be competing for. In 1993 the country’s monarchy was restored and the King of Cambodia is in office as a figurehead for the nation.
I guess I will get to know this country better as I go along while managing their Elecrticity Company’s National Grid's football team…

What I know about Cambodian Football

Meeting The Players and The EDC Squad – First Impressions

Having sorted my squad in terms of ability according to my Assistant Manager (whose name escapes me for now) the stand out here is a 15 year old left back (obviously a Regen) called Ouk Ratana, who has a 5 ability and potential star rating. The other names to look out for are Suon Veasna (AMR/L), Moul Daravaon (DC), Sok Chanraksmey (ST), Tum Saray (AMLRC) and Moun Nara (D/MC), who according to my assistant are my best players.

The First Team Squad


Sam Chammoureun
- At 28 he should be my first choice, but his stats are not that great
Kong Rafat- He is only 17, but has quite a bit of potential and so I will consider making him my no1 if he can take the pressure at his tender age.
Kouch Vandeth A young 16 year old keeper with some potential


Ouk Ratana DLC
- A player of high promise, though only 15. A tackling of 12 and many other stats above 5 make him a decent choice with plenty of room for improvement. Can also play in Central defence

Chan Dara DL - A veteran left back aged 34, who looks as though he was decent but the stats are going south, Might be useful in big games where experience is needed.

Ouch Panaseth DL - A 20 year old left back with not great stats. A back up option at best,

Maul Daravon DC - Statistically our best defender and a key player, with good marking and tackling attributes.

Suon Makara D/MC - A versatile and experienced defender who will probably partner Daravon

Moun Nara D/MC A decent back up who can play in defence or midfield

Nhem Theara - We are not overly blessed with right backs, so I've plucked this kid out of the reserves as there is nobody else. We'll see how he does.


Nan Punlock DMC/MC -
A decent ball winning midfielder, with a tackling of 11

Savy Sedsody DMC/MC - A decent young prospect, who will be there or thereabouts in my plans.

Ouch Udom MC/AMC- A young 16 year old attacking midfielder with potential

Suon Veasna MR/L A good winger who can play either side. Dribbling 10, Crossing 8 Pace 12

Tum Saray AM/LRC A highly rated player but his stats don't convince me on first impressions.

Ly Pheng ML - A pretty useless left winger with no pace.

Hem Chetra AMR/L - A pacy winger who can play on both flanks

Long Rothsery MLC - A young midfield prospect who has already broken into the 1st team.

Sok Sengdara MC - An experienced midfielder who could do a job.

Mao Mol AML - A young left winger with decent potential.


Sok Chanraksmy
- Our best and most experienced striker with a finishing of 12 and with international experience. Finishing 12, Pace 10, Heading 10.

Phanny Y Rotha - A good striker with pace and decent finishing, but little else.

Choum Chum - An experienced striker with international experience, but at 34 years old is probably past his best.

Math Voeuen - A young striker with a finishing of 14, but little other endearing qualities.

Sam Chammeroun - A young striker with some potential, but not ready for first team yet.
There are other regen young players in my reserves and under 21 teams which may pop up from time to time.

No Nicknames Needed & Currency

One thing I like about Cambodia already is the names are quite easy to learn and pronounce, which means I will not have to use the ‘Set Nickname’ feature to simplify their names! For the purpose of simplicity I have kept the currency as the default Pound Sterling, meaning that wages and transfer fees will be conducted in English currency rather than the Cambodian Riel or US Dollar, which in real life are the units of currency in Cambodia.

My First Press Conference

Eyebrows were certainly raised across the world of football at the appointment of Jonathan Rudd as manager of EDC. 'You cannot speak Khmer' barked the hacks from the Phnom Penh Gazette. 'Football is a universal language,' I cooly replied, smiling warmly. You may not be able to hold onto Tum Saray.. 'Well we'll see what happens with that..not really sure who he is to be honest, is he the goalkeeper?...' According to my Press Officer, this was just fine!

Betting Odds & Expectations

As the odds of us to win the C-League are 450-1, then I don’t think we are really much cop against the rest of the division, apart from the few teams below us. The only way I will find out is by looking at the other teams, assessing their strength and try to pick up as many points as I can in order to stay clear of the relegation zone. I can see Veasna, Daravon and Chanraksmey are the best two players at the club, but I have no idea how they match up to the players in the top teams in the league, such as 6-5 favourites Vishaka or 10-3 shots, Beoung Ket. EDC are 11th most likely to win the C-League out of 14, so I can see we are certainly not the biggest fishes in this particular pond. The only thing I can compare this team to is where they would sit in the English League pyramid and on first impressions they would be a mid-table Conference North/South side at best.

Board Expectations and Club Vision

Luckily the expectations from the board are pragmatic, but not quite as bad as Brechin City! They want us to avoid relegation from the C-League. EDC had already been knocked out of the Prime Minister's Cup before I took charge, so I will not be judged on this. Moving forward they just want us to establish ourselves as a permanent C-League team. Judging by the fact that EDC are only 5 years old this seems to be a sensible approach.

Our Stadium & Facilities

Our ground is called Prey Veng, with a capacity of only 1,000, which is hardly conducive to an electric atmosphere. However, with a team full of electricians, at least the floodlights will always work. The training and youth facilities are rated poor, but I didn't really expect anything else. Despite this we have a few decent young prospects in the squad.

The 2020 Season So Far

In the season so far, EDC actually got off to a decent start with three straight wins, but then hit a slump in form, losing seven games in a row. I pick up the season after 14 games, halfway through the season and we 10th in the table, but a healthy 7 points away from relegation. My first game is against Bati Youth who are deep in the relegation zone. I haven’t a clue what they are like, or what EDC are in comparison, such is the beauty of managing a football team in a completely unknown country like Cambodia!
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Starting Out At EDC - Part 2

The C-League Table (after 13/14 games)

1st - Svay Rieng 35pts
2nd - Nagaworld 31pts
3rd - National Police 27
4th - Boeung Ket 25
5th - Phnom Penh Crown 25
6th - Angkor Tiger 22
7th - Vishaka 22
8th - National Defence 19
9th - Kirivong 17
10th - EDC 15
11th - Asia Euro United 14
12th - Solitio Angkhor 8
13th - Bati Youth 5
14th - Kampong Cham 3

My First Game in Charge

Amidst all the chaos of taking charge of a new club in an unknown country and league I also have a game.

Game 1- Bati Youth (H) 25/07/20

Pre Match expectations

My first game in charge of EDC on the day after I take over the job, yikes! I have no idea what to expect from my players. I know we are far from the best team in the league, but looking at the squad and results before I took over the reigns, we are a capable team and can compete in this league if we play well. Looking at Bati Youth they are as the name suggests, an academy team who are 13th in the league and are full of kids. This should hopefully be a nice easy three points to pull us further away from the bottom of the league towards mid-table. In the process it will give me a nice first look at my players and hopefully a successful start to my EDC career.

Team Selection

Rotha Chanraksmy

Saray Punlock Sengdara Veasna

Ratana Makara Daravon Theara

Kong Rafat

Subs: Sam Chammeroun (GK) Ly Pheng, Choum Chum, Hem Chetra, Moun Nara, Ouch Udoum, Chan Dara

Result: EDC 1-2 Bati Youth

Chanraksmey (pen) ///// 21 Sambo 27, Oudoum 51
Sengdara s/off 55

I’m not really sure how this game was lost against a team full of 16/17 year olds, but it really is not as bad as it sounds. All was going to plan when Chakraksmy drilled a penalty into the bottom corner and the game in our favour. Like England v Iceland it seemed like a case of how many we could score. However some poor marking from a corner let in their player Sambo to hammer the ball into the top corner for 1-1 from their only attack before half time. At the interval I was confident we would win the game comfortably in the second half. Chance after chance went a- begging and their keeper was like a Cambodian Thomaschevsky. Then 5 minutes of madness when a breakaway was briefly halted by Ratana, our 15 yr old full back only to slide tackle the ball into their onrushing player who squared it for Oudom to sidefoot it into the net unmarked. Then an innocuous 2nd booking for our midfielder, Sengdara, who was having a decent game from a free kick put us down to 10. Even then after that we still pushed forward for an equaliser, with sub Chum going close. Really unlucky to lose this one against a team we should be beating if we want to play C-League football next season....

Oh dear! Not quite the glorious start to life at EDC I'd hoped for. In fact I lost to a bunch of kids in my first game. Things can only get better surely, Can I rally the troops to keep EDC in the Cambodian top flight, or will this be the worst footballing mistake of my life? Find out next time....
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Part 4 - Trying To Find A Spark

The next three matches

As I drove into training the day after the Bati Youth defeat I passed a local high school. As the teenagers crossed the road and hung around the school gates, the nightmare of my opening defeat came flooding back, as their youthful striker, Oudoum wheeled away in jubilation at scoring the winner, accompanied by whoops of delight and that sort of immature celebration that only 16/17 year olds do on a football field. (If you watch any U19s or U17s football you'll probably know what I mean.

So, to the next game, a team against men, one of the biggest teams in Cambodia and as they are also based in the capital, a local derby, Phnom Penh Crown

Game 2- EDC v Phnom Penh Crown (H) 02/08/20

Pre Match Thoughts

After the defeat against Bati Youth I cannot take this league lightly. Although we were very unlucky to lose, the FM gods were not on my side, even on my debut game. Crown sit 5th in the table and look as though they can play. They have a decent South African striker, Booyens up front and a Colombian by the name of Monteiro on the wing amongst others who look a whole lot better than my lot... I really don’t hold out much hope for this one and will play a Cautious mentality with 2 DMCs sitting in a solid 4-2-3-1 formation. Chetra comes in on the left wing to show me what he can do after a good week in training, while Saray starts behind the lone striker, Chanraksmey. Fingers crossed we keep the score down in this one. On a sidenote I also make my debut on Cambodian TV, as this match will be televised.


EDC 1-1 Phnom Penh Crown

Saray 28 Shirota 59

A point at home against the team who are 5th in the league., I’ll take this! The game started badly as our best attacking player, Suon Veasna hobbled off injured and was replaced by the youngster, Ouch Udom, with Saray moving to right wing. Phnom Penh Crown have a few foreign stars, but for large parts of the game our bunch of 11 semi pro Cambodians kept them at bay. Shockingly we took the lead as Chanraksmy got in behind the defence before floating a lovely ball to the far post where Tum Saray smacked it into the top corner with an acrobatic volley Cristiano Ronaldo would have been proud of. Then the game just ticked along until half time with our lead still in tact. In the second half the inevitable pressure from the home side materialised and a free header from their Japanese defender, Shirota from a corner levelled the scores. However we held strong and kept a very good defensive shape. We could have almost won it when a breakaway from defending a corner, the ball landed at the feet of defensive midfielder Nan Punlok, who could only find the defender when an easy through ball was on to the onrushing Chanraksmy. Never mind I’ll take the point.

Game 3- National Defence (H) 08/08/20


Pre Match Thoughts

As the above graphic suggests EDC stand a cat in ****’s chance of a result here. However, National Defence sit only 2 places above me and despite having a lost Brazilian upfront, Romario and a very useful looking South Korean you just never know. Chan Dara replaces our 15 year old left back. He is 34 and have gone for experience. Udom comes in at AMC with a recovering Veasna on the bench.

EDC 1- 0 National Defence
Chanraksmy 60 (pen)

Whoop Whoop our first win! No it wasn’t pretty and we had to grind this one out. While we may lack quality we lack nothing in fighting sprit, toughness and togetherness. The first half was evenly matched with both sides trading blows, but Daravon and Makara in the heart of the defence were first to every ball and their Brazilian, Romario looked very lost and was eventually substituted in the second half, a shadow of his more illustrious namesake. It was 0-0 at half time. My only concern was Chanraksmey looked a bit isolated up front, so Saray and Chetra were pushed up alongside him to try and give him some support. On the hour our lone striker was upended in the box from a free kick and he duly got up and calmly slotted the penalty past their keeper, sending him the wrong way. Soon after National Defence won a corner and hit the bar but seldom came close apart from that, with our keeper Kong Rafat barely making a save. Sengdara came on as a sub, back after his ban and went close with a long range effort, as we kept the ball superbly in the dying minutes of the game to secure the win.

Game 4- Vishaka v EDC – 15/08/20

Pre-Match Thoughts

Like the previous game against National Defence I do not hold out much hope of a result here. Our hosts sit in 5th place and looking through their team have a talented contingent of escaped North Koreans to contain, plus an experienced Croatian striker, Mihaljevic, who has somehow ended up in Cambodia via stints in Poland and Bulgaria. Having seen our resilience against stronger opposition in the last 2 games we have a chance if we work hard.

EDC 2-3 Vishaka
Chetra 30, Punlock 49 Pak Song Chul 59, Keo Sokpheng 69, Choe Meong Ho 81


Where to start? Vishaka begin the game well and win a penalty, Mihalevic though pulls the ball wide. Then, Saray drifts in from the right flank and plays a delicious through ball for Chanraksmey to force a fine save from their goalkeeper, Nhem Polroth. From the resulting corner, Suray drifts it in to be met by Hem Chetra who leapt like a salmon to head home, giving us a shock 1-0 lead, which is how it stayed until the interval. At half time I told them to keep up the good work. Then, 4 minutes into the second half, our veteran striker, Choum Chum held up the ball before laying off to the onrushing Nan Punlock who unleashed a stunning piledriver into the bottom corner and EDC were together in Electric Dreams! However, this only seemed to galvanise Vishaka, who were beginning to look more and more dangerous as their North Korean contingent began to pick up the ball and run with it. Ri Hyok Chol on the left wing was finding too much space, against young Theara , our right back. His pass found his compatriot, Pak Song Chol who fired in an unstoppable angled shot past Kong Rafat for 2-1. The comeback was on. Then, Keo Sokpheng drifted in unmarked from the right to equalise after another raid down the left. EDC hearts were broken when Choe Myong Ho won the game for Vishaka with a 25 yard strike into the top corner, pouring water over EDC’s charges. Not too disheartened in that it shows we can compete with the bigger C-League teams, but it is never nice to lose from a 2-0 winning position.

So a win, a draw and a defeat in my last three matches. It could have been worse, could have been better. However with a relegation six pointer next up against the team directly below us, Solitio Ankhor, can EDC stave off relegation fears once and for all?

Click Here for Part 5 - A Relegation 6-pointer


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