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The Spaaaaaaaaaa.......... v2.0

With the Saratoga season quickly approaching, I’ve had my arm twisted enough by the Discord team to revise my primer from last year. I live about 20-minutes east of Saratoga and it’s my home track; my first real memory of a horse race was betting on Forty Niner in the ’88 Travers……I was 6…… During the 40-day meet, I do most of my wagering for the year and consistently show a nice positive ROI.
What is Saratoga: The Saratoga Racecourse is the oldest continually operating sporting venue in the United States. The town of Saratoga was founded around dozens of natural mineral springs which were turned into bath houses at the end of the 19th Century. Those fighting conditions like Polio sought out the healing properties of the springs; FDR was a regular visitor. The town is about a 3-hour drive north of NYC, so it’s a major summer retreat for those looking to escape. During most of the year, Saratoga is a sleepy town of 25k; on a major race weekend that number will be 5x that.
Why is it Important: The 40-day long meet has 71 stakes with $14.45 million in purse, 39 of those being Graded. Most tracks best day of racing for the entire season is a regular Saratoga Thursday afternoon, the field size and quality here is just unmatched. The feature of the meet is the Travers stakes which this year is Derby Points earning but normally sees Triple Crown pointed horse gearing back up for a BC Campaign. Saratoga also sees a huge number of very talented maiden races where you will often see next year’s Triple Crown contenders get their start. Owners and Trainers want to show off their very best and a win at Saratoga means massive bragging rights for most. Due to its northern latitude and numerous training tracks, Saratoga is a massive training track that sees horse shippers from around the country even if they have no intent on running there. For the month of July and August, Saratoga really is the focus of all horse racing east of the Mississippi.
What you should know before going:
· With Covid, the track will NOT be accessible to spectators, even owners cannot get on the grounds. All vantage points have a police presence to keep away spectators. Your best option for viewing is sitting on your couch.
· Watch Talking Horses the morning of. Its on locally in Saratoga or you can watch on YouTube or with NYRA bets. While Andy Sterling can come off as a bit of a jerk (he is but I like him), he knows a lot about horses. However, he's always looking for a price and overemphasizes troubled trips, so keep that in mind. He does try to beat some really tough horses. Either way him and his associate will give you great background for all the races of the day with replays.
Angles to Consider:
· Having good friends is a massive benefit here. Fields are deep and competitive, so having a 2nd or 3rd set of eyes looking at PP’s is huge. A group of us Handicap a couple of days before each card, so hop on Discord and go through the races as a team, it will substantially boost your ROI.
· Saratoga is the land of Maidens, so Workout Reports are key. All the major east coast trainers will bring the best of their best 2yr old’s to Saratoga as winning a race there is massive. The only true way to gauge these horses is with workout reports. Always remember that PP’s are rearward biased; you care about the horse today, not when it last ran a month ago. Due to the time of the Saratoga meet, it’s very common to have improving 2 or 3yr old’s take a massive step up here.
· Best way to make money at Saratoga is to pay attention to track biases and to make out your own odds. Track tends to be very speed favoring one day and then it’s all closers the next; watch not just what horse is winning but how and adjust accordingly. Saratoga also sees a lot of "dead money", people with no clue who are betting names, colors, jockeys, trainers...etc. These people LOVE to chase favorites and they are very often overlay’s more here than any place else in the country. If you handicap with no ML and have a horse's fair value at 3-1 its often common to see it drift to 10-1 because a Pletcher firster is 1-9 when it should also be 3-1.... etc....
· Saratoga is also the land of crazy weather. It’s not abnormal to have half the card be 80 and Sunny then a pop-up Thunderstorm rolls through and you have mud with off-turf. The public has no ideas how to manage this and will still bet a turf horse who hates running on the dirt. This leads to some massive overlay’s if you’re prepared.
· Although the bias was much less pronounced last year than most, on all three tracks between 5 and 6.5f you want to fade the inside path. This is partially due to those distances seeing younger horses, but also due to the shape of the inner rail entering the far turn. Also watch for a dead rail that plagued the track for the first few weeks last year until it was re-graded which made it less pronounced.
· Fade horses in the 8 path and beyond in 2-turn routes, they have terrible statistics even when accounting for field size. The most problematic races are 1 mile on the Mellon turf where early positional speed is huge. 9 & 10f races on the main track also favor the inside as a shorter runup into the first turn can leave outside horses stranded.
· Jose Ortiz won the 2019 Jockey title, but it’s always super competitive. Saratoga has one of the best jockey colonies in the country but take note of big names taking choice. If you saw that JJ was on three horses last out but choose one of those this time over the others, it’s likely that horse is very live…. etc.
· Chad Brown also dominate the Trainer title in 2019, with it not even being a contest. His entire barn points for the meet so if it’s a CB horse, its live, just deal with it.
· With all the CB love at Saratoga, certain trainers also have TERRIBLE statistics and should be faded or avoided. Those trainers who have solid numbers of starters and do well at other tracks but suck at SAR are: Amoss, Arnold, Keneally, McPeek, Moquette, Rivelli, Romans, Stall, Stewart and Wilkes. You’ll notice a KY trend there; yes, it is real….
· Pay attention to “well meant shippers” meaning oddball ships and weird drops. Look for horses coming out of smaller tracks like a Penn, FL, GP West, OP... etc... who are trained by small time trainers who have limited starts. Betting public tends to feel a lot more comfortable backing a Pletcher horse than a guy who sees 25 starts a year from a 5-horse stable. You'll often see a horse who ran in a couple MSW races at a Penn for say 12k, took a two month break with little work pattern, then shows up at Saratoga in an MCL 32k and wins. Also, huge class drops are less of a concern at Saratoga as traineowner title are so important, hell just winning a race is huge so often people will be OK being claimed away to say, "My horse won at Saratoga". You also tend to see a lot of horses who have one or two not very impressive starts, go on the bench for a month or two and then appear at Saratoga and win from a no-name trainer and connections, things often don't pass the sniff test and are often live in doing so.
Some of the Reddit/Discord group will also be doing a daily Saratoga focused show with information on our impressions from the day along with what to look out for tomorrow which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/onthewronglead
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What if... One-club men lived forever

The year is 2017. Top scientists have finally cracked the ability to stop ageing, and the world rejoices. The discovery prompts an immediate FIFA investigation into exactly what this means for world football from now on. How will the careers come and go when every team can just preserve their best stars? How will the next Messi break through? The Qatar FA suggest restricting it to only Qatari players, a motion that's only narrowly defeated. In unrelated news, a bunch of mysterious Qatari bank accounts are seized the day before the vote. Eventually, a compromise is decided upon between. Only those players who’ve proven themselves to be in it for the sport, and their team, can use it. The players who have stuck with their team through thick and thin, who’ve turned down bigger money offers to stay where they are. One-Club Men. However, should their loyalty ever waiver, and they choose to leave, those players will lose their right to an everlasting career, and have to face the advance years once again. Who will remain loyal the longest? Who will ride out the lowest of lows to stay at their lifelong club?
Unfortunately for those of you hoping I’ve found a secret miracle, that’s just the best nonsense I could come up with to frame this scenario. In less dramatic terms, using FM 2017, I'm going to select 50 one-club men from the top 5 leagues and de-age them to around 22. Every 5 years I'll de-age them down to 22 again, unless they abandon their loyalty. I'll also be adjusting everyone's contract to expire in 2020 to make it equal, and undoing international retirements where necessary. Nothing overly complicated, but I’m expecting this one to run a long long time if I’m going to have everyone leave, so I’m good with it not being too complicated.
Reddit side note! It's me again. Some may remember my experiments from ages ago. I'm back and writing again, but as you can probably tell, with a new name and website. If you want to see this post with much better formatting, all the images, and everyone's profile at the end, go here to read it in full: link You can stay here if you prefer though!
So who actually qualifies for this? I've restricted it to players from the Top 5 leagues of England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France, and only included those that have been at their clubs the longest. As well as the genuine candidates like Messi and Totti, loaned out players like Lahm qualify, as do those like Iniesta who haven't left in FM 2017, and even those that have left in-game, but are known for their careers at one club. Buffon is a good example of the latter. I've included a link to an image with all 5 players here: link
With all this loyalty around, I wanted to mix it up a bit by adding in one final player. Someone completely opposite to everyone picked so far, the anti-one-club man, the journeyman of all journeymen. And after some research, I came up with the perfect candidate. Sebastián Abreu, a man who in his career has played at an impressive 29 different teams in 11 different countries, setting a Guinness world record along the way. Abreu will receive the same treatment as the loyal players, except it won’t stop when he moves team. I want him to move around more, spread his wings, see how many teams he can collect over an illustrious career.
That’s enough explaining for now. Should be pretty clear what’s going on, just a bunch of footballers never getting old. Time to get things rolling and see who eliminates themselves. Who can stick it out the longest, who will become THE one-club man?

2016/17

With our younger one club men unleashed on the world, many of them attract instant attention from new clubs. For a while it stays quiet and looks like the first transfer window may pass without incident. Only a few loans crop up... until Javi López because the first man to fall. With Espanyol not meeting his standards, he makes a £2.4M trip down the coast to join Valencia. He proves to be the only summer casualty by the time the window slams shut.
January brings the winter window, and the Premier League clubs start to sniff around, ready to throw bags of cash at unsuspecting players. It doesn’t take long before the next two players are reeled in by money and lose their eternal youth. First Marcel Schmelzer in a £20.5M move to Liverpool, followed by Bruno joining moneybags Man City. By the end of the window, Nacho also heads to the north of England, joining rivals Man United. I’m not sure if any of them have realised how damn cold it is up there. That window swiftly ends, settling the bottom 4 finishers in the competition.
Returning to the world of actual football results briefly, and there aren’t many shocks to be seen. Man City finish 6th, Everton get relegated and Borussia Mönchengladbach reach the Champions League Semi-Finals. A few players see their team relegated, as Werder Bremen, Caen and Freiburg go down, so there could be a few casualties once that disappointment has set in. But all in all, the footballing world has coped just fine.
Loyal Players Remaining: 46
Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2017/18

With everyone’s transfer budgets warmed up, it doesn’t take long for the action to get back underway. The previous season has barely finished before Chris Solly trades in his morals for a Premier League move to Norwich. Sergio Álvarez joins him in England, making the slightly odd move to Bournemouth before a big £52M move sees Koke trade loyalty for a big move to Man City. That’s the most surprising move so far, as I expected many of the players at top clubs to stick around. The final two transfers of the window take us to sunny Spain, where both Xabi Prieto and Mario become massive glory hunters, trading in their life long clubs for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Javi López, having left Espanyol to join Valencia last year, immediately realises his mistake and rejoins Espanyol. It’s too little too late though, his status as a one-club man is already ruined.
The winter window comes and goes without even a hint of action, so things may already be starting to quieten down. Over in Brazil, Sebastián Abreu has his contract with Bangu come to an end after a good season but fails to attract any new suitors before the European season ends.
Around the world, things keep ticking on relatively normally. Watford take a surprising FA Cup win despite finishing rock bottom of the league, meaning they’ll have European nights alongside their Championship campaign. The loyalty of Seube, Höfler and Bargfrede is rewarded, as Caen, Bremen and Freiburg are immediately promoted back to the top tier. Las Palmas head in the opposite direction, which causes David García to hand in an immediate transfer request. The Spaniard could very well be the next player to go.
Loyal Players Remaining: 41
Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Watford (FA Cup)

2018/19

My suggestion that things may be quietening down is immediately disproved by the biggest move so far. Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm makes a huge £82M transfer to Manchester City, throwing away all he’d built up at Bayern so far. But it doesn't end there, as 2 more huge transfers are finalised right after. First Claudio Marchisio drops Juventus, clearly not happy with them losing the title to AC Milan, and moves to Real Madrid. Then Daniele De Rossi trades in Roma for Barcelona. Whilst both have moved in real life, I didn’t expect either to fall so early in this, being icons at such huge clubs. A little later, David García makes his predicted move away from relegated Las Palmas, opting to stay in Spain with Osasuna. And then on the final day of the window, one last move. David Zurutuza decides the Premier League is more to his taste and joins Noble at West Ham. Javi López continues his tour of Spain, realising rejoining Espanyol doesn’t earn him back everlasting youth, and so heads to Sevilla instead. Currently, he’s moved around more than the specific journeyman player I chose to actually move around. Talking of, Abreu does find a new contract, heading back to Uruguay to join River Plate Montevideo.
The winter transfer window is again mostly quiet, with very little potential action. There are still some transfers though, as Robin Knoche becomes the 15th person out, heading to Borussia Dortmund. Then a legend moves on, as Iker Casillas decides that barely getting any game time behind Keylor Navas isn’t worth it, and so joins Monaco for a mere £11M. I guess you can't escape the real world after all.
The summer of 2018 means a World Cup, a tournament which regularly creates bizarre results in Football Manager. This year is no exception, as the likes of Italy, Belgium and Argentina fall in the group stages, before South Korea beat both Germany and France in the knockouts. The final between Brazil and Croatia proves 100% less heartbreaking than the real 2018 final for the Croatians, as they become champions of the world. In domestic football, Man United take all the English trophies on offer in a Quadruple, whilst Freiburg find themselves relegated yet again, as do Montpellier.
Loyal Players Remaining: 34
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Croatia (World Cup)

2019/20

Another season, another transfer window, another set of swirling rumours around our one-club men. Borussia Dortmund manage to steal away another of our competitors from a German rival, taking Timo Horn early in the window. Having been relegated yet again last season, Nicolas Höfler decides enough is enough and leaves Freiburg for Hertha Berlin. Over in Italy, and Chievo Legend Sergio Pellissier finally caves, leaving his relegation-threatened lifelong team for European battlers Fiorentina. But that's all the entertainment I can offer, no big signings this time around I’m afraid. Let's go see what Javi López is up to instead. His merry-go-round of clubs continues yet again, moving over to Deportivo de La Coruña in the latest of his ever-decreasing value of transfers.
January retains its typical bleak and dull atmosphere, with no sign of action whatsoever until the final day of the window. Hugo Mallo decides to try and add to his trophy cabinet and heads to Man United. Not the worst career move to throw away eternal life for considering their dominance right now. And with his departure, the total number of players that we've lost hits a nice round 20.
In the Premier League, Man United claim their 4th title in a row, exerting total dominance over everyone. But where one dominance rises, another falls, with Dortmund claiming the Bundesliga to knock Bayern off their perch. The shock of the season comes in the Coupe de France, where 3rd tier LB Châteauroux knock out Lyon, Auxerre and PSG before falling to Caen in the semi-finals. With Monaco having fallen to 4th tier SA Spinalien, Caen beat an easier opposition of RC Lens in the final, leading to Seube lifting the teams first-ever Coupe de France. Not bad for a player I expected to never lift a trophy. On a less joyous note, Höfler having left relegated Freiburg, sees his new team Hertha relegated immediately too. It seems there is no escaping the 2. Bundesliga!
On the record front, Gianluigi Buffon sets a huge benchmark, breaking the 200 cap mark for Italy. With no-one else close to him, he’ll stay the leader for a long time. Messi also breaks a boundary, climbing through 400 league goals during his career at Barcelona. Like Buffon, he’s way clear of any competitor, and unless a miracle happens that sees him abandon Barcelona, I can’t see anyone catching him soon.
Loyal Players Remaining: 30
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Caen (Coupe de France)

2020/21

2020 arrives, and with it, two important points arrive too. Firstly, everyone gets de-aged for the first time in this experiment. The 20 that have left get to watch from a distance thinking about what could have been. Second, the initial contracts are set to expire, so anyone that hasn’t re-signed will out the door. Which is exactly what happens to Víctor Valdés. Having barely appeared for Barcelona since his return, he leaves the club on a free and heads to the southern French coast to join Marseille. A day later and someone else leaves France, as Romain Danzé who decides one de-ageing is enough and moves to Schalke. Tony Hibbert also struggled for games at Everton despite his new youthful look, and so he walks out the door. He opts for Aston Villa, who to my great surprise have sunk to a mid-table League 1 team. Feeling left out, Spain joins in, with Oier Sanjurjo departing Osasuna and moving to Villarreal. The window is then capped by a bizarre final free transfer. Despite appearing regularly, Xavi isn’t offered a new contract by Barcelona. Man City can’t quite believe their luck and snap up the Spanish wizard a few days before the window shuts.
Winter brings with it just one transfer in its usual action-heavy way. Roberto Torres leaves Osasuna, making a £35.5M switch to Atletico. I’m not sure whether Atletico thought they were getting a different de-aged Torres because that can only be described as an overpayment. Either way, that means we've now lost over half the competitors.
Euro 2020 passes, and Croatia prove their World Cup victory was no fluke, becoming both champions of the World, and champions of Europe. On the Continental front, things have been fairly predictable so far, at least until this years Europa League. Hoffenheim escape a tough group and go all the way to win the entire thing. Not bad for a team that barely qualified in the first place. Oh, and Messi wins a little thing called the Ballon d’Or for the 10th time. I think he’s only just getting started.
Loyal Players Remaining: 24
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Hoffenheim (Europa League)

2021/22

The 21/22 season begins with two transfers on the first day. Loïc Perrin makes his way to the Premier League to join Leicester. But that's a minor splash compared to the other move, as after 768 appearances and 302 goals, Francesco Totti leaves Roma. It seems wrong to see it, but he’ll now be wearing a Man United kit. Dortmund continue their run of stealing loyalty, this time bringing Tony Jantschke into the fold. Another contract is run to the end, forcing Álex Bergantiños out of Deportivo without much choice, before being picked up by Cagliari. Mikel González opts to end his time at Real Sociedad, joining Pellissier over at Fiorentina. And as August comes to a close, it looks like Totti may be the only big departure. That is until Gianluigi Buffon decides to call time on his Juventus career. It’s an odd move, with the legend going sorta sideways from a regular starting Juventus spot to Bayern Munich. But there’s no going back now, as his 636 league appearance career with the Italians comes to a close. Two legends down in one window.
No season is complete without a single winter signing to warrant an entire separate paragraph, and this season is no different. Sergi Roberto moves away from Barcelona, in a £24M move to French giants PSG. A good way to guarantee yourself plenty of titles I guess. Abreu also makes a winter move, adding Guarani in the Brasilian second tier to his collection.
Roberto’s decision proves to be a good one, as PSG go on to claim their 10th one in a row. Not many surprises elsewhere, although Real Oviedo get close to pulling off a shock in the Copa del Rey. The second tier team beat Osasuna, Barcelona and Sevilla on the way to the final, but ultimately Real Madrid prove a step too far. Elsewhere everything is won by a team you’d probably expect. Exciting stuff.
Loyal Players Remaining: 17
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2022/23

With the pool of players rapidly decreasing, very few of the crew are even wanted by other clubs anymore. Perhaps deterred by their steadfast loyalty? A few moves do still happen though, so we’re not dead yet. Firstly Anthony Lopes gets fed up of PSG dominating his league and moves to AC Milan for a better shot at a trophy. It’s not long before that story is forgotten, as the biggest transfer fee in the competition so far is dropped. Andrés Iniesta is stolen away from Barcelona, in a huge £86M move to Man United. The midfield maestro fell 2 appearances short of 600 league games for Barcelona, but with his new £300K per-week contract it’s not hard to guess why. That proves to be all the action for the summer window, with no-one willing to top that huge move.
After half a season of hearing their noisy neighbours gloating about their star signing, Man City snap. And if there’s one thing City are good at, it’s splashing the cash. In probably the easiest negotiation over fee Barcelona has ever had, Sergio Busquets makes a £95M move to the sky blues. Yeh, that’ll show United. Once again no-one wants to get in the middle of the awkward Manchester squabble, and the winter transfer closes with a whimper.
The second World Cup of this experiment comes and goes. This time all the giants make it safely through the Group Stages, but it’s Africa that really excels. Morocco make the knockouts, Egypt battle through to the Quarter Finals, but Nigeria come out best. They beat South Korea and Argentina before falling valiantly to France in the Semi-Finals. A 1-0 victory of Italy does see them finish in an impressive 3rd place, becoming the first African team to finish in the top 3 of the World Cup. France win the title on penalties after a deceivingly action-filled 0-0 draw with Spain. The domestic scene follows that with a similar lack of real shocks. In the Carabao Cup, Bournemouth beat Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United on the way to lifting the trophy. But it’s the lesser Cup, so outside of Bournemouth no-one really cares. PSG finally have their grip on the Ligue 1 broken, as Casillas leads Monaco to a fantastic title. Otherwise, all the league titles and cups fall to teams you’d expect them too. Another thrilling year.
Loyal Players Remaining: 14
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Bournemouth (Carabao Cup)

2023/24

Literally nothing happens. Thomas Kessler decides that no team can ignore his existence for 20 seasons in a row and get away with it, leaving Köln to join Trabzonspor. So as I said, literally nothing happens. Even Javi López moving to yet another club would be more interesting than that.
The same applies to the footballing season. Asides from Casillas captaining Monaco to a Champions League title, or Atletico winning the title again, exactly 10 years after their last win, everything is frustratingly normal. And even those two events are hardly shocks.
Before I start to lose hope, there are a few interesting moves over the last few years from the losing group that are worth highlighting. First season mover Bruno didn’t make the impact he hoped and found himself moving to the lovely Stoke. Robin Knoche barely received any playtime at Dortmund and found himself cast out to Dinamo Zagreb. Even in League 1, Tony Hibbert could barely get any game time at Villa and so moved on the Scunthorpe in League 2. But the winner of the oddest move has to be Zurutuza, who somehow manage to pull off a move to Liverpool after West Ham found themselves relegated, only make a few disappointing performances, before being released on a free to join Al-Arabi in Qatar. Not quite the career he was anticipating when joining the Premier League I bet.
Loyal Players Remaining: 13
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2024/25

The summer transfer window arrives for another season, and with it finally comes a huge deal! Javi López has found yet another club! Hooray! As for actual competitors, absolutely no movement whatsoever. Even from Abreu, who’s been at Guarani for 2.5 years now. Manceau, Lewington and Seube complain to their managers about playing time or relegation, but none of them actually make a move anywhere. So our final 13 will add another 5 years onto their career length.
There are some fun statistics from our 51 worth mentioning at this point. Buffon leads the way with both total league appearances (935) and international caps (259). His caps are at a point where they’re too high for the game to display, as the value is stored as an unsigned 8-bit integer, and so has rolled over to just show 3. Most appearances for a single club goes to Dean Lewington however, who thanks to being a regular sits at 857 league appearances for the MK Dons (or 889 if you include Wimbledon). In the goals department, the winner is obvious. With almost 500 league goals, 100 international goals and 14 Ballon d’Or awards, Messi sits on top of everyone. On the international scene, he’s run close by Müller and the fast-approaching Kane, but for league goals, it’s not even close.
2024 brings with it a Euro tournament, which doesn’t provide much in the way of surprises, but brings with it some exciting high scoring matches. All ending in a 4-3 victory for a Thomas Müller led Germany over neighbours Netherlands. Which I’m sure went down very well. The domestic scene decides to spring a few shocks though. In Serie A, Roma claim an impressive title thanks to main striker Iheanacho, their first since 2001. The German and French cups provide surprise winners, in the form of Hertha Berlin and Dijon. Both cap an impressive run by beating their respective league winners, Bayern and Monaco. Even the continental tournaments turn up too. First Monaco cement their place as a top power in football by winning their second Champions League in a row. That coming a week after the best win there could possibly be. Tottenham win the Europa League! Screw the other stuff, that last part is all I need!
Loyal Players Remaining: 13
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Dijon (Coupe de France), Hertha Berlin (DFB Pokal)

At this point though it’s fair to say that the competition results are more interesting than the movements of the players. Which is the perfect signal that things need to speed up a little bit. So from now on, updates will be every 5 years, which lines up perfectly with player age resets, letting us see who has made it to the next checkpoint.

2025-2030

Another round of de-ageing hits, and you’d think that would incite some interest in our final 13. Instead, it’s a ghost town. We do have an immediate dropout though, as Nicolas Seube finally gets fed up with his lack of playtime at Caen and heads for Panionios in Greece. A year later the situation is repeated. I’m not entirely sure what his unhappiness was about, but Iker Muniain decides he’s had enough of Athletic Club and moves to Hamburger SV. At least he left on exactly 100 goals for Athletic though, a nice round number. With 11 left, a standoff to reach the top 10 ensues. For 3 years no-one budges in their show of loyalty, until in 2029… Dean Lewington leaves for Derby County on a free. It’s a huge move, with Lewington becoming the first man to break through 1000 league appearances for a single club before leaving. But he’s moved on now, and it won’t be long before that record is broken. That move means we’re left with our final 10 contestants. Terry, Iraola, Messi, Susaeta, Noble, Jourdren, Müller, Kane, Manceau and Bargfrede have secured a top 10 spot, and now all that’s left to do is fight it out for number 1.
Over in Brazil, our anti-one-club man continues his journey, although it remains in Brazil for the moment. Only 2 clubs are added to his count, with a long stay at Atletico Goianiense followed by a £2M move to top tier Coritiba. I’m kind of hoping he starts to make enough waves in the Brazilian league to move to Europe and add some new countries to his history.
Those that fell before the first de-ageing are retiring, finishing off their magnificent, or in some cases very un-magnificent, careers (as losers). Javi López finishes his fine anti-loyalty tour around Spain with 7 transfers to his name. Schmelzer, Nacho, Solly, Álvarez, Koke, Mario, Prieto, Marchisio, De Rossi, David García, Zurutuza, Knoche, Höfler, Pellissier, Mallo, Horn and Hibbert end their careers. Many, such as Nacho, Horn and De Rossi stay just as committed to their new clubs as they did their old, finishing out their careers after just a single transfer. Of the pensioners, Sergio Pellissier manages to rack up the most career league appearances and goals, at 894 and 246, although that’s largely thanks to a huge head start. De Rossi dominates on the international scene, earning a whopping 197 caps over his 30-year career. Naturally, all those records will be blown out the water once the next group start retiring, but it’s nice to have some benchmarks.
Around the world, plenty has gone on worth hearing about. The Netherlands claim their first-ever World Cup win, beating Brazil in the final, whilst in the Euro’s Germany win their second tournament in a row. The Gold Cup throws up a few interesting results too, as first, the Mexico B team win it, with their A team tied up in the Confederations Cup. Then 4 years later Canada take the title, only the second time in their history. Over in Italy, Lazio find themselves relegated as the league starts to shake itself up a bit. But other than that, domestic football remains relatively unspectacular. Oh except… TOTTENHAM WINNING THE LEAGUE. Didn’t even have to reset it and we won it before Arsenal did. North London is very much Lilywhite now, suck it Gooners!
Loyal Players Remaining: 10
Abreu Club Count: 27 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Tottenham (Premier League)

2030-2035

Another 5 years pass and to start with it looks like the top 10 are going to hold firm. Eventually though, the temptation of money proves too much for one man. That man is Geoffrey Jourdren who trades in his starting slot at Montpellier for a cosy backup contract at PSG. Then comes… dead silence. Not even a rumour, or an unhappy player. No-one even hints at leaving for the next 4 years, which means we end the period with nine players on the books. The real waiting game has begun. Even our journeyman Abreu is moving in a very slow way, as a five year Coritiba stint finishes with a free transfer to Red Bull Brasil. I think my hopes for a European move have died.
At least there are a lot of retirements to run through. Bruno, Lahm, Casillas, Valdés, Danzé, Oier, Xavi, Torres, Perrin, Jantschke, Bergantiños, González, Roberto, Iniesta and Busquets hang up their playing boots. That does leave us without some noted legends, with Lahm, Casillas, Iniesta and Busquets reaching 200 caps for their country. You’d think Spain would have won more with that golden generation. Casillas and Xavi also both hit 1000 league appearances thanks to a strong head start before the experiment. But it’s Andrés Iniesta who is the most loyal of the bunch, racking up nearly 600 appearances for his original club before departing.
Five years leaves plenty of time for interesting results once again. England take a World Cup win, which is always a sign of the apocalypse, only made more bizarre by Scotland making the semi-finals in the same competition. Portugal take the other title in that period, whilst the Euros also see a surprise winner in Switzerland. France provides the biggest shock at club level, as Lille come from nowhere to win Ligue 1, and then immediately revert back to mid-table once again. Otherwise, the time belongs to Manchester City. The oil bar… sky blues take 4 out of 5 titles in both the Premier League and Champions League, with all that cash flinging finally paying off.
Loyal Players Remaining: 9
Abreu Club Count: 28 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: England (World Cup), Lille (Ligue 1)

2035-40

With just nine players left, once again we get a transfer fairly early on in the period. Early as in the first transfer window, which makes me wonder why they waited so long. Anyway, Mark Noble has had his patience tested by West Ham’s yoyoing between the Premier League and Championship a bit too much and finally caves. He makes a £20M move to Burnley, who… are doing the exact same thing. Not sure that was the brightest idea. Like the previous 5 years though, one transfer is all we get. None of the others move, despite some pretty heavy unhappiness from Bargfrede and Manceau. Abreu keeps up his trail, running out his contract with Red Bull Brasil and opting for Chapecoense to reach 29 clubs in his career.
With very few moving recently, that also means less and less are retiring, as just 7 ex-competitors leave the game. Totti, Buffon, Lopes, Kessler, Seube, Muniain and Lewington call time on their football life. The fact they all stuck with it for so long means there’s so impressive stats between them. Totti racked up 1154 league appearances, with 768 at Roma. Dean Lewington, after leaving MK Dons with 1003 appearances finished with a total of 1287. Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon finished with a whopping 1307 league appearances, but perhaps more impressively, 334 international caps. But the single most surprising statistic goes to Thomas Kessler. Despite barely playing in Germany he manages to notch a grand total of 7 goals after his move to Turkey. Maybe if he’d been a striker he’d have actually played at Koln. Oh and Seube ends his career Greek. Because why not.
As per every time, a quick look around the world’s results is needed. Spain win back the World Cup titles, whilst Italy take a Euro win. Argentina, Mexico and Australia claim all their continents international trophies in the window, so no massive surprises there. The domestic world isn’t exactly littered with shocks either. Brescia win a Coppa Italia, and Nîmes Olympique grab 4 top 5 finishes in a row in France, but there’s not really much to shout about. I think it’s best to just get on with the next de-ageing.
Loyal Players Remaining: 8
Abreu Club Count: 29 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Brescia (Coppa Italia)

2040-45

Down to 8 now, so it’s getting tougher. And a lot slower, so slow in fact that not a single transfer in our group happens in five years. For a moment I was excited to see Manceau at Recreativo de Huelva, but that was just a loan. So I was back to being crushed. On the plus side, Abreu makes some huge steps. He adds not just 1, but 2 new countries to his history! The first is Portugal, in a huge step up to join Braga. As usual, it’s just until his contract ends, before he moves on to Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. He’s hardly setting Europe alight but I don’t care, he’s actually moving!
There’s only one retiree to talk about too, as pretty much everyone has already gone. Geoffrey Jourdren finishes up with 925 total league appearances. It probably could have been a bit more, if he’d not spent 10 years of his career being a backup at PSG and Bayern. On a far more interesting note, Terry breaks through 1500 career league appearances. Kane also hits 256 international goals, which results in the number resetting to 0 just like caps. So the game has him on 96 caps with 11 goals, when the actual numbers are a stunning 352 caps with 267 goals.
Having seen my disappointment last time around, the world decides to liven things up. Denmark become both Champions of the World and Champions of Europe in 2042 and 2040, although they lose the European title to Germany 4 years later. At the continental level, the Champions League stays on track, but the Europa League brings some bizarre winners into the mix. Nîmes Olympique, Real Sociedad, Leicester and Bristol City all win a trophy. It seems Mark Noble finally made a right move transferring to Bristol City, as the club is now a strong top 6 Premier League side. Manceau wins a Coupe de France at Angers, but it’s still Nîmes making waves, forming a big three with PSG and Monaco. It may not be long before either Nîmes or Bristol City win their league, which is not something I expected to be saying.
Loyal Players Remaining: 8
Abreu Club Count: 31 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Nîmes Olympique/Bristol City (Europa League), Angers (Coupe de France)

2045-50

2045 kicks off and once again Manceau deceives me. This time it’s a loan spell in Denmark with Brøndby that had me thinking he was gone. Well you know what they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… I’m probably gonna fall for it. It looks like there’s going to be no moves whatsoever once again, until June 2047 arrives and I notice a contract is set to expire. Imagine my shock when Lionel Messi is not offered a contract by Barcelona and is let go. It’s made doubly worse by the fact that of all teams to pick him up, it's Atletico Madrid. Apparently, 37 Ballon d’Or awards aren’t good enough for Barcelona anymore. I don’t even care that nothing else happens. That’s enough to stun me.
Over in the retirement home, Mark Noble moves into a room. After an up and down career, the Englishman did manage some silverware with Bristol City and ended his career with 1317 league appearances. He even earned not just 1, but 90 England caps across his 44-year career.
Around the world, interesting results are still cropping up. England grab their third World Cup win beating Colombia, whilst Honduras win their first-ever Gold Cup. Much to my bitter disappointment, Arsenal win 4 of the 5 Champions Leagues on offer, as well as 3 Premier League titles. Chelsea have a period of bottom 10 finishes which deeply upsets Terry, whilst over in France, Chamois Niortais begin to try and join the top 3. Don’t worry I’ve never heard of them either.
Loyal Players Remaining: 7
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Honduras (Gold Cup)

2050-55

With the world still reeling at the fact the Messi has moved from Barcelona, everyone kinda forgets to make any moves. In fact, Messi is the first person to move yet again, leaving Atletico in a very cheap 34.5M move to Man City. Which is more in line with where I originally expected him to go. Abreu finishes one contract, at Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and moves onto the next, but it’s with Monterrey so doesn’t count. Sebastian, it has to be new clubs. John Terry is starting to get frustrated with a Chelsea team that has really fallen from grace. The Londoners barely survive relegation in 2052/53, so Terry may be the next to go. Or maybe I know nothing and it’s completely random.
No-one retires this year, so let’s take a brief look at some statistics of our remaining 7 + Messi. All our players have now reached 1000 appearances, with Bargfrede in last at 1173. Messi has crossed 1000 league goals, now a full 300 clear of the chasing pack of Abreu and Kane. On the international level, Thomas Müller becomes the first player to need a rollover of caps twice, moving on to a massive 524 international caps. But it’s Kane who still leads the international goal stat, nearly breaking 350, a full 50 ahead of the German.
Müller does, however, grab a World Cup win for Germany so I’m sure he won’t be too upset. At least until they’re deposed by Holland 4 years later. On the continental level, Bristol City win another Europa League title beating previous champions Espanyol. Middlesbrough also nearly earn a trophy, having joined Bristol as a top 6 team. But the winner of the biggest shock, although I did say this might happen, goes to Chamois Niortais, who topple the dominance of PSG and Monaco to capture a miraculous Ligue 1 title in the last season of the period.
Loyal Players Remaining: 7
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Chamois Niortais (Ligue 1), Bristol City/Espanyol (Europa League)

2055-60

The summer window of 2055 opens and as I warned may happen, there’s an almost immediate transfer. Fed up with Chelsea’s mediocre finishes, John Terry decides to move on. Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, Arsenal is his next club, which I’m sure will cause a few shudders. A year later and another move comes around, once again due to unhappiness over the club’s performance. Surprisingly it's Thomas Müller,who's annoyed by the fact that Bayern haven’t won a Bundesliga title since 2048, and so runs down his contract. Leverkusen almost earn his signature, but eventually its the glory of PSG that proves too much to resist. But we’re not done there! Another player runs down their contract, opting to move to Vitoria de Setubal in Portugal. Vincent Manceau finally makes a real move rather than constantly faking me out. So with another 3 players down, we’re left with our final 4. The race for the top 3 is hotting up now!
We do have a retirement this time thanks to the transfer window livening up. The world's best-ever player, Lionel Messi, retires from football. He ends up on a total of 1858 league appearances, scoring a massive 1068 goals in this time. 1430 appearances and 895 goals of those belonging to his 45-year career at Barcelona. On the international scene, he earned an impressive 505 caps and 276 goals. But it’s the awards where he shines. 279 individual awards, 82 team titles, 22 league titles, 6 Champions League titles, 45 Ballon d’Or awards. What makes it even crazier is 41 of those Ballon d’Or awards were in a row, as he earned every single one from 2015 to 2056. I don’t think I’ll see another player like that crop up in any save, truly the world’s best player.
Looking out on the world, I can say that it’s a Chamois Niortais player that breaks Messi’s streak, as the French team claim another two Ligue 1 titles. It’s hard to say they’re a “surprise winner” at this point. Bristol City finally make the full step up to join the big guns, winning 3 Carabao Cups, 1 FA Cup, 2 Premier League titles and even a Champions League trophy. If any Bristol City fans want this save to give themselves hope over the future, I can send it over. Internationally it's the era of Portugal, as they claim both the Euro and World Cup trophies.
Loyal Players Remaining: 4
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Bristol City (Premier League/Champions League), Lyon (Relegation)

With so few players left, now is probably a good time to speed it up once again. The final four will be tough to budge, so how about we move to 10-year intervals to try and cut down on dead years. And I'll be moving to the comments, because I've hit reddits character limit.
submitted by whatif_gaming to footballmanagergames [link] [comments]

Preview of the Hollywood Derby and lots more


Saturday November 30, 2019
Aqueduct Racetrack
Race: 7 (2:46 PM EST Post)
Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship
Fully Vested was a close up third in the “Belmont” Sprint Championship run in a smoking 1:07.1 and scored a 100 BSF in the process. This five year old gelding by Discreet Cat beat mid level optionals two back also in “racehorse” time. Looks best in a weakly drawn field…………………….Dubini is just 1 for his last 11 but has hit the board seven times, including coming from way back to win the Laurel Dash Stakes two back. Lastly, note the BSFs of between 90 and 93 in his last six in a row….that’s pretty consistent…………….You know it’s a weak field when I have to put Vici, who is 2 for his last 19 and 0 for 8 in 2019 in the “show dough” slot.

Race: 8 (3:15 PM EST Post)
The Discovery
Tax towers over this field in money won and “back class”. The 2019 Jim Dandy winner has chased the top three year olds, including Maximum Security, Honor Code and Tacitus, all year long and absolutely held his own throughout. Trainer Danny Gargan picks a very good spot for his return to the races here……………………..Performer is a stretch runner by Speightstown from the Shug McGaughey barn who is 3 for 4 in his career. This chestnut colt will be taking a sizable step up in class in this spot but, judging by his ascending BSF (71, 87, 96 and 95), he could be up to the task……………………Majid possesses excellent early speed as he rattled of four straight coast to coast scores in the first half of the year. This son of Shackleford clearly went out of form in the second half of the year and received a mini vacation. If he is freshened up, and I suspect he might, he’ll be the one to catch on the turn for home………………Mubarmarj is a $375,000 son of Curlin from a scalding hot Chad Brown barn who has won his last two while showing great versatility. Steps up but could be a menace.

Race: 9 (4:44 EST Post)
Long Island Handicap
Si Que Es Buena is well named (means Yes, That is Good) as she has run well in all four North American starts. Good looking five year old mare just missed in this race last year, won back to back Stakes’, then had legitimate excuses in her last (first start off a layoff and overmatched in a Grade: 1). Drops into a very realistic spot but draws the rail which might hurt her a little. Past that, she looks best……………………..Romantic Pursuit was only beaten by a total of four lengths vs. much better in her last two. Distance will be no problem for this very well bred mare (by Medgalia d ‘Oro out of Grade: 1 winner Questing) and she looms a serious threat here…………………………Lift Up is a well traveled, stretch runner by the wickedly fast Ghostzapper who has won three of her last four. Her BSF don’t match up all that well but note the 6 for 11 record on the turf and this race does appear to set up well for her………………………………Honorable Mentions: Empressof the Nile has run well in three of her last four and is another with a good excuses in her one poor, recent outing (overmatched in a Grade: 1). Note the 2 for 2 on this turf course for this daughter of the late Pioneerof the Nile………………..Homeland Security was charging hard, late behind Empressof the Nile and just missed catching her. Daughter of Smart Strike won a Stakes race two back at Monmouth and could conceivably outrun this rating.

Churchill Downs
Race: 9 (4:57PM EST Post)
Golden Rod Stakes
This race might be a bit of a “wildcard.” There are heavy rains expected in Louisville on Saturday and only one filly in this race has ever ran on an off track.
I like the versatility Finite has displayed thus far in her career. Chestnut filly by Munnings showed excellent early speed two and three races back yet came from slightly off the pace when clobbering a Stakes field in her CD debut in her last. We know the Santana Jr./Asmussen combination is deadly and, in watching her videos, I see no reason to think she will not handle the added distance here…………………….His Glory recorded an excellent second in a Grade: 2 on this oval two starts back. Filly by Mineshaft was much the best, in leading all the way, when beating high priced optionals last time out. Figures close at the end of this one………………….Turtle Trax has won two of three to start her career and looked good while pasting six horse in the final quarter mile when beating high priced optionals in her last. Note, she came home the last sixteenth of a mile in a very good :06.2, signaling to me she too shouldn’t have a problem with the stretch out in distance………………Honorable Mentions: Bean is very intriguing to me. $340,000 filly by Bernardini ran very well in both synthetics starts but stumbled and lost her rider at the break in her first start over the dirt in her last. If she is able to replicate either of those synthetics races on the dirt, she could be a menace here……………………..She can’t Sing wired maidens by a wide margin in her dirt debut. Another filly by Bernardini, her speed figures say she might be a contender in this race but her split and final times tell a different story…………………Lady Glamour has some ability but chased Finite last time out.

Race: 11 (5:56 PM EST Post)
Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes
See the Golden Rod Stakes as this appear to be a bit of a “wildcard” also being only two of the nine colts entered have ever run on an off track.
Tiz the Law could NOT have looked any more impressive coming form behind and bulldozing his rivals in the prestigious Champagne Stakes at Belmont last time out. Colt by the super hot Constitution broke poorly in that race and still won laughing. Absolute monster work last week signals to me he’s sitting on anther big race……………..In taking Tiz the Law, South Bend scares the bejesus out of me. Handsome colt by Algorithms has showed impressible late runs in all three career starts/wins. He is 2 for 2 on this oval, is another who has worked well for this (including a decent 4F in the mud) and he only appears to get stronger as the distances get longer. Serious threat right here…………………….Fighting Seabee came with a brazen late run and just missed behind South Bend in his last, which was actually his dirt debut. His speed figures are climbing and the added distance should only help……………………Honorable Mentions: Enforceable is another who is clearly improving. Regally bred colt (Tapit out of Justwhistledixie, making him a half brother to Mohaymen) looked good breaking his maiden two back then finished within shouting distance of the apparently mega talented Maxfield in a Grade:1 last time out…….could better this rating……………….After setting a quick early pace, Silver Prospector was still hanging and banging in deep stretch in his last vs. South Bend and Enforceable…………………Shotski made a bold move on the turn but hung like a cheap suit down the lane in that same race. Possible threat with a race at the route distance under his belt……………………..Lastly, watch the board 4-5 minutes before post time on Finnick the Fierce, who was wiped out at the start of his last but fought back gamely, late and was only beaten by less than two lengths.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Race: 2 (3:33 PM EST Post)
Jimmy Durante Stakes
Alms was visually impressive coming from behind to take both starts in NY, including the Grade: 3 matron in her last……………….Croughavouke appears to be her main competition as this filly was beaten by less that five lengths in the BC Filly Turf last time out. All four prior races, here and abroad, were all strong as well. A “must use” in any exotics betting situations……………………… Princess Caroline also merits respect off her maiden win and racing debut. Filly by the great American Phaorah won going away at 8 ½ furlongs (tough to do in your first race), is proven at the distance and has trainer well of late.

Race: 6 (5:30 PM EST Post)
Seabiscuit Handicap
Prince Earl has run well in all six career starts, highlighted by just missing in the City of Hope Stakes last time out in a mile run in a snappy 1:32.4. This son of Paddy O’Prado won a Grade; 2 Stakes two back, so it appears he fits nicely in this spot and that last work (5F- 1:01, dogs up) was much better than it looks on paper……………….Cleopatra’s Strike is lightly raced this year but has run big in all of his starts, highlighted by taking down the John Henry Stakes in his last. Should be coming late in this spot………………..Sacred Life is another who has run well in all three U.S starts. I loved his Brisnet Speed Figures in those starts as well (97, 97 and you guessed it 97)…………………Honorable Mentions: Om totally outran his 15-1 odds in the BC Turf Sprint last time out while fishing a very good second. I just think a mile and a sixteenth is a little out of his range……………… It’s been a long time between drinks (wins) for River Boyne. In fact, I’m starting to question if he’s possibly lost a step recently. Note how this colt was 6 for 9 last year and 0 for 6 this year. If he bounces back to last year’s form, and he could here, he should be a menace.

Race: 8 (6:30PM EST Post)
Hollywood Derby
Mo Forza is just 2 for 7 in his career but I just loved the way he won/upset the Twilight Derby in his last. Colt by Uncle Mo showed several “gears” in the running of that race, highlighted by coming home the last furlongs in smoking :11.1 second……narrow margin in a wide open horse race……………….Neptune Storm always fires his best shot and has yet to miss the board as his 2019 record of 9-4-2-3 record would indicate although he is 0 for 2 on this turf course, he must be considered off of consistency alone…………………………I’m going to give Nolde a “mulligan” for his last race/disappoint effort because he won three of his prior four races on the turf with outstanding final times in his last two………………….Honorable Mentions: Standard Deviation is 2 for 4 on the turf, including a pair of Stakes wins and ran fairly well vs. better in his other two………………..Henley’s Joy is the only Grade: 1 winner in this field but is a little too inconsistent for my liking…………….Digital Age has also disappointed of late. That said, if he bounced back to form to any one of his previous races, he’ll outrun this rating for sure…………………….Couple of other to consider include: Succeedandsurpass, who hasn’t run a bad race in five career starts and finished right behind Mo Forza twice in the past, Mr. Dumas, who is 2 for 3 on thru turf , including winning the Grade: 3 Commonwealth at Churchill last time out and Proud Pedro, who possesses a strong late run and seems to be improving but will be taking a big step up in class in this spot.
By: Gerard ApadulaDirector of Equine Operations and DevelopmentKnights of the Round Stable Thoroughbred Racing Team[[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])2019- Record: 77-228 = 34%2018- Record: 107-261= 41%2017- Record: 92-235 = 39%2016- Record: 91-229 = 40%2015- Record: 67-180 = 37%2014- Record: 29-73 = 40%2013- Record: 20-59= 34%2012 -Record: 24-73= 33%2011 –Record: N/A2010- Record: 24-74= 33%

Little Bets N’ Pieces
**** Corey Nakatani, a winner of 3,909 races and more than $234 million in earnings, announced his retirement Nov. 23.
Badly injured in a spill in the final race at Del Mar on Aug. 4, 2018, he wanted to return to competition, but the injuries ultimately led him to conclude his riding career.
"Although I never imagined this was how my career would end, I am very proud of my accomplishments and know that I competed at the very highest of levels, which gives me a sense of satisfaction," he said in the release, distributed by his son and agent, Matt Nakatani.
Among his many top mounts were Lava Man, Sandpit, My Miss Aurelia, Serena's Song, Lite Light, and Shared Belief.

**** WinStar Farm stallions Daredevil and Super Saver have been acquired by the Turkish Jockey Club and will relocate to Turkey, WinStar announced Nov. 27.
"The Turkish Jockey Club has done extremely well with Victory Gallop, who is the leading sire in Turkey, and has made a concerted effort to improve their stallion roster this year through the purchase of Bodemeister , Trappe Shot , Super Saver, and Daredevil, among others," said Elliott Walden, president, CEO, and racing manager of WinStar Farm. "We look forward to following their careers in Turkey."
Super Saver, a 12-year-old by Maria's Mon who won the 2010 Kentucky Derby, sired 22 black type winners to date, including three Grade 1 winners in champion sprinter Runhappy, Competiive Edge, and Embellish the Lace.
Daredevil, a 7-year-old son of More Than Ready, won the 2014 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park. His first crop hit the racetrack in 2019 and includes multiple stakes winner Deviant, Stakes placed Shedaresthedevil, and stakes-placed Jewel of Arabia. He's sired a total of 10 winners so far this year.
submitted by aspen222 to horseracing [link] [comments]

Best Betting Sites » Top International Betting Sites 2020

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Letter from Michael Gira: Swans Are Dead, The Somniloquist, Angels of Light... 11/1/1997

(This letter first appeared on the Swans Web site.)
The double live CD of our last two tours is finally coming out in early January
As you might know , it's called SWANS ARE DEAD . I'm quite pleased with it . Most of the selections we ended up using were recorded on various mobile 24 track recording units along the way . I took these finished (and pre-mixed) recordings and synced them in a computer at Griffin Mastering here in Atlanta with one-mic-in-the-room DAT recordings of the same performances . The room recordings were necessarily very raw (just a dat player with a mic attached to it sitting at the mixing desk) compared to the 24 track recordings , but the two methods combined , I think , conveys the physical sensation of what it must have been like to be there ,especially when played loud , which in this case I recommend . In any event , I think its a fine last offering , and I hope you gain some pleasure from it if you choose to acquire it .
The 1997 CD opens with the 17 minute "song" Feel Happiness ,which I wrote as a farewell to the various friends and enemies who have taken note of our existence over the years . Musically , it consciously incorporates many of the different approaches to sound that Swans employed through its history, from the hard-ass percussive thudding , to the rising crescendos (this time with a specific homage-section to Glenn Branca) , to militant , monotonal overdrive , to a more atmospheric , melodic ending in which I hopefully convey ,albeit with regrettable ambivalence , my heartfelt best wishes .
...If you saw the final tour you probably noticed that though we did several songs from earlier years very few had too much to do with the originals , except maybe in the basic chord structure - The second song in the set is/was Low Life Form which we took from my solo album , Drainland , and completely rearranged. In its original form it consisted of one chord (the same "staircase" fingering I used to use all the time when I initially played bass in Swans , just moving that finger-positioning up or down the neck depending on the song) played on an acoustic 12 string guitar, played over and over , sustaining ,along with a tuned-down bass drum that Bill Rieflin triggered by hand on a keyboard , some crows recorded in our back yard in Atlanta (Jarboe's Murder ) , and a distorted organ , as well as me croaking my lyrics . Live , to my pleasant surprise , we ended up transforming it into a churning rhythmic invective which suited the words properly for live performance (the words are a sexual revenge fantasy/prayer) . Phil Puleo developed , despite my early hamfisted rhythm suggestions , a seductively violent , , loping , and swelling marshal snare figure that built on itself in increasing fury as the song progressed , maintaining a thrusting , sexy/bluesy down-beat (the same as Howlin' Wolf's Evil ),which I admit , in shame , forced me to secretely fuck the back of my guitar as I sang the song on more than one occasion - (at my age , how degrading).Bill Bronson married his single-chord bass part exactly to the impact of the snare as the song built , which is why (as in much of the set) his back was to the audience - not out of disdain but because of a need for total connection and eye-contact with Phil .(This is the same reason that at times during the concert the entire band was turned facing the drummer - for total conncetion with the rhythm, especially important in the unison sections or when I had to guide the "random" rhythm elements with body movements ... again,not out of arrogance or disdain for the audience , as a few reviewers assumed and many audience members commented after shows ). Jarboe's organ part consisted of an E note drone , until the end of the lyric , where she enters with a fine , psychotic corrupted-Farfiza-like melody line . Clint and I limmited our guitars to single E notes as well , until the end of the song , when we played various voicings of the aforementioned staircase chord in staccato (but sustaining) rhythm against the bass and drums . I think this song worked fine , except as usual I'm a little queesy about my vocal , which to me sounds like a drunk and malevolent clown-huckster at a cheesy carnival set up in the parking lot of a shopping mall ,maybe in Covina California on a hot , smoggy afternoon ....
The next song was Not Alone , another thing I wrote just for the tour . It was written on acoustic 12 string guitar , and was initially quiet ,sort of bluesy. Inevitably , it developed live into a 15 minute mutation , and ended up by about 5 or 6 minutes in being quite viloent , and was a real joy to play . We orchestrated these erupting swells into the end-section , which were cued or guided by the movements of my body . I liked this section especially because the sound was so connected to the physical limits of our ability to play it ,throwing our entire strength (individually and collectively) into each swell . If I'd had my way I would have used horns for this section too , i.e. trombones and trumpets , but obvious financial constraints limitted us . As the tour developed , this piece mutated further . By the end we were using police whistles (generously lent us by Panasonic), and we even tried to incorporate Mika and Ilpo from Pan. letting loose these air-horns we bought somewhere in Norway . These are the kind of horns you hear at football matches etc , or like boat horns . We only did this for one show though , because it sounded ridiculous - comical , due to the fact there is no variance in tone on the horn and I also hate sports ! We then thought it would be a good idea to have sirens wailing in this section , but we were never able to find time while on tour to do the searching necessary to buy a contraption like that , so we made due .The piece ends with Phil pounding randomly on his kettle drum , with long gaps of silence between each strike ... Incidentally , the lyrics to this song grew out of this fantasy I developed while staring at a reproduction of Marcel Duchamp's Etant Donnes ,which I find to be incredibly erotic . The first product of this was the story MTV And The Cult Of The Body(which you can find elsewhere on this site , if you're interested ) . The song Not Alone is written from the point of view of the predator-protagonist ,when he finds the opalescent body in the reeds . Another song I wrote thinking about this scene is called The Garden Hides The Jewel , which is among the songs I'm going to start recording in Jan . for my new as yet untitled "band" (ANGELS OF LIGHT). Not Alone will also appear , in acoustic form. ...
Next , Jarboe sings Blood On Your Hands , a-capella . This song first appeared on the Skin/World of Skin album Blood,Women ,and Roses . I always regretted not recording this a capella (on the WOS CD it's gussied up with background vocals and percussion ) , as to me it fits her voice perfectly, and she's so damn deep into it that it lights a fire in my groin every time I hear her sing it. I wrote it for her, as a sort of idealized icon embodying the aspects in her I most revered at the time : The bloody , vengeful and murderous mother , who is also simultaneously nurturing and healing , through blood and suffering . I love women! ...
Next up she sings Hypogirl . This is fairly faithful in form to the version on Soundtracks For The Blind , but the instrumentation is much heavier due to the live drums/bass/two guitars accompaniment . Also I play an organ chord ,brought up in rhythm with the swells with a volume pedal - (we tape down the keys so they're always playing,the foot pedal brings the sound in and out..).Jarboe really occupies this vocal , a performance I find both elating and discomfiting , as it's about a lover crawling into the mouth of his/her lover and traveling up into the brain ,consuming the lover's consciousness from this expanding nest , inside-out... I love sex! ...
Jarboe's final song is I Crawled , a piece we entirely rennovated , that was first recorded on the Young God (i.e. Raping a Slave) ep in 1984 previous to her involvement in Swans . But she was in the studio ( near Zurich ) when we recorded it , and I remember her being just outside the booth as I sang the song . I also remember the recording of that song as being one of the most magical events in the entire 15 years of the Swans history , so it seemed appropriate to do it again on our farewell tour . But there was no way I could envision myself singing it with any semblance of authenticity after all these years , so the most interesting thing to do seemed to have Jarboe sing it ,reinterpreting it entirely so that it became something new and immediate. Bill Bronson essentially plays what was Norman Westberg's guitar line on his bass in this new version , and the whole re-arrangement was built around that . We set up a keyboard drone ( a sample of a drone Clint made on guitar ) as a background core to hold together the very open rhymic figures that the rest of us then played around the bass and vocal , cutting in and out in response to J's performance.This was often really transporting to play live because it was so open that there was alot of room for expression within the groove . And Jarboe's vocal was , to me anyway , astounding , moving as she did from a little-victimized-girl cooing ("You're my father,I obey you...") to seductive come-ons , to demented cackles , and finally to her sub-bass Satan chant ("Now Ride!") . Some people thought we harmonized her vocal down an octave on a processor , but nope ,it was all real , that's just her in full ultrafeminine splendor... she says she sang in that "style" at the end of the song as an homage to the original and my throttled performance in it...The lyric to I Crawled , by the way , was initially inspired by reading a boofk called The Mass Psychology Of Fascism , by Willhelm Reich . In it he compares the phenomenon of Hitler to Stalin and vice versa , pointing out (among many more complex issues ) their strong Father image , their obsession with a strong family unit as a microcosm for the State and their harkening back to a pure idealized past , now corrupted and in need of a good cleansing purge (this is an incredible simplistic synopsis,I know) . What interested me about this was the contemporary fact of Ronald Regan's recent election , and his eerie usage of the same techniques . The most horrifying aspect of this techinique for control is , to me , the concept of implanting or germinating the need for subservience in the psyche of the individual (modern media advertising has triumphed in this respect nowadays) . I had also just recently read a collection of stories (or was it just a story in Hello America - I can't remember now) by JG Ballard called Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Regan , and all the above conjoined with my increasingly intolerable life's still-accumulating history of working one cruddy job after another ,humiliated (in my eyes) by one petty Stalin boss after another , and I just couldn't help but eroticize the whole process ,so that the character is essentially pleading to his /her father to be fucked , strangled , wiped out...So anyway , I thought it was a nice nuance to add to the meaning of the song to have Jarboe singing it , a woman this time , to the Father...
Now I return , with I Am The Sun , another song about the power and joy one feels when they realize the evil inside them is big enough to infect the entire world . This was originally recorded on The Great Annihilator . I like the recorded version , but never thought I'd achieved the rawness or immediacy it could have had (my fault,as producer,of course) , so live I decided to strip it down , and it metamorphized weirdly into something between rockabilly and country blues . The end result? Slim Harpo meets Swans . Phils' drumming functions as a cattle prod on this song . My vocal unfortunately stays pretty much on one note due to the fact this was recorded at the end of a 3 month tour and my "range" was shrunk down even further from its usual feeble scope , but still I think the song emotes pretty effectively .
The last song is Blood Promise . Again , this was changed into something that bore little resemblance to the original (on Grt Annltr) except the words . Though it's in the same key as the original , the chord structure is changed , and my singing has nothing to do with the way I originally delivered it . Also , we added a long transitional section and an orgiastic crescendo section at the end . All this developed organically in rehearsals , as we tried to figure out how to approach the material with commitment and vitality , qualities I don't think would have been achieved if we'd just tried to copy the way it initially sounded on record . So it kept changing throughout the tour as well - growing , transmuting , gaining new texture and dynamics . By the end of the tour (when this version was recorded) I felt it was one of the most rewarding pieces of music Swans ever achieved . A few regrets : though I think this was an excellent performance of the song , the next night's performance was the absolute best moment I think we ever acieved live , but of course the actual recording of it sounds like shit , and there was a moment during my vocal where I literally went insane , started screaming from a horrible place inside me I didn't know existed .Sinse the section of the song where I sing vocals is relatively subdued , I suppose it was fairly dramatic . But naturally - why I don't know - on the tape you can barely hear the vocal , squeeking in the backround . Seems to be the way things always go . Anyway , as I said , the version on the CD is an excellent performance - I just naturally rue the loss of something that could have been better . The other regret is that we didn't get a chance to record this arrangement in a proper studio . Just no money, and Swans is over ,so I guess the best thing is just to let it go...It's very sad for me to hear this piece of music , but that's it : GONE ....
Well, so much for the 1997 CD . The second CD of the package is our 1995 tour , which I think was just as good , but frankly I don't have the time or energy to write about it at any length , so here's a list of the songs on it : Final Sac...The Sound...I See Them All Lined Up...Lavender...Yr Prop...Yum Yab Killers...Helpless Child..M/F...The sound quality on all the above recording is , I believe , truly excellent , so I hope , for those of you that care , that this serves as a worthy final document ...
NEWS: The Somniloquist , a collection of my stories , narrated by me , will be out simultaneously with Swans Are Dead in January . This is very limited - 2000 worldwide . Most of it is from a live spoken word show I did in Seattle , recorded onto Dat by Bill Rieflin . One story is recorded in studio . You can bet that my winning personality shines right through .
MORE NEWS: I finally completed the Body Lovers first installment recently (there will be three over a period of 18 months - 24 months ) . It came out much different , and in the end better than I'd expected .When I first went into it I thought I'd be using alot of "dub" type treatments of the instruments and found sounds , but as I began recording , I became enamored with the natural-sounding instruments , more and more . There are several instances where I use electronics/feedback etc , and sometimes those are happily violent and agressive , but as I say , I grew to concentrate more on the acoustic instrumentation a little more than I'd first thought ...Some of the instruments used: accordion , flugelhorn , trombone , acoustic guitar, gongs , bells , tubes , harmonica , viola , vocal , celtic harp , piano , hammer dulcimer , whistles , flutes , musical saw ... as well as electric guitars , electric bass , ebo , drums , kettle drum , loops , screaming insects , and a myriad of found sounds etc etc . I also incorporated sounds/textures I'd solicited from the Finlandic electronic ensemble Panasonic , and the Norwegian Organic Ambient-Brut outfits Origami and Deathprod . Essentially the album is one long train of sound that shifts from electronics to acoustics to harshness to delicate moments etc etc . As I've mentioned before this takes off where Soundtracks for the Blind left off . I think the recording quality of this album is probably better though , in the sense that it never sounds artificial or "canned" , something I think Soundtracks suffers from on occassion . All of these various pieces/moods/textures were mangled , re-arranged , cross-faded , and further overlayed in a computer at Griffin mastering here in Atlanta once again , and though there's only one moment of vocals with accompanying words in the entire 73:30 minute program , I think it manages , to paraphrase my idol Francis Bacon , to aggravate the nervous system ... I admit that since completing it I constantly torture myself by listening to it at. an exceedingly loud volume all-the-way-through ... to me, it's a world to escape into , and I hope you'll find pleasure in it if and when you hear it too... Incidentally , the artwork for Body Lovers (for the entire series of three CDs) is by Nicole Boitos , a young Philadelphia artist . Over the last few years she's sent Jarboe and I several drawings and prints , all of very high caliber . I was personally struck by one drawing she sent of a horse's ass , executed in the High-Renaissance style that Michelangelo or Leonardo might have used as a cartoon-study ,using sepia tones and white and black pencils . This got my imagination to wandering , so I asked her to do a pig's-head for the cover , and so now she's doing a series of images that will be on the front , back, and inside covers of all the Body Lovers releases . The iconic images are all of various body parts , human and otherwise , and also the implements that might do violence to them ... Nicole , heroically , even went out and bought a pig's head from a butcher , which she stored in her freezer , to do the drawing for the cover . Bravo , young lady ! We'll put this drawing on the site soon , just to tantalize your tastebuds ... Also look out for The Body Haters . This will be a limited edition of 1000 , hand assembled by me and signed and will be comprised of material not used on Body Lovers . The sounds are cruder , uglier , but maybe a bit more sensual in that they sound like what it must feel like to have your stripped , skinless vertebrae scraped with a rusty razor . Mmmmm....
IN ADDITION: I want to take this opportunity to chastize the snivellers among you that are complaining about the fact we're cutting out some music from our re-release series in order to facillitate the streamlining / repackaging of our work . Quit whining , you ninnies . You already have the material , otherwise you wouldn't miss it . We have to make certain decisions in order to assure that what we (it's our work , for which we suffered , not you) deem the most valuable music stays available , on into the future . We absolutely cannot afford to keep everything in print - and no store would consent to stock all of the music we've released over the years (there's too much) - so we've had to be rigorous , editing out the stuff we don't think is essential . Our desire is to keep in-print the music of which we are the most proud . The entire reason for which we (not you) are risking our necks in doing this whole extremely expensive re-issue series , against all odds and in the face of generally total indifference , is that we want the curious music-afficionado , the person that cares about getting a real experience out of the music they listen to , to be able to get a grasp of the work we've done in a clear , concise , chronologically delineated format . This is our (admittedly vain) desire not to disappear , which could very easily happen , if we don't carefully manage the music we've created over the years . This is why I first came up with the concept of the dbl cd re-issues - to make an easily accesible overview of the 15 years of Swans existence . I admit that it's also a way for me to edit out the music that I think is not as good as it should have been . But why shouldn't I do that ? After all , it's my work , I'm still vital , and so I still have the prerogative to choose what I want to continue to exist ... Enough , children !!!!!
Now, regarding the abovementioned , the next re-release/compilation dbl CD will be called Various Failures , and it will cover the years 1988 - 1993 . In it we will include the material we think best deserves surviving from the following releases: Love Will tear Us Apart , The Burning World , White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity , The World Of Skin (10 Songs) , and Love of Life . It will also include various unreleased tracks and b-sides etc . Personally , I'm very excited about this release , because it will finally allow me to set a period of our historty in a really strong light . I think this period for us , was extremely interesting musically , but never got the chance it deserved in the public / critical eye , due to the fact that the preconceptions attached to the Swans name were so strong (among the people that knew about us) that they clouded the ability , in my view , of listening to the music for its own sake , unencumbered by the usual list of gory adjectives normally ascribed to Swans . Then again , there were some weak moments in this period , which I am now happy to flush down the toilette . If you don't agree with my choices for exclusion , well , sorry , but I have to make the decision as to what stays in-print and what doesn't , just to ensure that something survives . In any event , I am very much looking forward to this release , just because I want to hear it myself ! This release will be out in March/February ,in case you're interested ....
OTHER NEWS : I'm going to try to get up to Chicago before the end of the year to compile/edit etc the history-of-Swans video , so that it can come out soon after Swans Are Dead .There's alot of material to sift through , even before I go up there to edit , so I'm not really sure I'll have time , as I trying to keep writing new songs for the upcoming as-yet-untitled new "band" I'm doing , for which we begin recording in early January .This project was going to be called Pleasure Seekers , but we had to abandon it due to the name's prior use , as it turns out , by one Ms. Suzy Quatro . She sent us a gracious letter explaining her reasons for not wanting to give up the name , and I see her point perfectly well , so good luck to her ... Anyway back to the video - if not completed before Jan I won't be able to get to it until March when I'll finish recording , so it'll be out soon thereafter at the latest ...Back to the upcoming recording : Musicians slated to participate so far : Bill Rieflin (he'll play a wide variety of instruments ) , Kristof Hahn ( Guitars ) , Phil Puleo ( percussion , dulcimer , bells etc ) , Clint Steele ( guitars - we're also recording at Clint's studio in Atlanta , Ethel Sound ) , Jarboe might contribute some organ - but we have to be careful as we don't want another intense working (knife-fight) relationship , Steve Van Til ( guitars , percussion ) , and Kris Force ( violin , viola ) . Also I'm going to get a wide variety of local musicians into the studio to play such items as Banjo , mandolin , oboe , flute , trumpet , accordion , etc - instruments that will be used as a special detail on various songs .....
What Else? Jarboe will be posting a letter on this site soon , detailing her numerous new projects etc ... ...Sorry about the delay between the release of COG/WOS and the upcoming stuff in Jan . This was due to the usual financial and hence logistical setbacks , but things should be back on track now , with a release about every three months...
People ask what music I'm listening to these days , so here's a brief list : Oval (94diskont.) , Windsor For The Derby - Minnie Greutzfeld (I still want to do an album with them for Young God ) , Incredible String Band (I can't get enough of them!) - Hangman's Beautiful Daughter , Low - Songs For A Dead Pilot ( this band continues to make me weep ) , Autechre - Cichlisuite mechanically reclaimed etc , The High Llamas - Hawaii ( Tremendous! The guy Noel from Bunnyhop Mag sold me on them , and I couldn't be more pleased , as I love the Beach Boys circa Pet Sounds and Smiley Smile . Normally I hate it when some British group latches onto the sound of a past group and repackages it , but in this case the music is so inventive and extends the approach so much further and in interesting ways , that I respond , because it seems convincing ) , Bernard Herrmann ' s music for Vertigo ( by the way , speaking of soundtracks , does anybody know how to find the music for the Shining ? ) , Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers (Sister Morphine , Moonlight Mile ) , Tom Waits - Frank's Wild Years , Small Change , Black Rider , Hal Willner's production of Burroughs' Dead City Radio (Hal Willner is one of the few producers , if I were ever in the position again - which is unlikely - that I would ever be interested in working with . His orchestrations are usually perfect for the material he chooses , and the sound is always filmic , evocative ... The other producer would be Flood - but fugeddabowdit $$$$ ) , Nick Drake , as always .... Aphex Twin - Richard James album ( at first I was turned off by the sped-up Mickey Mouse-like sound , but it grew on me...incidentally , I saw a video for "Come To Daddy" - really great and so was the piece - can't say "song" in theis case ) .... Oh yeah , one last thing , I wrote a new short story this summer called New Mother . In case you're interested , it's elsewhere on this site ... Adios , thanks for your time . MG
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Test post please ignore

The year is 2017. Top scientists have finally cracked the ability to stop ageing, and the world rejoices. The discovery prompts an immediate FIFA investigation into exactly what this means for world football from now on. How will the careers come and go when every team can just preserve their best stars? How will the next Messi break through? The Qatar FA suggest restricting it to only Qatari players, a motion that's only narrowly defeated. In unrelated news, a bunch of mysterious Qatari bank accounts are seized the day before the vote. Eventually, a compromise is decided upon between. Only those players who’ve proven themselves to be in it for the sport, and their team, can use it. The players who have stuck with their team through thick and thin, who’ve turned down bigger money offers to stay where they are. One-Club Men. However, should their loyalty ever waiver, and they choose to leave, those players will lose their right to an everlasting career, and have to face the advance years once again. Who will remain loyal the longest? Who will ride out the lowest of lows to stay at their lifelong club?
Unfortunately for those of you hoping I’ve found a secret miracle, that’s just the best nonsense I could come up with to frame this scenario. In less dramatic terms, using FM 2017, I'm going to select 50 one-club men from the top 5 leagues and de-age them to around 22. Every 5 years I'll de-age them down to 22 again, unless they abandon their loyalty. I'll also be adjusting everyone's contract to expire in 2020 to make it equal, and undoing international retirements where necessary. Nothing overly complicated, but I’m expecting this one to run a long long time if I’m going to have everyone leave, so I’m good with it not being too complicated.
Reddit side note! It's me again. Some may remember my experiments from ages ago. I'm back and writing again, but as you can probably tell, with a new name and website. If you want to see this post with much better formatting, all the images, and everyone's profile at the end, go here to read it in full: link You can stay here if you prefer though!
So who actually qualifies for this? I've restricted it to players from the Top 5 leagues of England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France, and only included those that have been at their clubs the longest. As well as the genuine candidates like Messi and Totti, loaned out players like Lahm qualify, as do those like Iniesta who haven't left in FM 2017, and even those that have left in-game, but are known for their careers at one club. Buffon is a good example of the latter. I've included a link to an image with all 5 players here: link
With all this loyalty around, I wanted to mix it up a bit by adding in one final player. Someone completely opposite to everyone picked so far, the anti-one-club man, the journeyman of all journeymen. And after some research, I came up with the perfect candidate. Sebastián Abreu, a man who in his career has played at an impressive 29 different teams in 11 different countries, setting a Guinness world record along the way. Abreu will receive the same treatment as the loyal players, except it won’t stop when he moves team. I want him to move around more, spread his wings, see how many teams he can collect over an illustrious career.
That’s enough explaining for now. Should be pretty clear what’s going on, just a bunch of footballers never getting old. Time to get things rolling and see who eliminates themselves. Who can stick it out the longest, who will become THE one-club man?

2016/17

With our younger one club men unleashed on the world, many of them attract instant attention from new clubs. For a while it stays quiet and looks like the first transfer window may pass without incident. Only a few loans crop up... until Javi López because the first man to fall. With Espanyol not meeting his standards, he makes a £2.4M trip down the coast to join Valencia. He proves to be the only summer casualty by the time the window slams shut.
January brings the winter window, and the Premier League clubs start to sniff around, ready to throw bags of cash at unsuspecting players. It doesn’t take long before the next two players are reeled in by money and lose their eternal youth. First Marcel Schmelzer in a £20.5M move to Liverpool, followed by Bruno joining moneybags Man City. By the end of the window, Nacho also heads to the north of England, joining rivals Man United. I’m not sure if any of them have realised how damn cold it is up there. That window swiftly ends, settling the bottom 4 finishers in the competition.
Returning to the world of actual football results briefly, and there aren’t many shocks to be seen. Man City finish 6th, Everton get relegated and Borussia Mönchengladbach reach the Champions League Semi-Finals. A few players see their team relegated, as Werder Bremen, Caen and Freiburg go down, so there could be a few casualties once that disappointment has set in. But all in all, the footballing world has coped just fine.
Loyal Players Remaining: 46
Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2017/18

With everyone’s transfer budgets warmed up, it doesn’t take long for the action to get back underway. The previous season has barely finished before Chris Solly trades in his morals for a Premier League move to Norwich. Sergio Álvarez joins him in England, making the slightly odd move to Bournemouth before a big £52M move sees Koke trade loyalty for a big move to Man City. That’s the most surprising move so far, as I expected many of the players at top clubs to stick around. The final two transfers of the window take us to sunny Spain, where both Xabi Prieto and Mario become massive glory hunters, trading in their life long clubs for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Javi López, having left Espanyol to join Valencia last year, immediately realises his mistake and rejoins Espanyol. It’s too little too late though, his status as a one-club man is already ruined.
The winter window comes and goes without even a hint of action, so things may already be starting to quieten down. Over in Brazil, Sebastián Abreu has his contract with Bangu come to an end after a good season but fails to attract any new suitors before the European season ends.
Around the world, things keep ticking on relatively normally. Watford take a surprising FA Cup win despite finishing rock bottom of the league, meaning they’ll have European nights alongside their Championship campaign. The loyalty of Seube, Höfler and Bargfrede is rewarded, as Caen, Bremen and Freiburg are immediately promoted back to the top tier. Las Palmas head in the opposite direction, which causes David García to hand in an immediate transfer request. The Spaniard could very well be the next player to go.
Loyal Players Remaining: 41
Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Watford (FA Cup)

2018/19

My suggestion that things may be quietening down is immediately disproved by the biggest move so far. Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm makes a huge £82M transfer to Manchester City, throwing away all he’d built up at Bayern so far. But it doesn't end there, as 2 more huge transfers are finalised right after. First Claudio Marchisio drops Juventus, clearly not happy with them losing the title to AC Milan, and moves to Real Madrid. Then Daniele De Rossi trades in Roma for Barcelona. Whilst both have moved in real life, I didn’t expect either to fall so early in this, being icons at such huge clubs. A little later, David García makes his predicted move away from relegated Las Palmas, opting to stay in Spain with Osasuna. And then on the final day of the window, one last move. David Zurutuza decides the Premier League is more to his taste and joins Noble at West Ham. Javi López continues his tour of Spain, realising rejoining Espanyol doesn’t earn him back everlasting youth, and so heads to Sevilla instead. Currently, he’s moved around more than the specific journeyman player I chose to actually move around. Talking of, Abreu does find a new contract, heading back to Uruguay to join River Plate Montevideo.
The winter transfer window is again mostly quiet, with very little potential action. There are still some transfers though, as Robin Knoche becomes the 15th person out, heading to Borussia Dortmund. Then a legend moves on, as Iker Casillas decides that barely getting any game time behind Keylor Navas isn’t worth it, and so joins Monaco for a mere £11M. I guess you can't escape the real world after all.
The summer of 2018 means a World Cup, a tournament which regularly creates bizarre results in Football Manager. This year is no exception, as the likes of Italy, Belgium and Argentina fall in the group stages, before South Korea beat both Germany and France in the knockouts. The final between Brazil and Croatia proves 100% less heartbreaking than the real 2018 final for the Croatians, as they become champions of the world. In domestic football, Man United take all the English trophies on offer in a Quadruple, whilst Freiburg find themselves relegated yet again, as do Montpellier.
Loyal Players Remaining: 34
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Croatia (World Cup)

2019/20

Another season, another transfer window, another set of swirling rumours around our one-club men. Borussia Dortmund manage to steal away another of our competitors from a German rival, taking Timo Horn early in the window. Having been relegated yet again last season, Nicolas Höfler decides enough is enough and leaves Freiburg for Hertha Berlin. Over in Italy, and Chievo Legend Sergio Pellissier finally caves, leaving his relegation-threatened lifelong team for European battlers Fiorentina. But that's all the entertainment I can offer, no big signings this time around I’m afraid. Let's go see what Javi López is up to instead. His merry-go-round of clubs continues yet again, moving over to Deportivo de La Coruña in the latest of his ever-decreasing value of transfers.
January retains its typical bleak and dull atmosphere, with no sign of action whatsoever until the final day of the window. Hugo Mallo decides to try and add to his trophy cabinet and heads to Man United. Not the worst career move to throw away eternal life for considering their dominance right now. And with his departure, the total number of players that we've lost hits a nice round 20.
In the Premier League, Man United claim their 4th title in a row, exerting total dominance over everyone. But where one dominance rises, another falls, with Dortmund claiming the Bundesliga to knock Bayern off their perch. The shock of the season comes in the Coupe de France, where 3rd tier LB Châteauroux knock out Lyon, Auxerre and PSG before falling to Caen in the semi-finals. With Monaco having fallen to 4th tier SA Spinalien, Caen beat an easier opposition of RC Lens in the final, leading to Seube lifting the teams first-ever Coupe de France. Not bad for a player I expected to never lift a trophy. On a less joyous note, Höfler having left relegated Freiburg, sees his new team Hertha relegated immediately too. It seems there is no escaping the 2. Bundesliga!
On the record front, Gianluigi Buffon sets a huge benchmark, breaking the 200 cap mark for Italy. With no-one else close to him, he’ll stay the leader for a long time. Messi also breaks a boundary, climbing through 400 league goals during his career at Barcelona. Like Buffon, he’s way clear of any competitor, and unless a miracle happens that sees him abandon Barcelona, I can’t see anyone catching him soon.
Loyal Players Remaining: 30
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Caen (Coupe de France)

2020/21

2020 arrives, and with it, two important points arrive too. Firstly, everyone gets de-aged for the first time in this experiment. The 20 that have left get to watch from a distance thinking about what could have been. Second, the initial contracts are set to expire, so anyone that hasn’t re-signed will out the door. Which is exactly what happens to Víctor Valdés. Having barely appeared for Barcelona since his return, he leaves the club on a free and heads to the southern French coast to join Marseille. A day later and someone else leaves France, as Romain Danzé who decides one de-ageing is enough and moves to Schalke. Tony Hibbert also struggled for games at Everton despite his new youthful look, and so he walks out the door. He opts for Aston Villa, who to my great surprise have sunk to a mid-table League 1 team. Feeling left out, Spain joins in, with Oier Sanjurjo departing Osasuna and moving to Villarreal. The window is then capped by a bizarre final free transfer. Despite appearing regularly, Xavi isn’t offered a new contract by Barcelona. Man City can’t quite believe their luck and snap up the Spanish wizard a few days before the window shuts.
Winter brings with it just one transfer in its usual action-heavy way. Roberto Torres leaves Osasuna, making a £35.5M switch to Atletico. I’m not sure whether Atletico thought they were getting a different de-aged Torres because that can only be described as an overpayment. Either way, that means we've now lost over half the competitors.
Euro 2020 passes, and Croatia prove their World Cup victory was no fluke, becoming both champions of the World, and champions of Europe. On the Continental front, things have been fairly predictable so far, at least until this years Europa League. Hoffenheim escape a tough group and go all the way to win the entire thing. Not bad for a team that barely qualified in the first place. Oh, and Messi wins a little thing called the Ballon d’Or for the 10th time. I think he’s only just getting started.
Loyal Players Remaining: 24
Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Hoffenheim (Europa League)

2021/22

The 21/22 season begins with two transfers on the first day. Loïc Perrin makes his way to the Premier League to join Leicester. But that's a minor splash compared to the other move, as after 768 appearances and 302 goals, Francesco Totti leaves Roma. It seems wrong to see it, but he’ll now be wearing a Man United kit. Dortmund continue their run of stealing loyalty, this time bringing Tony Jantschke into the fold. Another contract is run to the end, forcing Álex Bergantiños out of Deportivo without much choice, before being picked up by Cagliari. Mikel González opts to end his time at Real Sociedad, joining Pellissier over at Fiorentina. And as August comes to a close, it looks like Totti may be the only big departure. That is until Gianluigi Buffon decides to call time on his Juventus career. It’s an odd move, with the legend going sorta sideways from a regular starting Juventus spot to Bayern Munich. But there’s no going back now, as his 636 league appearance career with the Italians comes to a close. Two legends down in one window.
No season is complete without a single winter signing to warrant an entire separate paragraph, and this season is no different. Sergi Roberto moves away from Barcelona, in a £24M move to French giants PSG. A good way to guarantee yourself plenty of titles I guess. Abreu also makes a winter move, adding Guarani in the Brasilian second tier to his collection.
Roberto’s decision proves to be a good one, as PSG go on to claim their 10th one in a row. Not many surprises elsewhere, although Real Oviedo get close to pulling off a shock in the Copa del Rey. The second tier team beat Osasuna, Barcelona and Sevilla on the way to the final, but ultimately Real Madrid prove a step too far. Elsewhere everything is won by a team you’d probably expect. Exciting stuff.
Loyal Players Remaining: 17
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2022/23

With the pool of players rapidly decreasing, very few of the crew are even wanted by other clubs anymore. Perhaps deterred by their steadfast loyalty? A few moves do still happen though, so we’re not dead yet. Firstly Anthony Lopes gets fed up of PSG dominating his league and moves to AC Milan for a better shot at a trophy. It’s not long before that story is forgotten, as the biggest transfer fee in the competition so far is dropped. Andrés Iniesta is stolen away from Barcelona, in a huge £86M move to Man United. The midfield maestro fell 2 appearances short of 600 league games for Barcelona, but with his new £300K per-week contract it’s not hard to guess why. That proves to be all the action for the summer window, with no-one willing to top that huge move.
After half a season of hearing their noisy neighbours gloating about their star signing, Man City snap. And if there’s one thing City are good at, it’s splashing the cash. In probably the easiest negotiation over fee Barcelona has ever had, Sergio Busquets makes a £95M move to the sky blues. Yeh, that’ll show United. Once again no-one wants to get in the middle of the awkward Manchester squabble, and the winter transfer closes with a whimper.
The second World Cup of this experiment comes and goes. This time all the giants make it safely through the Group Stages, but it’s Africa that really excels. Morocco make the knockouts, Egypt battle through to the Quarter Finals, but Nigeria come out best. They beat South Korea and Argentina before falling valiantly to France in the Semi-Finals. A 1-0 victory of Italy does see them finish in an impressive 3rd place, becoming the first African team to finish in the top 3 of the World Cup. France win the title on penalties after a deceivingly action-filled 0-0 draw with Spain. The domestic scene follows that with a similar lack of real shocks. In the Carabao Cup, Bournemouth beat Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United on the way to lifting the trophy. But it’s the lesser Cup, so outside of Bournemouth no-one really cares. PSG finally have their grip on the Ligue 1 broken, as Casillas leads Monaco to a fantastic title. Otherwise, all the league titles and cups fall to teams you’d expect them too. Another thrilling year.
Loyal Players Remaining: 14
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Bournemouth (Carabao Cup)

2023/24

Literally nothing happens. Thomas Kessler decides that no team can ignore his existence for 20 seasons in a row and get away with it, leaving Köln to join Trabzonspor. So as I said, literally nothing happens. Even Javi López moving to yet another club would be more interesting than that.
The same applies to the footballing season. Asides from Casillas captaining Monaco to a Champions League title, or Atletico winning the title again, exactly 10 years after their last win, everything is frustratingly normal. And even those two events are hardly shocks.
Before I start to lose hope, there are a few interesting moves over the last few years from the losing group that are worth highlighting. First season mover Bruno didn’t make the impact he hoped and found himself moving to the lovely Stoke. Robin Knoche barely received any playtime at Dortmund and found himself cast out to Dinamo Zagreb. Even in League 1, Tony Hibbert could barely get any game time at Villa and so moved on the Scunthorpe in League 2. But the winner of the oddest move has to be Zurutuza, who somehow manage to pull off a move to Liverpool after West Ham found themselves relegated, only make a few disappointing performances, before being released on a free to join Al-Arabi in Qatar. Not quite the career he was anticipating when joining the Premier League I bet.
Loyal Players Remaining: 13
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: None

2024/25

The summer transfer window arrives for another season, and with it finally comes a huge deal! Javi López has found yet another club! Hooray! As for actual competitors, absolutely no movement whatsoever. Even from Abreu, who’s been at Guarani for 2.5 years now. Manceau, Lewington and Seube complain to their managers about playing time or relegation, but none of them actually make a move anywhere. So our final 13 will add another 5 years onto their career length.
There are some fun statistics from our 51 worth mentioning at this point. Buffon leads the way with both total league appearances (935) and international caps (259). His caps are at a point where they’re too high for the game to display, as the value is stored as an unsigned 8-bit integer, and so has rolled over to just show 3. Most appearances for a single club goes to Dean Lewington however, who thanks to being a regular sits at 857 league appearances for the MK Dons (or 889 if you include Wimbledon). In the goals department, the winner is obvious. With almost 500 league goals, 100 international goals and 14 Ballon d’Or awards, Messi sits on top of everyone. On the international scene, he’s run close by Müller and the fast-approaching Kane, but for league goals, it’s not even close.
2024 brings with it a Euro tournament, which doesn’t provide much in the way of surprises, but brings with it some exciting high scoring matches. All ending in a 4-3 victory for a Thomas Müller led Germany over neighbours Netherlands. Which I’m sure went down very well. The domestic scene decides to spring a few shocks though. In Serie A, Roma claim an impressive title thanks to main striker Iheanacho, their first since 2001. The German and French cups provide surprise winners, in the form of Hertha Berlin and Dijon. Both cap an impressive run by beating their respective league winners, Bayern and Monaco. Even the continental tournaments turn up too. First Monaco cement their place as a top power in football by winning their second Champions League in a row. That coming a week after the best win there could possibly be. Tottenham win the Europa League! Screw the other stuff, that last part is all I need!
Loyal Players Remaining: 13
Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Dijon (Coupe de France), Hertha Berlin (DFB Pokal)

At this point though it’s fair to say that the competition results are more interesting than the movements of the players. Which is the perfect signal that things need to speed up a little bit. So from now on, updates will be every 5 years, which lines up perfectly with player age resets, letting us see who has made it to the next checkpoint.

2025-2030

Another round of de-ageing hits, and you’d think that would incite some interest in our final 13. Instead, it’s a ghost town. We do have an immediate dropout though, as Nicolas Seube finally gets fed up with his lack of playtime at Caen and heads for Panionios in Greece. A year later the situation is repeated. I’m not entirely sure what his unhappiness was about, but Iker Muniain decides he’s had enough of Athletic Club and moves to Hamburger SV. At least he left on exactly 100 goals for Athletic though, a nice round number. With 11 left, a standoff to reach the top 10 ensues. For 3 years no-one budges in their show of loyalty, until in 2029… Dean Lewington leaves for Derby County on a free. It’s a huge move, with Lewington becoming the first man to break through 1000 league appearances for a single club before leaving. But he’s moved on now, and it won’t be long before that record is broken. That move means we’re left with our final 10 contestants. Terry, Iraola, Messi, Susaeta, Noble, Jourdren, Müller, Kane, Manceau and Bargfrede have secured a top 10 spot, and now all that’s left to do is fight it out for number 1.
Over in Brazil, our anti-one-club man continues his journey, although it remains in Brazil for the moment. Only 2 clubs are added to his count, with a long stay at Atletico Goianiense followed by a £2M move to top tier Coritiba. I’m kind of hoping he starts to make enough waves in the Brazilian league to move to Europe and add some new countries to his history.
Those that fell before the first de-ageing are retiring, finishing off their magnificent, or in some cases very un-magnificent, careers (as losers). Javi López finishes his fine anti-loyalty tour around Spain with 7 transfers to his name. Schmelzer, Nacho, Solly, Álvarez, Koke, Mario, Prieto, Marchisio, De Rossi, David García, Zurutuza, Knoche, Höfler, Pellissier, Mallo, Horn and Hibbert end their careers. Many, such as Nacho, Horn and De Rossi stay just as committed to their new clubs as they did their old, finishing out their careers after just a single transfer. Of the pensioners, Sergio Pellissier manages to rack up the most career league appearances and goals, at 894 and 246, although that’s largely thanks to a huge head start. De Rossi dominates on the international scene, earning a whopping 197 caps over his 30-year career. Naturally, all those records will be blown out the water once the next group start retiring, but it’s nice to have some benchmarks.
Around the world, plenty has gone on worth hearing about. The Netherlands claim their first-ever World Cup win, beating Brazil in the final, whilst in the Euro’s Germany win their second tournament in a row. The Gold Cup throws up a few interesting results too, as first, the Mexico B team win it, with their A team tied up in the Confederations Cup. Then 4 years later Canada take the title, only the second time in their history. Over in Italy, Lazio find themselves relegated as the league starts to shake itself up a bit. But other than that, domestic football remains relatively unspectacular. Oh except… TOTTENHAM WINNING THE LEAGUE. Didn’t even have to reset it and we won it before Arsenal did. North London is very much Lilywhite now, suck it Gooners!
Loyal Players Remaining: 10
Abreu Club Count: 27 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Tottenham (Premier League)

2030-2035

Another 5 years pass and to start with it looks like the top 10 are going to hold firm. Eventually though, the temptation of money proves too much for one man. That man is Geoffrey Jourdren who trades in his starting slot at Montpellier for a cosy backup contract at PSG. Then comes… dead silence. Not even a rumour, or an unhappy player. No-one even hints at leaving for the next 4 years, which means we end the period with nine players on the books. The real waiting game has begun. Even our journeyman Abreu is moving in a very slow way, as a five year Coritiba stint finishes with a free transfer to Red Bull Brasil. I think my hopes for a European move have died.
At least there are a lot of retirements to run through. Bruno, Lahm, Casillas, Valdés, Danzé, Oier, Xavi, Torres, Perrin, Jantschke, Bergantiños, González, Roberto, Iniesta and Busquets hang up their playing boots. That does leave us without some noted legends, with Lahm, Casillas, Iniesta and Busquets reaching 200 caps for their country. You’d think Spain would have won more with that golden generation. Casillas and Xavi also both hit 1000 league appearances thanks to a strong head start before the experiment. But it’s Andrés Iniesta who is the most loyal of the bunch, racking up nearly 600 appearances for his original club before departing.
Five years leaves plenty of time for interesting results once again. England take a World Cup win, which is always a sign of the apocalypse, only made more bizarre by Scotland making the semi-finals in the same competition. Portugal take the other title in that period, whilst the Euros also see a surprise winner in Switzerland. France provides the biggest shock at club level, as Lille come from nowhere to win Ligue 1, and then immediately revert back to mid-table once again. Otherwise, the time belongs to Manchester City. The oil bar… sky blues take 4 out of 5 titles in both the Premier League and Champions League, with all that cash flinging finally paying off.
Loyal Players Remaining: 9
Abreu Club Count: 28 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: England (World Cup), Lille (Ligue 1)

2035-40

With just nine players left, once again we get a transfer fairly early on in the period. Early as in the first transfer window, which makes me wonder why they waited so long. Anyway, Mark Noble has had his patience tested by West Ham’s yoyoing between the Premier League and Championship a bit too much and finally caves. He makes a £20M move to Burnley, who… are doing the exact same thing. Not sure that was the brightest idea. Like the previous 5 years though, one transfer is all we get. None of the others move, despite some pretty heavy unhappiness from Bargfrede and Manceau. Abreu keeps up his trail, running out his contract with Red Bull Brasil and opting for Chapecoense to reach 29 clubs in his career.
With very few moving recently, that also means less and less are retiring, as just 7 ex-competitors leave the game. Totti, Buffon, Lopes, Kessler, Seube, Muniain and Lewington call time on their football life. The fact they all stuck with it for so long means there’s so impressive stats between them. Totti racked up 1154 league appearances, with 768 at Roma. Dean Lewington, after leaving MK Dons with 1003 appearances finished with a total of 1287. Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon finished with a whopping 1307 league appearances, but perhaps more impressively, 334 international caps. But the single most surprising statistic goes to Thomas Kessler. Despite barely playing in Germany he manages to notch a grand total of 7 goals after his move to Turkey. Maybe if he’d been a striker he’d have actually played at Koln. Oh and Seube ends his career Greek. Because why not.
As per every time, a quick look around the world’s results is needed. Spain win back the World Cup titles, whilst Italy take a Euro win. Argentina, Mexico and Australia claim all their continents international trophies in the window, so no massive surprises there. The domestic world isn’t exactly littered with shocks either. Brescia win a Coppa Italia, and Nîmes Olympique grab 4 top 5 finishes in a row in France, but there’s not really much to shout about. I think it’s best to just get on with the next de-ageing.
Loyal Players Remaining: 8
Abreu Club Count: 29 clubs in 10 countries
Odd Winners: Brescia (Coppa Italia)

2040-45

Down to 8 now, so it’s getting tougher. And a lot slower, so slow in fact that not a single transfer in our group happens in five years. For a moment I was excited to see Manceau at Recreativo de Huelva, but that was just a loan. So I was back to being crushed. On the plus side, Abreu makes some huge steps. He adds not just 1, but 2 new countries to his history! The first is Portugal, in a huge step up to join Braga. As usual, it’s just until his contract ends, before he moves on to Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. He’s hardly setting Europe alight but I don’t care, he’s actually moving!
There’s only one retiree to talk about too, as pretty much everyone has already gone. Geoffrey Jourdren finishes up with 925 total league appearances. It probably could have been a bit more, if he’d not spent 10 years of his career being a backup at PSG and Bayern. On a far more interesting note, Terry breaks through 1500 career league appearances. Kane also hits 256 international goals, which results in the number resetting to 0 just like caps. So the game has him on 96 caps with 11 goals, when the actual numbers are a stunning 352 caps with 267 goals.
Having seen my disappointment last time around, the world decides to liven things up. Denmark become both Champions of the World and Champions of Europe in 2042 and 2040, although they lose the European title to Germany 4 years later. At the continental level, the Champions League stays on track, but the Europa League brings some bizarre winners into the mix. Nîmes Olympique, Real Sociedad, Leicester and Bristol City all win a trophy. It seems Mark Noble finally made a right move transferring to Bristol City, as the club is now a strong top 6 Premier League side. Manceau wins a Coupe de France at Angers, but it’s still Nîmes making waves, forming a big three with PSG and Monaco. It may not be long before either Nîmes or Bristol City win their league, which is not something I expected to be saying.
Loyal Players Remaining: 8
Abreu Club Count: 31 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Nîmes Olympique/Bristol City (Europa League), Angers (Coupe de France)

2045-50

2045 kicks off and once again Manceau deceives me. This time it’s a loan spell in Denmark with Brøndby that had me thinking he was gone. Well you know what they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… I’m probably gonna fall for it. It looks like there’s going to be no moves whatsoever once again, until June 2047 arrives and I notice a contract is set to expire. Imagine my shock when Lionel Messi is not offered a contract by Barcelona and is let go. It’s made doubly worse by the fact that of all teams to pick him up, it's Atletico Madrid. Apparently, 37 Ballon d’Or awards aren’t good enough for Barcelona anymore. I don’t even care that nothing else happens. That’s enough to stun me.
Over in the retirement home, Mark Noble moves into a room. After an up and down career, the Englishman did manage some silverware with Bristol City and ended his career with 1317 league appearances. He even earned not just 1, but 90 England caps across his 44-year career.
Around the world, interesting results are still cropping up. England grab their third World Cup win beating Colombia, whilst Honduras win their first-ever Gold Cup. Much to my bitter disappointment, Arsenal win 4 of the 5 Champions Leagues on offer, as well as 3 Premier League titles. Chelsea have a period of bottom 10 finishes which deeply upsets Terry, whilst over in France, Chamois Niortais begin to try and join the top 3. Don’t worry I’ve never heard of them either.
Loyal Players Remaining: 7
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Honduras (Gold Cup)

2050-55

With the world still reeling at the fact the Messi has moved from Barcelona, everyone kinda forgets to make any moves. In fact, Messi is the first person to move yet again, leaving Atletico in a very cheap 34.5M move to Man City. Which is more in line with where I originally expected him to go. Abreu finishes one contract, at Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and moves onto the next, but it’s with Monterrey so doesn’t count. Sebastian, it has to be new clubs. John Terry is starting to get frustrated with a Chelsea team that has really fallen from grace. The Londoners barely survive relegation in 2052/53, so Terry may be the next to go. Or maybe I know nothing and it’s completely random.
No-one retires this year, so let’s take a brief look at some statistics of our remaining 7 + Messi. All our players have now reached 1000 appearances, with Bargfrede in last at 1173. Messi has crossed 1000 league goals, now a full 300 clear of the chasing pack of Abreu and Kane. On the international level, Thomas Müller becomes the first player to need a rollover of caps twice, moving on to a massive 524 international caps. But it’s Kane who still leads the international goal stat, nearly breaking 350, a full 50 ahead of the German.
Müller does, however, grab a World Cup win for Germany so I’m sure he won’t be too upset. At least until they’re deposed by Holland 4 years later. On the continental level, Bristol City win another Europa League title beating previous champions Espanyol. Middlesbrough also nearly earn a trophy, having joined Bristol as a top 6 team. But the winner of the biggest shock, although I did say this might happen, goes to Chamois Niortais, who topple the dominance of PSG and Monaco to capture a miraculous Ligue 1 title in the last season of the period.
Loyal Players Remaining: 7
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Chamois Niortais (Ligue 1), Bristol City/Espanyol (Europa League)

2055-60

The summer window of 2055 opens and as I warned may happen, there’s an almost immediate transfer. Fed up with Chelsea’s mediocre finishes, John Terry decides to move on. Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, Arsenal is his next club, which I’m sure will cause a few shudders. A year later and another move comes around, once again due to unhappiness over the club’s performance. Surprisingly it's Thomas Müller,who's annoyed by the fact that Bayern haven’t won a Bundesliga title since 2048, and so runs down his contract. Leverkusen almost earn his signature, but eventually its the glory of PSG that proves too much to resist. But we’re not done there! Another player runs down their contract, opting to move to Vitoria de Setubal in Portugal. Vincent Manceau finally makes a real move rather than constantly faking me out. So with another 3 players down, we’re left with our final 4. The race for the top 3 is hotting up now!
We do have a retirement this time thanks to the transfer window livening up. The world's best-ever player, Lionel Messi, retires from football. He ends up on a total of 1858 league appearances, scoring a massive 1068 goals in this time. 1430 appearances and 895 goals of those belonging to his 45-year career at Barcelona. On the international scene, he earned an impressive 505 caps and 276 goals. But it’s the awards where he shines. 279 individual awards, 82 team titles, 22 league titles, 6 Champions League titles, 45 Ballon d’Or awards. What makes it even crazier is 41 of those Ballon d’Or awards were in a row, as he earned every single one from 2015 to 2056. I don’t think I’ll see another player like that crop up in any save, truly the world’s best player.
Looking out on the world, I can say that it’s a Chamois Niortais player that breaks Messi’s streak, as the French team claim another two Ligue 1 titles. It’s hard to say they’re a “surprise winner” at this point. Bristol City finally make the full step up to join the big guns, winning 3 Carabao Cups, 1 FA Cup, 2 Premier League titles and even a Champions League trophy. If any Bristol City fans want this save to give themselves hope over the future, I can send it over. Internationally it's the era of Portugal, as they claim both the Euro and World Cup trophies.
Loyal Players Remaining: 4
Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries
Odd Winners: Bristol City (Premier League/Champions League), Lyon (Relegation)

With so few players left, now is probably a good time to speed it up once again. The final four will be tough to budge, so how about we move to 10-year intervals to try and cut down on dead years. And I'll be moving to the comments, because I've hit reddits character limit.
submitted by sonnorcteer to mscalstest [link] [comments]

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