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Mpejkrm's World Cup Challenge
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  1. Mpejkrm's World Cup Challenge

    Hey guys, I'm Mpejkrm. Longtime FM Player and lurker to the forum but decided to finally join. This is a personal challenge I've been wanting to do for a while and decided I would finally sit down and do. It's going to take a long (very, very, long) time to finish but I'm hoping to have a lot of fun with this.

    The challenge is to win the World Cup with every nation in the game. Yep, that's right, every nation in the game. From the top tier countries (Argentina, Spain) to the worst in the game (Bhutan, San Marino). I came up with this idea while doing the San Marino challenge. I wasn't really having a ton of fun with the Italian team, but I love managing national teams.

    How I'm going to do this is simple. Each country will have its own save file so I can start each game from 2013. The only playable leagues in the game will be the English Premier League, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Serie A, and La Liga. To choose which country to play with, I am going to rotate by continent. I chose the order by pulling each country out of a Random Number Generator (each country got a number). The order is below:

    I will be rotating by continent like this: Europe --> Africa --> Asia --> South America --> North America

    The first five countries I will be using are Bulgaria, Chad, Oman, Chile, and US Virgin Islands​. Hope you all enjoy this long journey.
    AndySams10 likes this.

  2. Part I: Welcome to Bulgaria

    Part I of our challenge brings us to Bulgaria, a country on the lower east part of Europe, bordered by Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey. The official language is Bulgarian and the population is just under 7 million. The capital city is Sofia, which is also the largest city with a population of just under 1,250,000 people.

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    (Forgot to mention that my name, Mitch Collins, will be the manager name used in this game. I will also create myself as the nationality of the team I am managing.)

    Now let's take look a quick look at the squad. The Board expects us to be competitive in our only competition at the moment, the UEFA World Cup Qualifiers. We sit in fifth in Group 2 through six matches.

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    The rest of the schedule is not too difficult, we get Italy, Malta and Armenia at home and travel to Denmark. We should be able to beat Malta and Armenia and could give Denmark and maybe even Italy a fight. We will tune up once more before the competition with a friendly match against world power Argentina at home.

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    Velizar Dimitrov
    , while old, is our best player at the central attacking midfielder role. He fits best as a trequartista.

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    Georgi Milanov
    is a young, talented attacking midfielder. He will play left attacking midfielder and play as an advanced playmaker.


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    Todor Nedelev is our starting right attacking midfielder. He can also play central attacking mid and is young. He fits best as an inside forward.

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    Ivelin Popov is yet another talented attacking midfielder. Since there is no room for him to start, he will be a rotation option. He is a great shadow striker.

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    Ventsislav Hristov
    is our best striker. At 24 he has room to grow, and backup Ilian Micanski can help him out. Micanski is another good option.

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    Simeon Slavchev is the brightest young talent on our team. At 19, he is already set to start at central mid or defensive mid, and clubs such as Atletico, AC Milan, Dortmund, PSG, and SLB are interested in him.


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    Svetoslav Dyakov
    is our best defensive midfielder, but he is currently injured for at least two to three months, meaning he will miss the Argentina friendly, Italy game and potentially the Denmark game. Vladimir Gadzhev is another option at DM.

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    Stanislav Manolev, Ivan Ivanov, Valentin Iliev, and Petar Zanev make up our back four. There is a lot of depth here so we can go a few different ways.

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    Nikolay Mihaylov is our starting keeper, he's a solid keeper who does his job. Vladislav Stoyanov​ will back him up, another solid option.


    The tactics we will be running:

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    Our main tactic is a 4-5-1 Defensive. Why defensive, you ask, when the mentality is counter? Well, defensive because we push our two midfielders back to DM and the tactic is meant to help control the ball in our own third and get it in to the midfield, which is why the mentality is counter. The attacking full backs and wingers help expose space on the sides to get the ball through from the final third.


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    Our secondary tactic is a 4-5-1 Attack. This tactic will be used in must-win games and other games where we have a clear advantage talent wise. The idea of this tactic is that it is similar to the defensive just with the DMs moved up to central midfielders to add more attacking power. With a higher tempo, it allows the attackers to get moving and create more chances near the goal.


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    Our final tactic is a bit of an unorthodox one, a 4-1-2-2-1 Control. In this tactic, the idea is to control the game while still attacking. The full backs will join the attack with the strikers and midfielders. The only potential downside to this tactic is that there are no wingers - that is why we need to control the midfield and the middle of the pitch.

  3. An interesting starting team with Bulgaria, good idea as well, I was on the verge of something similar recently too! All the best with it, I'll be keeping tabs
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  4. Going to take you ages but good luck. I started an international game but just clicked random and don't intend on winning the WC with every country
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  5. Good luck with this. I can't imagine winning England winning it , so Bulgaria will be a real challenge especially if you can't develop young players.
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  6. Thanks lads, will be a challenge but excited to get this started. And yes it will be difficult to develop young talent with a small country but I think I can do it with the right tactics.

  7. July 2013 Recap: Bulgaria

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    So first month in charge of the squad and there are injuries galore. Here are a list of the players that will miss the upcoming friendly against Argentina with their injury and recovery time:
    • Ivan Ivanov (Broken Leg, 7-8 months)
    • Petar Zanev (Damaged foot, 2-3 weeks) (Game-time decision)
    • Yordan Minev (Sprained Ankle, 3-5 weeks)
    • Zhivko Milanov (Torn Groin Muscle, 7 weeks-2 months)
    • Svetoslav Dyakov (Dislocated shoulder 5-7 weeks)
    • Vadislav Stoyanov (Broken finger, 6-7 weeks) (sustained injury in August)
    • Georgia Milanov (Sports hernia, 4-5 weeks) (sustained injury in August)

    That's seven important players that will miss the match with injury and at least one, maybe two more that will miss the next set of World Cup Qualifier games in early September.

    Team Transfers

    • Our promising young midfielder Simeon Slavchev moved from Litex to Spain, moving to Atletico Madrid, and he was loaned right back to Litex for the season.
    • Svetoslav Dyakov (who is currently injured) moved to Holland, going from Ludogorets to PSV.
    • Stanislav Manolev moved to Sporting (POR) on a free transfer, inking a $16.5K p/w deal.

    We fell nineteen spots to 72nd in the World Rankings despite playing zero games since the last rankings. It's not a huge deal, but hopefully we can move up some spots with a good result against Argentina.
    Last edited by Mpejkrm; 09/03/2014 at 09:21 PM.

  8. This is an amazing idea, will be following, Good luck mate!
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  9. Matchday: Argentina v Bulgaria

    Terrible pre-game news, right before the game, we learned that Edisson Jordanov, a young midfielder called up as a backup due to injuries, has suffered a torn hamstring and will miss 3-4 months. As a 20 year old he has lots of time for the squad but this will set us back.

    Lineups

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    Running the base 4-5-1 defend in this game against a talented Argentina attack. In fact, their attack is so talented that they have multiple world class players on the bench. The defense is talented too and we will need to play together as a unit if we want to score and defend.
    Results

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    What a wonderful result! A nil-nil draw against the No. 2 country in the world, while missing multiple of our star players injured. This is a huge step in the right direction. We were shaky throughout most of the first half but got some key stops in goal and really turned it on in the second half. In the end, we managed a very close possession split and got just one fewer goal on target. Was Argentina coasting and not really playing full strength? Maybe. Regardless, this is a big starting point on our journey to international stardom.

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 6/9/2013 v Italy
    Amanado likes this.

  10. Matchday: Italy v Bulgaria

    Left back Petar Zanev is back for this one, everyone else still out injured.

    Preview

    Match odds: Bulgaria 7-1; Draw 3-1, Italy 1-3 (Favorite)

    "Italy will continue their recent impressive form by beating Bulgaria today. You never know quite which Bulgaria are going to turn up at home and I can't see that changing for this game." - Volkan Yildiz, worldsoccer.com

    Lineups

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    Running the base 4-5-1 defend once again against another talented offensive unit. Italy is running a compressed 4-3-1-2 with no wingers, so we will need to control the flanks of the pitch if we want to win this game. Italy's defense is also very talented so it will be tough to get through them. However, our defense has shown it can be sturdy (i.e. the game against Argentina).

    MAN TO WATCH (ITALY): ST Mario Balotelli
    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): AML Ivelin Popv


    Result

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    Stats


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    Disappointing, but expected loss to Italy. We played well though, winning in possession and scoring a nice early goal. Two goals right out of each half from Italy definitely hurt, and their penalty in the 78th minute was a really poor decision by the ref, if I must say so myself. We just need to move on and prepare for our next upcoming match.


    NEXT MATCHDAY: 10/9/2013 v Denmark
    Amanado likes this.

  11. Unlucky against Italy, Good luck against Bendtner and Eriksen.
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  12. Matchday: Bulgaria v Denmark

    No new notes about the team since the last match. Same squad as last time out.

    Preview

    Match odds: Denmark 4-6 (Favorite); Draw 9-4; Bulgaria 7-2

    "I fancy Denmark to win this one. Denmark's home form hasn't been the best of late but Bulgaria haven't been playing well recently either." - Casper Kaalund, The Danish Football Review

    Lineups


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    Running the same 4-5-1 defend as usual due to another strong opponent but changed the squad around a tad to keep the boys fresh. Bandalovski is in at right back for Manolev, Terziev is in for Alexsandrov at right central defender, and Micanski is in for Hristov at striker. Denmark doesn't have a terrific squad but they have some some talent attacking and defensive.

    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): DM Simeon Slavchev
    MAN TO WATCH (DENMARK): AMC Christian Eriksen

    Result

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    Stats


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    Another game, another poor penalty decision by the ref. Admittedly, we played much worse this game then we did against Italy, but I believe the aggravating penalty decisions have hurt our team's confidence. We got on the board early, then allowed two quick goals (including the penalty) and that really let us down. The poor results before I took the job basically eliminates us from any chance of World Cup qualification, but we need to keep working hard in the final two matches v Malta and Armenia, two teams I believe we can beat.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Lasse Schone, Denmark

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 11/10/2013 v Malta
    Last edited by Mpejkrm; 12/03/2014 at 01:33 AM.
    Amanado likes this.

  13. Nice to see this is going strong. Best of luck against Malta!
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  14. Matchday: Malta v Bulgaria

    We stayed at 72nd in the latest World Rankings. Not too surprising considering the two disappointing 1-3 losses we've had since the last rankings.

    Ivelin Popov and Nikolay Bodurov, both key players, will miss the two matches with injury, a pretty serious blow for the squad. Svetoslav Dyakov and Emil Garagov were both called up to replace them. Slavchev is also suspended for the Malta match due to too many yellow cards. Georgi Milanov will miss the Malta match due to a dead leg, but will be back in time for Armenia.

    Preview

    Match odds: Bulgaria 1-6 (Favorite); Draw 5-1; Malta 10-1

    "Malta's away form has been woeful recently. Home win." - Zhivko Kostov, The Bulgarian Football Review

    Lineups


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    Going with the 4-5-1 attack today against a much weaker Malta side. This is the tactic we will normally run against much easier sides. A few subs are in due to the injuries/suspension but mostly the normal side we have out there. I'm feeling a pretty easy win for us.

    MAN TO WATCH (MALTA): AMC Martin Deyanov
    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): AMC Velizar Dmitrov

    Result

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    Stats


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    First win as manager of Bulgaria, and what a win it was. Should have ended 9-0 if not for Malta's very late salvo in the 90th minute (that was followed up with a red in extra time). Micanski stole the show with a tremendous DOUBLE hat trick and has certainly earned himself a permanent spot at the striker position. Even against a lower opponent, this was a marvelous performance, but the fouls need to be cut down a bit.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Ilian Micanski, Bulgaria

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 15/10/2013 v Armenia

  15. Interesting idea, would love to see you pull it off with weaker nations. Good first win, more to follow.

    To win with every country - it just sounds like an impossible task for me. But will stay tune here and good luck.
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  16. Micanski for ballon d'or!
    On a serious note why didn't lord Bendtner play for the Danes?
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by thokazu View Post
    Interesting idea, would love to see you pull it off with weaker nations. Good first win, more to follow.

    To win with every country - it just sounds like an impossible task for me. But will stay tune here and good luck.
    Thanks mate, probably is impossible, but thanks for the words

    Quote Originally Posted by Amanado View Post
    Micanski for ballon d'or!
    On a serious note why didn't lord Bendtner play for the Danes?
    He was hurt
    Amanado likes this.

  18. When's the next update mate?

  19. Quote Originally Posted by Amanado View Post
    When's the next update mate?
    Hoping to get one out tonight, been pretty busy.
    Amanado likes this.

  20. Matchday: Armenia v Bulgaria

    No team news to report since the last match.


    Preview

    Match odds: Bulgaria 5-4 (Favorite); Draw 11-5; Armenia 7-4

    "A draw is on the cards in this game as I can see Bulgaria and Armenia cancelling each other out." - Zhokar Tanev, The Bulgarian Football Review

    Lineups


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    Again running the base 4-5-1 defend. Armenia aren't a fantastic side, but we are about level and this is the formation we run in games like that. As we have guaranteed fifth place in our group as well this game doesn't really mean much.

    MAN TO WATCH (ARMENIA): GK Nikolay Mihaylov
    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): MC Henrikh Mkhitaryan

    Result

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    Stats


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    We really didn't deserve to win this game as we got out possessed by Armenia and got a bit of a lucky bounce on our goal. But either way we got more shots and finished up our World Cup Qualifiers on a high note.

    The final group table:

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    Our next international competition will be the 2016 European Championship qualifiers which will be drawn on 9th February 2014.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Emil Gargarov, Bulgaria

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 15/11/2013 v Chile
    Amanado likes this.

  21. Bunch of updates coming guys, have several to post
    Disclaimer89 likes this.

  22. Friendlies Recap

    We have improved to 63rd in the latest World Rankings. If we keep winning, we will keep moving up, pretty simple. Other than that, no major team news to report.

    Results

    v Chile

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    Good win over a very tough Chile side that has one of the top players in the world in Arturo Vidal. We were able to neutralize his play-making efforts and win in the final third to secure victory. Micanski continued his incredible run of form, netting two more goals and assisting a third.

    v Liechtenstein

    Unfortunately before this match our starting keeper Nikolay Mihaylov who has performed very well for us suffered a facial injury, however due to the quality of opponent I was not too worried and plugged capable backup Vladislav Stoyanov in. We also had two more minor injuries to Ivelin Popov and Svetoslav Dyakov, but as outfield players we had suitable replacements available.

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    Another good result. Went with the alternative 4-1-2-2-1 control tactic and it worked well, admittedly this is a very weak Liechtenstein squad that we probably should not have even conceded too but we scored and played well overall. There are reasons to be happy about this performance. Micanski won't stop scoring with two more goals, now he is at 13 goals in 13 caps.

    So the next international period will be the UEFA European Championship 2016 qualifiers (however I expect some friendlies to be played before then). While the European Championship is not our main goal, it would be nice to qualify and make a deep run as it would give the players some battle tested experience for the next World Cup qualification campaign.


  23. January Transfer Window

    Not a lot of transfer news from the first team but some moves from around the lower squads. 17 year old intriguing centre back prospect Stefan Velkov moved to Girondins Bordeaux for 2.6 million pounds ($4.3 million USD).

    Euro 2016 Qualifiers Draw

    We've been seeded fourth in the draw. The nations seeded first include Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, England, Russia, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, and Spain.

    And Bulgaria has been drawn into ...

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    Group H. Containing, Denmark, Georgia, Ireland, and Italy.

    Oh boy! Drawn with Italy and Denmark again, two teams we struggled against the World Cup Qualifiers. This should be fun. Ireland is not an easy task either - they are a very talented squad. Not to mention Georgia is no pushover either. This is a tough group. Group matches begin 9 September. We'll face Denmark at home, visit Italy, and face Georgia at home to finish 2014. Our 2015 schedule looks as so:
    • 27/3/15: Ireland (A)
    • 12/6/15: Denmark (A)
    • 4/9/15: Italy (H)
    • 8/9/15: Georgia (A)
    • 9/10/15: Ireland (H)
    This is a difficult group, but we are a talented squad and I believe we have the ability to qualify. Let's take a look at the other groups in the competition.

    Group A

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    Belgium should not have any trouble in this group. Romania is likely to be their only challenger. They shouldn't have too much of an issue.

    Group B

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    Croatia and Czech Republic look to be the clear favorites in this group. Don't count out Hungary for a surprise, though, they are a good side.

    Group C

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    Fierce rivals Russia and Ukraine will battle it out for this group. Slovakia could also surprise some as they have a good squad.

    Group D

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    Germany and Greece are the favorites in this group, but watch out for Finland and maybe even Israel as potential challengers.

    Group E

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    Switzerland should take care of this group with ease. Turkey and Norway are solid sides but they aren't able to compete for the group title.

    Group F

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    Portugal and Bosnia are the favorites here. Wales and Northern Ireland are decent sides that might have a chance to surprise.

    Group G

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    Spain should have little trouble with this group. Austria, Sweden, and Slovenia are good sides but none will seriously compete with Spain.

    Group I

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    Shouldn't be too difficult of a group for Netherlands to come out on top of, although Serbia and Macedonia aren't bad sides.

    Group J


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    England got a good draw here. Scotland and Poland are good sides but England should have enough firepower to pull away.
    Last edited by Mpejkrm; 25/03/2014 at 01:20 AM.

  24. Friendlies Recap

    We are now up to 60th in the World Rankings, so hopefully we keep on winning and keep on moving up spots.

    Results

    v Peru

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    Good work by the squad to come back following the two early goals but definitely should have picked up the victory in this game. We had more shots and possession but failed to convert.

    v Ecuador

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    First heavy defeat for me as manager of Bulgaria. We had 13 shots on target but also fouled too much and didn't do a good job on possession. Ecuador was able to equalize on a lot of easy chances and one of our goals was quite lucky. Not a good showing here.

    Our next game before the Euro Qualifiers start is a home friendly against Norway on 5/9/14. Four days later we will begin our Euro Qualifiers campaign by welcoming Denmark to Vasil Leveski.





  25. World Cup 2014 Recap

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    Italy defeat Uruguay in a thrilling final in extra time, with Alessandro Matri striking in the 113th minute! It's Italy's fifth of all time, tying Brazil for the most wins ever. It's also their first since 2006 in Germany. Surprise of the tournament was probably Bosnia & Herzegovina reaching the quarterfinal by beating the Netherlands in the first knockout round.

    Tournament Awards

    adidas? Golden Ball: Daniel Sturridge, England (5 apps, 5 goals, 1 assist)
    Yashin Award (Best Goalkeeper): Gianluigi Buffon, Italy (6 apps, 3 conceded, 3 clean sheets)
    adidas? Golden Shoe: Fernando Llorente, Spain (5 apps, 6 goals, 1 assist)
    Best Young Player: Marco Verratti, Italy (4 apps, 2 goals)


    Team of the Tournament

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  26. Summer 2014 Transfer Window Wrap-Up

    Bulgaria Transfers

    • GK Georgia Kitanov from Cherno more to Dortmund for $4.1M. Loaned back to Cherno more for the season
    • Young LB Miki Orachev bought by Real Madrid for $4.8M from Levski. Loaned to Inter Milan.
    • DM Ivaylo Chochev bought by Metalist for $1.6M from CSKA (Sofia)
    • AM Todor Nedelev sold to HSV from Mainz for $16.5M
    • DC Alexandre Barthe sold to Rubin from Ludogrets for $1.7M
    • AM Spas Delev moves from Las Palmas to Real Betis for $500K
    • DC Georgi Terziev moves from Ludogrets to Gladbach for $2M

    World Transfers

    • CM Alessandro Florenzi sold to PSG from Roma for $48M
    • DM John Obi Mikel sold to PSG from Chelsea for $48M
    • Man City buys a trio of players, AM Lorenzo Insigne from Napoli for $33M, AM Hatem Ben Arfa from Newcastle for $32M, and CM Koke from Atletico for $31M
    • ST Mario Mandzukic moves from Bayern Munich to Chelsea for $27M
    • Young defender Doria moves from Botafago to PSG for $24.5M
    • AM Alexis Sanchez sold to Chelsea from Barcelona for $49M
    • ST Wilfried Bony sold to Arsenal from Swansea for $40M
    • ST Romelu Lukaku sold to Real Madrid from Chelsea for $39M
    • ST Christian Benteke sold to Bayern Munich from Aston Villa for $32M
    • DC David Luiz moves to PSG from Chelsea for $33.5M

  27. Matchday: Denmark v Bulgaria

    Friendly Recap: v Norway

    Bulgaria 2 - 6 Norway

    (Nedelev 63', Popov 73')
    (Pedersen 4', 5', 45', 66', 75', Angell 90+1')

    Really poor performance in this one. Didn't even put up any kind of a fight in a pretty embarrassing loss. Bad sign for the team as a whole.


    Preview

    Match odds: Bulgaria 6-4 (Favorite); Draw 2-1, Denmark 13-8

    "There's not much difference between these two teams and it could right down to the wire. If I had to pick a winner I think I'd plump for a Denmark victory." - Zhivko Kostov, The Bulgarian Football Review


    Lineups

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    Basic 4-5-1 attack again here as we normally run. Denmark is a good side so we will need some attacking firepower to beat them.

    MAN TO WATCH (DENMARK): AMC Thomas Kahlenberg
    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): DR Stanislav Manolev


    Result

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    Stats

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    This game had me in all different states of emotion! The early goal that put us ahead, followed by two quick goals in succession from Denmark out of the half, followed by our near immediate equalizer, then TWO missed clear cut chances within the final ten minutes of the game. We should have won this game, but at least we got something out of it.


    MAN OF THE MATCH: Michael Krohn-Dehli, Denmark

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 10/10/14 v Italy

  28. Matchday: Bulgaria v Italy

    Nikolay Mihaylov, Deyan Valkov, and Svetoslav Dyakov are out for this international period with injury. Petar Zanev is back after missing the Norway and Denmark games. GK Filip Dimitrov was called up due to the Mihaylov injury, other than that, no changes from the last squad.

    Preview

    Match odds: Italy 4-7 (Favorite); Draw 5-2; Bulgaria 4-1

    "I can't look beyond Italy for this game. They have enough quality to see off the challenge of Bulgaria." - Salvatore Germano, The Italian Football Free Press


    Lineups

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    Tough opponent calls for the 4-5-1 defend.

    MAN TO WATCH (ITALY): ST Mattia Destro
    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): DR Zhivko Milanov


    Result

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    Stats

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    Away against Italy was the toughest game of our qualification campaign, and we played better than the scoreline showed. We had them in possession, but struggled in shots and chances department.


    MAN OF THE MATCH: Mattia Destro, Italy

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 14/10/14 v Georgia

  29. Matchday: Georgia v Bulgaria

    Preview

    Match odds: Bulgaria 1-2 (Favorite); Draw 13-5; Georgia 9-2

    "I believe Bulgaria have enough quality to see off Georgia." - Dragomir Avramov, The Bulgarian Football Free Press


    Lineups


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    MAN TO WATCH (GEORGIA): AMC Jano
    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): DM Ivaylo Chochev


    Result

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    Stats

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    A good result here. We got off to a good start with the two early goals but then the 89th minute equalizer scared me for a second, but then Milanov came in clutch with a goal under 30 seconds later! This was a tough game but we came out with the result we wanted and moved a step closer to qualification.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Gia Kekelidze, Georgia

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 14/11/14 v Mexico

  30. Quote Originally Posted by Mpejkrm View Post

    • CM Alessandro Florenzi sold to PSG from Roma for $48M
    • DM John Obi Mikel sold to PSG from Chelsea for $48M
    • DC David Luiz moves to PSG from Chelsea for $33.5M

    PSG sure has alot of money, $129.5M
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  31. Friendlies Round-up

    Due to some of the poor performances we've had in the 2014 calendar year, we fell 18 spots in the World Rankings and now sit at 74. Disappointing, but we will need to get our stuff together in order to climb back up.


    Friendly Recap: v Mexico

    Bulgaria 0 - 4 Mexico


    (Jimenez 29', Hernandez 32', 45+1', Perez pen. 44')

    We struggled to find shots on target and fouled too much in this one which led to a tough defeat.

    Friendly Recap: v Australia

    Bulgaria 0 - 0 Australia

    (Angelucci
    sent off 70')

    Could have gone better, but at least we didn't drop this one. Way too many fouls on both sides (16 for us, 20 for Australia).

    We now have a nice long break until late March '15 when we take on Ireland, although we are currently scheduling friendly matches in between.
    Last edited by Mpejkrm; 09/04/2014 at 04:13 AM.

  32. Matchday: Bulgaria v Republic of Ireland

    Two changes to the squad pre-match. DC Alexandre Barthe and recent call up CAM Antonio Vutov will both miss with injury. AM Ivan Stoyanov and promising young DC Stefan Velkov were called up, the latter for the first time. Then, just before the game, Stoyanov suffered an injury and 19 year old midfielder Radoslav Tsonev was called up to the squad for the first time.

    Preview

    Match odds: Republic of Ireland 5-4 (Favorite); Draw 11-5; Bulgaria 7-4

    Lineups

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    While normally I would run the 4-5-1 defend in this situation, Ireland is known to be weak to 4-5-1 attack-like formations according to our scouts.

    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): DC Alex Pearce
    MAN TO WATCH (REPUBLIC OF IRELAND): AM Georgi Milanov


    Result

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    Stats

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    A horribly infuriating result. We let up two goals early, came back in the second half, and then CONCEDED A DAMN PENALTY. Seriously. And thanks to Denmark's win, we are now fourth in the table. With one more game played than all of the others. Not looking too good.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Georgi Milanov (Bulgaria)

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 31/3/15 v Saudi Arabia (Friendly)

  33. Looks like a near impossible challenge will definitely be following
    Just a thought though after winning the world cup with each team why not just stay on with the same manager and a different team?
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  34. Quote Originally Posted by 1212 View Post
    Looks like a near impossible challenge will definitely be following
    Just a thought though after winning the world cup with each team why not just stay on with the same manager and a different team?
    Well i don't want the save to go super duper long and take long time to load and plus when i start with a new country i want to use some real players.

    More updates on the way!

  35. New Tactic!

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    Since we have done quite poorly lately, trying out a new tactic. We'll see how it goes.


    Friendly Recap: v Saudi Arabia

    Bulgaria 4
    - 1 Saudi Arabia

    (Chochev 18', 20', Micanski 36', Gamakov 90+2') (Al-Khojali 86')

    And the new tactic works great! A brilliant result. Micanski got back on a roll after a string of bad games and Gamakov netted his first goal for the senior squad. Next matches are in just under three months in mid-June: at Denmark in the Euro Qualifiers and a home friendly against Liberia, a Western African nation.

  36. Quote Originally Posted by Mpejkrm View Post
    Well i don't want the save to go super duper long and take long time to load and plus when i start with a new country i want to use some real players.

    More updates on the way!
    oh right fair enough i guess great result against saudi arabia btw
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  37. Matchday: Bulgaria v Denmark

    DC Alexandre Barthe was recalled to the squad after missing the last period with injury. Stefan Velkov, a young defender, was sent down, but will certainly have his chance in the future. Pre-match, two more players were injured. Aging CAM Emil Gargorov, who was not getting much playing time either way, and young midfielder Ivaylo Chochev were both hurt in training. Young AM/ST Kiril Despodov was called up and Velkov was recalled. To add on to the injury problem, goalie Ivan Stoyanov got hurt in training. Plamen Iliev was called up to the squad.

    Preview

    Match odds: Denmark Evens (Favorite); Draw 11-5; Bulgaria 11-5

    "There's not much difference between these two teams. Denmark to scrape it 1-0." - Casper Kaalund, The Danish Football Review

    Lineups

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Name:	Denmark v Bulgaria_ Preview Line Ups-2.png
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    Running with the new tactic again.

    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): CAM Christian Eriksen
    MAN TO WATCH (DENMARK): ST Ilian Micanski


    Result

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Name:	Denmark v Bulgaria_ Overview Overview-2.png
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    Stats

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    Another poor result. Cannot believe that this happened. We just played awful and our qualification campaign is taking a huge turn for the worst. We have to get on track.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Christian Eriksen (Denmark)

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 16/6/15 v Liberia (Friendly)

  38. Friendly Recap: v Liberia

    Bulgaria 4 - 0 Liberia

    (Nedelev 13', 48', Popov 60', Despodov 71')

    Great win! Liberia isn't a great side but still good for us to go out and get a nice win. Despodov had an international debut to remember as the 18 year old netted one in the 71st minute. Our next international period will be in September with matches against Italy and Georgia, but before that, in late July is the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers draw! We will be eagerly awaiting our group in that competition.

  39. 2018 World Cup Qualifiers Group Stage Draw

    The day is finally here. Our groups are being drawn for the 2018 World Cup qualifying. Our goal is to win the biggest tournament of them all, so hopefully we can qualify and get a shot. Before the draw, the USA was announced as the host of the 2026 event.

    We've been seeded fourth for the draw, just as with the European Championship qualifiers. The first seeds are the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain. Surprising that the Czech Republic and Bosnia were first seeds over Portugal and France.

    Bulgaria has been drawn into ...

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    Group 1, with Armenia, Belgium, Croatia, Macedonia (FYROM), and Liechtenstein.

    I feel we got a pretty easy group. Belgium and Croatia will be tough but Armenia and Liechtenstein should be easy wins and Macedonia shouldn't be too tough either. Group matches start September 2, 2016.

    As for the other groups:

    Group 2

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    Spain should be the odds-on favorite in this group. None of the other sides really look too strong except maybe Romania.

    Group 3

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    Italy look like easy favorites in this group. Poland and the Scandinavian nations of Norway and Iceland are good, but not Italy good.

    Group 4


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    Germany and France will battle it out for the title of Group 4. None of the other nations stand much of a chance.

    Group 5

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    Portugal and Switzerland look like favorites in Group 5. Austria might also surprise some people.

    Group 6

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    Greece look to be favorites here, with Ukraine and the Czech Republic tagging along as contenders.

    Group 7

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    England should be favorites, but they got tough opponents in Hungary, Turkey, and Denmark.

    Group 8


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    Bosnia got a surprise one-seed in the draw and were rewarded with an easy group. Ireland might be their only challenger.

    Group 9


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    Netherlands shouldn't have too much of an issue here. Sweden and Wales are solid, but not great sides.

  40. Summer 2015 Transfer Window Wrap-Up

    Bulgaria Transfers

    • DM Simeon Slavchev, just two years after moving to Atletico, was sold to rival Barcelona for $20.5M (12.2M pounds).
    • Right-back Stanislav Manolev was sold to Brighton and Hove Albion for $235K (140K pounds) from Sporting CP, where he had two uneventful seasons.
    • Central attacking mid Ivelin Popov made the move from Kuban to Newcastle in the English Premier League on a free transfer following his contract expiration.
    • Young goalie Plamen Iliev moved from Levski to Werder Bremen for a fee of $3.3M (1.95M pounds).
    • 18 year old promising defensive midfielder Vasil Penkov moved from Ludogrets to FC Porto for $6.5M (3.85M pounds). He had interest from numerous other clubs such as PSG, Arsenal, Real Madrid, etc.

    World Transfers

    • Liverpool sign defensive mid Lars Bender from Leverkusen for $54M (32.1M pounds).
    • Chelsea sign Roma defensive mid Kevin Strootman for the same $54M fee.
    • AS Monaco FC sign Athletic Bilbao's young defender Aymeric Laporte for a fee of $47M (27.95M pounds)
    • Attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is sold to Man United from Wolfsburg for $41.5M (24.7M pounds)
    • Attacking midifleder Jack Wilshere moves from Arsenal to Man City for a fee of $40.5M (24.1M pounds)
    • Defender Phil Jones moves from Man United to Arsenal for $32M (19M pounds)
    • AS Monaco FC sign two promising attacking midfielder, Raheem Sterling from Liverpool ($44M/26M pounds) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($32M/19M pounds) from Dortmund

  41. Matchday: Italy v Bulgaria

    A few changes to the squad. Thankfully we didn't have any injuries over the latest club period but we did move around a few guys. Aging striker Ivan Tsvetkov was given his farewell and Ivaylo Chochev was recalled to the squad after missing the last matches with injury. Defensive mid Hristo Zlatinski, who has been uninspiring lately, was swapped out for Vladimir Gadzhev, who makes his return to the squad after missing the last four. There were several other players we wanted on the squad but in the end there are only 23 spots!

    Preview

    Match odds: Bulgaria 9-2, Draw 13-5, Italy 1-2 (Favorite)

    "Italy will continue their recent impressive form by beating Bulgaria today. You never know quite which Bulgaria are going to turn up at home and I can't see that changing for this game." - Dragomir Avramov, The Bulgarian Football Free Press

    Lineups

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Name:	Bulgaria v Italy_ Preview Line Ups-2.png
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ID:	557061

    MAN TO WATCH (ITALY): ST Mattia Destro
    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): AM Ivelin Popov


    Result

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    Stats

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    I am speechless. We had horrific finishing and horrific defending in a game we should have won, and instead, we didn't even score and are now eliminated form qualifying for Euro 2016. Some major changes are in order.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: ST Mattia Destro (Italy)

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 8/9/15 v Georgia (Euro Qualifiers)

  42. Great idea mate and like the idea of starting a new save, so you can use real players, and slowly introduce regents over time! Good luck.
    Mpejkrm likes this.

  43. Another New Tactic!

    Following our recent run of poor results in competitive fixtures I've decided to try another type of tactic before the WC Qualifiers. The tactics come from this thread if you want to try them out. Here they are with the team lineups:

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    The home tactic

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    And the away tactic

    Hopefully these will help us get back on the right track!

  44. Matchday: Bulgaria v Georgia


    No injuries or squad changes to report.

    Preview


    Match odds: Georgia 11-5; Draw 11-5; Bulgaria Evens (Favorite)

    "I fancy Bulgaria to win this one. People will argue that Bulgaria have a poor recent away record, but Georgia have really been struggling of late." - Nemaja Vulevic, worldsoccer.com

    Lineups

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Name:	Georgia v Bulgaria_ Preview Line Ups-2.png
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    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): DC Alexandre Barthe
    MAN TO WATCH (GEORGIA): AML David Targamadze


    Result

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    Stats

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    Another horribly infuriating result! We had a good solid lead and then two stupid defensive mistakes led to two silly goals. This team is really poor defensively and we really need to fix that. We will score enough to go far, but we need to fix our defense.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Kiril Despodov (Bulgaria)

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 9/10/15 v Ireland (Euro Qualifiers)

  45. Matchday: Republic of Ireland v Bulgaria

    Central defender Alexandre Barthe was dropped from the squad due to injury, but he was in poor form for his club anyway and was struggling for our team. 18 year old midfielder Kristiyan Kitov was called up to the squad for the first time.

    Preview

    Match odds: Bulgaria 6-4 (Favorite); Draw 2-1; Ireland 13-8

    "Both Bulgaria and Ireland have been really poor of late. I can't see this being a thriller by any stretch of the imagination and a draw seems the most likely result." - Radan Petrov, The Bulgarian Football Chronicle

    Lineups

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    The new home tactic being used today.

    MAN TO WATCH (REPUBLIC OF IRELAND): DC Iliya Milanov
    MAN TO WATCH (BULGARIA): ​RB Seamus Coleman


    Result

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    Stats

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    So we finish off our qualification campaign with a very respectable victory over Ireland. Delev played the best game of his international career and should have had a hat trick if not for an iffy offside call on his last goal late. Overall, still a terrific performance by the boys.

    MAN OF THE MATCH: Spas Delev (Bulgaria)

    NEXT MATCHDAY: 13/10/15 v Israel (Friendly)

  46. Friendly Recap: v Israel

    Israel 3 - 3 Bulgaria

    (Zizov 31', Yahi 69', 84'; Despodov 5', 14', Nedelev 42')

    Somehow, despite dominating early, our defense let us down late (what's new) and we lost again. Silly tackles leading to easy free kicks killed our game. On the upside, Despodov scored two more and now has scored four goals in his three international appearances. He's a keeper.


    NEXT MATCHDAYS: 13/11/15 v Lithuania; 17/11/15 v Cyprus (Friendlies)
    Last edited by Mpejkrm; 20/04/2014 at 02:32 AM.

  47. Euro 2016 Qualifiers Recap

    So the Euro 2016 qualifiers have come to an end and 20 teams have already punched their tickets to join France in the competition. Three more spots will be decided during the two-legged playoffs between the six best third-placed teams - despite placing third, we did not qualify for the playoffs.

    Qualifiers

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    Not many surprises from Groups A, B, or C, as favorites Belgium, Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Russia all made it through. In Group D there was a surprise as Israel qualified over Greece or Finland. No surprises in Group E as Switzerland and Turkey qualify, but Wales qualifying over Portugal in Group F was a shocker. Spain and Slovenia got through Group G and Italy and Denmark made it out of our group. In Group I, the Netherlands made it through easy, but Armenia qualifying was a huge surprise. And in Group J, Poland and England made it through. The playoff matchups will be:

    Greece v Slovakia

    Portugal v Scotland

    Montenegro v Austria

  48. Friendlies Roundup

    Just one change made to the squad before the friendly matches. Defensive midfielder Svetoslav Dyakov, who had not been in good form for Olympiacos was dropped, and young 18 year old left back Ivan Dimov was called up. Dimov has been in excellent form for Qatari side Al-Sadd and has made 9 appearances for the U-21 National squad. Here is his profile:

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    However, surprisingly, HSV manager Mirko Slomka decided to withdraw our star midfielder Todor Nedelev from the squad. 19 year old attacking midfielder Antonio Vutov made his return to the squad as his replacement, as he seeks his first cap. And then, to make matters worse, Kiril Despodov, who scored twice against Israel, fell ill and needed to be replaced. Striker/central attacking midfielder Milcho Angelov, 20, got the call up to the senior squad for the first time.

    Friendly Recap: v Lithuania

    Bulgaria 1 - 0 Lithuania

    (Angelov 68')
    Angelov gets the winning goal for the squad on his debut but we really should have won this one by a bigger margin. We still got a win though so no real complaints here.


    Friendly Recap: v Cyprus

    Cyprus 1 - 1 Bulgaria

    (Erotokritou 86'; Slavchev 20'​)

    Iliev, the backup goalie, kept us in this game, saving many Cyprus chances, but in the end, a late header off a corner allowed for an equalizer. Still, a good performance all-around.

    Euro 2016 Qualifiers Playoff Round-up

    Greece defeated Slovakia 1-1 on away goals

    Portugal came back from down 0-3 the first leg to defeat Scotland 4-3

    Montenegro fell hard, losing 1-6 on aggregate to Austria

    NEXT MATCHDAY:
    TBD

  49. January Transfer Window 2016 Wrap-Up

    Only one member of the senior squad moved this winter, with German outfit Werder Bremen purchasing left back Ivan Dimov, fresh off his 19th birthday, from Qatari side Al-Sadd for a fee of $5.75M (3.42M pounds).


    World Transfers

    • Man City splurged the cash on two big-name attackers, purchasing Julian Draxler from Schalke for his $60M (35.7M pounds) release clause, and bringing back striker Mario Balotelli from A.C. Milan for $48.5M (28.9M pounds).
    • AS Monaco FC purchased Sevilla's lethal striker Adrian for a fee of $35.5M (21.1M pounds).

  50. So going to try and change up the update style a bit to mimic real life more. Going to be writing some articles instead of solely coming from a first-person view.
    Disclaimer89 likes this.

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