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Winning smaller league comfortably but no chance in Europe - what to do?

  1. Winning smaller league comfortably but no chance in Europe - what to do?


    I'm currently 8 seasons into a Scottish Prem save using my local team. The challenge for the first 3-4 years was to stabilise the finances and develop the team into one which can challenge Celtic. I achieved this after a few years and in my 4th season I won the league - it coincided with a poor season from Celtic where they only finished 4th. I retained the title the following season before losing the next one on the last day to Celtic, but last season I finished 1st again.

    The problem is that becoming a power in Europe would be very unrealistic and would probably take at least 15-20 seasons to achieve - currently in the Champions League I get destroyed by the 1st and 2nd seeds and only scrape 3rd if I get a kind draw. In the Europa League I can never get past the 2nd knockout round.

    I could carry on building the team - my youth recruitment and facilities have been upgraded by the board and I have good coaches so I'm slowly building - but I feel like it'll be boring during those 15-20 seasons because the league will be too easy and Europe will be too hard.

    Anyone else been in this situation? What do you do?

  2. I usually win my CL group with minor Norwegian teams after 3 seasons.. Find good talent, keep them in the club, quality over quantity.

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    To be honest I've been doing a save with Benfica (a massive club in comparison to your situation) but even then I've struggled to leave my dent on Europe until this season (5th season currently in ECL semi final)

    The key difference for me this season was retention of my key (star) players and I've built considerable finance from buying young and selling high allowing me to take back Guedes (sold for 80m bought for 105m), Bernardo Silva, picking up Draxler for 9m and holding onto Renato Sanches.

    So basically from my experiences get in good talent, mold them into your system, retain where possible (or sell extremely high) and as zindrinho mentioned quality over quantity

  4. You've got to play the long game if you want to succeed with smaller teams in Europe. It's taken me 7 years but my Shelbourne team have finally qualified from the CL groups (winning the group no less).

    I prefer building teams from scratch, so I buy young players with potential and develop them into top players hence I've not significantly changed the squad for 5 years. The alternative is to invest in good talent now as Zindrinho mentioned, either way it can take time to find it particularly with lower rep. You will find that with consistent involvement in Europe your rep, that of the league and importantly the club co-efficient will increase making signing better players and further qualification easier.

    I haven't struggled to make the Europa League cut in CL groups since I moved up to being a 3rd seed, I'd imagine from the sounds of your performance that you won't be far off that cut now.
    HomerPimpson likes this.

  5. I have found in past versions that Scottish teams can attract waning greats - not quite retired former world class players - who combine well with youth prospects in Europe. Set up a horrible defensive formation, scrape draws with the big teams and sneak wins at home.

    I've had Hearts as far as the semis of the Champions League (as was then) with a 37 year old Pirlo running the show.

  6. it's much easier to FM the game than create goals against organized defences.
    and dont sell players unless you wanna sell them. just reject bids, keep playing them, and have at least 2 yrs contract on your best players at all time.
    Getting into the CL group stage isnt that hard with smaller teams, need some luck in the playoffs but then the money comes and you can buy almost whoever you want.
    And have good cover behind the starting 11, I like young talents as I said, but still good enough to make a difference.

  7. I think if you want to be competitive in Europe then the only way to achieve that is brining players to your team that have the similar quality with players from European top clubs...

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