The Football Manager greats who never made it in the real world:


BouzanisDaniel Bouzanis: This young Greek/Australian was once described by Rafa Benitez as ‘the world’s best young ‘keeper,’ and the makers of FM obviously believed him. His stats went through the roof after a few seasons of FM09, and I remember Barcelona offering nearly £25million for him. Rafa Benitez once tried to replace Xabi Alonso with Gareth Barry of course…

Where is he now?  Has recently knocked his former-employers Liverpool out of the FA cup, and at 23, arguably still has time to climb back leagues into the premiership. Whether he will be starting for Barcelona anytime soon is a different matter!

KerlonKerlon: Inventor of the seal-dribble, he became a Youtube sensation, and a football manager legend. I was permanently watching the 2D-match-Engine hoping I would be able to make out Kerlon running down the wing bouncing the ball on his head. I never saw it, but his consistent 40-goal seasons more than made up for it!

Where is he now? Is playing for Japanese club Fujieda MYFC, which is the first club in world football to be funded by online subscribers! It seems his internet legend will live on. His football one probably won’t. At 5ft 5”, the 23-year-old is unlikely to ever grace European football with much brilliance in the foreseeable future. He was named best player at the 2005 South American U17 Championship, where defences apparently took less offence to the mickey being taken out of them by a player performing seal-tricks!

BorreAnthony Van Den Borre: Started at Anderlecht as a right-back with Vincent Kompany, and was a driving force of any team for about four versions of the game in the mid-noughties.

While Kompany is unarguably one of the best defenders in world football, Van Den Borre is unarguably not.

Where is he now?  After unsuccessful stints at Portsmouth (Harry must have been impressed by the stats) and Genoa, he is now back at Anderlecht, playing out a safe and solid career.

Rooney: (John, not Wayne.)

John Rooney: Wayne Rooney’s younger, more talented brother, according to makers of Championship Manager 5, Football Manager’s dirty glitch-ridden spinoff. At 14, he came off the bench regularly for me and bagged regular last minute winners.  By 19, he was probably the best player in the world, and was perhaps the only reason I carried on playing the CM5 horror-show!

Where is he now? After unsuccessful spells in America, Rooney signed a contract for Barnsley last summer. He has yet to make an appearance, and will unfortunately forever live in his brother’s footsteps.

tontonTonton Zola-Makouka: The original FM legend. No doubt about that whatsoever. The Congolese-born Swedish orphan ticked every box. His crazy name was only matched by his goal-scoring ability. Would regularly score 80-goals in a season in the CM 01/02 version, which everyone thought was impossible until Lionel Messi started knocking about. There are countless Facebook appreciation groups that show adoration for Tonton and his virtual ability. He would have probably kept Ibrahmovic and Larsson out of Swedish teams  for 10-years if the FM makers got this one right.

Where is he now?  Shockingly, playing in the sixth tier of Swedish football, for IFK Lidingö FK. I think I’ve probably played at a higher level than that. He did manage to score six goals in the Swedish second tier 10 years ago, but that was his last goal in any level of football. He is still frequently telephoned by fans of the game, presumably asking ‘Where did it all go wrong?’

For more from me, find me on Twitter: @Jordan_AC90

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