Welcome back! My word Brazilian seasons are long!!! States Champs, League, Cup, Continental Trophies, if we get to every final we are looking at a 70+ match campaign! It’s wonderful! Anyway calm down everyone, that’s right the first season with Paranaense is over, it’s been a good one but how good I hear you ask?
First up before I tell you anything that’s happened in Brazil there is one final piece of news from my time in Norway. The wonderful people at Haugesund have decided that I should leave a Legend! Of course I bloody should! And that ticks off another achievement in my challenge.
Right Steve forget about Norway it’s all about Samba, the Macarena, and many other Brazilian dances. So here we are in Brazil. I’ve taken over what I thought was one of the middle of the road teams. We have the likes of Flamengo, Cruizeiro, Sao Paulo to name a few to take on so this SHOULD be a tough season.
Let’s firstly take a look at the transfers. The squad itself was OK but we were short in defence, with decent budgets I needed to strengthen and that’s exactly what I did. But before the In’s lets take a look at the Out’s
With so many really crap players a lot were moved on, most for little to no money, there were however a couple of first-teamers to go.
The main one being Defensive Midfielder Antonio, his release clause was activated midway through the season and he went to Portugal. Other than that the other players to go were ones who were never going to play so they were moved on. £31m in total sales, pretty decent!
So a few gaps to fill. Mainly in defence, we also needed to replace Antonio.
Kennio Cristiano – Centre Back – Season Long Loan from Chelsea
With the majority of players either not rated very highly or me needing to pay astronomical fees I decided to get one defender in on loan. A cracking signing, and will definitely play.
Andre Luiz – Left Back – £2.7m from Flamengo
I am so excited by this guy. I tried for 3 months to get him but the fee Flamengo wanted was ridiculous. I ended up getting him for a third of the price they originally asked for. Luiz is incredible for an 18 year old and is also one of very few youngsters I’ve seen with “Model Citizen” as his personality.
Niall Murphy – Left Wing – £950k from Osijek
No better site than seeing an Irishman sign for a Brazilian club from a Croatian team! Murphy again looks brilliant, we only had one decent Left Winger so he comes in and will more than likely walk straight into the team.
Horacio Guerrero – Central Defender – £4m from San Lorenzo
Now this guy look absolutely amazing and for such a small fee. Another foreign player comes in and with the 5 foreigner rule in my match squad I have to keep an eye on this.
Victor Bobsin – Defensive Midfielder – Free from Gremio
Now I may or may not have stumbled across a tiny teeny weeny bug in my game here in Brazil. I scouted Bobsin who is worth £16.75m but he had a release clause of nothing, yes £0! Surely that can’t be right?! There are many others with this but none as good as this guy. A brilliant replacement for Antonio.
So signings complete, we now have an OK squad. With 2 players rated as 5* CA/PA it seems to have lowered a lot of players ratings, a 2* player is rated by coaching staff as “Decent Serie A level” so clearly those 2 players are probably far and above some of the best players in the league, and it shows that seeing as they are wanted by the likes of Barcelona, Man City and many others.
Parana State Championship
As ever in Brazil the season starts with the State Championships, this is where (usually) you end up playing a load of rubbish teams and spank them all. Luckily for us we have won the last god knows how many State titles so clearly it was going to be very easy, it turned out to be exactly that….
11 games played in the league, 10 wins and 1 draw which was against our toughest opponent. But just look at some of those wins, 9-0, 10-1, 12-0 and 16-0!!!! Mental!
And that 16-0 win was a club record league win, and that ticks off another achievement!
So the top 8 go into the knockouts and as expected we ended up winning the whole thing once again. Our only test came in the semis where I fielded a weakened team, we snuck through by the solitary goal.
And not losing a game in the whole campaign means that’s another achievement ticked off with “Invincible Season”
So a great but expected start and because of how well we had done we had somehow been made favourites to win the main Serie A league competition. When the States started we were expected to end 5th, we were now odds on to win Serie A!!
But before the League let’s look at the Cups.
The board expected us to at least reach the semis and I fully agreed, a good run in this would be fantastic. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out that way.
We were handed some tricky ties, we beat Mineiro in the 5th round but were then dumped out by the odd goal against Cruzeiro in the Quarters. A disappointing and frustrating campaign!
The Europa League of South America, we weren’t in the Liberatadores this season due our 11th placed finish last year, the board saw this competition as important and wanted us to get to the final. This was always going to be tough and it proved that way.
The first round went very well as we hammered Bolivian side San Jose 16-0 on aggregate, then the tough games came, we got past Velez 3-1 after losing the home leg 1-0, I played a mixed up team in that game and it failed, the 2nd leg I went full strength and well you can see the result!
The we faced Penarol of Uruguay and we hammered them home and away to win the 2-legged tie 7-1!
We then had our first Brazilian club to face, Fluminense stood in our way for a place in the semis, I was confident but this was shattered after a poor 2-2 draw at home. In the away leg we dominated but couldn’t find a way through, we had so many chances to score but they held firm to knock us out on away goals.
So 3 competitions down, 1 success and 2 failures. We couldn’t mess up in the league or my job may be on the line!
So with the media expecting us to win the league the pressure was on! And my word did it start well. Even with all the games we had to play in the cups we won 6 of our first 7 and sat top and unbeaten. We would lose our next game but we were never off top spot as we headed into the mid part of the season. Game after game after game, twice a week, fitness became an issue as did injuries but the players didn’t let up and as we entered the second half of the campaign we sat in 1st, well clear at the top, winning 14, drawing 2 and losing 3 games. This is just amazing and it wasn’t about to let up!
Even after we lost superstar Striker Cleverson for 4 months due to a broken leg, players came in and did just as good a job. And as we entered the final 10 games we sat top by 12 points. What an insane season it has been! Defensively we had been brilliant so far conceding only 9 goals in 28 games but this was about to go out the window. A 2-2 draw against local rivals Coritiba after being 2-0 up looked like we could see a bottle job but it wasn’t to be, the next 3 games were all wins and with 6 games left we were 13 clear with only 18 points to play for.
In game 33 we knew a win and a slip up by Sao Paulo would hand us the title and that’s exactly what happened! A 2-1 win against Botafago, the winner coming with 7 minutes remaining to hand us our first Serie A title since 2001! An amazing achievement, I never expected it to go this well but there we are! The joys of FM!!!
The last few games didn’t go well, we drew our final 4 games but with other teams slipping up we had won the title by 16 points!!!
Just amazing! There are no other words!
Results – April – September
Results – October – December
So what an amazing season, State Champs and Brazilian Champs, the failures in the cups were eclipsed by that epic league title. And with that we go into the Libertadores next season!
In my previous post where I announced my new club I didn’t really speak about many of my players, so for this season review I am going to take you through the clubs Best XI for the season….
If you want to see each player then click the link to take you to the Gyazo screenshot..
Goalkeeper – Charles – A quality season from Charles, numerous match winning performances. 58 games players, 37 clean sheets, now that is just stunning! One of those players that is only rated at 2* but looks quality.
Right Back – Bruno Henrique – Another poorly rated player who has done an insane job. 46 games played, 5 assists and averaged 7.18 over the season. Will he still be first choice next season? Who knows!
Left Back – Andre Luiz – A great season from the young lad. 33 games started, 6 assists. I have high hopes for him as long he sticks around. His £17.25m release clause is a concern.
Centre Back – Horacio Guerrero – The new signing lived up to all expectations. 57 games, scoring 1 and getting 4 assists. Averaged 7.26, he is going to be one of my key players moving forward.
Centre Back – Kénnio Cristiano – The loanee performed amazingly and probably outdid Guerrero, 57 games, 3 goals, 1 assist and averaged 7.37. Hopefully we can keep him for another season.
Right Midfield – Rony Kleina – The main man, Club, Serie A, Sudamericana and more importantly South American Player of the Year! He won the club award with 77% of the vote! 53 games played, 20 goals and a massive 41 assists, averaging 8.01! I have worries he won’t be here next season. During this season I turned down £59m from Man Utd for him!
That South American Award also ticks off the “Continental player of the year” achievement.
Left Midfield – Niall Murphy – Another new signing doing the business! Only 36 games played but he chipped in with 12 goals and 9 assists. A massive player moving forward.
Defensive Midfield – Antonio – Even though he left midway through the season he still ended up in our Best XI. 27 starts, 4 goals and 5 assists averaging 7.57. I am fully confident Bobsin is going to be a great replacement.
Centre Midfield – Fugi – Another one of my key players. 56 games, 16 goals and 10 assists. But like Kleina can we ward off the big boys who are all looking to sign him.
Striker – Josias – My word this guy is good. 56 games, 37 goals scored, averaging 7.39. He was a crucial player in our success this season and will be an even bigger cog in our wheel moving forward.
Striker – Matias Eliel – With Cleverson having a major injury midway through the season it was down to 23 year old back up Striker Eliel to do the business and my word did he! 21 goals in 35 starts.
So 5* rated Cleverson missed out in our Best XI but a few words on him, 24 games, 24 goals, averaging 7.88 was a brilliant half season for him, unfortunately a broken leg ruined his season and then another minor injury after that ended his season. He is one player I know will be going next season as Man Utd activated his £25m release clause. Goodbye Cleverson!
Another achievement gained along the way was 20 wins in a row, pretty easy with all those rubbish State games!
So what an amazing season it’s been, league winners for the first time in 25 years, State winners once again but we need to improve in the cups. The Liberatadores next season has to be my No. 1 priority as it ticks off an achievement. We will also look to get that 50 games unbeaten, at the moment we sit on 19 unbeaten so with 14 state games we could be pushing that 50 mark at some point!
The board however haven’t given me massive budgets for the upcoming season…
Only a £5m transfer kitty but around £150k p/week of spare wages to play with. This doesn’t factor in the Cleverson sale so this may go up slightly.
As for new additions even though our defence was brilliant it looks like the main area of improvement once again. A GK is needed as is a new RB, LB and a CB replacement for the outgoing loanee Cristiano. I will also need to replace Cleverson and more than likely Kleina and Fugi if they decide to move on or the bids get silly!
So a little bit of a rebuild next season but fingers crossed we can once again challenge for the league and have a good go at the Libertadores!
Anyway that’s all from me for now. I hope you enjoyed the read!