The Football Manager franchise is a well-known title among soccer fans. Not only does it bring a realistic experience of managing, but Football Manager is also known for spotting talents before their breakthrough.
For example, Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski was predicted by FM to be a world-class player since FM08. Back then, he played for the Polish side Legia Warsaw.
Plenty of real-life managers & players try their luck on Football Manager, too. Stars like Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, and Ole Solksjaer have freely admitted their impressive gaming time with FM.
If you ever wonder how Football Manager translates into a real-life managerial job, look no further. This is the story of Pedro Maciel.
How It Started
Quoting Maciel's original store of FM Blog, he's been an avid fan of Football Manager for such a long time. In his own words, "So old I remember coaching (Thierry) Henry at Juventus."
"Having played at a good level in Portugal, my country of origin, mostly in secondary Divisions, but always to a good standar. I always felt like one day I would be a good coach," he added.
Moving to Scotland
Then, Maciel moved to Scotland. He met a contact person who could set him up with Malibu FC, a Scottish amateur team, and that's how it happened.
Maciel was 33 years old at that time. He played as a midfielder, but Maciel was set as a striker during his trial. Maciel scored on his debut, but the match ended with a humbling 6-2 defeat.
"The game finished 6 - 2, and everyone was so happy for my astonishment," he writes. "Asked them, "Why are you guys so happy!? We just lost 6 - 2!" and the answer was, "It's the first time we didn't lose by more than 10 goals."
Starting As a Manager & Translating His Football Manager Success
As the only person with in-depth soccer experience, the club's chairman asked him to be the gaffer for Malibu FC's next season campaigns. With no money involved, Maciel became the club's player-slash-manager.
To strengthen the squad, Maciel did a lot of scouting at schools and universities nearby.
During his first seasons with the Scottish amateur side, Maciel and co. emerged to be a significant threat in the league. He finished the top three and brought the Cup home, the first-ever trophy of the club. It was 2016.
In the next two years, Malibu FC finished the third again. Honestly, that's not bad for a team that used to regularly get beaten by double digits.
Under Maciel, Malibu FC secured another place at the Cup's final in 2019. Unfortunately, the boys failed after a humbling penalty shootout. In that year, they finished the fifth.
The Future of Malibu FC
As the 2019/2020 campaign was wrapped due to the pandemic crisis, the team is gearing up for next year's campaign. Winning the league is the only prize Maciel and his boys have in mind.
They also have been trying to attract sponsors and started a GoFundMe page. Up to this writing, the campaign has raised £260 of £5,000 goal. The aim of the campaign is to purchase essential training goods and improve the club's facility.
Are you interested in a soccer managerial career?