Football Manager Is The New Google: It’s Taking Over The World.By: The Offside | December 31st, 2009
The next time a genius on the internet lambastes you for a comment on some youngster by saying, “ware did u get th@ ,,, Feetbal mAnageR?!?!?!“, you can say, “why, yes I did“.
Dinamo Moscow are currently close to purchasing a striker from Poland. Not because they were impressed by his performances on the youth international stage, or because their cavalcade of scouts came back with his games with blushing reviews, but because the director’s son told him this player was good in Football Manager.
The player is Lech’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. You may or may not heard of him around these parts before in relation to the game. Or you may have heard of him simply because he’s one of Europe’s gems and an established player for the Polish national side.
From the must-read on all things Mother Russia, Russian Football Now:
In what may be the most interesting aspect of this story, and confirmation of this author’s tacit assumption regarding the impetus of many transfer rumors, Dinamo’s sports director Konstantin Sarsania admitted that it was his son’s love of Football Manager™ that first brought Lewandowski to his attention.
Sarsania was candid with the media today, claiming that his son had spoken to him of the Polish international having been one of the highest rated forwards in Europe in his computer game over the last two years. Upon closer, less virtual, inspection, Sarsania the elder was pleasantly surprised to find out that the real-life version of the striker was just as talented, thus initiating the transfer inquiries.
Obviously they did some due diligence, but how brilliant? There’s some kid sitting at home – or, knowing the wide pathological grasp of FM, some 35 year old with an FM addiction which has relegated him to his parent’s basement – who is initiating genuine, honest to goodness transfer talks based on his faux sugar daddy’s need for a poacher in the reserves.
But this isn’t a one-off: you may recall Everton signed an exclusive deal with early rights to the scouting database.
If you’ve never played FM that probably sounds very very silly. But if you have, then you know Everton will be unbeatable in about four years time.
Because the Football Manager database is an absolute goldmine of 370,000 players. A thousand scouts keeping an eye on 20,000 clubs in 50 countries.
Is it safe to say that while it may not be the way of the future, Football Manager will be one of the main avenues through which scouting is done? I’d say so. People may jest, but these scouts are incredibly good at what they do and, often times, are better than club scouts. So given Chelsea’s youth track record in recent times, don’t be surprised if Roman Abramovich snaps up SEGA sometime soon.
That leaves the one surprising bit of all this: how the hell did a top-flight professional football club not know who Robert Lewandowski is?