If you've never played Football Manager, everything you're about to read will sound absolutely crazy. If you have, well, it will just make sense.
physicalpixels has shared the tale of his 30 seasons in football management over (mostly) a single save game, played out over five actual years (2010-2015). It's at once both a showcase of accomplishment (his Brazilian-packed Sunderland winning the Premier League and Champions League, loads of times!) but also of heartbreak, as his one major goal — to win the World Cup — still eludes him.
He's managed Ireland, England, Argentina and France, coming up short every time. This tale, from his time as Argentina boss (after losing to Uruguay), is particularly agonising:
After this catastrophic defeat, I quit. I knew Argentina were going to go through a transitional phase, as I could see their upcoming youth couldn't match the talents of Messi and Aguero, so I bailed. Once again, I hoped for a Brazil sacking but naturally the manager was enjoying the fruits of my Sunderland success, coming runners up against shock winners Russia.It's worth noting that just before the World Cup I had signed a 17 year old Russian CB called Emil Niftaliyev for 6k. Bizarrely, he was called up and played every game. Unlike me, he had won the world cup on his first attempt. My jealously had a reached an apogee.
It doesn't get any easier to read. It's just false dawn after false dawn, heartbreak after heartbreak, ending in the fact he's now managing Wealdstone and doesn't even have an international job.
Which, really, is what Football Manager is all about. Because that's what football is all about. A beautiful game, one capable of taking you to the highest of highs and then smashing you face-first into the mud, only to lift you up again once more.