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Romanian FM 2012 Story: The Unbelievable Journey

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Hello boys and girls, it’s finally time for a new episode of my Football Manager 2012 story! As you know we had another solid run in the Champions League group stage, we even managed to beat mighty Real Madrid, but unfortunately we failed to qualify for the knockout rounds of that competition. Finishing third in that group did give us the chance to continue into the Europa League and that was excellent for us as we were hoping to improve last season’s performance when Fenerbahce knocked us out on penalties in the last 16.

Before moving to the Europa League journey I have some transfer news for you, let’s see who came in and who went out:

– First I sold my backup goalkeeper, Xaropinho, because he started complaining about playing more matches. I got no less than 2.2 million pounds for him and spent zero on a replacement as I promoted young Mihai Manecan from the under 19 squad

– Backup centre back Michael Vesely was sold for the same reason, I received 1 million pounds for him and spent nothing on his replacement as Moussa Sane was recalled from loan.

– I felt I needed more quality in midfield and I brought in two lads, both very talented: Hernan Arangio (a bargain at 10,000 pounds!) and Yasen Zlatinski (a bit expensive, 4 million pounds, but that’s because I bought him from a somewhat rival club – FC Vaslui).

Now it’s time to buckle up, the Europa League journey is starting…

Fenerbahce vs Viitorul (Europa League 1st Rnd Leg 1)

Starting Line Up: Hernan Prestia – Lubomir Cerny, Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Mory Kante – Yasen Zlatinski, Hector Fernandez, Markus Winkler – Zezinho, Rastislav Benko, Daniel Mazzoni

Fenerbahce had a new star in their team compared to that season, it was Leighton Baines himself! As for us, we had to do without Manoel who had picked up an injury during the winter friendlies. The game was totally boring until the 27th minute when the home side managed to carve out a huge chance, luckily the finish hit the post instead of the net. Then we took control of things, we kept possession pretty well but never really looked capable of causing any trouble in the final third. It was an ugly match but the result was pretty good for us.

Match highlights (goals and chances): click here to watch

Viitorul vs Fenerbahce(Europa League 1st Rnd Leg 2)

Starting Line Up: Hernan Prestia – Lubomir Cerny, Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Mory Kante – Hector Fernandez, Joaozinho, Markus Winkler – Zezinho, Scott Ward, Daniel Mazzoni

We had some problems in attack for the second leg as Manoel was not fully fit yet and Rastislav Benko was suspended so I had to play Ward upfront. We started the game pretty well, managed to get a few shots on target but nothing special. And then… we got lucky! Daniel Mazzoni was held inside the penalty area, the referee pointed to the spot even though it seemed a harsh decision and midfielder Markus Winkler converted from the spot! The Turkish side came close to taking the lead on away goals just three minutes later but we escaped with a bit of help from the woodwork.

The second half was under our control but it was utterly boring as we failed to create any more chances in attack. We could have gotten punished for that during stoppage time when a great volley from the edge of the area forced goalie Hernan Prestia to an awesome save, again with a bit of help from the local carpentry. We moved to the next round but it was after two disappointing matches.

Match highlights (goals and chances): click here to watch

Besiktas had defeated Sporting Lisbon 4-1 on aggregate so we were preparing for another Romanian-Turkish battle in the last 16. (By the way, if you’re into history you might want to read a quick background of the Romanian-Turkish relationship over the ages).

Viitorul vs Besiktas (Europa League 2nd Rnd Leg 1)

Starting Line Up: Hernan Prestia – Ali Amara, Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Mory Kante – Yasen Zlatinski, Hector Fernandez, Markus Winkler – Zezinho, Rastislav Benko, Daniel Mazzoni

I was hoping to have Manoel back in shape for this match but unfortunately he had suffered yet another injury in a domestic match so I had to do without him for almost two months. As for Besiktas, they had quite a few well-known players like Reto Ziegler, Alan Hutton or Ritchie De Laet. We got off to a nice start this time and we could have broken the deadlock on 19 minutes when Daniel Mazzoni had a good header on target but his effort was saved. We continued to put pressure on our opponents and the reward finally came on 33 minutes when my lads decided to take an unusual corner kick which brought the ball inside the penalty area to Markus Winkler who found the back of the net with a low shot.

The second half continued with the same scenario and we doubled the lead two minutes before the hour mark when Rastislav Benko nodded home on a free kick cross. Our domination continued, there was no reply from the visitors, and we made it 3-0 on another dead ball situation as Benko headed another one home on a corner kick. It was a great result but we still had to be careful, the Turkish sides can cause you loads of problems when they play in front of their very enthusiastic fans.

Match highlights (goals and chances): click here to watch

Besiktas vs Viitorul (Europa League 2nd Rnd Leg 2)

Starting Line Up: Hernan Prestia – Ali Amara, Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Danut Gongolea – Hernan Arangio, Joaozinho, Markus Winkler – Zezinho, Rastislav Benko, Daniel Mazzoni

I was expecting Besiktas to start pouring forward right away but that didn’t happen, we enjoyed a good spell of domination right from the start and even had a golden opportunity on 20 minutes when the referee awarded us a penalty kick after a foul on Zezinho. Markus Winkler stepped up again to convert from the spot but this time he was way off as he blazed it over the bar. Benko could have made things right four minutes later but he wasted a good chance with a weak shot. We didn’t have reasons to regret those missed chances though as Besiktas were unable to challenge our superiority. We did have something to be sorry about eventually as midfielder Hernan Arangio picked up an injury that was going to keep him sidelined for a whole month.

Match highlights (goals and chances): click here to watch

I would have preferred to meet Olympiakos in the quarter final but we got Valencia instead, not an easy opponent at all. But it could have been worse I guess, Tottenham or Marseille for instance :)

Viitorul vs Valencia (Europa League Quarter Final Leg 1)

Starting Line Up: Hernan Prestia – Lubomir Cerny, Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Danut Gongolea – Yasen Zlatinski, Hector Fernandez, Markus Winkler – Rastislav Benko, Florian Folea, Zezinho

I have to say that my hopes were rather down before the game and that is because we had many, many absences: Ali Amara suspended plus Scott Ward, Manoel, Daniel Mazzoni and Hernan Arangio injured! With that terrible injury crisis in attack (Mazzoni out for 3 months!) I had to add another striker to my ranks and I decided to recall Folea from loan and send him straight into the starting eleven… As for Valencia, they had knocked out strong teams like Schalke and Aston Villa and they had a good pair of wingers to rely on: Pablo Piatti on the left side and Matias Ezequiel Schelotto on the right.

The opening minutes of the match were rather quiet but we managed to create a chance on 16 minutes, quite a big chance. Unfortunately it fell to young Florian Folea and his finish was diverted behind by the goalkeeper. Then the game fell into nearly total boredom until 15 minutes from time when Valencia had a huge chance but the score remained intact thanks to the crossbar. The Spaniards dominated the final 10 minutes of the match but we managed to hold out for the draw. Not a very good result for a home leg but at least it kept us in with a slight chance.

Match highlights (goals and chances): click here to watch

Valencia vs Viitorul (Europa League Quarter Final Leg 2)

Starting Line Up: Hernan Prestia – Ali Amara, Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Mory Kante – Yasen Zlatinski, Hector Fernandez, Markus Winkler – Rastislav Benko, Roman Benes, Zezinho

We had the same absences before the second leg except Amara who had served his suspension. Valencia started the game well, they appeared keen on scoring in front of their home crowd, but we defended well and nearly silenced their fans on 31 minutes when Zezinho squandered a huge chance. That opportunity gave us a bit more courage and we controlled the remainder of the first half.

We started playing even better after the break, we enjoyed a good spell of domination but sadly we were unable to create any big chances. Our good performance was rewarded though, that happened 15 minutes from time when Roman Benes headed home on a corner kick! That was totally unexpected for Valencia and they couldn’t even react as we managed to keep possession very well through the final minutes of the match. Things were settled six minutes before the final whistle when Valencia‘s left back picked up a second yellow and headed for the showers earlier that he would have wanted to. We advanced to the semi finals in a rather unexpected fashion, I honestly wasn’t expecting us to beat Valencia away. All I was hoping for was to reach the penalty shoot-out…

Match highlights (goals and chances): click here to watch

We were going to face an even better team in the semi final: Olympique Marseille. The French team had thrashed Zenit in the quarter finals but they had a rather tricky encounter with Stuttgart earlier in the competition.

Marseille vs Viitorul (Europa League Semi Final Leg 1)

Starting Line Up: Hernan Prestia – Ali Amara, Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Mory Kante – Yasen Zlatinski, Hector Fernandez, Markus Winkler – Rastislav Benko, Manoel, Zezinho

Some of our injured players had recovered, we had just two names left on the unavailable list: Mazzoni and Ward. On the other hand Marseille seemed the best team we had faced up to that point with an undeniable star upfront in Jordan Ayew and a great talent right behind him, Miralem Sulejmani. I was hoping for a draw or at least a narrow defeat but the first half was a total nightmare: Jordan Ayew scored no less than four goals before the interval, all of them superb goals… My boys were totally overwhelmed and Marseille could have easily scored two more goals on set pieces.

Our only solid reaction was two minutes into the second half when Markus Winkler had a great chance inside the penalty area but squandered it with a dismal effort. However, we managed to stop the onslaught in the second half even though Marseille had another chance on 63 minutes when our goalie pulled off a good save to keep the score intact. There was a huge difference between the two teams, especially in the first half, and our Europa League journey seemed to have finished in a rather shameful way.

Match highlights (goals and chances): click here to watch

I thought that our run in Europe was coming to an end just before the final and I guess you can’t blame me for giving up hope after getting beaten 4-0 in the first leg, right? I had no expectations from the second leg, I was just hoping to win the match in order to make our exit a bit less bitter. Well, move on to the next page if you want to be totally shocked…

Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.

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Darren Smith
Admin

Incredible Johnny, that Europa League semi-final second leg was probably the biggest and most prolific turn around in the history of Football in any competition and country, incredible. And then to go on and beat Dortmund is just ridiculous. Only on FMS can you read about an American team doing the double in their first season, Scarborough reaching the FA Cup final and a Romania side winning the Europa League in fashion, all within 24 hours lol :)

Kevin
Member

Have to agree there, but Vancouver is Canadian :)

Darren Smith
Admin

Whoops, sorry Kevin, I was thinking of the league and forgot the nationality of the club.

Kevin
Member

No worries :) It’s been a flipping brilliant weekend!

Laxeyman
Guest
Laxeyman

Incredible Johnny! Congratulations mate, what an amazing game in the Semi! You’ve built a really good team, and hopefully next year your lads can show just how good they are in the CL, and get into the knockout rounds :)

Malhar Bhadbhade
Guest

hey johnny,
NO FREAKING WAY!!!! ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!! Losing 4-0 in the second leg..and i thought you were down and out..and then you say ‘go to the next page to be totally shocked’ and i was thinking no way did he come back and win this….but you did!!! and then beat dortmund and won the europa league to boot!! unbelievable achievement and congratulations for that!! the league and the cup were never in doubt..but congrats on accumulating more points than you ever have before..anyway, keep up the good work! cheers!

Lemuel Lim
Guest

Miracles coming fast in fms. Keep iit up!

vaibhavc
Guest
vaibhavc

My jaw just dropped to the floor. My goodness Johnny, thats amazing! 8-0 against Marsielle, fantastic. 2-1 in the final, stunning. Its an unbelievable achievement. And you had a lack of strikers as well. Amazing.

saltwater
Guest
saltwater

Really fantastic cup win, but the Valencia second leg was just bizarre. I would be shocked if you don’t get to the knockout stages of the Champions League next year, and as far as im concerned, you’re closing down on Europe’s elite

Kevin
Member

Having known you for over two years now I’ve come to expect the unexpected but nothing like 8-0 over OM. Simply stunning my friend and I’m delighted that you’ve managed to finally get your hands on a European trophy. Brilliant update too!!!

TheZiggy
Guest

Wow. Congratulations on winning the Europa League, a brilliant achievement. Quite an astonishing result in the semi-final, with an insane 8-0 in the second leg. Can understand your total shock over that one. I’m not sure how or why results like that happen, but it’s always welcome.

Only one surprise domestically, and that was the odd loss at home to U Cluj. None of the other Romanian teams can touch you these days. With all that money in the bank, your domination should only get better.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Hey Johhny, Great Season as Usual :D And Congrats on the Europa League win! I was just wondering if I could enquire about posting on this site as I have followed everyone since you started your Vauxhall save? Cheers :D

Woody
Guest
Woody

Wow a great euro cup win and a crazy 8-0 win over marseille
Still good domestically and should continue to dominate in that sector
Next season should see you into the last 16 of the champions league
You’ve also got the euro super cup to look forward to
Anyway well done and good luck

Alex
Guest
Alex

Firstly congratulations on winning the Europa League, massive achievement. The domestic season is a foregone conclusion which further highlights how far the club has come, Hagi must be proud. As for that amazing 8-0 result, I’ve experienced similar European heroics in the Champions League in my story with The Police Service of Northern Ireland, beating PSV 5-0 and A.C. Milan 5-1. I’m not sure if it is a bug but it’s certainly odd…

Alex
Guest
Alex

* Villarreal, not PSV, my mistake.

Tegar Triemanudigdo
Guest

Wow! Totally nuts! Losing 4-0 against Marseille in first leg then trashed them 8-0 in second leg! I still can’t believe what just happened there! If it was real life, it will be a headline for all around the world there.

Anyway, congratulations for winning the Europa League and I have feeling you will get more amazing player from the money you got there. Again, can’t wait for your next adventure.

Adam D
Guest
Adam D

It’s the 2022/23 season and I just drew Viitorul in my group in the Champions League. At first I was like “Oh cool that’s Karp’s team on FMS.”

Then I read this post. My youth team is going to be getting their run out against another team.

Calin
Guest

What an amazing season! Congratulations, Johnny on winning the Europa League, the semi final matches were simply amazing and it doesn’t even matter if it was a miracle or a bug or simply the lads wanted to perform better: it happened and you won the Europa League, which is an incredible feature. Now you have to build up and prepare for the Champions League!

Martin - F.M.J.S
Guest

Congrats Johnny on winning the Europa League but what a way to come back in the semi finals. This was a great read. Next to win the Champions League. Also congrats on another League title. :D.

Neil Birkitt
Guest

unbelievable johnny,

next up the champions league

Ana Garcia
Member

Wow, congratulations!!

Having read the first leg result I never thought you would come back to win 8-0, I too have seen some really weird results so if I were you I would take it also!

Maybe the game is rewarding your patience after all those horrible champions league groups you have been handed!

Well done on winning the league even if you knew you would its always nice to finally make it official, hopefully you can keep your progress up and get to through those group stages.

Best of luck! :)

David Faithfull
Guest
David Faithfull

After reading this all i can say is oh my god!! 4-0 down and then coming back to win 8-0 in the next leg is simply amazing!! congratulations on getting the Europa win. Now you will have many great players coming to your team for European glory!! You pretty much have the romanian league wrapped up seeing as you thrash it every season so this is the year of making the steps towards champions league glory!!

conoryeah
Guest
conoryeah

Well done on winning the Europa League final! I had a weird knockout stage in my game against Marseille too. Vitesse (who I play as) lost 4-0 in the first leg, yet somehow won 7-2 in the home fixture. Unfortunately we drew Barcelona in the next round….

But overall, this is a really impressive game. I may not have commented, but I have certainly followed these for a while, and just looking back at a newly promoted team to Liga 2 to Europa league champions in a few seasons is phemoninal!

CsAtlantis
Guest

What were Marseille doing in Romania anyway? Maybe they all got bitten by Count Dracula or something, but nonetheless Manoel is getting better and better (a far cry from his first few seasons of being stuck in the treatment table)

Congratulations on winning the Europa League and also the league plus cup as usual (surely this means a huge boost in European coefficients!)

Great finances too, good luck for next season, with a bit of luck in the group draw you could go into the Champions League knockout stages

Federico
Guest
Federico

Wow! When you said go to the next page to be really shocke I expected 5-0, but never 8-0!!!
I believe FM has this type of matches. I had a Gainsborough save, in english League 1 and met Man U in the FA cup. Expecting a defeat y ended winning 5-1.
Also I remember a playoff in my boston utd save (I believe in Bet Square Premier). I was directly promoted, but in playoff first leg a team won 5-0 and 2nd leg was 0-6.
The probabilities are extremly low, but when it happens, it really happens!!!

Sears
Guest
Sears

That was an amazing turnaround against Marseille Johnny, shame you’re boys couldn’t hit double figures lol. Congrats on the treble, but that Europa league was massive. Hopefully in the next few years you can make huge improvements in the Champions league. Are you considered as a legend at Viitorul now?

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