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Career 1K Challenge - Atlético Madrid - Ilaix Moriba - *Completed*


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Posted (edited)

I’ve been looking to take my managerial skills to the next level and crack the 1000 goal challenge (posted by @FuddledFox). It’s kind of a bucket list thing. Unfortunately, the FMM cemetery is littered with my failed careers over the years for this one.

The Player
To make life easy for myself I’ve decided to pick a midfielder. Huh?! I looked at many players and finally decided on Ilaix Moriba. Mainly because I felt he had good all-round stats and was a good candidate to develop. I am worried about a few things:

    1.    Not a natural striker.
    2.    He’s relentlessly ambitious and more likely to say that horrible phrase “Wants a new challenge”.
    3.    Is Guinean. There’s a slim chance he could get picked for Spain (dual nationality) or not picked for Guinea. But by the time I get the national job he's most likely to be a Guinean national. So, no Euros, and Guinea will probably not qualify for World Cups. And, if I do get successful with Guinea they will probably have more and more unrealistic expectations. Urgh.
    4.    Already 18 years old. I’ll be using normal attacking formations. I don’t get 100+ goal seasons for a striker so I’m expecting to need around 15 seasons. Age might be a factor for me if I get unlucky with injuries.

Apart from scoring goals I want to get his Aerial and Stamina stats up in the first season. I don’t think he needs to be an absolute beast in the air but I want a green stat. On the other hand I want Stamina as high as it’ll go. Rodrigo, my assistant, has come up with a seal dribbling/marathon running training program. We’ll see about getting Kerlon in as a specialist coach.

 

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Edited by DoneHisCruciate
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Season 1 - 2021/22- The one where we get him to run endless laps around the training ground.

I got Rodrigo to install a revolving door so we could completely change the first team squad quickly.

Our scouts also demanded a vacation after all the traveling they had to do trying to find the right players. Perhaps I shouldn’t have given them the owner’s super yacht but I’m sure they’ll bring it back in one piece.

The team did OK. We won most things and had the benefit of being in the Club World Championship:

Spoiler

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Ilaix developed well after I sat him down and told him about my vision of him scoring 1000 goals. I think there was more shock than anything else as he didn’t say much. There were a lot of chats about how much he hates being a striker but I eventually convinced him. As suspected he got called up to Guinea so………yay! *sigh*:

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15 seasons will mean 67 goals a season is a par score. So, behind already!

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Season 2 - 2022/23 - The one where I start a side gig in international management

Yep, Guinea are overawed by my amazing managerial skills and signed me up. Moriba has already scored 4 goals for them so just noting that down. And, as I feared I am struggling to find any real quality to surround my guy with at the international level.

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The Atlético board did ask why I was sending so many scouts to watch Guinean players which was a bit awkward. I mumbled something about rumours of another Guinean Wonderkid as I bolted from the room.

We had a superb season and won everything. But we could do with scoring more goals. Rodrigo has been told to get to work on the training pitch:

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Moriba switched on some more green lights and looks the real deal now. He scored plenty of goals for me this season.

The Barcelona manager rang me up ranting about how good Ilaix had become and how he should be playing for them.. yada.. yadda.. I stopped listening pretty quickly and let Doris the tea lady have the phone. She’s quite scary when she gets going, and I suspect she moonlights as home security when the players are away internationally. In a certain light she does look a bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger, only bigger.

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And, we won the African Cup of Nations! I know, right? Not sure how that happened. Best not to ask questions but FMM you really do have some explaining to do:

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Oh, and I killed Algeria. Which I really do apologise for. I didn’t mean to - it just sort of happened. You wouldn’t believe the amount of forms you have to fill out when you kill a giant. *sigh*

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On track already, well done! I think I might need to find my own Doris the tea lady, brilliant!

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Thanks guys.  

Every club needs a Doris @StuartM!

yeah, you’re right @smoggy90. That Guinea job has proven to be worthwhile. And, it’s a nation I never would have thought of managing if it hadn’t been for this challenge. Definitely a bonus. 

 

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Season 3 - 2023/24 - The one where the league got a bit too easy

The head guy at La Liga headquarters was a real pain this season. Every week he rang to ask if we’d let one of the other teams win a game.

I guess he’s a Barcelona fan. In the end I got the club to play the Champions League anthem every time we put him on hold. He certainly won't be hearing it whilst watching his team next season.

The team started getting edgy when we won too many games in a row and it seemed to cost us in the cups. Rodrigo reckons we should lose a game every now and again to calm the squad down. So, we’re working on a 'defend the opposition’s lead' tactic.

It was nice to be unbeaten in the league though:

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Moriba is really buying into this striking lark. I think he even smiled a couple of times this season. Although sometimes I see him looking wistfully back at the midfield positions during a game. Rodrigo normally shouts something obscene at him to get him out of it.

I’ve told Ilaix’s mum to take down the Iniesta posters on his bedroom wall and put up ones of Gary Lineker instead.

It was probably a mistake as he didn’t score as many this year:

Spoiler

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Season 4 - 2024/25 - The one with ugly red down arrows

I was pleased with the national team this year. We proudly hosted the African Cup of Nations, but we got spanked by Ghana in the semi-final. I suspect my international honeymoon period is over:

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There’s even worse news. It turns out Moriba isn’t bulletproof. He's got a case of the ugly red down arrows. I've had so many complaints from PR department about his new social media pictures.

Rodrigo reckons they will clear up by next season but I’m still going to Google this affliction. WebMD is bound to know how to treat them.

Despite the injury he still scored plenty of goals for us:

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It was an OK season. We missed out in a couple of finals due to some last minute goals in extra time (*shakes fist at FMM headquarters*):

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Posted (edited)

Season 5 - 2025/26 - The one where we pick up some injuries.

Rodrigo is convinced that my brew of cayenne pepper, mustard, ipecac, asafetida, croton oil, and gunpowder is doing nothing for Moriba’s injuries. I don’t know what he’s thinking. I found it on the internet so it must work.

But then Moriba got injured again so I probably should let the physios have a go. To be honest, I’m a bit worried about the lad.

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No real surprises during the season.

We battered Bayern in the Super Cup but still lost. It was if a magical unseen force was against us. I got Rodrigo to perform a curse expulsion ritual on the team bus to make sure it didn’t follow us into the season:

Spoiler

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Edited by DoneHisCruciate
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Season 6 - 2026/27 - The one where international goals saved our season

Rodrigo and I had many a whiskey fulled night discussing whether I should pick Moriba for the African Cup of Nations or if it would be better to keep him at Atlético.

Our star striker seems to be hampered a bit from previous injuries and not hitting top form. Perhaps he still hasn’t forgiven me for making him drink that awful concoction. 

In the end I let him go and he had a brilliant scoring tournament even though we didn’t win it. Those international goals helped a lot this season:

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The season was ok but not hitting those high scoring notes.

Doris has been tasked with culling some of the squad to make room for some improvements. She does it so well with a nice cup of tea and a biscuit before delivering the fatal blow.

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Season 7 - 2027/28 - The one where I was robbed!

Perhaps I shouldn’t have sent those “I was there when Atlético won the league 6 times in a row” t-shirts to the captains of every other team. Rodrigo loved his one so I don’t know why they’d be upset.

Yet, they voted for someone else to be Spanish League Head Coach of the Year this season. We were unbeaten in the league, had a goal difference of 98 and a points total of 110, and I still didn’t get it. Doris is very upset and will be making some house calls.

The guy who won it finished 9th. Apparently he does throw a really good pool party though. I don't know just how good as I wasn't invited:

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Moriba was on fire this year. Never underestimate the effect of a good tea lady on the squad:

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Rodrigo also threw lots of money at Moriba to get him to sign on for another 5 years. Phew!

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Season 8 - 2028/29 - The one with some nasty beatings!

Moriba turned in some fine performances this year. Normally he chips in with a goal or two most games but Rodrigo has been coaching him to score more in a game. Apparently the lad has been feeling sorry for the goalkeepers.

I felt especially bad about the Man City game—the sobs from the home dressing room were so loud that we broke their stereo in the away room. Apparently playing “Another One Bites the Dust” at maximum volume can do that:

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The season was pretty good. We battered Lazio through 120mins of brutal football in the European Super Cup but lost to them on penalties. They had two shots all game. We had 24:

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Moriba bagged another good season of goals:

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Over halfway!

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, weixueping said:

It looks great. What tactics do you use? Defense is very good

Thanks! I wanted this to feel like I was managing a real team so I didn’t want to go down a Bielsa ‘score one more than the opposition’ approach.

I use three different tactics depending on the opposition. The 4-1-2-2-1, the 4-2-3-1 and a 2-3-3-1-1. (The last one is my least fav to play and is really a modified 5-2-2-1 where a player is pushed up from the back three and then there’s a central midfield 3.)

Edited by DoneHisCruciate
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Season 9 - 2029/30 - The one where he wants a new challenge!

The day I’ve been dreading happened. Moriba came to me and said “I want a new challenge.”

Rodrigo says it’s my fault. He said I shouldn’t have dropped a goat off at Moriba’s house as a present. I thought it would be a thoughtful and funny gift. Moriba is clearly the best striker on the planet. Surely he’d appreciate the joke. How was I to know his hobby is growing award-winning roses?

Anyway, we talked and talked. And I was getting nowhere fast. Then I decided to buy his best friend from Barcelona.

As I said to Rodrigo “What manager wouldn’t spend £150M on a new player to keep his star striker happy?” He replied, “David Moyes.” Rodrigo can be such a smart-arse.

Finally I persuaded Moriba to stay with a promise of no more goats.

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And while he was happy I got Rodrigo to throw some more money his way:

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The season was great. We won everything once everybody was happy and goat free:

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And, Guinea qualified for the World Cup! We got to the second round where we almost beat Brazil.

Typically they equalised in the 89th minute after we'd been leading since the 7th. Then they beat us in extra time.

(*shakes fist at FMM headquarters for getting our hopes up*):

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Moriba had another solid season:

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Season 10 - 2030/31 - The one where the African Cup of Nations goes bonkers.

Perhaps it’s the the double yoga sessions on Fridays or the new brand of mellow tea that Doris has been serving, but our star striker changed a little bit this season. Instead of being Relentlessly Ambitious he’s now just Ambitious. Which is one less worry for me. I feel he will be a one club man now:

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The African Cup of Nations popped up on the calendar again. We had a crazy game against Cameroon.

In the 87th minute Moriba pops up with what should be the winner. Of course, in stoppage time our keeper drops the ball in front of their striker who equalizes. I got Rodrigo to check for irregular betting patterns on that one.

We go ahead again and they score a controversial offside-looking goal. Our most experienced player then goes apocalyptic at the assistant referee and gets sent off. We squeeze through on penalties.

Spoiler

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Then in the Quarter Final we score two quick fire goals at the end of the game to draw level only to concede in stoppage time again. All this goal drama is no good for me. I shall be drinking Doris’s mellow tea for months:

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The rest of the season was a clean sweep:

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Moriba had another good season:

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Doris' tea is still doing the business! Great work, I'm expecting this to be a feature in FMM23!!

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14 minutes ago, StuartM said:

Doris' tea is still doing the business! Great work, I'm expecting this to be a feature in FMM23!!

I would definitely sacrifice a physio for the murky talents of a tea lady.

Not sure many could afford Doris on their wage bill though.

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Season 11 - 2031/32 - The one where we run out of plasters

I didn’t mention it last season but in the last game of the season Moriba picked up an injury. Rodrigo reckons it’s the best time to get an injury and I agree.

But then Doris comes in and says she saw The Grim in the tea leaves of Moriba’s cup. I hate it when Doris reads tea leaves. It’s never anything good.

Sure enough Moriba picked up another injury in a pre-season friendly. And yes, the curse of the ugly red arrows is back because they appear again in September.

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Luckily he bounced back well and put in a few 4-goal, 5-goal performances. All in all his goal tally didn’t take too much of a hit:

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The season was as expected. Just a couple of blips in the cups:

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Season 12 - 2032/33 - The one with a late flurry of goals

This was turning out to be a dull season. Even beating Real Madrid for the 18th derby in a row only got a faint chuckle from Rodrigo:

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Moriba was scoring at an OK rate but seemed a little off. I was worrying that last season’s injuries might be have a lasting effectespecially as he only scored one goal in the African Cup of Nations.  There were also signs he was wanting out of the club.

Rodrigo suggested that we throw money at the problemit’s what we do best. So, we gave Moriba a bumper new contract.

The board had a complete fit when they found out how much money we’re now paying him a week.

However, we were rewarded with a bumper crop of goals towards the end of the season. 28 goals in 14 games. It was worth every penny of somebody else’s money.

Also, I love the Club World Championship:

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The season was the usual fare:

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Goals a plenty from our ‘Legendary Midfielder’. I'm not sure he's ever going to think of himself as a striker:

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Season 13 - 2033/34 - The one where I get sacked!

So, the 12th of October 2033 will go down as the most confusing of days. The Guinean FA rang up to say they were satisfied with my performance. “Of course, you are,” I said. “We’re now the 30th best team in the world!”

Then they rang back and sacked me. Apparently they did want to go to the World Cup.

I am a victim of my own success—I shouldn’t have qualified last time.

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Doris offered to go around and have a word. But I told her we just need a bit of patience. Boubacar Barry, if he should get the job, will also be a victim of my success.

I will then take the job back! Mwahahahahah…cough…splutter. Wow, doing an evil laugh is harder than it sounds.

I am gutted that I might not get to see Moriba get his 200th international goal for me. As it stands he’s on 186 goals (8 this season). Just noting that down in case he scores some more without me. *sigh*

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The rest of the season was great. Another clean sweep:

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Some solid scoring from Moriba:

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Season 14 - 2034/35 - The one where we reach 1000 goals!

I decided to tie Moriba down to another 5 year contract. Now that I know he must surely break 1000 goals this season, I decided to keep him playing for as long as possible.

Rodrigo and I wondered if he could reach 1000 goals for Atlético. And, could he break 1250 goals in total?

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Rodrigo is very excited and Doris is baking a special cake.

Oh, and I think we broke Barcelona. We thrashed them in the second game of the season and they seem to have really taken it personally. Bottom after 6 games is not a pretty sight:

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Bring out the cake, Doris! On the 11th November 2034, Moriba scored his 1000th goal under my management. A trademark finish by all accounts.

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That’s 814 goals in 695 games for Atlético and 186 goals in 135 games for Guinea. A rate of just over 1.2 goals per game.

I also figure he has featured in 81% of the games I’ve managed. It would be a little higher if it weren’t for the African Cup of Nations clash every two years.

Fittingly we had a clean sweep this season:

Spoiler

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Unbelievably Moriba was dropped from the national team this season.

Still a good scoring season for me:

Spoiler

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I'll keep going with him until the end of his contract with the hope of breaking 1000 goals for the club and 1250 goals for club and country.

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Doris and Rodrigo seem to be the Peter Taylor to your Brian Clough, well done and I look forward to seeing what comes next!

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