Best teams to manage in FM 2014: Ce la fate in Italia!

FM 2014 Guides

written by Pedro Roriz

Hello and welcome to this quick guide on which teams to manage in Italy in FM 2014. Johnny was kind enough to allow me to write here, my name is Pedro Roriz, I’m Brazilian and a big fan of “Il Calcio”, or Italian Football.

I’ve been playing manager games since Elifoot 2 which ran in MS-DOS. And I always like to have a save in Italy. Why there? Well, at present I guess it represents one of the most difficult environments in the world of football. Mainly because it has a bulk structure (which means high costs), still has high salaries (again, high costs), small attendances (which means small income), corruption and lack of organisation, etc etc etc.

In many ways, it reminds me a lot of Brazil. Those two countries, should they become more organised and efficient, will have again reigning clubs and national teams. But until then, both of them will strive to keep their level.


Well, I meant to create this post in order to help anyone who may want to have a go for a FM 2014 career in Italy with the best teams to manage there. I won’t rate them in terms of difficulty as it may differ from player to player due to the different backgrounds with the game. I’ll use fun factor, instead, not ranking the teams but dividing them into groups of ‘great game experience’, ‘nice experience’, ‘nothing special’ in separate articles. This time, we’ll access the great game experience ones. Hope you enjoy the reading and hope it could aid someone.

Great FM 2014 Experience


Napoli – Serie A

Challenge: Back to the glory days

With a good war chest, an ever improving team, huge attendances and a great stadium in San Paolo, Napoli should represent a great place for managers who want good teams but teams with margins for improvement to show their skills. While the present team is already capable to compete for the title, Napoli’s team lacks in depth and will be punished throughout the season when playing mid-week and on weekends.

Having Reina as a the “extremo difensore” (last defender), Hamsik as the star and a rocking Higuaín at front makes the job a lot easier, but the aging defence and the lack of competition for Inler and Behrami should prove to be a weakness. The team is all built to play in 3-defenders formations, dropping deep because of their lack of speed, a fierce wide offence and a potent kicker arriving late in the box.

I giovani (young players): Whilst not having the best academies in Italy, Napoli does have one or two good prospects waiting for a chance in Josip Radosevic and Gennaro Tuttino. If you’re looking for a Youth Challenge, this is not the place unless you’re willing to spend a lot.

I campioni (star players): Reina, Hamsik and Higuaín.


Bologna – Serie A

Challenge: From small to big

Little money, regular infrastructures, medium stadium, regular players. Bologna FC is the very definition of 3-stars. Why is it so much fun to manage them? It means you have yet half of the league to master! Even though the team has a pretty neat history winning 7 times the Serie A (mostly on the 30’s), its recent years have proven really nervous as the team flirted with relegation and even got relegated some times.

The board has had some major insights when adventuring in the transfer market and the likes of Marco di Vaio, Diamanti and Mudingayi showed their value with the clubs colours. Now, their true strenght lies in the colective effort, not the individual, even if Alessandro Diamanti is still at the club. Curci, Sørensen and Garics make for a stable defence.

Kone is the main creator in the middle and the attack has only Diamanti as a true champion. So, you won’t be dealing with great depth and the board will still expect the club to develop, which makes this a great game experience.

I giovani: No real surprises here. The young Bologna isn’t too shinny. Maybe Maini is the only decent prospect to be found here. It will demand great investments.

I campioni: Alessandro Diamanti

san marinoSan Marino – Lega Pro Prima Divisione A

Challenge: The (epic) San Marino Challenge

Maybe one of the most famous challenges in FM, San Marino poses a huge task to any football manager: getting a lowly club to the heights of Europe and helping the worst national team in the process. The challenge is specially difficult this year as you won’t be able to count on the mighty Andy Selva, who for all of those FM players that have tried this challenge before is a god.

Also, don’t expect any money to shop. In addition, don’t expect good youth infrastructure. And the training facilities and poorer that our bank accounts. So, my friends, what you will face here is a true reflection of yourselves in a mirror: how good are your FM abilities.

The partneship with Cesena should prove the founding stone of a new team. At present, the (poor) likes of Vivian (GK), Fogacci (DF), Mannini (LB) will be your defence’s hopes. Chiaretti and Gavilán will be your hopes for goal scoring. In my humble view, none of them are to be fully trusted for the task of promotion. You’ll need scouting skills for this challenge!

I giovani: None. Not kidding. I always ask the board to invest less in youth intake, training and all that because it is not worth it at this level.

I campioni: Again, for those who have tried this challenge before, Chiaretti can be a life saviour. However, his advanced age isn’t helping. So, I guess there are no names worth mentioning.


Internazionale Milano – Serie A

 Challenge: Back to winning days

Maybe the biggest achiever in the last 10 years of Il Calcio, Internazionale Milano is going through a tough time this year. They lost their mojo, some might say (including a AS Roma fan, such as yours truly), bidding farewell to legends as Júlio César, Maicon, Sneijder, Córdoba and many others. The reason to let go of so many important players is the same for the entire country: lack of money!

So, managing Inter this time around will mean having a great platform in which to build your team (great youth/training infrastrucutures, high attendances) but a serious money problem. The club has over then 450M euros in debt, has to share the (public) stadium with Milan, has 3-5 key players over 31. Not a tasty dish, right? No!

Inter is one of the main breeders of youth talent in Europe! Just take a look at their youth players loaned out. And I don’t mean “I started a save with Leiceister and ain’t looking at their ranks”, I REALLY mean look at those stats! Any youth developer manager is eventually buying some players from Inter. More on that on I Campioni section.

The team is based to play formations with 3 defenders and 2 wb, but will do with 4 at the back. Handanovic is, no doubt, the foundation stone of the team, although Carrizzo is maybe the best 2nd goalkeeper in the game. Juan Jesus, 22, and Ranocchia, 26, are a solid wall interista. In the middle, Guarín and Kovacic add good talent and strenght, whilst Cambiasso (everlong) is a good tackler. Goalscoring wise, Milito is still really liable, and Icardi is a good talent. The first team is good. What they don’t have is backup.

I giovani: So many, so many talentend youngsters. Some will require tutoring and 1st team playing time, but you’ll find the likes of Icardi, Kovacic, Bardi, Bennassi, Tassi,  that are ready to be in your 25-players team. And many more will arrive after their loan contracts expire in 1 year time.

I campioni: There are three really reliable players: Handanovic, Cambiasso and Milito. The last two are going through their last year in such a high level, but will prove useful.

That’s about it for now, I hope this post have given you some inspiration for your next FM 2014 challenge. Feel free to share it with your friends and provide feedback in the comments section below.

You may also like
  • Felipe R

    Amazing!! I really can’t wait to start playing FM2014 in “Il Calcio”! This was a very nice insight of the Italian league and has some good ideas for challenges.

    Thanks dude.

    • Pedro Roriz

      thank you so much my friend. i intended to create the willingness for others to play there. so i’m glad you’re gonna try. cheers!

    • Pedro Roriz

      thank you my friend! hope you’ll like it!

  • Stan

    One of my favorite leagues to play in….First save this year is with fiorentina and its very interesting and tough(5th in first year)…very good article man…

    • Pedro Roriz

      i’ll insert fiorentina on the next category for sure. they are indeed a good fun save. however, as the team is already a big one and it doesn’t have any financial urgencies, it is only expectable to see them growing and conquering the league and building onto the base that is already installed. therefore, they are not the most challenging in the country and are not in this list.
      who is your main scorer? peppe rossi?

      • Stan

        Rossi is very incosistent…Mario gomez was first years leading scorer…And nicolas gaitan(my only big transfer) was the main assist man…I was not impressed by their overaged midfield and borja valero is meh for a 4-4-2….i agree fiore is financially stable and in a wingspan of some years you can win everything but tactically speaking they are very challenging…Gomez and rossi is a wierd duo to go with…nevertheless the teams you listed are very representative and fiore is placed somewhere between bologna and napoli…

  • ainvar

    As an italian I was happy to read this post :)

    The clubs you have picked are all extremely interesting challenges!

    • Pedro Roriz

      grazie mille, amico. io amo il bel paese e tengo molta della mia storia in roma. hai fatto un ‘save’ in italia, anche?

  • André

    Hi from Brazil!!! Where are you from buddy ? Nice to know that we have lot of brazzilian lovers in this game!!

    My question: will we have another article of this for other country ? Englando, Spaninsh, for example ?

    • André

      England* Spain*

      • Pedro Roriz

        bom dia andré! sou de goiânia e voce? the game has sold over 20k copies in brazil last october. did you read the interview miles gave for about brazil? we are a growing market for fm! the main challenge here is to overcome piracy.
        vou responder sua pergunta em ingles para as pessoas entenderem tambem, ok?
        for the spanish/english/other nationality review, unfortunately i’m not the best suited to write a review. i personally rarely play in england and now little of their championships and for spain we have better suited players here that could help, like ana, niko zolo, etc. I’m guessing if you have the will and the skill, you could email johnny and ask him wether you could write it or not.


  • Ana Garcia

    Excellent post Pedro!

    Some great ideas for some new challenges and a nice well written article, well done! :)

  • ainvar

    Ciao Pedro :)

    Sì, ho un “save” in italia, in Serie B con il Varese! La squadra della mia città a cui tengo molto :)

  • Jamesazza

    Very interesting article. I read this after one year with Inter and the comments really do ring true. I went out early in the cup and this played into my hands very much and ended up winning the league, only bringing in two players on loan, Brahimi for the season and Diaby at the end of January, as well as off loading Pereira and Kuzmanovic then. Solid first team and good youth/players out on loan.

    Second season, apart from signing the co-owned players with good prospects I have only brought in Jackson Martinez from Porto (£11.75m) and Manuel Fernandes on an free. The real challenge is getting the new, young players to step up to the experienced players without getting rid of all the old heads. Let go Milito, Cambiasso, Zanetti and Samuel in the close season. Other issue this year is gonna be the amount of games and having got Bayern and PSG in my Champions League group I feel this year is not going to be anywhere near as successful! The likes of Duncan and Obi are very good prospects though, whilst Kovacic is already starting to produce the goods.

  • Jacopo Bertini

    Also the Juventus f.c. challenge is very good. you have to pick your team and obviously win the serie a every year, improving young players and improve the stadium, trying every year to reach the european top class team. of course you can’t pick messi, ronaldo, aguero, rooney, draxler, but there are a lot of young star like pogba and berardi who will make the difference. there are a lot of old players very well built like Barzagli (best defender of the Serie A) Pirlo (best player in the world ;-) ) with a very big wage and you have to balance your interests and their interests. I think that there is big difference between Juve and the other team of the serie A (maybe Napoli is the most dangerous opponent). The goal is to bring Juventus back to Del Piero Zidane Davids Vialli Ravanelli Trezeguet Times… Wonderful times. Thanks for reading

  • Décio Duarte

    I´m starting my 4° season with Inter, and it’s going just fine ! :) 3° place on first season, 2° place in the second season and Italy Cup winner, 3° season Serie A and Italy Cup winners !! Still i’m having some trouble in being successful in the Champions League…Never passed the 1st stage after the Group Fase…maybe some new reinforcements, game tactical and mental approach change can search that glory. I currently play in an atacking 4-2-3-1 and my best 11 are: GR-Handanovic; RB: Micah Richards or (Vrsaljko), CB-Ranocchia, CB-Juan Jesus, LB- Biraghi or (A. Pereira or even Radu); CM-Luiz Gustavo, CM-Kovacic, AM-Ganso (Rafinha or R. Alvarez) also have Lanzini on Loan); RAM-Douglas Costa, LAM-Pato;CF-Ibrahimovic (M. Icardi or Belfodil). Please tell what you think, i thank any advices :)

    • pedro roriz

      hello décio! thanks for the comment.
      at present, i’m a little bored with FM. But, before that, i was enjoying a super fun internazionale and bologna save. and i was at the same gameplay time as you are, 4-5 years. for inter, i was using as much as i could use the youth academy, so my lineup is a bit different from what you have. but, let me walk you through some points here:

      1. if your 4-2-3-1 is an offensive tactic, i’m afraid i can’t even start helping you. i was a complete failure with this year’s version when it came to offensive mentality. i’m playing with counter-attack mentality in all my tactics. i usually use a 4-1-4-1 approach, or 3-2BWM-2w-1TQ-2 (or a 3-5-2 diamond). they work well, but frankly, not well enough.

      2. inter has a huge debt. i opted to use the youth structures because of that. and, in that way, i managed to add value to some youngsters and sell them for huge fees, like s.taider (25M to PSG), icardi (30M to dortmund), benassi (12M for cagliari). I usually spend 10-20M per season in youngsters and now the average age of the team is 21, which is pretty low, and thus my wage bill is only the 5th in the league (it was 9th, but i wasn’t able to compete in all fronts). with that strategy, in 2018 i had 180M in the bank, my board accepted building a new stadium which will be completed in 2020 and i guess a new era will start for the club, with much higher income.

      3. my most expensive player was milosevic, for whom i spread my admiration words for 2 years in a row, until i became his prefered person. when i declared my intention to buy him, he imediatelly wanted out from anderlecht and i had to pay sheer 12M to get him, with 250k/month salary (my 3rd biggest salary at the club). second to that, was Iancu, a 11M player, with 350k/month (now he is in 450k/month) salary. the highest payed member is kovacic, one of my favorite players off all fm, in 500k/month. apart from those 3, i don’t have anyone else in more thatn 200k in wages. my defence, for instance, ranocchia (200k), juan jesus (200k), rugani (100k), nico de la rosa regen (30k) and davies regen (24k). at present, i have a total of 50 players in my squad, with 25 being loaned out as they are youngsters. i use this strategy of double squads (keeping a max of 50 players) in order to keep only the best 25 youngsters i can find, selling one when a better one joins the club.

      4. in terms of tittle winning, i was 2nd in calcio for 3 seasons, and 3rd in the other. i just can’t beat juventus in a season with 3 fronts actives. i just can’t understand how on earth they can generate so much money. season in season out they buy 35M players with 500k/month salary. their wage budget is almost at 180M (napoli is the 2nd with 100M). however, when it comes to UCL, they are ridiculous bad (and so is italy’s performance). i managed to get to the finals only to be beaten by real madrid in the penalties, but that was a fluke. in the other years, i fell on the last 16 to the champions marseille, the other on the last 8 to the finalists atlético madrid. so, i haven’t had much success either.

      5. you asked for advices. well, what i can tell you is that i’ve set myself for a main strategy: get a new stadium! in that sence, i guess i was pretty successful. it took only 3 seasons to my request to be granted. however, it kind of limited my sportive success as i couldn’t invest as much as i’ve liked in the team.
      so, what i’d tell you is: get a strategy! what do you want to do with this team? if it is to win everything in the short term, i guess you’ll need as many scouts as you can get in order to find 2-3 players with more than 4 start in terms of capacity, per season, and fit them in your transfer budget. i’d recommend holland, denmark and belgium for that matter.
      also, keep your squad to the maximum of 25-26 players (the 3rd keeper included). it will force you to sell the fringe players and generate income that, in time, will aid in other targets.
      the last part is: do not make revolutions with your team. if it is already in the brink of some grandure, just add a bit to it and subtract a bit of it. it will help wonders with tactical learning, which will give you precious points in the beginning of the season, allowing you to rotate more in the league at the end and being able to line up your strongest side in ucl.

      my starting XI in the 4-1-4-1 formation is:
      corchia – rugani – juan jesus – biraghi
      landaburu (argentinian youngster from boca juniors)
      allione – kovacic – duncan – iancu

      my substitutes are
      can’t write his name (19 year old ukrainian) – rannocchia – de la rosa – umiti
      pietro totti – can’t recall his name but my youth intake product – the same here – locardia (my youth intake product)