One of the most endearing and iconic parts of Football Manager lore is the set of "FM Wonderkids". The likes of Freddy Adu, who obtained cult status for their world-beating abilities in the game.
Football Manager's developers, Sports Interactive and SEGA, today announced that women's football will be added to the game in the coming years, and Balls got a chance to speak to Miles Jacobson, manager of Sports Interactive.
Our commitment to the multi-year project to include the women's game into our series. https://t.co/N4GQkVsLuX
— Football Manager (@FootballManager) July 22, 2021
We asked Miles about his favourite ever Football Manager wonderkids - and his answer was a bit surprising, as he said that he sees most of the more famous FM prospects as statistical errors.
You’ve got to remember that for everyone else in the world, they have lovely stories about these players that we thought were gonna be great but didn’t end up making it, whereas for me they’re data errors.
They’re mistakes that we’ve made. So, my favourite of all the wonderkids we’ve ever had would be Leo Messi - because he became that player in real life!
Obviously I’ve got a lot of happy memories of Cherno Samba, Tonton Zola Moukuku, and Alexander Farnerud, from when I played the game. I always have, you know how they talk about having the devil and the angel on the shoulder, so I always have that, I can see both sides of it.
I kind of err towards, “they are mistakes” - if other people love them, that’s great, but for me they’re things we got wrong.
There are always players in the world - like, people bring up Freddy Adu.
Freddy Adu had all the talent in the world and didn’t end up making it for various reasons. When you look at someone like Tonton Zola Moukuku, it’s a really sad story.
Cherno Samba is someone who’s gone out there and said, ‘yeah, I had all of that talent, and I wasted it’ and goes around telling people how he wasted that talent.
As much as we all love the cult heroes of Football Manager, Jacobson is right in noting that many of them have had sad stories in the real footballing world.
With the addition of women's football to FM comes the prospect for a whole new set of "wonderkids" - and Jacobson is hoping that they will turn out more like the Lionel Messis of the world than some of the other wonderkids from FM history.
Hopefully, we never get any women footballers wrong, ever!