6 expert tips on how to win the World Cup in Football Manager 2017

Football Manager 2017

Can you win the ultimate prize in world football? Fraser Gilbert tells you how

International management is an often-overlooked aspect of the Football Manager experience. It’s a less intimate, day-to-day role than club football allows, but it’s also the most potentially rewarding. We’ve all dreamed of hoisting the World Cup above our heads at some time or another, and FM offers the ability to make it a (virtual) reality. 

Of course, winning the World Cup isn’t a walk in the park. It’s one of the hardest in-game tasks to achieve, particularly if you’re managing a lower-ranked nation. We believe in you, though, and just a few handy tips should help you on your way to legendary status. Let’s take a look...

1. Play to your strengths 

In many ways, international management is a more simplistic undertaking than club football. Your tactics need to adapt to your players’ strengths - after all, you can’t just buy new stars. Get to know your best players, weakest areas and optimum style of play. The quality of teams in international competition can vary dramatically, so be sure to take this into consideration.

If you’ve found the ideal tactic, stick to it. Having a Plan B is crucial, but international management doesn’t rely on tactical variation as heavily as club football. You’ll likely want to adapt a little based on the level of opposition, but making wholesale changes before a World Cup is unlikely to breed success. 

2. Utilise scouting

While scouting is an important element of club management, it’s a near-necessity at international level. Without exposure to the week-by-week happenings of a domestic league system, you might be missing out on promising young stars who could revitalise your side. Similarly, you might fail to gather info on a lethal striker that you’re soon to face in an upcoming fixture.

Your assistant manager can scout entire competitions to help you remain knowledgeable in this area. He can also provide a report on future opposition, which is something you should always take heed of. And, if desired, you can attend games yourself to run the rule over certain players.

3. Form and morale

There are multiple variables to consider when selecting a side for the World Cup. If you want to achieve success, paying attention to more than just attributes and your tactical setup is required come game day.

It’s a good idea to see who’s been on form for their club sides recently. A quality striker who’s been setting his league alight might be worth a start, particularly if he’s packing high morale too. The mental game is huge, and a boost in morale can make a massive difference to your team’s performance. Huge changes are a no-no, but the odd hot streak might just give you the edge.