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8 signs that you're addicted to Football Manager

Football Manager 2019

Have you fallen prey to the game's alluring qualities? Long-time FM addict Fraser Gilbert seeks to diagnose your condition. Time to take down that shrine to your best regen...

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It’s more than just a game, it’s a way of life. For years, Football Manager has dominated our lives, driving friends and family crazy with our aspirations of virtual glory.

The more you win, the more you want to keep playing. The more you lose, the more you need to keep playing. It’s no wonder addiction soon grabs hold of anyone who finds themselves invested in a long-term game.

Football Manager’s compelling hook has been cited in multiple divorce cases over the years (although let us set the record straight on that one – it's an urban myth). Its supremely authentic gameplay has enticed even the most casual of football fans, who find themselves glued to their screens on an ever-increasing basis. If the following traits sound familiar to you, it might just be time to arrange an appointment with the club counsellor...

SEE ALSO The 12 teams we can’t wait to be in Football Manager 2019

1. You've got a shirt with your regen's name on it

If you’ve ever played a Football Manager save for long enough (and we bet you have), you’ll have noticed the existence of regenerated players in the game's database. These are entirely fabricated characters, but it’s amazing how quickly you become attached to them.

Their careers are defined by their performances, but the in-depth personality traits allow us managers to craft a detailed picture of their lives. They’re still real to us, dammit, and we treat our favourite regens like our own flesh and blood. It’s your duty to call up your local club, pay through the nose for a custom shirt and wear it with pride. Someone has to.

2. You look out for 'your' team's scores in real life

You barely knew anything about the National League before your addiction took hold. Now you're aware of Braintree Town’s strengths and weaknesses and, crucially, how dangerous the opposition will prove on a cold midweek evening.

If they win, you crack out a smirk and comment on how proud you are of “your boys”. If they lose, you suggest they’d be performing much better if they'd signed that striker from Tamworth. If only they’d listen.

3. You rant at anyone who says they 'don't get it'

“Wouldn’t you rather play the games instead, like FIFA?”

This statement arises on an all-too-regular basis and never fails to get your blood boiling. When someone tells you they just “don’t get it”, it’s hard to know where to begin. If they can’t understand the thrill of the managerial job description, how can you possibly convince them of the game’s glory?

Some people just won’t be swayed, but you’ll do your best to force it. They’ll soon wish they never asked, while doubts creep into your mind about whether their friendship is really worth the hassle.

4. You've heard of players, clubs and national sides no one else has

Any football fan can recognise names on the teamsheet at a top-level game, but it takes a certain level of addiction to find yourself identifying an entire squad of players involved in a random non-league match. You’ve known them for years, though: No.6 scored a free-kick against you in that crucial semi-final in 2019, and you signed No.10 in Football Manager 2013, back when he was a promising youngster in the Football League.

It’s not just the players, either. Football Manager is the ultimate geography teacher for its fans, showcasing regional clubs and national sides that no one else seems to have heard of. Anguilla? Sure. You beat them 2-1 when you were manager of El Salvador. No biggie.