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[FM21] Whole Yellow Sun

After suffering an attempt against his life where he though he would be safe, Deniz Naki got no place to go. In this story, he will try to bounce back, and, as a manager, realize the potential he never did as a player.
Started on 14 November 2020 by Tango
Latest Reply on 1 March 2021 by TheLFCFan

17. A series of uneventful events

Even though we don’t seem to be in the title fight, as Bayern shows to be back to their form, it is really important to stay secure in the UCL spots for the third consecutive year. In a typical season like this one, we present ourselves as another strength to be reckoned with, just below Dortmund, who, in their own world, are just below Bayern.

In January, we brought just one more player:

CB William Makengo, age 19

The defender William Makengo came from Wuhan Zall (!!!) for €16,75M euros, just one year after he left Belgium for €19,5M to play in the Chinese side. He is a very - very! - promising centre-back, which raises a couple of questions, with all due respect to Chinese football:

How come such a talented defender is missed by every single European radar and ends up in China?

Who convinced this kid that going to China would help his development?

Anyway, he’s ours now. Regarding the outbound of players, Kuscevic became excedentary with Makengo’s arrival and will be playing in Mexico. Chilufya, after years of good services, has been outgrown by the club and we wish him good luck at Hoffenheim.

January 2025

How to exterminate your title chances in only two games? Here I show you how.

February 2025

Our team came alive in a busy February, with 7 games spread between the smaller month of the calendar. Except for the comprehensible 1-0 defeat against Barça, we won all games, even counting on extra-time with a hat-trick from Ricardo Bye. Mental note: for God’s sake stop going to extra-time. it is screwing up our fitness.

March 2025

We tried to put a charge for the title fight with a recovery in February and March, but at that point Bayern was far from our reach. Another thin defeat against Barcelona wave us Bye-Bye from UCL in our longest run so far in the competition.

April 2025

It’s been a while since we had a month with more red than anything else, but April defined Bayern’s comeback, beating us marginally and putting us back in our place. We lost against RBL for the first time, which is particularly painful, and we are consolidating an annoying difficulty to beat Eintracht in the past few seasons.

May 2025

Less busy and emotional than the last one, our strikers did their job in May, even though the defenders pissed Naki off. 3 wins to consolidate our spot in the UCL once again.

Final Standings - Bundesliga 2024/25

In the end, May became an emotional month: just not for us. An amazing battle between Bayern and Dortmund sees the Southern side beating the Northern one by 2 goals in the goal difference tiebreaker. Even though Bayern and Dortmund are back to their places, their dominance was not as evident as it was before we came into the game, as we ended up only short of 4 points. Eintracht lost ground at the second half of the season and missed out on the last UCL spot, which went to Gelsenkirchen.

On a squad analysis, I had mixed feelings regarding Müller’s performances with us. Even though he had his share of good games, he was not consistent as he was, which is understandable at 35 years of age. However, these performances are not suitable for someone with the highest salary in the squad. Considering that he is not getting any younger, we will be looking for another club for him for 2025/26.


@Wolf seeing Frankfurt there was indeed a nice surprise from the game hahaha

@Jack well, UCL football it is. Next year to something better maybe

@TheLFCFan yeah, it felt like any other year in real life, with Bayern going away and Dortmund showing potential but falling apart soon into the season. The name of this episode shows exactly how I think
Very nearly lost your way in April! An excellent comeback in May, though. I'm sure the Union fans will take a UCL spot this year ;)
A good effort again this season considering the strengthening Bayern made in the summer. To only finish four points off the pace is very respectable. You're making strides in Europe - improving all the time as the squad continues to be improved year upon year.
2 sad losses against Bayern costed you race to the championship and the Pokal but very nice to see you getting the last 3 and secured the CL spot by length. Curious to see your transfers coming up.
When you think about it, three little moments cost you here. Could've been a missed penalty early in a 1-1 draw, hitting the post in the last minute when you're 3-0 up (and don't think anything of that missed chance), and then making a late sub who just wasn't where the man he replaced would've been for a cross, and there's your title gone. Shame, but you're getting much stronger. Keep it up.
Results wise a couple of disappointing months cost you the title in the end but it's nothing to be too upset about. I think the signing of Makengo shows the progress the club is making both on a quality and financial level, with the Champions League money made over the last few years being put to good use.

18. Level up!

The end of the 2024/25 season marked the season in which we reached -THE- level. Without excuses such as Bayern being weaker or Dortmund being weaker or the German football being weaker as a whole, we finished the Bundesliga only 4 points behind the powerhouses of German football and their powerful investments.

For the season 2025/26, Bayern has been more consecutive at the transfer market, bringing only the British left-winger Ryan Sessegnon by paying €38M to Tottenham. Dortmund spent a little bit more money: €36M on the left-winger Jota, €25M on the defender Reece Oxford, €25M on the midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud (that we sold them ourselves), and €24.5M on the striker Youssouph Badji.

The big chunk of investments in the Bundesliga this time was made by no one else but us. With the fast growth of the club’s status, player after player gets outgrown by the club and starts to ask for a move elsewhere, and we grant them. And, as requested by the board, each euro bill that comes in goes out. So we moved the economy of Köpenick a while.

Transfers In / Transfers Out


CM Matheus Henrique, age 27
RW Richard Zárate, age 21 (newgen)

Matheus Henrique had a fine sequence of solid seasons with Hoffenheim, and as we were looking for a playmaker capable of making us jump to the next level, MH became the perfect fit. The other signing with first-team status was the Paraguayan superstar Richard Zárate, who cornered Boca into a ridiculous release clause.


CB Diego Queirós, age 26
CB Juan Manuel Ugarte, age 18 (newgen)
DM Diego Rosa, age 22
RW Mustafa Tur, age 18 (newgen)

Queirós and Tur were both spoils seized from the relegation of Stuttgart. Queirós didn’t want to play in the 2.Bundesliga, and Tur is a young promise-almost-reality who had a relegation release clause in his contract. Ugarte came from the famous Uruguayan school of defenders and Diego Rosa is a strong tireless midfielder poorly protected by Grêmio.

Future stars

LW Claudio Lehmann, age 18 (newgen)

Lehmann has the level to be playing for us as a substitute, but the high competition in our squad and the high competition from weaker clubs in the Bundesliga made us loan him out.

August 2025

A sign that your team is one of the big fishes is that smaller fishes start to run. Schalke parked the bus and deterred our attack, showing me exactly what awaits Union this season. Other tight victories within August made me realize that it wouldn’t be so easy.

September 2025

But in the end, I had just realized wrong. The lads got on track and started showing better football, with a marginal tie against Bayern and other 3 wins. At the UCL, a manic game against Benfica at Lisbon and a humbling defeat against a turbocharged Manchester United.

October 2025

Around October I realized we haven’t still beaten Dortmund in this story. Like, at all. And we still haven’t. Otherwise, we got more wins without sweating too much.

November 2025

The perfect month only with the greens! We are not overpowering anyone this season, but we put in a consistent pace and the 2-goal-lead wins are coming in a bunch. At the end of the league, points will matter more than goals, so I’m fine with it. We also managed to beat Eintracht after some years, which is another positive.

December 2025

Another 100% month, with the highlight for the recurrent eclectic range of goalscorers, with everyone scoring no more than 2 goals per game, and not many goals each month. For me, it’s a signal that whoever gets the ball is capable of bagging it. I take it. The victory against a super-powerful Man Utd was nice too.

Partial Standings after 17 rounds

So you thought that our amazing run in the Bundesliga would send us to the top of the table? Thought wrong. The goals we didn’t score ended up being important after all, as we are in a drag race against Bayern in which no one drops a point and they beat us at the goal difference tiebreaker by 10 goals. By the pace of it, whoever draws a game finishes second. No mercy.

UEFA Champions League 2025/26 - Group F

The Red Devils beat us 3-0, Athletic 7-0 (!!!) and 5-0, but forgot the important part: win every game. Their defeat against us and a disappointing draw against Benfica in front of their own fans meant that we will win a UCL group for the first time ever, getting the chance of advancing to the quarter-finals by being drawn against a nicer club.

But we were drawn against Real Madrid, so screw that.


@ScottT I’m really glad about the evolution we’re making, but the way Bayern follows every single win of us is looking like a joke

@Wolf well, we had a somewhat nice transfer period, with some 8/10 players. Nothing mesmerizing though

@Harleygator after the way the 23/24 slipped out of our hands, the way 24/25 ended didn’t look that bad. In fact, we were already out of the race by the end of April, the amazing May we had made it look a lil bit deceiving

@TheLFCFan the UCL money makes a total difference, doesn’t it? If you manage to keep yourself in the top 4 year after year you are in for the gold. And I still can’t understand how Makengo ended up in China
Union are BACK! Tremendous work so far, you at least have a chance of catching Bayern at the mid-point of the season. Title two on it's way?
Seeing a club of Berlin fighting for the title with Bayern Munich has to be so long ago, but your succesful campaign at the CL is magnificent!

19. Drag race to the end

If you have seen the 18th episode of this story, you know that Union and Bayern are in a hectic drag race for the title of the 2025/26 edition of the Bundesliga. Spoiler alert: this drag race will stretch until the very end of the season.

Until this moment, out of the 51 points available in the first 17 games, both clubs seized 44 of them, or 86%, with 14 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss each. In order to win this, you have to do more than win. You have to win and win and win.

With that in mind, Deniz knew that he needed a punctual signing. As Moussa Wagué is a decent right-back for clubs aiming to play European football, his performances towards a title chase have been suboptimal. It was a step up or step out scenario, and Moussa stepped out.

Transfers In / Transfers Out

The replacement

RB Dedi Anggoro, age 22 (newgen)

He’s not Polish, you idiot. He’s Indonesian. The solid right-back had spent far too much time at Feyenoord, where he won no Eredivisie and zero continental titles. At Union, he expects to join a team of winners; and that’s what we want to become as well. As a plus, as he comes from a very populated country with a scarcity of world-class players, Indonesians will tune their TVs to see Union play more often. This attention is welcome.

I have to admit, however, that I am not comfortable with his supporting stats. Only 13 for both dribbling and crossing at this level are attributes below our needs, but the market does not offer much better options. 13 will have to do, and we hope his solid defensive and physical stats can raise our level.

Other signings

DM Boris Weiß-Schreiber, age 20 (newgen)
DM Jesus Martorell, age 16 (newgen)

Warm out of the oven

ST Malik Kuru, age 17

Malik Kuru is not a recent signing. Instead, he’s a promising striker clinched from Rot-Weiss Essen some transfer periods ago. Now, 17 and bearing a professional contract, he’s already giving signs of being a future star - and an excellent shadow for Bye and Ovelar.

January 2026

After some friendlies against some South American clubs and a trip to Turkey to farm some cash, we obliterated Schalke in the return of the league. They tried their park-the-bus-shenanigans once again and it worked for half a game. Then we got sick of this clownery and ran them over. After that, two tight victories over Leverkusen and Gladbach, but I take it: now more than ever, every point counts.

February 2026

13 goals scored in 5 games, scoring in 4 of them; only 1 goal against. But exactly at the game where we needed it the most. That is NOT the kind of game we should be losing.

At UCL, we showed our strength against Real but lost nevertheless. Gastón’s away goal keeps us very much alive for the second leg.

March 2026

But we failed to make our home advantage count and got home with another Second Round elimination. We could have a bittersweet taste in our mouth if we consider that this early elimination will give us time to think about the league, but the idiots of Munich managed to get eliminated as well.

In the Bundesliga, another 100% month, with our good old Fernando Ovelar bagging the most goals. And finally, F-ING FINALLY, we beat Dortmund. The Paraguayan small beast bagged two and got himself two goals over Karim Benyamina at Union Berlin’s all-time league goalscorers ranking.

April 2026

Another 2 points wasted with another 5-in-the-back prick. These jerks are there only to make us bleed. For the rest of the month, Ricardo Bye came alive and bagged 7 goals in 4 games, almost single-handedly getting our spot in the Pokal’s final. The final will be played against - you guessed right - Bayern.

May 2026

With the quick Ricardo Bye waving his opponents bye-bye (come on, this one was coming), we had another ok-ish month. A draw against HSV is not what we needed in a situation like this, but the Pokal title is welcome. It all comes down to this. If you didn’t scroll down enough, you haven’t seen the standings yet and you don’t know if another 14 victories, 2 ties and 1 loss were enough to clinch the title.

Are you ready for this?

Final Standings - Bundesliga 2025/26

IT WAS! In the end, the game against Augsburg was unnecessarily tense. After we opened up two-nil, we only needed to keep it that way and avoid foolery to get a second. But foolery came. Going towards the end of the first half, they got two goals in three minutes. After experiencing some moments of wrath from their manager, the lads managed to get back in there and get the goal they needed.

Union are champions of Germany once again. And Deniz, as deserved, Manager of the Year. After a tight and exciting season, we kept our 86% campaign, whilst Bayern dropped the ball and only got 82% this time.


@Jack we are more than back! This time we are champions, no excuses, no “Bayern was shit” can be said this time, as they got an overall rate of 85% of points

@Wolf I’m too young to remember myself. And our campaign was lovely indeed, unfortunately, it was cut short by Real
That is an outstanding finish to the season, I've not seen many like it! Absolutely deserved that title and the cup as well. Next stop: The UCL title? ;)

20. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

The thrilling Bundesliga title of 2025/26 made Union famous around the globe for its glorious campaign and its high intensity gegenpress game. Some of our players, such as Erol Coskun, Bautista Tobio, and Ricardo Bye, overwhelmingly attracted the interest from the giant clubs of Europe.

As Erol Coskun was the first to go, after Manchester United triggered his €94M release clause, and our defensive line could use some help, Deniz’s main targets in the transfer market were a world class goal-keeper and a centre-back. Some sales were necessary to finance our strengthening, so some squad players parted to become first starters somewhere else.

Transfers In / Transfers Out

World Class Signings

GK Hans-Jürgen Jungnickel, age 20 (newgen)
CB Josko Gvardiol, age 24

In Leipzig lied the two answers to our questions for the upcoming season. Jungnickel was brought by triggering his release clause and he is just slightly inferior to the level Coskun had reached, so it was an eye for an eye. Gvardiol came from a relatively cheap price but cornered me enough at the crafting of his contract to force me to offer a better offer in a few years, to get rid of a release clause for a market value that he will certainly reach in the near future.

Future starts

LB Fermín Pérez, age 19 (newgen)
CM Geoffrey Deknuydt, age 17 (newgen)

Other signings will be presented as they mature into the professional squad. Pérez is a left-back with a lot of potential but not too much ambition and was let go as his team got impatient with him. Deknuydt, on the other hand, is a player I have had my eye on since he was 15. He has the potential to be part of the nominees for the Ballon d’Or each year.

Young players from the U-19 squad

RB Luís Pereira, age 18 (newgen)
RW James-Kevin Habereder, age 18 (newgen)
AM Andreas Bruckert, age 18 (newgen)
ST Jan Stejskal, age 18 (newgen)

All these players were brought for the under-19 squad a while ago and now are ready to be part of the squad. No one has reached the same level as Malik Kuru yet, who is ready to be our main striker if Bye leaves, but I expect beautiful things from Luís Pereira and JK Habereder.

August 2026

After a not really important title and a not really important game, we kickstarted the season with 3 Bundesliga wins, with Ricardo Bye playing in a way that won’t allow us to fend off interested clubs for too long.

September 2026

Well, Bye’s form is unstoppable at the moment, helping the club to get 100% in the league in the first 7 games. Malik Kuru, even though not in there for many games, is profiting from the chances he gets.

At UCL level, we didn’t play very well and conceded an equalizer against City that might have cost us dearly in the fight for 1st place. Against Milan, we didn’t play well at all but kept the win after the early penalty thanks to an inspired performance from Jungnickel.

October 2026

Hertha was the first German club to stop our attacking prowess, much given to the fact that we rested some legs. After that, another two wins and a tie against Bayern at home. At the Pokal, we made a fool out of ourselves by having to go to extra-time to eliminate the not-so-strong Werder Bremen.

The only game at continental level was another weak performance with a marginal win over Molde, in Norway.

November 2026

In a perfect month, Tobio and Bye are once again showing why the whole of Europe wants them. The highlight is the crucial win at Manchester against City, with Ricardo Bye finding a goal after Jungnickel denied City for an hour that felt like a whole year. Our goal-keeper is proving to be a phenomenal signing.

December 2026

After Bye got a 5 to 6 weeks injury, Ovelar came back into the squad and delivered at the minor games. At the big games, however, the absence of Bye has been felt and we didn’t manage to get anything more than two draws.

Partial Standings after 17 rounds

This season is far from being as hectic as the last one, and we got ourselves some good 7 points over the second place, the surprising Schalke. Dortmund and Bayern come right after, with Hertha still in the fight for the last UCL spot. If you look down, you’ll see the catastrophic season that Leverkusen is having. Will they be able to shake it off? Do not miss the scenes of the next episodes.

UEFA Champions League - Group B

The win at the Etihad Stadium made all the difference, and drawing against Molde away from home didn’t help City either. In the last round, we had the chance to dispatch Milan from any kind of European football and give Molde something to do in 2027, be we failed and I apologize for that.


@Jack well, as we won the league twice now, one can not dream about anything else other than the UCL
Ah, Gvardiol </3 If only Leeds had signed him this summer. Seems to be doing exceptionally well in the league and Europe this time!

21. Bye-bye, Bye!

The title of the episode already tells it. It was impossible to keep Bye and Tobio from the harassment received from elsewhere, and it became unbearable when both players came to me trying to force a transfer. I had no choice.

Ricardo Bye was the first one to go. After PSG came with an offer, we negotiated it to €150M and they accepted it gladly. Bautista Tobio, on the other hand, was the hardest one: the only club that made offers for him was Dortmund, and, even though I didn’t want to sell them to a rival in the same division - which made Bautista furious - I had to accept an offer from him in this cycle. My solution was to toughen up: I started negotiations with €175M. And they accepted it right away.

Transfers In / Transfers Out

Give the money some good use!

CM Txini Aguirre, age 21 (newgen)
RW Bruno Miranda, age 19 (newgen)
LW Nurullah Özkan, age 18 (newgen)

With the record sales came the record signings: Aguirre is a Spanish midfielder far above MH’s level, that had to come after MH started not playing as expected. Özkan is the immediate replacement for Tobio, being around the same level and home-grown. Bruno Miranda came for a position that is already saturated, with Zárate and Tur playing there, but he can play everywhere in the last third of the pitch and well, I’m addicted to a good bargain.

January 2027

In the first ever game after the departure of Ricardo Bye, Malik Kuru shows us that we may not need any replacement after all. After that, however, we had two unsatisfying games that worried the fans. Maybe we lost too much.

February 2027

With a sequence of marginal victories, we found a defeat on the arms of Köln, who avenged the subtraction of their star Özkan. At the Pokal, the subs had a hard time getting past Paderborn.

At UCL, another poor performance with a marginal win, with the experienced-yet-still-youngster Fernando Ovelar making the difference.

March 2027

A couple of comfortable wins to remain safe at the top of the table and another poor European performance, this time fending off Valencia and reaching the quarter-finals for our first time. A calm month.

April 2027

And the calm preceded the storm. A trip to Munich on the way to Turin, and we haven’t won either of these two games. At the second leg of the quarter-final, however, we found some football we hadn’t found before and Gastón Pereyra led us to a famous win over Juve, reverting the small disadvantage in the first leg. We are off to the semi finals!

After three domestic encounters that are not important compared with the European games around, we suffered a marginal defeat against Barcelona. Even though we are still alive, a 1-0 defeat may be hard to revert.

May 2027

And it was indeed hard to revert. But after João Félix got himself sent off at the 47th minute, we sent ourselves to the attack and Aguirre found the equalizer with a firm finish from just outside the box. At extra-time, MH sent an early cross and Malik Kuru, the boy-wonder, tipped the ball in with a light header that put us into the final.

You read it right.

In the final.

In the meantime, we won our Bundesliga matches and lifted the Bundesliga, we beat Köln at the Pokal final and got the Pokal again, but let’s get to the final against Real.

We knew it wouldn’t be easy, as Real has been the strongest team in European football this season. I thought about abdicating from the offensive 4-2-3-1 to adopt a 4-1-4-1, protecting the defensive line with a defensive midfielder. After analyzing the past Real games, though, I realized that the only formation that has beaten them was the aforementioned 4-2-3-1, so I kept it.

And it kind of worked: in the 11th minute, Pereyra found Zárate at the edge of the box with space for a shot, and he slotted into the GK’s corner. 1-0. At the first minute of injury time, when we thought we were going to the dressing rooms with a marginal advantage, Sergej Milinković-Savić profited from a mess inside our box to belly it in. Awful scenes.

We went to the second-half with everything about the same way it began. At the 51st minute, however, we got ourselves back into the lead after Makengo deflected a corner that Zárate sent into the first post. 2-1. At the 57th minute, we stole one of Jack’s plays and Anggoro sent a throw into the penalty box, and Real’s defenders got completely lost, allowing Özkan to lob Thibaut Courtois with a header. 3-1. It was about it. But we found reason to worry after Timo Werner profited from a lack of attention from our defenders and bagged it 3-2 at the 81st minute. But the 15 minutes remaining of play didn’t bring any unwanted surprises. Union Berlin are champions of Europe.

Final Standings - Bundesliga 2026/27

After an European title, the domestic league feels so small… We did our jobs and got the title with some 15 points above Köln, the runners-up. Dortmund got 3rd again, and Bayern didn’t even make it into the UCL spots. They will probably win the Europa League next season. And Leverkusen managed to avoid relegation, but only after playing the play-offs.

UCL Review / UCL Campaign / Bundesliga Review


@Jack Gvardiol is a fantastic defender, it was a very special signing. And about performance, how about that, then? hahahahahaha
Just how much were you celebrating that extra-time winner against Barca?! Phenomenal season all throughout, Union will hold you in an even higher regard after this crazy time!

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