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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
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25. It all comes down to this


Even though our possibilities of lifting the Bundesliga unbeatable are over because of the one game we didn’t win, there were still records on the table. Bayern still held the record for most points in the league achieved in 2012/13 (91 points) and Deniz decided he wants this record for himself.

Before that, the national team.

France


The UEFA Nations League predicted a bizarre tilt in the balance of power of the European football. The group winners were France, Spain, Serbia and… Scotland.

To make it even better, France would meet Spain at one semi-final and one among Serbia and Scotland would be at the very final.

Have I told you that Nigeria won the World Cup in 2026?

Spooky.

The match between France and Spain would be played in a neutral venue: Paris. In front of our fans, we had the opportunity to show strength for the upcoming years, and most importantly, the World Cup. But as the game we made didn’t deserve any elaborated comment, I’ll just say we tied 0-0 and got eliminated at the penalties. Spain advanced to beat Serbia at the final.

This competition is pointless anyway.

Fin.

Union Berlin


With his departure announced for the end of the season after 8 years of good services, the environment at Union was always heavily emotional. Everything felt like the possible last time. From the stars of the squad to the cleaning ladies, there was a pact to create the best atmosphere possible to allow Naki to leave on the top.

And he appreciated it.

Transfers In / Transfers Out

Star signing

GK Marco Cummins-Sharland, age 25(newgen)

There wasn’t exactly a need to sign another keeper, as Jungnickel is himself a goal-keeper of world class. But when the best goal-keeper in football shows up available for €30M because he does not want to extend his contract with his club, there is no way one will resist such a bargain.

A promising sub

CB Morgan Molina, age 20 (newgen)

Another player that was not scouted by Union, but by the French national team. He was hanging there at Toulouse with potential to be much more than that, so I took him.

January 2029


I mean, do I even have to?

February 2029


The first leg against PSG pretty much solved the matter. They will have to find a willpower they don’t have in order to revert this result.

March 2029


They almost did, to be honest. But then Gvardiol went on and showed his unexpected goal-scoring prowess, using his head to score a perfect hat-trick (all hat-tricks are perfect).

April 2029


A busy month of April, as usual. We had a very exciting quarter-final against Bayern, marginally beating them at the first leg, and then almost screwing it up by letting them ahead 3-1 at the second leg. Özkan’s goal gave us our advantage back, and finally Gvardiol, our penalty-taker and unexpected goal-scorer, made it a comfortable 3-3. We still had time in the month of April to play City at the semifinals and open up the series with a tight 1-0 win away from home.

May 2029

At home, we lost our advantage right away, conceding at the 18th minute to the newgen Federico de Zan. That didn’t bother us, as you may know the story by now. If you have Malik Kuru, you have no reason to be afraid. He scored twice before half-time and we still had time to get the third with Gvardiol. By the second-half we managed to extend our lead with Özkan at the 76th and an own-goal from Ndidi at the 77th. Joe Tompkins still found time to make it less uglt for the citizens. 5-2, final score.

After that, we went ahead and got three more wins, to finish the season with 94 points. Suck on that, arrogant Bayern.

Traditionally, one week before the traditional event of Union at the UCL final, we find time to beat someone at the Pokal final. This time our victim was Augsburg, with a 3-0 win.

Let’s go to the one that matters.

It all comes down to this: the UCL Finale against Liverpool.

The combination of our 4-2-3-1 formation with their 4-5-1 with defensive mid formation proved itself to be completely anti-football. Football only became possible after some players got tired. And it only happened after the 0-0 in 90 minutes.

The extra-time became a brand new game. At the 93rd minute, Blanco exchanged passes with Devaux and then crossed with his right foot towards the keeper. Malik Kuru sneaked his head in and managed to deflect the ball towards the net. 1-0 Union.

Our happiness didn’t last long. After a long anticipated cross from Esposito, Leon Bailey put the baby to sleep on his chest and rolled it to the back of our net at 101st minute. 1-1.

Their relief, however, didn’t last long either. At the 110th minute, almost planning to go to the pens, Anggoro graced us with one of his loooooooooooooong throws from some yards before the line that divides the pitch in half. Kuru, always him, anticipated the defenders and tapped it into the cheek of the net.

Once again, we lift the most important trophy in Europe. Naki leaves on top. But not now. We still have the 2029 Club World Cup to attend.


Bundesliga 2028/29


As previously mentioned, we got a record to our name. 94 points in 34 games, that is a lot. Just below the 102 mark, the maximum possible in the Bundesliga. I don’t know how long this moment in the history of Union will last after I leave, so it is really important to have our names stamped in history books.

UCL Review / BL Review / Deniz Naki declared one of the best ever / The unbeatable UCL campaign: 12-1-0 / UCL Dream Team

Replies


@ScottT England won the penalties against Colombia in 2018 and finally took a passion for the thing, it seems

@Jack I hate Bayern for several reasons, this just adds to the tally. And well, it worked wonders at the club, not so much at the national level, let’s see what a focused Deniz can do

@Harleygator well, if he is a coffee guy, bien sûr
That's the way! A feel-good story for Naki to claim the Champions League title in his final full-season in charge at Union. He will leave behind a legacy that won't ever be forgotten.

26. Farewell, Union Berlin


Deniz's last wish before parting ways with Union and wishing them all the best is to lift the 2029 Club World Cup. This time, the competition will be played in the Czech Republic, or Czechia, if you are ready to abide by the awful-sounding name they chose for themselves.

The CWC is an opportunity to face the best clubs of each continent against each other and, hoping for the best, one South American club will make it into the semifinals and spoil the party for an all-European tournament. In the current context, this scenario has minimal chances of happening.

The 2029 Club World Cup is particularly special for being the farewell party for Deniz and Union, parting ways after the end of the tournament. At the end of the 8th season commanding the club, one can certainly say that history has been made. The club has made it into competitions they never played before, won many titles for the first, second and many other times, and Deniz made it into the global Hall of Fame.

So, enjoy this episode of Deniz Naki commanding Union Berlin. It will be the last one.

The 23

Goal-Keepers

GK Marco Cummins-Sharland, age 25 (newgen)
GK Hans-Jürgen Jungnickel, age 23 (newgen)

Defenders

RB Dedi Anggoro, age 26 (newgen)
RB Yuri Dell’Atti, age 19 (newgen)
CB Miguel Peña, age 24 (newgen)
CB Josko Gvardiol, age 27
CB Morgan Molina, age 20 (newgen)
CB Juan Manuel Ugarte, age 22 (newgen)
LB Jesús Blanco, age 23 (newgen)
LB Yavus Dayı, age 22 (newgen)

Midfielders

CM Prince N’Guedi, age 21 (newgen)
CM Jules Blondeau, age 21 (newgen)
CM Geoffrey Deknuydt, age 20 (newgen)
CM Txini Aguirre, age 23 (newgen)
AM Gastón Pereyra, age 24 (newgen)
AM Thomas Fitschen, age 20 (newgen)
AM Serdar Aksoy, age 20 (newgen)

Forwards

RW Richard Zárate, age 25 (newgen)
RW Bruno, age 22 (newgen)
ST Malik Kuru, age 21 (newgen)
ST Ralf Neumann, age 20 (newgen)
LW Mamadou Devaux, age 23 (newgen)
LW Nurullah Özkan, age 21 (newgen)

Preliminary Round

The preliminary round is the way that FIFA found to tell Oceanic clubs that they are not really welcome into the competition. They are put to play against the current champion of the host country, and except in cases in which the competition would be played in Gibraltar, the Oceanic champions will probably be gone before the competition starts for real.

Viktoria Plzeň 4-0 Team Wellington

That was exactly the case.

Group Stage

FIFA has chosen the format of 8 groups of 3 clubs each in the group stage, only to guarantee that the system can be as dull and easy to rig as possible.

Round 1


Some Brazilian clubs caused some upsets in the first round. Corinthians found a last minute equalizer against Barcelona and Santos gave PSG a fair tight game to take it to the goal differential to decide their groups.

In our groups, Flamengo was really close to causing us some upset as well, but in two lucky plays we managed to get two penalty kicks, both converted by Josko Gvardiol.

Round 2


Vasco has been the luckiest of the South Americans (and, by the default, Brazilians), by not facing any European at the group stage. In other groups, Corinthians and Santos got their wins, but their European counterparts should be able to beat the same rivals for larger margins. In our group, Flamengo got a crushing win over the Black Leopards, and we could miss out on the next stage by losing to the South African side, even though I don’t see it happening.

The most exciting encounter of the round was certainly Palmeiras, needing a win, losing marginally to Real Madrid, who will play Cruz Azul for a place in the quarter-finals.

Round 3


A huge win for us in a game in which we allowed the substitutes to start. Competitions like that are famous for their capacity of wearing out the players, so it was good to let the guys play, even though some of them were out at the U-20 World Cup.

Barcelona and PSG got what they needed to rise up to the top of their groups, as Juventus was beaten by Liverpool at their battle for the Group G. The biggest surprise came in a thrilling match, where the Mexicans of Cruz Azul played like they never did, and won like they never did as well, upsetting the old Mexican saying.

Groups - Final Standings


Six Europeans + Vasco and Cruz Azul. Out of the Europeans, three are English. As lucky as we are in draws, we’ll face PSG next round, which will be played in only two days.

Quarter-finals


Barça and Vasco had a thriller, outshining our own performance over PSG where, well, at this point there is not much needed to talk about Malik Kuru, is it? Amidst tired legs he walked around scoring goals here and there like it was nothing.

Another thriller at the Manchester derby, decided in favour of the Citizens after pens. In the last game of this stage, the Mexican fairy tale had a crushing end, with Liverpool overpowering the surprise of the competition.

Semi-finals


One can not calculate how much I love João Félix. For the second time around, this kid gets sent off really early allowing us to defeat the giants of Barcelona without a sweat. In another English encounter, the Citizens needed another extra-time to beat Liverpool.

Third Place Match


Heating up for our Grand Finale against City, a thrilling game, with Barça and Liverpool clashing for nothing. At the end, Liverpool got the bronze medal after penalties.

Grand Finale

The odds were not particularly against us to the final. On the contrary, they were pretty much in our favour. As City played two extra-times in a row, João Félix, the guy-I-love-even-though-never-played-for-me, allowed our semi-final to be a walk at their park.

City would not be an easy game, though. They still had a good squad with good players to wrestle against us, mainly in the form of the English sensation Joe Tompkins. The 24 years-old Englishman is one of the wonders of the European football, and the man to be marked in this Sky-Blue team.

The final, then, was set to be a game of patience. They would try to do whatever they could to start strong, with the tendency to tire out towards the end of the game. Our plan for the first half was to put Tompkins, Sterling and Stevanović under surveillance.

The trio didn’t manage to do anything in the first half, but neither did we. We went with a 0-0 to half-time.

At the 66th minute, Yavus Dayı made a great run by the left, finding Özkan. He cleared his marker, crossed to the penalty spot where Kuru tangled with the defender Luis López. Was it a pen? Was it a dive?

No need to check, because Bruno Miranda took the rebound and buried it in. The scoreline was open, Union 1-0.

City must have felt this goal, because they gave away ball possession right after kick-off. We took our time, remained patient until Aguirre found Bruno Miranda with a deep through ball, and the Brazilian only had to send the keeper away.

In two minutes, we had scored twice with Bruno, and, from there, Deniz only had to enjoy his last moments with Union Berlin. As the final whistle blew, the manager was celebrated by his players, revered by his fans and applauded by his rivals.


You know the scene: the manager is carried around by his players, thrown to the air a couple of times. Some people hugged each other, others cried of joy or sadness to see Deniz go. That plane went back to Berlin with one passenger less, but for some it felt empty. Deniz Naki didn’t go back to Berlin. He flew directly to Paris, where he desperately needed to find a flat.

Life goes on. Deniz has a lot of reasons to feel a little bit void inside, for sure, but this too shall pass. The 39-years-old manager has plenty of reasons to feel excitement as well. A new challenge, in a new country, in a new day, with a new life, and the dream of that trophy: the World Cup.

Reply


@ScottT well, a kind of legacy that speaks for itself. I almost cried when pressing the resign contract button, and I am merely an FM player
What a time Deniz has had at Union, the most magnificent manager in the world! He's built one of the greatest teams in football history in just a few years - incredible. Excited for the next move.
The closing chapter is a fitting one.
What you have do with Union Berlin is incredible, and to cap off your journey there with a CWC victory: icing on the cake! Deniz has shown that he is one of the GOAT, and the French general public should be salivating at the thought of him leading them into the next World Cup. I bet that Dalkurd FF are kicking themselves repeatedly considering the success that Deniz has enjoyed since leaving their club!
Warning: I apologize for the graphics in this episode. There is a weird glitch in FM that it missed out on translating all information to the language you select if you installed the game in a different language. Because of this glitch, every single nation in my save remains in Portuguese, even though I play in English with the sole purpose of being able to bring it to you. The names of each nation should be probably easy to understand in Portuguese anyway, but that’s never a given thing.

There is a slight chance that the mosaic of colours will look good with a white background. Fingers crossed.


27. Of course, the Qualifiers


Deniz, as every grown-up, decided to look for an apartment on his own, without the help of any kind of intermediary. The apartment of his dreams had to have 5 rooms: a bathroom, a bedroom, a TV-room, kitchen, and a second room to be converted into an office, or, as he started to call it as a joke and the name stuck, the World Cup HQ.

He found the perfect place on the first day in the French capital: a fifth-floor apartment with a view to the Seine. He imagined himself in a chilly afternoon of autumn, reading reports sitting by the balcony, watching the people and the boats go by, sipping a ridiculously small coffee cup while adjusting his écharpe. He then laughed:

- Quel cliché !

He signalled positively to the real estate agent, and then said with a heavy accent:

- Je veux fermer l’achat.
- Vous voulez dire « conclure l’achat » ?
- Fickende Französisch - he said, in his native German, almost inaudible - oui, je veux conclure.
- Mais ce n'est pas un achat, cet immeuble est disponible seulement pour louer.
- Oui, oui. Je sais. Je veux louer - said Deniz, with his palm covering his face in disbelief of how complicated this simple conversation ended up getting.

The man then proceeded to collect Deniz’s information in order to seal the deal. Name, date of birth, bank account… There it stopped. Deniz had no bank account in France.

- J’ai un compte en Allemagne...
- Non, non. En France. Pour cet appartement, il faut avoir un compte ici.

So Deniz went to the bank, to open a new bank account. There, he spoke directly to the clerk:

- Je veux ouvrir un compte.
- Bien sûr, vous devez seulement remplir ce formulaire.

Easy, huh? You fill a form and boom, bank account. Well, not that easy. He had to leave the field “address” blank.

- Monsieur, vous avez oublié de fournir votre adresse.
- Ah, non. Je n’ai pas encore d’adresse.
- Dans ce cas, nous ne pouvons pas suivre avec votre demande. Bonne journée.

There’s when he decided he should find an intermediary. With his “World Cup HQ” all set, two weeks later, he finally could get to work.

Before you are part of the 48 nations that will play in the World Cup, you have to play a series of forgettable games against teams less well ranked than yours. If you are France, of course. If you are Liechtenstein of something like that, it is quite the opposite. But then you better forget being among the 48 altogether.

Given that we made it into the semifinals of the Nations League, we won’t have any Liechtenstein in our group. It will have only 5 nations.

That doesn’t mean that our group is not ridiculously easy, though. We’ll play Russia, Czech Republic, North Macedonia and Armenia. La crème de la crème.

Date #1


Yeah, that game against the Czechs, I really didn’t like it. After Pacheco got the first goal, I thought the game would be way easier than it ended up being. We have to improve. The victory against Armenia was definitely better, but with all due respect, they are not a good parameter. It doesn’t help my case that I simply FORGOT TO CALL UP MBAPPÉ for these two rounds.

Date #2


We were out, playing the Nations League. After seeing how Russia and the Czech Republic played against each other, we better skip this one.

Date #3


All of our FIFA dates were arranged in a way that we faced one between Russia and the Czechs and another between Armenia and FFYROM (Former Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). This situation allows me to go full throttle against our strongest rivals and to test some kids against the weakest. So it was really great to see Manuel Coulon and Mamadou Konaté scoring against North Macedonia, and I expect they can be good subs at the World Cup. Against Russia, Mbappé showed what he is capable of when you remember to call him up.

Date #4


All right, Kylian, I got it. I'm sorry I forgot about you.

Date #5


Again, I sent our kids to play North Macedonia and I liked what I saw from some of them. Morgan Molina is showing to be up to the heated fight for the 4th spot for the centre back position. Against Russia, once again Mbappé shows how ridiculously apart from the rest he is.

Final Standings


In order to make it into the World Cup, either Russia or Czech Republic should have risen against one another. The double goalless tie ended up eliminating the two of them.

Replies


@Jack this is definitely a save that will remain in my memory for years to come. I achieved wonders, and it was really fun. Union has one more fan, that’s for sure

@Scott glad you like it

@James I feel pity for the good guys at Dalkurd, but the club lost its soul after the takeover. It is not the loss of Deniz Naki that they have to mourn
I can't imagine, after the statement he made in following games, that you'll just "forget" to call up Mbappe again. Jesus.
Forgetting to call up the best player in the world :)) He showed you who’s boss once he came back anyway ;)
Mbappe must've done a double take when he saw the initial squad, but I'm guessing that his performances upon his return have made him unforgettable! Quite a funny thing that can happen when playing the game, and thankfully it didn't cost you a result. FIFA should just hand you the trophy tbh, the rest of the world doesn't stand a chance.
Tango's avatar Group Tango
3 monthsEdited

28. Deniz against the world - Part One


World Cup years are particularly tense for high performance football players. Somewhere around the last week of May or first week of June, the manager of each of the 48 nations qualified to the megaevent will come up with a list consisting 30 names, and 7 of them will be cut out until the first preparatory friendly.

There is not much international football to play before the big call up, so the only FIFA date before the World Cup, in the month of March, is especially important for the ones who are not good enough to be considered inarguable.

March Friendlies

March, 27 England 3-1 France
Trent Alexander-Arnold (pen) 35’ (pen) 40’
Daniel Hughes 51’
Houssem Aouar 60’

March, 30 France 0-1 Brazil
Lázaro 87’

I can say that everyone wasted their opportunity to shine. We seeked to schedule friendlies against stronger sides, and the ones we believed to be strong candidates to the title, so we could see how well we would fare against them. And we don’t have too many reasons to be optimistic.

I had to trust a lot in the club form and the attributes of each player, given that, if I judge the players considering only these friendlies, I’ll probably be unjust with a lot of them. Without further ado, this is the list that Deniz Naki presented to the French public:

Gardiens
GK 1. Salif Camara, age 22 (newgen), FC Metz
GK 18. Alan Gauthier, age 23 (newgen), AS Saint-Étienne
GK 23. Lucas Lavallée, age 27, Stade Rennais

Défenseurs
RB/CB 2. Enzo Marchand, age 24 (newgen), Real Madrid CF
LB 3. Rayan Aït-Nouri, age 29, FC Barcelona
CB 4. Kévin Pruvot, age 21 (newgen), Real Madrid CF
CB 5. Clément Lecoq, age 23 (newgen), Paris Saint-Germain
CB 15. Jules Koundé, age 31, Chelsea FC
LB 19. Melvin Bard, age 29, Tottenham Hotspur FC
RB/LB 20. Djezon Dutitre, age 24 (newgen), AC Milan
CB/DM 22. Jean-Clair Todibo, age 30, Borussia Dortmund

Milieux de Terrain
DM/CM 6. Eduardo Camavinga, age 27, FC Internazionale
CM 7. Jules Blondeau, age 22 (newgen), Union Berlin
AM 8. Houssem Aouar, age 30, Atlético de Madrid
CM 13. Geoffrey Deknuydt, age 21 (newgen), Real Madrid CF
AM 16. Daouda Kébé, age 22 (newgen), Southampton
CM 21. Maxence Caqueret, age 30, Olympique Lyonnais

Attaquants
RW/ST 9. Miguel Pacheco, age 23 (newgen), Manchester United FC
RW/ST 10. Kylian Mbappé, age 31, FC Barcelona
LW 11. Erwan Betrancourt, age 24 (newgen), Juventus
RW/LW 12. Rayan Cherki, age 26, Juventus
ST 14. Manuel Coulon, age 24 (newgen), Stade Rennais
LW 17. Mamadou Konaté, age 21 (newgen), Paris Saint-Germain

Les 11 de Deniz Naki


The Starting XI that will be carrying the French flag is set to be this one. Of course, some changes may happen, as Koundé and Todibo may appear because of their experience, and Cherki may play instead of Betrancourt. Both left-wingers from Juventus are really similar in level, but I see Betrancourt slightly ahead.

Warm-up friendlies

June, 3 Belgium 1-3 France
Miguel Pacheco 2’
Manuel Coulon 33’
Jean François 72’
Rayan Cherki 73’

June, 6 The Netherlands 0-4 France
Kévin Pruvot 10’ 62’
Erwan Betrancourt 56’
Matthijs de Ligt 76’
Jean-Clair Todibo 83’

Much better, eh? Belgium and the Netherlands are not direct candidates to the World Cup, but they are always there, running around. Sadly for the Dutch, the Netherlands are unlikely to be runners-up this time, though. In the second game, in particular, the French Air Force showed its strength, scoring 3 goals after set pieces.

Here, for you to appreciate, the 16 groups of the 2030 World Cup:


Replies


@all jeez, a man cannot just forget to call up the best player in the world once and everyone goes mocking him

@Harley quite a reminder indeed

@Jack I was on automatic mode, he got injured the last call-up and was removed from the squad. I just click the button and when I saw the news the next day I went “ok, shit”

@James I think that we are strong candidates, sure, but England (ok, that’s a stretch) and Brazil are also strong, and, given that NIGERIA - with all due respect - are the defending champions, it could be someone else entirely
Not the best performances against England and Brazil who will no doubt be lead competitors. Just hope that was a blip!
All caught up again and got to say, no surprise with how it ended at Berlin. The team you built there was incredible and it showed in that final season, pushing aside almost everyone with ease. A great way to end of an excellent tenure there. Congratulations.

The move to France is certainly exciting and should provide Deniz the opportunity to prove himself on an arguably even larger platform than he has done already. An easy progression into the World Cup proper, and drawn into a group you shouldn't have much problem with. Good luck!
Heading into the World Cup with a bit more confidence after the previous set of friendlies proved to be quite worrisome. The squad looks stacked with talent that should guide France through to the last four or so at a minimum I would expect. The group shouldn't provide any problems for Deniz and his men.

Replies


@Jack at the end of the day, we can live with it. It was in March, I was running a lot of tests and I have a lot of excuses

@TheLFCFan that was the greatest team I ever built in FM, that’s for sure. And well, groups don’t matter too much in this new format, do they?

@ScottT yeah, this is a strong amount of boys. Of course, we have it better in some positions than others, but that’s what national football is all about. You can’t just sign a new right-back.

Before anything, I’d like to apologize for the long time you guys had to wait for this Finale. I started a new career this year, and the beginning of it is usually complicated, as it is being for me. Thankfully, the planets aligned and a World Cup is one of the most perfect exit ramps that can be for a story like this. I’d love it if it would go longer, of course, but that’s the way it is.

28. Deniz against the world - Finale


The FIFA World Cup England 2030 would be Deniz’s first flight in the most important competition there is. The whole world stopped to see 48 nations clash against each other in order to decide who’s got the best football for the past 4 years.

Brazil, England, and France were deemed as favourites. Brazil has not won a WC since 2002, and their squad is hugely under pressure by their home press, who has never seen Brazil taking so long to win the Cup. If Brazil is under pressure, you can imagine how England is. Just like in 2026 when they lost the Finale to Nigeria, England is a clear favourite for the World title, and this time, playing at home, they ought to repeat 1966. Football came home, but they still have to grab it.

Victorious in 2018, the French are not as much under pressure as the others, but without doing too much in 2022 and 2026, France wants to grab another title to definitely crown Kylian Mbappé as their greatest player ever, and not let the prime of his career go wasted.

Group Stage*

*Because of a glitch in translation, the name of the nations remained in my native Portuguese whilst the rest of the game was translated. I attempted many ways of walking around this glitch in the past, but it takes a time that I don’t have right now.


The new WC format, adopted for 2026, has no much room for surprises. Yet, they happen. As England confirmed their status of group favourites by holding the ever-brave Uruguayans to a draw and making it count at the goal difference. In group B, however, Italy didn’t live up to the expectations and Senegal got the precious 1st place in the group. In group C, the defending champions Nigeria got sided by Austria and will face Norway in the next stage.


With so many expected results, the feat achieved by Bolivia jumps to the eye. In a disappointing performance by Ivory Coast, the Bolivians managed to beat them and then fend off Ireland to advance invincible to the next stage.


A disappointing Japan got thrashed by Germany, in a 7-0 defeat, and lost their place to Morocco. In our group, with a comfortable 3-0 victory over South Korea and a tight 2-1 over Ecuador, we managed to advance in the first place with two wins. The Koreans then beat the Ecuadorians to get the last spot. In Group L, Algeria beat the favourites Serbia to first place.


The biggest surprise here is definitely Canada beating Spain to the first spot.

Second Round

Beware: the world as you know is about to change.


Plenty of surprises in the second round. Despite not being a surprise, even the way England made the Italians look silly jumps to the eye, but pay attention to what Bolivia, Scotland and Australia had achieved, sidelining Poland, Belgium, and Argentina.


We are not done yet. Deniz’s France comfortably eliminated Morocco, but the same cannot be said of the favourites Germany, who got embarrassed by the Koreans once again. Sweden thrashed the Netherlands, and the Yankees eliminated Brazil.

Third Round


With that many surprises at the Second Round, the Third Round ended up having a crazy lack of balance in matchmaking. Deniz’s France eliminated Portugal, the champions of 2022, while Bolivia eliminated Australia and booked their place in the Quarter-final. England, Uruguay, Scotland, Cameroon, Spain and the USA live on for the next stage as well.

Quarter-finals


A bizarre wave struck England on July, 5th, 2030. Not only Bolivia beat Uruguay for a place in the semifinals, but England also found a humiliating way to bottle their World Cup chances. Scotland has the place in the semifinals, and the UK's capital has been rightfully transferred to Edinburgh.

In the 6th, France made a solid display by opening 2-0 over Spain and holding the Fury for the remaining 60 minutes. The USA made their best World Cup appearance ever, taking the last spot in the semifinals.

Semifinals


Kylian Mbappé avenged the English, which doesn’t mean they were happy about it. The French were in the final and with the best chances to lift the World Cup on English soil. The rivals will be the USA, who finally stopped the unstoppable Bolivians.

3rd Place Match


In the match for the 3rd spot in the general table, midnight struck Bolivia’s fairy tale and their carriage went back to a pumpkin. The Scots, commanded by a hat-trick scorer James Scott, completely overpowered the brave South American side (the only to reach the semifinals!).

Final

In the World Cup of surprises, the United States reaching the final wasn’t even that impressive. But they did, and congratulations to them. And I could go around and make one of that long description posts, making the winner a secret until the very end of the text…


… but Mbappé won’t let me. With 5 goals, making him the biggest goal scorer in a World Cup Finale ever, he made sure to make his legacy, not one WC, but two, making him one of the greatest ever. The USA even tried to get some goals back in order to make it look prettier, but the truth is that the French lifted the World Cup in English solid, with a German manager.

Asked during the celebration of France’s third World Cup about being a German manager winning the trophy with France, Deniz answered:

- More than German, I’m a citizen of the world, my friend.

FIN

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