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Grêmio FBPA - Season 3: Eternal Glory

After a humiliating relegation, an obscure young manager takes charge of his favorite club. In this story, he plans to lead his Imortal Tricolor back to glory; showing all that he'd do differently
Started on 1 December 2021 by Tango
Latest Reply on 3 February 2022 by Harleygator
@J_ames I changed tactics only for a couple of games, I kept the 4-2-3-1 going for most of other matches


III. Giving the league a chance

Season 2: Redemption (Part 3)

If the Gremistas dwell on the Copa Libertadores’ dream, the league is a competition that has been constantly neglected. Which is unfortunate, considering that I reckon that we have missed out on some opportunities to fight for the title just by not feeling any enthusiasm towards it. As one of my goals to change the mentality around the club, I think it is important to give the league a go.

In order to fight for the league title, we have to do some planning first: the state championship puts an uncomfortable pressure over the calendar, and a club that reaches all finals may play up to 79 matches in a single season!

So the best strategy to be competitive in all competitions is to make up for the crazy calendar in times of calm. And the initial fixtures between the end of the Copa Libertadores’ group stage and their knock-out rounds are a golden chance to pull ahead before it gets all cramped up. Considering that we played the last match against Barcelona with our subs and kids, we’ll have 18 matches until La Copa is back, with only 2 Copa do Brasil fixtures in between, against a Série B side that can be handled by our substitutes.

2023 Brasileirão Série A

Fixtures - First 19 rounds

And I am glad the lads picked up the message. We returned to Série A in a goalless affair against Fluminense, and had a shaky start all things considered, despite a great win over the current champions Atlético away from home. From June onwards is when we can clearly state that we picked up the pace. Facundo Torres brought even better quality to our squad, and Igor Paixão is making me forget that I even brought Ponce.

The stonking 4-0 victory in the Grenal became nothing compared to some of our results in July, specially the incredible 9-0 over Corinthians, in a match in which Ponce wanted to make a statement that he could indeed compete against Paixão.

Standings - After 19 rounds

We have quite the margin, eh. Not bad for our return year to the Série A. In Brazil, it is customary to say that so many things happen between the first day of the season and the start of the competitions for real that the balance of power can be hugely shifted and predictions at the start of the season mean nothing. Here, we can get to this conclusion from the fact that Atlético’s finances were worn out by their recent overspending, and the club that overpowered us at the Supercup now lies 14th at the table.

The great surprise is the ongoing project in Fortaleza, getting them to second in the league table commanded by the Argentine Juan Pablo Vojvoda, leaving behind many clubs with bigger budgets.

2023 Copa do Brasil - 3rd round

As predicted, our subs and kids were up to the task of taking on Ituano. The next round will be played against Santos, and our subs will definitely get back to the bench.
79 games in a season would be ABSOLUTELY NUTS! I've complained about the schedules in some of my saves in previous editions of the game, but I've never had anything like that, bar my save on [I think] FM14 or FM15 where I did a Grêmio Barueri save. After that... I never did a Brazil save again! Thought it's something I've been considering in recent times.

I guess the key is regular rotation, and having some great youth/reserve players so that you can give your first choice players a rest if possible. There's so many moving parts to this save, and I think that's one of the most interesting things tbh. You're getting some good results atm, and I'm sure the Grêmio fans are loving life!

Keep up the good work :D
I like to rotate often, so I prefer longer seasons with more matches, but 79 is taking it a bit too far, especially when you consider there's usually a month or two for summer break.
just to be clear about the projection of 79 matches, it is not my case this season, as the maximum I'd play would be ~~only~~ 77 xD

79 is for those who reach the finals of the Sudamericana and Copa do Brasil, because when you are not in Libertadores you start CdB from round 1

@J_ames yeah, I feel that this calendar makes playing FM in Brazil painful for non-Brazilians. And in the episode below you'll see that rotation is indeed important!

@Harleygator in Brazilian football there is usually 1 and a half months of summer break between December and January, and it gets even more nuts in World Cup years. Often, the calendar keeps through Copa América, and you play short of a lot of players who are with their national squads


IV. The more, the merrier!

Season 2: Redemption (Part 4)

About half of the season comes the most dreaded period for fans of successful clubs in Brazilian football: the European transfer window. It is a bummer that Europe comes strong to our players in the middle of an ongoing season (rude!), and sometimes the harassment is so strong that nothing can be done other than just let go.

On top of that, there is still the fact that I mentioned in the previous episode: the calendar is so heavy that keeping competitive in all 3 competitions is a herculean task. We need to add players, and Europe will probably take them out.

So my strategy for this window is to let one help the other. We need options in our squad in order to keep everyone fresh and fit for the rest of the season, and for that we need money. Europe wants our players, and they have money. So you see where I’m going with this.


England and Portugal were the main destinations of our players. Salcedo is off to Chelsea, as it is hard to convince a player not to go to Chelsea (even if they're not likely to play often there), and Campaz went to Sporting for the cash. Their money was used to bring most of our incoming players, with the sale of Jean Pyerre bringing even more cash at the end of the European window.


This window was spectacular for bargaining. Steal after steal, I think our squad is even stronger than it was before the departures. As always, let’s get to know them a little bit better:

Gianfranco Chávez, centre-back, 24 years old: the first steal came from the Peruvian giants Sporting Cristal and will fight for a spot in the starting XI. An excellent all-rounder, just as physical as he is technical. His only issue is the aerial game, as he is really short for a centre-back.

Bruno Fuchs, centre-back, 24 years old: I brought him for his cheap price, his potential to be resold, his quality as a possible substitute, but, more specially, the lol. He started his career at Inter and was a protagonist in Grenal brawls. I just thought it would be funny to bring him.

Mailton, wing-back, 25 years old: with the departure of Leo Gomes, we fell short of a replacement option for Vanderson, and I think Mailton is the guy for this job.

Matías Lacava, winger, 20 years old: for a handful of coins, I brought a very promising talent from a small Venezuelan club. An agile dribbler, he can go directly to the bench, without having to endure the youth squads.

Thiago Maia, defensive-mid, 26 years old: another fantastic steal, he was for some reason sidelined by Stuttgart. A powerful marker that also knows how to support the attack, he is going right to the starting XI.

David Martínez, centre-back, 25 years old: the most expensive signings of this season is the Paraguayan defender, who’s had some success playing at Defensa y Justicia, a small Argentinian club that frequently comes up with surprising continental campaigns. He is another technical defender, as I seek to privilege ball playing defenders over no-nonsense centre-backs.

Matías Zaracho, attacking-mid, 25 years old: by far the most unbelievable steal of the season, I just cannot believe that I managed to bring him in by such a ridiculous amount. He’s been one of the main players in Atlético Mineiro, and even though he will not be able to play most matches this season (as he has already played for Atlético, and it INCLUDES the league), he will sit out until the end of the year. Regardless, the bargain was too good to ignore.

With our new additions, our starting XI is supposed to look like this:

While Zaracho is ineligible, Thiago Maia will take over Jean Pyerre’s responsibility to bring the ball from the defense towards the attack. Our backline has been completely transformed, as Salcedo left the squad and Geromel is finally aging down. In front, Torres, Kenedy and Ferreira will be responsible to feed Paixão the goal scoring opportunities that he seldom misses.
Some big deals going out, whilst you've brought in more players than you've let go: a smart tactic. Not gonna lie, I was a bit confused by the transfer values, but I think I worked it out in the end. The deals of Prego, Carlos, Lipe, and Kerve Kesio couldn't have cost a combined €235m! Lol.

It'll be good to see how quickly the new lads adjust to life at Grêmio, and hopefully they can hit the ground running.
@J_ames yeah, that's why I decided to go with Brazilian currency instead of showing one more familiar to you guys. Poaching talents from small club is a ridiculously cheap affair in this game


V. Hegemony and pride

Season 2: Redemption (Part 5)

Despite our good run between 2015 and 2019, one small thingy has bothered the Gremistas, a bittersweet mishap that happened in a moment of joy: the loss of hegemony in the Copa do Brasil.

You see, Grêmio is known as one of the most copero* clubs in Brazil, maybe the most in the category. So being the club with the most Copa do Brasil titles was a condition of pride for the fans, especially after the 5th Cup in 2016, isolating Grêmio at the top of the ranking.

*Copero: Spanish word for a club or even a player that usually does well in cups

Two years later, however, we lost the accomplishment, as Cruzeiro came on to win the CdB twice in a row, tying the record in 2017 and overtaking us in 2018. Of course, these trophies charged Cruzeiro an incredibly high cost, as they failed to get away with spending more than they could pay.

But the record stands. With the title last year, we tied it back, 6 to 6. Just one more and we’re on the top again, and this time it is rather unlikely to see Cruzeiro win anytime soon.

So without further ado, let’s get to it.

2023 Copa do Brasil

4th Round vs. Santos

  • Leg 1 - Porto Alegre
  • When you play first at home against a strong side, you have to be sure that you start strong. And we did just that, opening the scoreline within 4 minutes with Sabino, and then getting the second in the first half of the first half from Facundo Torres. In the second half, Kenedy got a third, and Santos only got a consolation goal with Jobson at 86’. We even had time in the added time to add a fourth.

  • Leg 2 - Santos
  • Given the large advantage, I chose to play anti-football at Santos. And it worked: they had trouble attacking and only found a late goal with Lucas Braga with 3 minutes to go.

    Quarter-Finals vs. Vasco da Gama

  • Leg 1 - Porto Alegre
  • It took us a while, but everything worked out in the end. After a goalless first half, we got to open 3-0 in the second half, only to concede a warning goal within injury time.

  • Leg 2 - Rio de Janeiro
  • Vasco, however, came strong for the second leg, and scared us with an early goal at 4’. Fortunately we managed to profit from a strong showing from Ponce and Ferreira, who scored our 3 goals for another 3-1 win.

    Semi Finals vs. Fortaleza

  • Leg 1 - Fortaleza
  • Fortaleza, the sensation from the past seasons and a rising star in the hands of Juan Pablo Vojvoda, heard our advice and came strong for a first leg at home, opening the score with Quintero 18 minutes in. Reaction only came at minute 70 after a lot of impatience and yelling from my end, until we finally got a penalty converted by Ponce. Then Kenedy decided to wake up, turning the game around at 78’ and assisting Villasanti to the 3rd goal at 86’. 5 minutes into injury time, Fortaleza got themselves back in the game, but it ended 2-3.

  • Leg 2 - Porto Alegre
  • But there was no hope for the brave Fortaleza after we opened 2-0 in 6 minutes. In the end, we still had an entertaining affair despite the lack of competition, winning it by 5-2.

    Finals vs. Coritiba

  • Leg 1 - Porto Alegre
  • Despite not being exactly new to Copa do Brasil finals, Coritiba was a big surprise in this competition, knocking out Flamengo in the quarter-finals and then knocking out the other big surprise Vila Nova in the semifinals. In the final, however, they were no match. Igor Paixão destroyed his former club with 5 goals, in a match that ended 8-1 in total.

  • Leg 2 - Curitiba
  • Leg 2 should not even have happened. It was their unmotivated players against my subs and kids, setting a not final-like mood for the last game of the Copa. In the end, after some kicking about, Bruninho decided to show some service and lead the 3-0 victory.

    That’s how pride was reset. Not that complicated, I recognise that. The draws and the surprises along the way did help a bit, but the important thing is that we are back in the top of the Copa do Brasil ranking, with 7 titles against Cruzeiro’s 6. With still the league and the Copa Libertadores to go, I believe that we can do a lot more this season.
    You've moonwalked to the Copa do Brasil title, and to take back the bragging rights of winning it the most times: even better! The goalscoring potential in your team is quite nuts tbh, you've managed to score 3 or more goals in all but 1 of your games. When you can score goals that easily: wins are always likely to come.
    Might be seen as a negative as such to be a "cup team" but any silverware is greatly appreciated by the fans and another title to be added to the cabinet with a record to boot, will please everyone.
    qual database você tá usando???
    @J_ames I haven't been exactly impressed with our defending, but as long as our strikers and midfielders keep finding goals like they've being, I reckon we'll be fine

    @TheLFCFan well, in South America it is not that negative, as knock-out competitions tend to be seen as a fight to the death, which we appreciate really well, so cups hold far more prestige than they do in Europe, and most countries have a Libertadores spot dedicated to their national cups!

    @geozin07 cara, como eu comecei esse save logo depois do lançamento do jogo, não tinha muita db disponível e eu fiz a minha própria. Imagino que nessa altura do campeonato já deva ter mais
    Just caught up with this now mate. Incredible performances both on the pitch, and off it with that transfer business. Scoring goals for fun!
    @Jxgsaw_ yeah, it has quickly turned our way, hasn't it?


    VI. Party like it’s 1996

    Season 2: Redemption (Part 6)

    Kids, sit down for the history lesson, please.

    The date is December 15th, 1996. Just a few days before the Holidays, Grêmio and Portuguesa were making the Finale of the Série A.

    Back then, the league had a knock-out round and finals. 24 clubs played that Série A edition, and after playing each other once, the best 8 qualified to the quarter finals. Grêmio had qualified in 6th, whereas Portuguesa qualified 8th. Grêmio had eliminated Palmeiras and Goiás in the quarter finals and semifinals respectively, and Portuguesa, the surprise of that season, eliminated the rivals from Minas Gerais, Cruzeiro and Atlético Mineiro.

    Interestingly, all clubs that qualified from 1st to 4th were eliminated in the quarter finals.

    Although 6th is not at all an impressive position, Grêmio had the advantage of a draw for the Finale, as 6th is evidently better than 8th. This advantage came to be important, as Portuguesa won the first leg 2-0, and with 84 minutes out of the clock, Grêmio was winning the second leg for just 1-0, from a goal that Paulo Nunes had scored back in the 3rd minute of play.

    Grêmio had missed plenty of chances to get the second, but had been saved by hesitation from the strikers of the Lusa. With 5 minutes to injury time, Grêmio was already just sending the ball to the box with the blind hope that someone would eventually score. But it was from one of these pretentious long balls from Carlos Miguel that Grêmio could celebrate the title: after a poor clearance from Lusa’s centre back, the substitute Aílton had a clean chance to first-time it to the back of the net and bring the trophy to Porto Alegre, and so he did.

    Aílton celebrates his banger. Ph: Agência Estado

    Why am I bringing this up right now? Well, first because it was back in 1996. I was just a few days away from completing my first lap around the Sun. Now I am managing the very club I was born loving and we still have as many Série A titles as we did back in December 15th, 1996. It's like we are stuck in time.

    From then on, other 10 clubs have been national champions: Corinthians (6 times!), Cruzeiro, São Paulo, Flamengo (3 times), Vasco, Santos, Fluminense, Palmeiras (twice), Athletico Paranaense, and Atlético Mineiro (once). Grêmio won the Copa do Brasil 5 times (1997, 2001, 2016, 2022, 2023) since 1996, already counting our triumph this season. We lifted the Copa Libertadores once (2017) in this timespan.

    I’m bringing this up because this is what we are going against. A 27-year taboo, a taboo just as old as myself, and the fact that Grêmio never won a national title in the round-robin format, applied since 2003. More than that, we even got to be the club that scored the most points in the 2010s decade, or something like that. But always coming 2nd, 3rd or 4th.

    So we have quite the responsibility on our hands.

    2023 Brasileirão Série A

    Fixtures - Last half of 2023

    First and foremost, I want all Gremistas to understand that we are a different club now. We survived long trips around the country, we declined to use the cups as an excuse, and we rotated the squad when necessary, getting away with it because we have the depth that a long season requires.

    Final Table

    We had an amazing season, falling short of meeting Flamengo’s 2019 record by a single point. Palmeiras had a fantastic half-season and came close, but our unstoppable sequence in the first half-season gave us all the fat we needed to burn to keep ourselves ahead. With 83 points, Palmeiras would have been champions in all Série A seasons since the consolidation of the 20 clubs round robin format in 2006, with the exception of 2019 and 2021.

    2023 Copa Libertadores de América

    As I keep saying, we have A LOT of games to play. We have the Copa of the Copas, the most important thing in the world among the least important things in the world, La Gloria Eterna, as it is Libertadores’ motto in Spanish.
    Second Round vs. Liga de Quito

    We were drawn to face another Ecuadorian club, and this time we could not escape the altitude. We would play Liga de Quito, some 2800m above sea level.

    Leg 1, Quito
    Even with the shortage of breath typical of such high altitudes (maybe because FM simply ignores the effects of altitude on footballers), we played crushing football. Scoring goals for fun, we banged Liga’s nets seven times, but I wonder if we could have maybe avoided conceding twice.

    Leg 2, Porto Alegre
    Not that it would have made any difference. Back home, in a rather protocolar match, Liga entered the pitch not to be overpowered again whereas we… We were thinking about something else already.

    Quarter finals vs. Atlético Mineiro

    The Atlético that we faced in the Copa Libertadores’ quarter final was very different from the one that did us in the first official match of 2023, in the Supercup. Their finances have crumbled, and we poached their best player just to leave him training preparing for 2024.

    Leg 1, Belo Horizonte
    35 minutes of glory were enough to pretty much liquidate the entire qualification. Sabino was on fire and scored a hat-trick only with headers. Legend. Torres scored the other goal.

    Leg 2, Porto Alegre
    Atlético had only pride to fight for, but they came for it. Our strikers had all the space in the world to score, but they also bagged a few. 3-3 would be a fair result, but they are so short-staffed because of the players who departed, that our youngsters had a party in their backline in the last 15 minutes of play and added another 3.

    The Copa Libertadores ended before the Série A, but its final stages deserve their own story. With more details, you can wait for me to bring the story of what happened in our semifinal against Palmeiras, the club that beat us twice in the league.
    This season is the stuff of dreams for many of the Grêmio fans, and I'm sure that you're putting a smile on every face on the terrace, as well as throughout the city! What a season! I'm kind of surprised to see Fortaleza as high as they are on the table, and I would've preferred Bragantino to go down, but other than that: I'm just so impressed.

    Best of luck in the latter stages of the Copa Libertadores mate :D
    Amazing to see all those years of hurt have come to an end!

    An absolutely unreal season, that goal difference in itself is remarkable.

    Carrying on the goalscoring form in the Copa Libertadores too which is great to see, albeit the hiccup at home to Liga de Quito but we can forgive the boys for that!

    Looking forward to seeing how the semi final panned out!
    Wining the Brasileirao Serie A at the first time of asking is very impressive, but this Libertadores run is making Jorge Jesus's Flamengo a few years back look like an average season!

    You are reading "Grêmio FBPA - Season 3: Eternal Glory".

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