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The Adriatic Adventure - FM11

FM 2011
Started on 26 September 2012 by tbendis
Latest Reply on 27 February 2013 by tbendis
  • POSTS113
  • VIEWS50416
Great win against Valencia :) Another major final on the horizon? :P

Valencia took an early lead with Roberto Soldado pounding the ball into the net very early, but Bendiš secured Hajduk's 16th straight victory, extending the record even further, with goals from Gianluca Tacconi, who has been playing brilliantly on the right wing, and Duje ?op. The target man, naturally, scoring with an easy, floating header just before the second half.

It was over as soon as Tacconi scored though, because it meant that Valencia needed another two goals, and even with Ton?i Kuko? missing due to a minor injury, Hajduk still kept it classy. For the first goal, it was Peter Zajac who swung in from the left, and, instead of shooting, spotted the fact that he was being covered by all four defenders, and, quite simply, passed the ball to an open Tacconi, who just tapped it into the net.

Duje ?op, on the other hand, got his goal while being covered by four defenders. But, seeing as he is one of the more physical players in the Champions League, there was no covering the man-mountain, and he rose above all four to send the ball into the net in the 39th. At that point, Valencia needed five goals in one half, and they did exactly none of that, letting the game finish at 2-1.

Hajduk go through, to face Porto in the quarterfinal, which, in Bendiš's opinion, is, by far, the easiest matchup they could have gotten.


Ivica Golik, the 15 year old, Chilean forward became the youngest player in the Croatian cup by over 100 days, as he debuted in Hajduk's 5-0 drubbing of Istra. Bendiš is looking to bring Golik into the Croatian first division as well, to take that record from Maro Topolnjak of Split. It seems that Split, as a city, is the host of some of the youngest players, as before Topolnjak, it was Ivan Džoni (now at Olympique Lyonnais) who was the youngest player. Džoni is still the youngest goalscorer, but, perhaps Golik could change that, as he has more than 100 days to change that.
16y14d Yohann Monnin of Valencia is the youngest ever player in the Champions League. Current Hajduk player, Atle Andersen (at the time Rosenborg) is the youngest Champions League goalscorer, at 16 years, 228 days.
If Golik scores in the Champions league final, he will be the youngest player to do so by three years, beating Patrick Kluivert
Good luck on the CL final! Anyways, a little expierence is good for the players :)!
Great win against Valencia and good luck against Porto! I am loving the post style you are doing, it is very attractive :P
Good luck against Porto another amazing year on the cards
2013-02-19 01:49#81562 The FM Rookie : Great win against Valencia and good luck against Porto! I am loving the post style you are doing, it is very attractive :P

2013-02-18 22:36#81523 PaukerJ : Good luck on the CL final! Anyways, a little expierence is good for the players :)!

2013-02-19 06:32#81577 AustralianFM : Good luck against Porto another amazing year on the cards

Seriously? You guys are spoiling me with all the comments!

Bendiš got it a little harder than he expected, a fine home performance by Antonio Fortes (regen GK, 22) kept the Portuguese team the clean sheet, despite so many excellent crosses, and a few fine attacking plays forced Hajduk to score three in front of their own fans.

Which they did, of course...

Despite the boring first half, where the man of the match went to Porto's goalkeeper, the second match, held only three days after Hajduk's draw with struggling Osijek, was quite the opposite. Defender, Marco Rossi (ITA, 28) got his head to a corner to open the scoring and scare the Hajduk players in a huge way, as they now needed two goals to go through. But it proved to be a fluke. Peter Zajac scored only 5 minutes later, before Mario Malo?a scored a header just before half-time.

Bendiš egged them on, and it paid off, as rising star, Gianluca Tacconi scored the third goal after a dazzling run on the right, cutting in at exactly the right moment to get the shot. Simon Vuk?evi? nearly got Porto the victory, after scoring in the 88th, but it was altogether too late.

MEANWHILE, Athletico Madrid made the biggest shock of the round by knocking out their 10-time champion neighbors in extra time. Sergio Agüero scored in the first, and the 115th minutes to bring the Spainiards to San Siro, where Milan knocked out Manchester United on a single goal at Old Trafford in the first leg.

Hajduk, however, continue their tradition, as they seek to beat everyone worth beating before they actually claim the trophy... if they can take out Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, that is.


Liverpool, who had a three point advantage in the winter, have lost it all, and are now in fourth place. The Merseyside team hasn't won a Premier league title since 1990, and this was thought to be the end of their drought. However, 26 years later, maybe, for Steven Gerrard, it wasn't meant to be after all.

Hajduk scored a, frankly, astonishing 7 goals over two legs, while Dinamo set the date for a rival cup tie in the final, leaving Hajduk's most difficult matches for last. Not only will (hypothetically) Hajduk have to face the Champions League finalist, but also it's biggest rival in the cup final for the treble.

Although, with this sort of performance they really have nothing to worry about. It is also important to note that Hajduk have not lost the Croatians Cup final. Under Bendiš, they simply don't lose it.

Also important to note: if Hajduk win this match, they will tie Dinamo's record of 10 Croatian Cup wins. If Dinamo win the two-legged tie, they obviously take the lead, 11-9.

Meanwhile: the goals:
Ondrej Kušnír ('10)
Ante Vukuši? ('36)
Ton?i Kuko? ('45)
Marko Livaja ('49, '67)

Duje ?op ('41, '43)

Bendiš announced his intentions to open his jazz café in Split at the end of the season. This is the same café that he was accused of embezzling money from the club to open, and, after nearly a year of fuss, he finally got all the permits. However, he was abundantly clear that the manager would concentrate on the season, for two reasons:
A.) at 23, he is still in top physical shape, and, in a worst case scenario, can sub as a target-man for Duje ?op. However, due to his knee problem, it is obscenely unadvisable for him to do so.
B.) ummm... Champions League... stress... difficult to do both at the same time, and worry about Platini

Pep Guardiola showed why Barcelona is still Barcelona, and, while Hajduk can definitely play with the big boys, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are a big boy. The scruffy Croatian club battled hard, but couldn't come away with the same kind of dominance that they had been showing against Real Madrid, Valencia, or even Porto. No, Barcelona outclassed them. And, suddenly, every football pundit in the world knows why:

The prevailing theory is that, with no prior knowledge, nor experience in the Spanish league, or against Barcelona, or even a team similar to Barcelona, Bendiš was out of his depth. He played an individual, flanking game against a team that had even fixed their centre backs' heights (G. Piqué, B. Höwedes), and, while Ton?i Kuko? and Ondrej Kušnír both got past their respective full-backs well and often, the final cross was missing.

On the other hand, Barcelona still play that (fucking annoying as hell) tiki-taka football. With 95 000 fans cheering Barcelona on, they got easily frustrated and overcommitted in tackles, leaving players like Neymar and David Villa, not to mention Lionel Messi, open on goal.

So, in that respect, Bendiš got lucky. With a defensive game, and only 2 shots on goal, Hajduk's captain managed to pull an away goal out of a hat, despite both Villa and Neymar scoring on Matej Dela?.

And, while it is understandable that teams play better at home, it would be unrealistic to imagine Hajduk come back from the way Barcelona dominated them. Bendiš said, after the match:

"It was heartbreaking to watch all the players try so hard to get to the ball, to get to players, only for it to disappear in front of their noses. There is a saying, 'to do something more than once and expect a different result is insanity'. I disagree. It is hope, and we had it, and we got something for it, when Jurica Buljat, who has been so good to us over the years, got up to head the ball home. People say we might need a miracle to get through for the third time. We don't.

"We just need our fans."

Girondins de Bordeaux and Internazionale both made the Europa League final, as Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund crashed out. Internazionale is having a terrible season so far, looking at a mid-table finish, and will probably fail to qualify for the Europa league unless they win it. Meanwhile Bordeaux is looking for a Champions league berth next season, currently in fourth place in France.

Manchester City, who, with Chelsea are both first in the premier league, has been dropping points left and right, along with the Londoners, while Leverkusen are in first place in the Bundesliga. Dortmund are third.

An overeager commentator ran off, with his headset still on, as Hajduk made the impossible, possible, and became only the seventh team to make three Champions League finals in a row. (Real Madrid, Benfica, Ajax, Bayern, AC Milan, Juventus) However, Bendiš is the only person, in the history of football, to enter the Champions League final, and possibly lose if three times in a row. The odds are enormous, and stacked firmly against the Croatian club, as, after they went through, a certain club called "AC Milan" also went through.

Hajduk provided one of the best rear-guard victories that was possible. Frano Mlinar naturally playing as a deep lying playmaker, as he does during defensive matches, simply flicking the ball up in front of Kuko?, Kušnír, Tacconi, or Zajac. But that didn't work, so he decided to take the shot himself. Mlinar, who had somehow drifted forward, ended up with the ball some 25, 30 meters away from the goal, and launched a beautiful curving shot into the top corner to bring Hajduk through on away goals.

Barcelona reacted by doing nothing, because they always play the same (*cough*boring*cough) game, so when Hajduk kept doing their job, it was no surprise that they scored a second, even more important goal. This time, Mlinar did his job, and flung one of his trademark long balls in front of Ton?i Kuko?. The enormous winger controlled the ball nicely, before dashing by Domenico Criscito and crossing the ball to a leaping Duje ?op, giving Hajduk 2-0, and, eventually, the win.

Dinamo's 3-0 victory over Hajduk wasn't enough (second string, non-important match, just before Barcelona... nothing to worry about), as Hajduk had already secured the victory for the Croatian First Division. It was a surprisingly more difficult season for the champions, who had only 89 points, a full 6 below last years. However, it still looks like a Hajduk player will be claiming player of the year. The most likely candidate is Peter Zajac, with 6 man of the match awards. Junior Viçosa of Dinamo, however, collected the golden boot for his first time though; beating out Zajac and ?op by only 3 goals.
so many updates just amazing, really enjoying it. I know you can win it man 3 times the charm

In a fantastic turn of events, Manchester City and Chelsea had a goalless draw on the last day of the season to insure that neither team won the premier league, while Liverpool beat Manchester United at Anfield to secure their first in 26 years, and, far more importantly, Steven Gerrard's first and last Premier League Trophy. The tears were openly streaming down the captain's face, as he looked onwards, clutching the trophy that had evaded him for so long, only to win it at the dying breaths of his football career.

Gerrard made exactly ten substitute appearances over the campaign, but it still counts, and the 35 year old can now look forward to a retirement, where the only trophies he didn't win were at the international level.

Liverpool and Chelsea finished with 80 points apiece, while Manchester City and Manchester United finished even on 79. Truly, a final day where all 4 teams could have come away with the win.

Bendiš has arrived at the Millenium Stadium in Wales, only a few hours before his team, as he preferred to take the road with a few friends. As is his custom, the Hajduk manager always takes a road-trip with some buddies from university to the Champions League final. The 24 year old met with the new-old AC Milan manager, who had also arrived early, Robert Donadoni, and both had some coffee, probably discussing the domestic season, where Hajduk was, yet again going for the treble, and Milan chasing the double.

Bendiš's friends, of course, were amazed that they were actually meeting Roberto Donadoni... and that the two men were exchanging signed match-kits by the whole team...

And they didn't even choke.

A squad hugely experienced with the Champions League final, more specifically, losing it, have finally debunked everything that was ever holding them back, as Jurica Buljat, who has been with the club for 11 years, lifted the massive trophy over his head to the roar of the capacity crowd in Cardiff. It wasn't so much Hajduk fans, although that was a huge percentage of the crowd, but really, just cheering for the underdog that made the difference.

And, as was expected, the match started early, when the Slovakian, Peter Zajac, got injured in the 7th minute, only to be replaced by the equally prolific Ante Vukuši?. Although Hajduk didn't stop, and the breakaway came just two minutes later, in the 9th. Oremuš took the ball from the sidelines, and made a simple pass to Duje ?op. ?op, getting closed down well, backed off and gave the ball back, to which Mirko Oremuš swung the ball in front of the net, for the massive Ton?i Kuko? to appear from nowhere and get his head onto the ball, and into the net. Valentin Stocker, who was tasked with marking the winger this evening, had his head in shame, but didn't make another mistake for the rest of the game.

Hajduk and Milan both had their share of chances, but none of them clear-cut, as Thiago Silva and Jurica Buljat were very vocal on both sides of the pitch organizing the defenses well. There were a few headed chances for both Ton?i Kuko? and Duje ?op, but David Ospina managed to keep them out of the net. Matias Ezequiel Schellotto received the first card of the night in the 48th minute, and the last minute of the first half.

Then, it was Milan's turn. While Hajduk went into the break stronger, it took, again, 9 minutes before Javi Martinez rushed into the box and connected on Alessandro Pato's cross to take it to 1-1. But, again, the match was reduced to a stale-mate. Milan relied on it's enormous midfield (5) while Hajduk was trying to get up the wings. But it wasn't happening, until, that is, Schellotto went in late on Ondrej Kušnír, who had just come in for the tiring Gianluca Tacconi. Schellotto picked up his red, and that was it for Milan, who desperately tried to park the bus, after playing so attackingly until then.

It didn't work. Frano Mlinar became the hero of Split, after a bit of scruffy play outside of the box gave him the opportunity to split Milan's defense, and find the onside Ondrej Kušnír to an open goal in the 85th. The final whistle was blown 7 minutes later, and, for the first time, the city of Split, more than 1 500 kilometers away from Cardiff, erupted, as the team who they had followed, who they had loved, and who loved them back, was coming back with the biggest trophy for the first time ever.

In 2012, Hajduk was in important negotiations with Duje ?op, Ante Vukuši?, and Mirko Oremuš, as they tried desperately to keep their most important players at the club. It is rumoured that Bendiš had each of the players in his office, and, not 10 minutes, later, the three came out and all signed long contract extensions with the club, to the dismay of every other team in Europe.

Apparently, this is how it happened:

"You three are all young, and playing in the city you grew up in. This is where you are from, this is the club you loved, trained in, and know everyone at. Duje (?op), you had a year in Portugal where you had a miserable time, and came back. Mirko (Oremuš), you went to Israel and did nothing for a year, only to come back. But now, you're here. And, I have to ask you, why would you ever leave.

"You see, I never transferred clubs. I stayed with GOŠK for my entire, short career. And, let me tell you something. Those guys in Manchester City don't care for the city they live in. Why would they, it's Manchester. They went for the money. But they don't like what they do. They live in a city they don't know, with people they don't love, to play in a club that doesn't win very often anyway. So, on the off chance that you do go and follow Arab money, what are you walking into.

"Your family lives here. Your friends. In fact, every single person you've ever known lives in this beautiful city, where the waves crash in the summer, and the beach is right next door. Hell, I take you guys to train on the beach when I'm not feeling up to it. But the people. They love you here. They don't follow you because of the trophies, because, let's face it, we've never won anything big. But they love you because of the fact that you are at home, fighting for them. That when you go to some far-off freezing municipality in Iceland, you are fighting for all the people you know, everyone you've ever met, everyone you've ever loved.

"And you love them for it, you honestly love them back. You vault into the stands after big matches, and you settle in the embrace of this beautiful city that you are a part of. You can't do that in England, in Spain, in Russia. Because there, you aren't part of them. They follow the team as an entity there. Here, they care for each, and every one of you. That's why there is a collective gasp when you fall on the pitch. That's why the stadium moves as you do, why there are people there, every single week, watching you beat yourself over the smallest things to make them happy.

"And you do that, because you care for them. It's a vicious circle. The trick is, if you start fighting for a new club, the fans won't be there to cheer you on, because you won't be at their stadium. So, when you are fighting for the new fans, they won't care when you fall. You're just another player to them. Here, you're a member of the family. No. Here, you are their hero. And, when you win here, you bring home memories to the people that love you.

"Honestly, when we win the Champions League, would you prefer to be dancing in the streets of Manchester, Barcelona, Milan, London, Moscow, or anywhere really... or would you prefer doing it here?"
Congrats on the CL win mate! This shows your class as an FM manager and that you are one of the bests. People will say that there is FM13, but this story is just... breathtaking. :P. Congrats on the wins against Barca and Milan. Your budget will be as huge as this site *HUGE*. That speech was 500% great man. Some huge signings and experienced players of Croatia. Kranjcar or Modric ;) or Kovacic?
CONGRATULATIONS You finally did and that bottom post is beautiful (no homo) you're an amazing writer keep it up hopefully next year you can make it back to back

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