Football Manager 2018 won't be released for at least another four months, but with the summer transfer window heating up, it's time to start thinking about the season ahead. Dedicated digital managers will already be making plans for their first few save games, and while there'll always be temptation to jump into the hot seat at Barcelona or Real Madrid, managing Messi, Neymar and co. doesn't exactly present a huge challenge.
Anyone can sign on with one of Europe's biggest clubs and coast their way to success every year. This can be fun for a season or two, but for many, FM's real joy comes from taking a less fortunate club, working around their limitations, and building them up to the same level as the aforementioned giants.
Prospering with these teams won't be easy. There'll be times when you'll want to smash your keyboard in frustration rather than hitting the space bar to continue, but your persistence will ultimately be rewarded, and the outcome should be much more satisfying than taking a shortcut to success with one of the world's richest sides.
From fallen giants to crisis-stricken underachievers, these clubs will test the full breadth of your managerial abilities.
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