10 Football Manager Legends Who Flopped In Real Life

9. Sherman Cárdenas

In the game:

As a sixteen-year-old wonderkid, Colombian midfield genius Cárdenas was one of the most desirable players on both Football Manager 2006 and 2007. An investment of just £2 million to his hometown club Atlético Bucaramanga could secure you a talent who could both create and score in abundance.

In reality:

Like fellow South American prodigy Nicolás Millán, Cárdenas is still playing. And, like Millán, that big move to Europe never materialised despite several rumours.

Following an impressive set of performances for his country at youth level, at the age of twenty Cárdenas left Bucaramanga for Millonarios, one of Colombia's top clubs. From there, however, his career momentum just stalled.

Cárdenas spent the next decade as a journeyman player across several clubs in his home country, Brazil, and Ecuador, never a complete failure but never really fulfilling his early promise either. He recently returned for a second spell with Atlético Junior, last year's runners up in the Colombian league.

While some Football Manager legends have been happy to embrace the additional fanbase that the game has given them, Cárdenas has blamed the popularity of the management sim for creating over-inflated expectations of his abilities among both fans and coaches.


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