The Soccer Manager series has always been known for its massive database of teams and players. There are countless countries and divisions which combine to create an immersive virtual football world. With so many choices, picking a club can sometimes be more of a challenge than it might seem. Picking the dominators is always an option, but there are also some hidden stories waiting to be brought to life. It’s the same case this year, with the season prior, as well as the recent Summer Transfer Window, being packed with ups and downs throughout and we brought you the 10 best challenges to accept in Soccer Manager 2023 from all the clubs.
Here’s a list of the 10 best clubs in Soccer Manager 2023 that have been tagged as the “ones-to-watch” by football fans, based on the following information. Whether you are new to the series, or you know the game like the back of your hand, there will definitely be a challenge fit for everyone!
10 best clubs to manage in Soccer Manager 2023
1. Manchester City
Pep Guardiola has put everything on a plate at Manchester City. A solid tactical foundation and a world-class crop of players mean it’s likely this team dominates for years to come, regardless of whether Guardiola stays or leaves. For newcomers to the series, this is a perfect starter team. There are barely any issues to rectify, and perhaps the only thing missing is a Champions League trophy. With guys like Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, and Joao Cancelo around, this shouldn’t be a hard challenge.
2. FC Barcelona
Ever since Xavi took control, Barcelona has looked much more like its older self. There’s something to look forward to, with bright youngsters like Pedri, Gavi, and Ansu Fati. The Catalans had a busy Summer too, they managed to bring in several top players like Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Jules Kounde. Theoretically, it’s only time before they get back to competing for UCL titles again. Particularly for newcomers, this is a small taste of what a rebuild looks like, and a fun way to get into Soccer Manager 23.
3. Newcastle United
With brand new multi-billion pound owners, Newcastle is looking like the next team to make a potential breakthrough. The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, with a net worth of about £320 billion, has already invested in some marquee signings, and there’s no doubt we’ll see some more soon.
SM23 has given the Magpies a budget of £42.5m – £50m which should be enough to fund a couple of new signings nicely too. The challenge here is to carry on their planned takeover and eventually become the champions they were just under a century ago.
4. Nottingham Forest
At the end of last season, Nottingham Forest ended their 23-year absence by earning promotion back into the Premier League. Famously known for their back-to-back European Cup wins back in 1979/1980, it’s nice to see Forest back in England’s top flight. In a bid to make their stay permanent, some may say they’ve gone a little over the top, but the idea is commendable.
With a record-breaking 22 incomings, including players like Renan Lodi, Emmanuel Dennis, and Jesse Lingard, Forest already look stacked with personnel. The task is to ensure Forest stays in the PL and then work towards a third European trophy to add to the cabinet.
5. SO Cholet
SO Cholet currently resides in the French National League and is one of the many potential road-to-glory opportunities. What makes this one different though, is the fact it features one of the smallest stadiums in the game, with a capacity of just 700.
In contrast, the biggest stadium in that league holds 25,000 seats. Guiding SO Cholet up the French league rankings is not enough, upgrading the stadium is a necessity and might take some financial investment as well which adds another layer to the challenge.
6. Derby County
Derby County is probably at the lowest point in its history right now, even lower than its points total back in 2007/08. They currently sit in the EFL League One after relegation from the Championship last season. To make matters worse, their fierce rivals, Nottingham Forest, just earned a promotion to the Premier League and are loving life right now. It would be an interesting story if Derby somehow managed to get back to the Premier League to reignite the historical East Midlands derby – and that is a great challenge to attempt in SM23.
7. Oldham Athletic
Does the name sound familiar? Diehard football fans of English football might remember. Run the years back to the 92/93 season, when the Premier League made its debut. Among the 22 teams was Oldham Athletic, who finished 19th in that season, just escaping relegation on goal difference.
By the 97/98 season, Oldham was sitting in Division Two (now known as EFL League One). Each year, they were falling further and barely showed signs of improvement. At the end of the last 21/22 season, the club dropped to the National League, becoming the first-ever Premier League team to play non-league football. Either they keep falling from now, or someone comes in to turn the ship around and lead the club back to where it started.
Brazil is home to many of football’s best talents: Pelé, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Neymar Jr, and someone who could see being added to the list, Vinicius Junior. Who knows when the country’s next gem is born, or maybe it has already. The Brazilian Serie A is a popular Scouting spot to find youth talents, and Palmeiras is a club that seems to have a fair few.
Starting an SM23 career with Palmeiras is a challenge with a slightly different aim. Club success should not be too much of a challenge. Instead, the main idea is to try and grow the youth players into world-beaters. Keep searching for wonderkids then develop them to eventually sell on for a tidy profit. For those that are maybe looking for something different from the traditional football manager objectives, this is a promising idea.
All the way back in 1971, a Greek team called Pananthinaikos reached the final of the European Cup. Although they fell short, no other Greek team has reached that level ever since. The challenge is quite clear, carry the team back to where they were more than 50 years ago, and this time, get the job done. Pananthinaikos don’t exactly have a special crop of players, but there’s potential, and enough funds to kick-start the save too.
10. Creating your Club
SM23’s brand-new mode lets players create their own club from scratch, then carry it from the country’s bottom division to the top. All the players are randomized, so it has that challenge element too. If none of the actual teams in those leagues look appealing, why not make your own?
Customized clubs feel more personal and give a greater sense of achievement upon victory. For those that enjoy a road-to-glory campaign, this is a great option to try out.
What are your opinions on the Soccer Manager 2023: 10 Best Clubs to Manage? Do let us know in the comments!