What if… Qatar invested massively in Football

Qatar is hosting the World Cup in 2022. Questions of legitimacy and bribes are being thrown around everywhere, but the big concern for the Qatari FA is performance. The national team is, well to be plain, a bit shit, and something needs to be done if the country isn’t to embarrass itself on football’s biggest stage. So Qatar does what it knows best, it throws money at the problem. Can they attract enough high calibre players to improve the league and national team in time?

Yup I’m giving every club in Qatar megabucks in Football Manager 2015 (My favourite version, and most recent version owned). Sugar daddy status, massive sponsorship, heavy league bonuses. With a few promises thrown around, even the rest of the Gulf is in on it, with a £150-200M prize pot being stumped up for every edition of the Gulf Champions League. Now I know a lot of this is wildly unrealistic and that’s kind of the point, but there are some limits. Reputation starts at the original levels, you can’t sway people’s opinion overnight regardless of who you sign. And obviously the league structure remains the same, no real need to move away from old fashioned values, right?

For those of you unfamiliar with the Qatari league structure (basically everyone), the main league system only contains 18 teams. 14 in the Stars League, and the other 4 in the second tier, with 14 Reserve teams also in the second tier to pad it out to a full structure. 2 teams move automatically between the leagues through promotion and relegation, whilst 11th from the Stars and 3rd from the second tier battle it out for a place. These are then accompanied by 3 cup competitions: The Princes cup between all 18 teams, the Crown Princes Cup between the top 4 of last season, and the inevitable Super Cup, the Sheikh Jassem Cup. Top slots in the Stars league allow two teams into the Gulf Champions League, and 3/4 teams into the Asian Champions League. And that’s the boring explaining part done.

You may be thinking that 2022 is a bit soon to see any investment come through in the form of talented Qatari players. You’d be right, so the Qatari government have allowed some flex for this special occasion. 1 Years continuous residence as a professional footballer and you’ve got yourself a shiny new passport. Let’s face it, based on other sports that’s not actually that unrealistic?

So the stage is set, the stacks of cash are primed. Can Qatar become a global force on the domestic and international front?

2014/15

League Winner: Al-Gharrafa
Cup Winners: Al-Arabi, Al-Jaish
Continental Performance:
Asian CL – Group Stages, Gulf CL – Winner
Major Transfer: Abdelhak Nouri – Ajax to Al-Arabi – £3.4M
National Team World Ranking:
94th

Nothing major this year, Qatari teams slowly begin to hoard money from league results but have yet to open their wallets. Lekhwiya are already in the top 20 of the world financially, but not even megabucks can reel people into the “retirement league”. The world has changed very little from the real version.

The Qatari national team does about as well as can be expected in the Asian Cup, topping their group before being knocked out by eventual finalists South Korea. The Koreans end up losing to Australia.

 

2015/16

League Winner: Al-Jaish
Cup Winners: Al-Jaish, Al-Arabi
Continental Performance: Asian CL – Second Round, Gulf CL – Group Stages
Major Transfer: Tiago Silva (Regen) – Marseille to Al Sadd – £9M
National Team World Ranking: 80th

The world is beginning to see some of that Qatari cash as legends like Jem Karacan and Obi Mikel head to Al-Sadd in a £35M spending spree. The rest of the league sticks to their tight ways, and Al-Jaish somehow manage to keep the big spenders out of the Champions League with a double. Continental performance was still rubbish, so it’s clear teams have yet to get out of the QPR phase with their new signings.  Elsewhere Hull finished 6th, United won the CL but finished 11th, and Benitez is managing Barcelona. So maybe the world is falling apart.

Euro 2016 holds it’s realism briefly as England capitulate and exit at the Group Stages. From there on out it turns into wild fantasy, with Holland beating Serbia 4-0 in the final, and Scotland making it to the semi-finals. Like that would ever happen.

 

2016/17

League: Lekhwiya
Cups: Al-Sadd, Al-Jaish
Continental: Asian CL – Semi Final, Gulf CL – Semi Final
Major Transfer: Divock Origi – Juventus to Lekhwiya – £19.75M
World Ranking: 74th

Spending continues to escalate as other teams join the cash frenzy. Al-Arabi and Lekhwiya both spend £35M each, but it’s the star signing of Origi that brings home the title. The outside world has finally begun to pay attention as 12 of the richest 40 teams in the world now sit in Qatar. The lax nationality laws entice their first convertee, with Imoh Ezekiel proudly taking his place as the best Qatari national player. This seasons versions of things I don’t understand: Mancini takes charge of Hoffenheim.

 

2017/18

League: Al-Shahaniya
Cups: Al-Sadd, Al-Sadd
Continental: Asian CL – Quarter Final, Gulf CL – Final
Major Transfer: Vittorio Parigini – Al-Rayyan to Al-Sailiya – £28.5M
World Ranking: 73rd

Unsurprisingly the top transfer fee keeps rising, although for the first time ever it’s between two Qatari teams as Al-Rayyan make a £22M profit from Parigini. Al-Sadd have become the living definition of a cup team, whilst a surprising league win comes from Al-Shahaniya, a team that only reached the top tier 2 seasons previously. Mancini gets his life back on track by moving to Porto.

The World Cup manages to maintain some realism with both Spain finishing bottom in their group, and a final between Argentina and Belgium, the former winning 4-0. Having qualified legitimately (kind of), Qatar win a grand total of 0 points in the group stages.

2018 in transfers, some legendary Qatari names moving around.

 

2018/19

League: Al-Sadd
Cups: Al-Jaish, Lekhwiya
Continental: Asian CL – Quarter Final, Gulf CL – Winner
World Ranking: 91st

Even a title doesn’t guarantee safety in the Cash League, as Al-Shahaniya go from celebrating to preparing for life in the second division within a year. Al-Sadd finally shake off the “cup team” name and win, coincidentally the same year Arsenal win the Premier League. Maybe there’s something in the air. On the topic of Arsenal, Giroud becomes the first “big name” to take top scorer in the Stars League with 16 goals, having signed for Al-Arabi a few seasons before. Puncheon finds a new lease of life at Al-Rayyan, setting a league record for most assists in a season with 14. Transfers have reached a point where it’s constantly £15-25M for regens, so won’t be listed anymore.

The national team suffer disappointing performances in both the West Asian Championship and the Asian cup, seeing them drop to 91st in the world. The trophies go to Iran and Japan respectively. Belgium beat France to take the first ever Nations League title.

 

2019/20

League: Al-Sadd
Cups: Al-Sailiya, Al-Sadd
Continental: Asian CL – Final, Gulf CL – Winner
World Ranking: 88th

Franco Di Santo leads Al-Sadd to their second title in a row, with Arda Turan and Erick Torres also setting the league alight. Every team is now full of recognisable names and it is beginning to pay off as 2 teams get into the Asian Champions League semi finals. Chico Flores takes over the throne as the top Qatari national player after declaring the country his home and becoming a Sheikh. The turn of the decade breaks the world, with Reading finishing 6th, Sampdoria winning Serie A and Köln cementing a top 4 slot in the league alongside a Europa title.

France win Euro “everyone’s a host” edition, thanks to a penalty shootout victory over reigning champions Holland.

 

2020/21

League: Al-Sadd
Cups: Al-Shahaniya, Al-Arabi
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 3rd
World Ranking: 88th

Al-Sadd start to take their domestic success global, claiming both Champions League titles before falling to Corinthians in the Club World Championship. The rest of the world’s days are now numbered. For the first time since the start of the experiment the biggest transfer of the season is the wrong way. With the Saudi League also profiting from the Gulf Champions League handing out an entire country’s GDP, Al-Hilal fork out a whopping £43M for a promising regen from Al-Shahaniya.

Despite converting (paying for) Qatari nationals such as Lestienne, Parigini and Lucas Mendes, the team still manages to completely suck at the Confederations Cup. On the plus side, England manage to get their hands on silverware by winning the Nations League. As it’s the off-season for that competition though, I’m not actually sure it counts.

 

2021/22

League: Al-Sadd
Cups: Al-Ahli, Al-Sailiya
Continental: Asian CL – Final, Gulf CL – Final, Club World Champs – 3rd
World Ranking: 79th

The league has become a bit of a routine, with Al-Sadd taking their fourth title in a row. Not even the entrance of Mitrovic, Romeu and countless incredible regens can change the tune. Continental performance reminds strong, albeit with no wins. In the Club World Championship, Al-Arabi somehow manage to sneak in (with a bribe) due to the hosts qualifying as winners of the Asian Champions League and finish an reasonable 3rd. The miracle of the year happens in Köln, with the new German legends somehow stopping Bayern getting a 10th title in a row. And their regen left midfielder wins the Ballon d’Or. An all round amazing year in western Germany.

But the MOST important thing, the World Cup in Qatar. Crunch time for the whole country, with countless workers quite literally worked to death to lead up to this moment. And the team did… (drum roll please)… absolutely shit. Despite having a ridiculously easy group of Mexico, Ecuador and Bosnia, they still manage to suck balls and get 0 points. What a waste of time. I guess this whole thing is now just for my entertainment. At least someone is happy, as Portugal managed to 1-up their real life performance to beat France 2-0 in the final. Hooray.

The epitome of absolute disappointment.

 

2022/23

League: Al-Sadd
Cups: Lekhwiya, Al-Markhiya
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Final, Club World Champs – 5th
World Ranking: 86th

The winner is no surprise, Origi leads his team to title number 5. Behind them a £126M spending spree sees Al-Arabi manage to take 2nd, whilst Leighton Baines manages to set a new league record of assists in a season at 15, despite using a zimmer frame. In the Champions League, titles are becoming an expectation as the Qatari League becomes the most reputable in Asia. It won’t be long before the global domination starts. Athletic Bilbao run out of Basque children to harvest and get relegated.

Asia tries the “maybe if we ignore them they’ll go away”and refuses to let Qatar into the Asian Cup. South Korea take the trophy over Australia, in an exact reverse of the result from 8 years ago. Qatar sulks.

 

2023/24

League: Take a Guess (It’s Al-Sadd)
Cups: Al-Mesaimeer, Al-Sadd
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 3rd
World Ranking: 64th

The 10th season of the sugar daddy playpen brings Al-Sadd their 6th title. . They get nothing from the Champions Leagues however as Al-Ahli manage to clinch both titles in the same year, before once again getting 3rd in the Club World Championship. On the shores of not so distant Europe, Köln continue their meteoric rise with a Champions League win.

France have their traditional national team break down after doing well for a period and go out of the Euro’s at the group stages. Belgium beat their big brothers Germany 1-0 to take a first ever title.

 

2024/25

League: Al-Arabi!
Cups: Qatar SC, Al-Sadd
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 5th
World Ranking: 54th

AND THEY’VE DONE IT, Köln win the world! Uh-hum I mean… It seems Carlos Fierro was the kryptonite for Al-Sadd all along. A £5M transfer to Al-Arabi brings the end to the Al-Sadd domination, and Al-Arabi cap it off with an Asian CL win. Not even the signing of Anthony Martial can save Al-Sadd’s title chain.

Köln do in fact win the Club World Championships to become the best EVER, whilst FC Lorient bemuse the world by winning the Europa League and getting relegated from Ligue 1 at the same time.

 

2025/26

League: Oh… Al-Sadd
Cups: Al-Sadd, Al-Arabi
Continental: Asian CL – Final, Gulf CL – Winner
World Ranking: 26th

The world quickly corrects its error from last season and gives the title back to Al-Sadd. Gulf CL wins have paid off and Al-Sadd also become the richest team in the world. Now only reputation is in the way of world domination. In the outside world, Saint-Etienne win Ligue 1, Köln win the German League (Wooooooo) and Real Madrid beat Brighton in the final of the Europa League. That’s the future for you folks.

2026 means a World Cup, and Qatar qualifying beating New Zealand in the playoff, giving them another chance to hilariously disappoint. This time they get bested by the mighty Canada in the Group Stages. Holders Portugal don’t even qualify, as they get humbled by Scotland in qualification, whilst England beat Denmark in the Final to end 60 years of hurt. This year really was THE year, The Sun called it.

 

2026/27

League: Al-Sadd
Cups: Al-Sadd, Al-Arabi
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 5th
World Ranking: 22nd

With nobody caring about league performance, clubs start to focus on Continental results. In the Asian Champions League, 4 clubs make it an all-Qatari western half of the Quarter Finals, with Qatar SC coming out on top for the right to face Jeonbuk and eventually take the title. They then get battered by Monterrey in the Club World Champs. Valencia finally stop the big 3 taking all the La Ligas, Catania bizarrely win the Europa, and Spurs absolutely smash Roma 6-1 to take the Champions League. COYS!

In the Asian Cup, Qatar pulls out a result that makes me oddly proud. They ride luck and good results all the way to the final, where they stick it to long time bogey-team Oman with a 2-0 win. Qatar has actually won something, albeit not a World Cup and about 5 years too late.

It’s coming home!

 

2027/28

League: Al-Sailiya
Cups: Qatar SC, Qatar SC
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 3rd
World Ranking: 13th

Newly promoted Al-Sailiya create a cash loaded fairytale by immediately winning the league. There will probably be a film about their old-ish lead striker soon. Al-Arabi once again take both champions leagues, a performance which improves the reputation of the league up to a similar level as the Serbian and Egyptian leagues. Ok that’s not so great actually. Tottenham become the best in the world (naturally). Suck it Gunners.

The national team is becoming something of a force, a top 15 ranking followed by a complete shutting out of Japan in the second round of World Cup Qualifying shows that something in this might be working. At least I bloody hope so. Lowly Ukraine beat Holland 2-1 in the Euro Final.

 

2028/29

League: Al-Mesaimeer
Cups: Al-Arabi, Al-Jaish
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 4th
World Ranking: 16th

Al-Mesaimeer become the newest winners, claiming the title for the first time in their history and show the league is truly out of the clutches of Al-Sadd. They manage to add an Asian CL to their collection, but ultimately make no extra headway in the Club World Champs. No Qatari team has ever made the final. Over in the European CL, Spurs claim their second title in three years. Screw success for Qatar, this is the real story.

The national team continues its impressive record, winning the West Asian Championship by winning every game. The confederations cup offers sterner opposition and it’s here that Qatar suffer their first defeats since 2027. The team still manages a strong 4th place finish, and keeps every result respectable. This national team is honestly going places.

 

2029/30

League: Al-Sailiya
Cups: Al-Sadd, Al-Jaish
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 2nd
World Ranking: 24th

The big news comes from the Club World Championship, as Al-Arabi have a delightful run to get themselves into the Final before falling to Tottenham. As it is Tottenham I’ll allow it, Brendan Rodgers has done amazing stuff in his 12 years there. For Qatar it’s finally a step of progress. In other news, Qatari legend Vittorio Parigini becomes the national team’s best ever scorer, and then retires from the game.

Another 4 years another World Cup. Qatar finish top of their qualifying group to book their ticket to Spain. The team continues its good form to top a group with Portugal and Turkey, but fall on penalties to Germany in the first knockout round. To be honest, I’ll take it especially considering Portugal eventually reclaim their title with a win over Germany. That’s a draw with both finalists, solid.

 

2030/31

League: Al-Sailiya
Cups: Al-Sailiya, Al-Arabi
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 5th
World Ranking: 15th

Al-Sailiya win another title to exert their recent dominance over the Stars League. Al-Mesaimeer take their turn at a double Champions League win, but for the most part Qatar does nothing special this year. Instead the big news (for me) comes from both Tottenham and Köln winning their respective leagues. I swear I’m not actually a fan of Köln, but 2031 is definitely a good year.

Qatar face another Asian Cup, and obviously they take home the title once again. I say obviously, but god damn they’re exceeding my expectations by so much. A 8-1 smashing of China caps off a brilliant tournament for the Qatari team.

A (probably the) high point for Qatar, the 2nd win in a row.

 

2031/32

League: Lekhwiya
Cups: Al-Sailiya, Al-Arabi
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 4th
World Ranking: 18th

Lekhwiya win the league, Al-Arabi win the Asian Champions League once again to keep the alternating pattern with Al-Mesaimeer, and the world changes very little. Financially the Qatari teams have leveled out, so it remains to be seen whether any further improvements will occur. At least the national team looks like it still has some untapped potential.

Holland once again suffer the pain of being runner up in the Euros, this time to their German big brothers with a 4-2 scoreline.

 

2032/33

League: Al-Sailiya
Cups: Al-Rayyan, Lekhwiya
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 3rd
World Ranking: 37th

Al-Sailiya have become the new Al-Sadd, taking yet another league title and sweeping up both Champions League titles.

Over in the national team, another West Asian Championship trophy gets added to the collection thanks to a 1-0 win over Iran. Even in the Confederations (Redundant) Cup, the team retains its high level of performance to grab themselves a Bronze medal. The 1 year residence has seriously paid off, with almost every player being born outside Qatar. But you know, it’s the passport that counts.

 

2033/34

League: Al-Sailiya
Cups: Qatar SC, Al-Kharitiyath
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Final, Club World Champs – 2nd
World Ranking: 33rd

20 years in and the experiment looks like it may have reached its peak. The Stars League gets overtaken by the Japanese League as the best league in Asia, despite the continued Qatari dominance of the Asian Champions League, and only 6 Qatari teams remain in the top 40 financially. Al-Sailiya continue to greedily steal every trophy under the sun, taking the lead and the Champions League, before becoming the second ever Qatari team to reach the Club World Championship Final. Norwich finish 3rd in the Premier League, huh.

The national team also seems to have reached its peak, struggling through qualifying for the World Cup with a win over New Zealand in the playoffs. The misery is further deepened with a group of Croatia, Brazil and Germany, that they predictable finish bottom of. A shock occurs in the final, with Mexico beating Italy 4-1. Tacos all round.

 

2034/35

League: Al-Arabi
Cups: Al-Sailiya, Al-Gharrafa
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 2nd
World Ranking: 28th

The Stars league overcomes its minor blip to jump back to the number 1 league in Asia. Qatar SC make their way to the Club World Championship and clinch a fantastic win over Valencia in the semis, before falling to Corinthians in the Final. Still no win on the world stage.

Oman come back for revenge, breaking Qatari hearts with a victory in the final of the Asian Cup of penalties. The national team is looking further and further from its peak, also losing in the West Asian semi finals to Iran.

 

2035/36

League: Al-Arabi
Cups: Al-Arabi, Al-Arabi
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – 2nd
World Ranking: 22nd

Al-Arabi claim every trophy known to man on the domestic front, but it’s Al-Sailiya who have put their league hopes on the back-burner to focus on the Continental challenge. Once again they make it to the final, thanks to a win over Benfica, but this time Sao Paulo steals the trophy away. That final goal is so close, everyone can literally taste it. It tastes of champagne if you weren’t aware. Wait that’s alcohol, scrap that.

 

2036/37

League: Al-Sailiya
Cups: Qatar SC, Al-Mesaimeer
Continental: Asian CL – Winner, Gulf CL – Winner, Club World Champs – Winner
World Ranking: 25th

QATAR RULES THE WORLD. Al-Sailiya have what can only be described as a miraculous season, taking the league and both champions leagues. But no-one gives a shit about those, as it’s the incredible victory in the Club World Championship that takes the headlines. Victories over Zamalek, Cruzeiro and Chivas write Al-Sailiya into history books, and it’s confirmed that Qatar have the best team in the world (well not really but you know).

Oh and the national team lose to Lebanon in the West Asian semis, but everyone is too busy partying to really care. The players dry their tears with spare notes.

The road to victory

 

Objective Complete!

And with that victory the only real objective I set myself after 2022 is complete. It took absolutely no time for Qatar to dominate Asia, but the World proved a much tougher nut to crack, taking 23 seasons for a single Club World Championship title.

 

What next?

Despite that (incredibly lucky) victory, things have really plateaued for Qatar at this point. Even with chucking billions at it, the league still faces some sort of reputation ceiling for Asian Leagues, and breaking into the European dominance has proved tough going. I took a look at some of the behind the scenes numbers (cheated), and surprisingly it did seem like Qatar was still rising, albeit at the rate of a snail. So for the sake of interest, how about we speed things up for the next few years…

 

2037 to 2040

Al-Sailiya have taken complete control, winning every league title up for grabs. This leads to very little headway outside of Qatar, and every under performance in the Champions League puts the reputation of the only team looking likely to become a Global force at risk. The national team takes back the West Asian title, but fails miserably at both the World Cup and the Asian cup. The glory days have well and truly gone.

 

2040 to 2045

Every single title within this window goes to Al-Sailiya, whilst Qatar SC come second. Every. Single. Time. Al-Sailiya even become the record holder for the most Asian Champions League titles ever. The most unpredictable thing to happen is a non-Qatari team winning the Asian CL for the first time in 18 years, which is an absolute shock to the footballing world. The national team manages nothing of note except a single solitary Western Asian trophy, but still manage to somehow climb (bribe) back into the top 20 in the world.

 

2045 to 2050

Surprise! Al-Sailiya only win 3 out of the 5 titles, the other two going to Qatar SC. The two have fully established themselves as the elite teams in Qatar, with Al-Rayyan just about keeping them on their toes. The two also move on to hogging both the Asian and Gulf Champions Leagues, albeit with 1 trophy from each going to a different country. Honestly it’s like Asia isn’t even trying. Becoming a dominant force seems to pay off though, as Al-Sailiya once again become best in the world, beating Pumas in the Club World Championship. The national team manages to grab on of each of the Western Asian and Asian trophies, but still cannot get any further than the second round of the World Cup.

Stars League winners from 2037 to 2050. Al-Sailiya absolutely dominate.

The reputation of the Qatari league hasn’t moved a single point in the last 10 years, so with the conclusion of the 2050 World Cup the experiment is finally terminated. And basing it on the ambitions of turning the national team into a World Cup winning said, it’s safe to say the experiment was a failure. In Asia the investment of cash was an undoubted success, with Qatar taking 26 of the last 30 Asian Champions Leagues, and the national team having 10 actual trophies to put in their dusty trophy cabinet. But on a global scale cash just isn’t enough. Europe is woven into the very heart of football, and not even an enormous stack of money can change that. I think we’ve learnt a very useful lesson today, heart is just as just as important as cash in the beautiful game. Unless you want to become pretty damn good very quickly, then it’s very useful.

 

The state of the world

England

After a short stint trading titles, Man City dominate from 2020 to 2030. They are soon deposed by their noisy neighbours, with United taking 14 of the 20 titles. All of the big six take a title at some point, and remain at the top of their game. Tottenham string together 7 second places in 9 years with Brendan Rodgers becoming one of the world’s top managers thanks to two Champions League wins with Spurs, before retiring in 2035.

Spain

Up until the late 2030’s it’s very much the elite 3 of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico that keep everyone else away from the top. From that point Valencia muscle their way in and begin to dominate, including taking every title from 2046 to 2050. Malaga rise to join the elite ranks in the 2040’s and take second in every season of Valencia’s title chain. Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal are the biggest two teams to visit the Liga Adelante.

Germany

With Bayern staying at the top of their game, Dortmund fade into a mid table team and Leverkusen very quickly slip to 2. Bundesliga team. Taking over the mantle of title challenger is Köln who finish 5th or above in every season after 2015/16. Schalke and Bremen take a single title, whilst Wolfsburg being their resurgence in the 2040’s to add a few titles of their own.

Italy

Juventus start strong before Sampdoria come in to disrupt their title chain, and the two continue to trade blows for several years before AC Milan decide enough is enough and takes 6 titles in a row until 2035. From that point Juventus and AC Milan take turns having chains of titles. Catania become a European candidate for several years including winning a Europa League, before fading back to mid table. Fiorentina and Roma also take a title each.

France

PSG take 25 out of the 36 titles, with Lyon take 5 as second best. Monaco takes an incredibly strong liking to 2nd place, whilst Nantes become a consistent top 4 team in the last 10/15 years. Nice are probably the biggest team to relegated in real life terms.

Portugal

Easiest described as split into three sections. Porto take the first decade of the era, Benfica take the second and then hand back to Porto to finally get the 10 titles in a row both were chasing. Sporting and Braga both grab a title or two each, but the latter becomes more of a relegation battler towards the end..

Europe

No real consistency or tend with the winners up until 2030 apart from maybe 7 English winners in a row, after which United manage to take an incredible 11 titles in 20 years. Including 4 pairs of wins. Köln and Sampdoria become perhaps the “oddest” winners. Down in the Europa league the biggest surprises are wins for Lorient and Catania, as well as a win for Real Madrid over Brighton.

Man United’s Champions League record from 2030 to 2050.

International

Not many surprises in the international community. Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago somehow win the Gold cup, whilst Ecuador take a single Copa America in a win over Mexico. Oh and England winning a World Cup. Lets face it no-one in their right mind expects that.

 

One final test

Let’s go all out and give everything in Qatar maximum reputation. Clubs, Cups, Leagues, Country, all of it. It only takes until 2015 for things to kick off, including Al-Sailiya making the Club World Championship and second division Al-Markhiya bringing in Julian Brandt for £81M. By 2017 Lekhwiya take the Club World Championship thanks to Marco Reus. The national team gaining the highest reputation in the world instantly gives them amazing greyed out players, meaning they steamroll the Asian Cup and the Confederations Cup, before taking 3rd in the 2018 World Cup. Despite then recruiting talent like Kempf, Brandt and Emre Can, most players actually make the team worse, which leads to second round exit at the crucial 2022 World Cup. Yet another failure. Don’t say I didn’t try.

 

Final thoughts

I actually expected this to go way better than it did, at least from a Qatari point of view. Whilst I wasn’t expecting big names to flood over, I figured the cash might stimulate a good generation of solid regens that the national team could take advantage of. The 3 Asian Cup’s were not bad, and obviously the utter domination of the Asian Champions League was decent, but I guess continental strength also plays a part and Asia just doesn’t compare. Sorry China, it’s not going to be that easy.

Anyway it was a fun one to write about, and a fairly easy one to set up which hopefully starts me off on bigger and better experiments. I love doing this sort of thing, and making a 5000 word essay gives me the extra motivation to try it. If there’s any specific scenario you want me to try, it can be football related but could literaly be anything, on any game, do let me know. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and or even that it flows in some followable way. If you got this far, then thanks, you must be very bored.

 

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