Football Manager 2020: Man Utd, Beckham's Inter Miami & 10 best teams to manage on the game

Zlatan Ibrahimovic David Beckham Paul Pogba
Getty/Goal composite
What sort of challenge are you looking for? Take control of a European behemoth or maybe you want to set the course for World Cup glory

The world of football may be paused indefinitely, but the game goes on in Football Manager 2020

The management simulation was made available to play for free during the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, with the game's developers keen to offer football fans something to fill their time during enforced lockdown.

If you're among those playing the game for the first time, or if you're simply looking for advice on who to play with, Goal takes a look at clubs you should consider managing in the game.

Manchester United

Transfer budget Wage budget
£107 million £3.7m

Can you do what David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and - so far, at least - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn't?

Manchester United haven't managed to win the Premier League since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 and, if truth be told, they don't look like doing so any time soon.

But you could change all that, right?

If you take the reins at Old Trafford in Football Manager 2020, you will have over £100 million of a transfer budget to play with; who will you sign?

How will you handle the apparently interminable Paul Pogba situation? Will you seek to emulate past glories by emulating Fergie's Fledglings and giving the youth a chance?

The Red Devils already boast a formidable squad, but expectations are high at one of the biggest clubs in the world, so you will be expected to hit the ground running, or else risk the wrath of the fans and board.

Paul Pogba Manchester United


Transfer budget Wage budget
£14 million £0.8 million

Serie A upstarts Atalanta are the pride of Bergamo and have been hailed as "the best pound for pound team in the world" after their exploits in the 2019-20 Champions League.

Take control of the club in Football Manager to stick it to Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli, whose comments about Atalanta not boasting "international history" implied that they were not deserving of their place at European football's top table. Maybe the time has finally come to end the Bianconeri hegemony on football in the Italian peninsula?

It won't be an easy task to win the Scudetto and remain at the top of Italian football at first, considering Atalanta have a relatively small budget to work with compared to the likes of Juve, Inter, AC Milan, Napoli or Roma. However, with players such as Josip Ilicic, Luis Muriel and Maarten de Roon in the squad already, there is a solid base to work with.

The northern Italian city has suffered incredible heartache and tragedy at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, so guiding the club to the top in the virtual world would be a nice tribute.

Leeds United

Transfer budget Wage budget
£0.9 million £0.38 million

If you take over Leeds United in Football Manager 2020, you'll be booting Marcelo Bielsa out of a job and you'll be expected to do what he couldn't: get promoted to the Premier League.

The Yorkshire club are considered among the favourites to win the Championship, but England's second tier is a remarkably volatile competition, packed with teams all of similar fortitude.

Leeds have all the tools required to get back to the summit of English fooball, with players such as Patrick Bamford, Ben White and Kalvin Phillips in the squad, but you might feel inclined to look at the loan market for reinforcements in order to ensure the job is done.

Once you are promoted, that's when the fun really begins, with the concomitant riches of the Premier League allowing you to flex your muscles more in the transfer market - though the main job then will be staying up!

Athletic Club

Transfer budget Wage budget
£30 million £1.08 million

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are the obvious choices if you want to manage in La Liga, but, if you're after a very particular challenge, try sitting in the hot seat at Athletic Club.

The Basque club are famous for their approach to player recruitment, which sees a heavy emphasis based on using players having a connection to the region, mainly through birth or descent, or else having come through the ranks of a Basque club.

That means the club is rather limited in terms of which players can be signed, so you won't be in the market for someone like Jadon Sancho or Erling Haaland, for example. But that doesn't have to be a barrier to success. 

Los Leones' squad includes stars like Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams and Inigo Martinez, with impressive training facilities, not to mention youth structures that are among the best in Spain.

Paris Saint-Germain

Transfer budget Wage budget
£76.3 million £4.1 million

Will you be the person to deliver the Holy Grail for Paris Saint-Germain?

The frighteningly wealthy Parisians have become the dominant force in French football and they are set to continue that status in Ligue 1 for the foreseeable future, but the thing they most desire is the Champions League.

Despite spending big money to bring players such as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria to the French capital, PSG have floundered in Europe under Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc, Unai Emery and Thomas Tuchel. You can change that.

How will you approach getting the best out of Neymar? Perhaps you might dispense with the mercurial Brazilian and maybe you'll try to implement an entire new regime at Parc des Princes.

The choice is yours and you'll have plenty of financial support along the way.

Neymar PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2019-20

AC Milan

Transfer budget Wage budget
£29.4 million £2.1 million

Take over AC Milan to wake a sleeping European giant and embark on a campaign of continental dominance fuelled by national success.

OK, so it's not going to be as easy as that, but the Rossoneri are just waiting on the right manager to help them bring the glory days back to San Siro.

They haven't won a Serie A title since the 2010-11 season and since then things have been rather bleak, with no Champions League football in more than half a decade.

Milan have a strong squad, featuring stars such as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Hakan Calhanoglu and Theo Hernandez, as well as young talents like Franck Kessie and Lucas Paqueta.

In the first season they also offer a decent transfer budget, comparable to that of Inter, Roma and other rivals, so you will have the option of adding strength to your panel.

Borussia Monchengladbach

Transfer budget Wage budget
£8.6 million £1 million

If you're considering a dip into German football, why not attempt to bring an end to Bayern Munich's dominance with Borussia Monchengladbach?

Borussia Dortmund are the most obvious alternative to Bayern, while RB Leipzig are the high profile upstarts of the Bundesliga, but Gladbach offer more of a challenge to begin with.

In terms of transfer budgets, they lag behind their rivals, but, with the right guidance, Marcus Thuram, Breel Embolo and Co. are very much capable of punching above their weight.

Gladbach were Bayern's main rivals for the Bundesliga title during the 1970s and won European silverware during that time too, but since then they have endured many disappointments.

Be warned, though, it will take time and patience.

Inter Miami

Transfer budget Wage budget
£15 million £0.3 million

David Beckham needs a canny manager to steer Inter Miami through their debut year in Major League Soccer and into football's brave new future in Fort Lauderdale - why not you?

The traditions of MLS football differ from those of the European game, with considerations such as the Draft and the Play-Offs, but the basics of the game are the same: you play to win.

In Football Manager 2020, you can take charge of recruiting Inter Miami's squad for their inaugural campaign. It's a job which will require extensive work in scouting, but Beckham and Co. provide a reasonable financial backing.

Salford City

Transfer budget Wage budget
£0.1 million £0.06 million

Beckham's other club - which he owns along with Class of '92 stalwarts such as Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes - is Salford City and they could be a fun Football Manager challenge.

Now in League Two, Salford's aim is to gradually climb up the football pyramid in England and they have a reasonable budget available, meaning they can offer relatively decent wages for the level they are at.

Graduating through the levels of English football from the bottom rung of the Football League is a seriously difficult task, which will require clever recruitment and shrewd tactical application, but it can be rewarding.


Transfer budget Wage budget

Who will be the one to finally bring football home? England have been chasing glory for decades in vain, but it looks like their time could soon come, with an exciting clutch of players coming through.

The Three Lions boast talent such as Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling, who, if managed well, could easily win a World Cup or European Championship.

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Managing an international team in Football Manager is a very different experience to managing a club though.

You are ultimately at the mercy of clubs and how they manage your stars, so you'll have to deal with injuries and possibly cases of players not getting enough game time.

Be prepared for long periods without matches. In that regard, it is much less intensive than managing a club team.