6 Italian Teams to Manage in FM19

With Ronaldo’s big money move to Juventus, a massively under-performing national side and lots of promising young players, it seems like the ideal time to start your managerial career in Italy. Here are my top 6 picks for teams to take charge of in Football Manager 2019.

Fiorentina

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The Viola have a huge rivalry with Juventus which comes from several different instances over the clubs history. The biggest and earlies flashpoint came after Juventus won the final game of the season in 1982, beating Fiorentina to the title. Fiorentina only managed to draw their game after being denied a penalty, and Juve were handed a controversial penalty which won their game.

The transfer of Roberto Baggio from Fiorentina to Juventus in 1990 added fuel to the fire. Fiorentina had to play the second leg of the UEFA Cup Final against The Old Lady in Avellino, which contains a large majority of Juve fans. On the day of the final it was announced that Baggio would be joining the bianconeri, which didn’t go down well with Fiorentina fans.

The Tuscan side have started well this season, winning 4 of their opening 7 games. With young talents such as Giovanni Simeone, Federico Chiesa, Marko Pjaca and Nikola Milenkovic, Fiorentina are a great side to attempt to gain continental success in the Champions League, whilst competing against their arch rivals for the League Title.


Parma

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Parma are a club with a very interesting history. Generally a solid Serie A side, they finished 6th in the 2013-14 season, and qualified for the Europa League for the first time since 2007. However, the following season, due to late payments of income tax, Parma did not qualify for a UEFA License, for which they were docked points in the league. The club eventually went bankrupt in March 2015, and were relegated to Serie D.

Parma have a very loyal tifosi, their fans have stuck by the club through thick and thin, and are often seen as fans who enjoy the spectacle of football. Subsequently, the Crociati sold more season tickets for their season in Serie D than they had the previous season in Serie A.

Three straight promotions later they are back in Serie A and performing well. Noteable players include such blasts from the past as Bruno Alves, Gervinho and Jonathan Biabiany (FIFA legend). Parma would be a great club to take to the pinnacle of Serie A, a feat they have never achieved.


Palermo

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Between 2004 and 2011, Palermo qualified for european competitions five times, reaching the Round of 16 in 2006. After a terrible season in 2012-13 when four different managers were hired (one twice), Palermo were relegated to Serie B. They were promoted the following season, but another poor season meant they were relegated again in 2017. Last year they made the play-offs but were beaten by Frosinone.

Palermo have a long history of producing excellent players, many from South America. Former players include Javier Pastore, Edinson Cavani, Matteo Darmian, Andrea Barzagli and Paolo Dybala. If you are interested in bringing youngsters through the ranks then the Rosanero would be a good choice.

This sleeping giant has massive potential. Their stadium has a capacity of 36,000, they have a good fanbase and are one of the biggest and most prestigeous clubs in the South of Italy. If you fancy taking a team back of young South American regens to the pinnicle of Italian Football then this is the side for you.


Hellas Verona

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Winner of the 1984-85 Scudetto, Hellas are a club with a lot of history and are one of the bigger teams in the Serie B this season. The club was named Hellas (the Greek word for ‘Greek’) at the request of a proffesor of classics. The Verona side haven’t lived up to their reputation of late, with their smaller neighbours Chievo still playing in Serie A, although they have problems of their own.

Their squad features Scottish Midfielder Liam Henderson, who signed from Bari over the summer after the clubs financial trobules and reformation. With Giampaolo Pazzini leading the line, goals shouldn’t be a problem. The veteran forward scored 23 goals in the 16-17 season, and was top goalscorer in Serie B.

Currently the Gialloblu are top of Serie B, with 4 wins from their first 6 games. Hellas would be a great side to take back to the Serie A, possibly forming a Scottish or Greek connection with your scouting network and affiliate clubs.


Catania

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Catania are a side you might remember from the Serie A, they played seven seasons in a row from 2006-2013, finishing as high as 8th. However after a poor start to the season and many managerial changes, Catania were relegated to Serie B in 2014. The following season their head coach and owner (yes, he was both) admitted to match fixing and the Rossazzurri were relegated again.

Currently playing in Serie C, Catania are a club with a lot of potential and a big following in Sicily. The team onced managed by Diego Simeone are due another great manager that can take them back to the Serie A and beyond.


Pro Vercelli

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Pro Vercelli are Italy’s oldest and most prestigeous club you’ve never heard of. Originally formed in 1892, only Juventus, Milan, Inter and Genoa have won more titles than the Bianche Casacche. The side won all 7 of their league titles before World War Two, including 5 in 6 seasons before the outbreak of World War One.

Since the 1950s, Pro Vercelli have played mostly in the Italian third and fourth tiers, though recently they reached Serie B for the first time in 64 years. Currently in Italy’s second tier, a return to the top for the Piedmont side would be a huge success, and a bigger challenge of bringing them their 8th league title would make for a great save.

So there you have it, my top 6 picks for teams to manage in Italy. Do you have any suggestions for teams to manage? Let us know on Twitter.


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