Aaand we’re back!
Last season we took home the Serie A title. The team played some beautiful football, we had best attacking record and third best defense. Could we build from the success and bring home another title? Let’s find out.
Summer: Nelson Aliaga – Santiago Wanderers (£1m), Fabio Weis (Chilean/German) – O’Higgins (£825k), Luciano Alarcón (£325k) & Felipe Schmitt (£100k – Chilean/German) – Universidad Católica, Francesco (Brazilian/Italian) – Quixadá (free), 2025 NxG winner Liridon Aliu – Frankfurt (£21m) and, Jairo Garcia – Toronto FC (£4.1m).
January: Jaime Avila – Cobresal (£400k), Sebastián Sousa – River Plate (Uru) (£34k) and José Antonio Figueroa – FC Dallas (free)
We sold 24 players for £177m in the summer window and a further 5 players during the January window for £15.3m, a grand total of £192m. Click here for outgoing transfers.
We headed into the season with the youngest team in the league at 21 y.o. The core of the team is back alongside last year’s signings. We also promoted a few players from the youth team, Tommaso Bernardi, Adrijano Čurek, Martin Hovarth, and Nicola Luparini.
Supercup & Coppa Italia
We won our third trophy of the save after beating Inter Milan (3-1) in front of 88,218 fans at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We scored three goals eight minutes and then went in lockdown mode.
This season was our best run in the Coppa Italia so far in the save. We took down Torino (3-1) in the third-round, two goals coming from our Uzbek giant Rustam Jumayev. In the Quarter-Finals, we beat Atalanta (2-0) with goals from De Rossi and Donnarumma. The party was over in the two-legged Semi-Final against Juventus (0-2 on Agg).
Champions League & Europa League
As you might have seen above, we only managed to finish in third place in our Champions League group. I believed that we could finished in the top two places but unfortunately, I underestimated our competition. Our two losses came by the hands of Wolfsburg and Galatasaray, not Barça. Surprisingly, Wolfsburg ended up winning the group. We were off to the Europa League to face Athletic Club (Bilbao). Unlike in the 2023/2024 season, we were unable to beat then. So we try again next season!
That’s twice in a row! Although a close one, we had a much better season compared to last. We improved massively in defensive. We conceded 15 less goal and we kept 26 clean sheets compared to 16 from last season, finishing with the second best defense in the league (by 1 goal). This lead to four of our back five players made it to ‘Team of the Year.’
In terms of attack, we scored 15 less goals than last season. Losing Lorenzo Lucca hurt us but we had to rely on the rest of the team to pick up the pieces. Matteo De Rossi finished as our leading goalscorer in the league with 19 goals, and Antonio Palumbo lead the team with 14 assists, second in the league.
There were only two teams in contention for the league title this season, Juventus & Ternana. The bookies had Juventus as title favorites and they had Ternana finishing 8th place. Both teams fluctuated in the first half of the season but from match-day 18th, both teams would be separated by 1 point.
It didn’t seem like it then but the league would be decided in Match-day 23 when we faced Juventus at home. Goals from Matteo De Rossi and Ljubiša Dragićević would help us win the match (2-0). Fast forward the last match of the season and Ternana would go on to lift their second Serie A titled.
Player of the Year
After such a great season I wanted to take a look at the numbers to see if there was anything that I might be missing.
Our fullbacks have been the most well rounded players in the team for the last couple of seasons, and they’ve outdone themselves once again this season. They’re asked to do a lot, bombing up-and-down the flanks, winning tackles up the field, and being a threat when attacking. Gian Marco Nesta, Lorenzo Carrara, Tommaso Bernardi, Lukas Behrmann, and Liridon Aliu averaged 2.8 tackles per 90, 2.8 interceptions per 90, combined for 21 assists, scored 9 goals and averaged a 6.98 rating. The center backs were solid as ever. It was Federico Salas and Juan Pablo Leone‘s first full season with the club, and Gerald Brant‘s first season as starter. They won 83% tackles, won 84% of their headers, and combined for 5 goals between them.
I was surprised when I took a look at our Defensive Midfielders. Ljubiša Dragićević, Samuel Utaka, and Dalibor Verbič did not seem to be contributing much in the defensive phase. The one stat that all three were excelling but was not accounted for was, clearances. Our DM in the Halfback is much of a destroyer rather provides cover and recycles the ball.
The midfield was bit all over the place, (mainly) in a good way. Lapo Assuma contributed the most defensively and Antonio Palumbo contributed the most in attack with his 15 assists and 7 goals. Facundo Maldonado was superb in both phases, excelling a bit more in attack and David Perez (8 goals & 3 assists) was on par as Matteo De Rossi in terms of attacking output. Lastly, Joan Cruz will be shipped out in the summer, he didn’t contribute as much as I would have liked, he finished the season with a 6.83 average rating.
The departing Lorenzo Lucca contributed to more than half of our goals in the last two seasons so it would take few players to reach those numbers. Gerardo González and Matteo De Rossi became our main source of goals. The young strikers combined for 40 goals (20 each) and 8 assists, although these are great numbers we need them to contribute more next season. Alfredo Donnarumma isn’t the player he was at the beginning of the save, he managed to score 7 goals in 1725 minutes, not a good return at all, I mean, David Pérez scored 8 goals from CM(A)!
Another Intake, another “Golden Generation.” These screenshots were taken at the end of the season which gave me a better idea of how high their potential ability could be. Five out of the six highlighted player are already worth £4m plus. Let’s see how they develop.
U18s, U20s, and Promotions
We’ve had another fantastic season for our youth teams. They’ve continued to outperform their rivals and had a clean sweep of their respective competitions. We also promoted nine players throughout the season to finish with 22 players in the first team under 21 years old. We gave debuts to Diego Roa, Felipe Schmitt, and Emanuele Verza.
Finances & Infrastructure
We finished the season with some insane numbers. The overall balance is at £327m, we made a profit of £163m, and we have a transfer budget of £203m for next season. We’ve used less than a quarter (£662k p/w) of the wage budget (£2.6m p/w).
You guessed it, no stadium yet! 😊 We don’t much else to look forward to as we’re maxed out in terms of facilities, youth coaching and recruitment. Let’s hope we can build a new stadium by the time the save is done.
That’s two titles in-a-row! My aim now is to try and win the Champions League in the next two/three seasons.
Thanks for passing by, until next time!