Though I started playing this game in 2006, my fandom really started with Football Manager 2007 / ‘FM 07’, and I’ve struggled to have the same love for the game now as I did back then!
Why was Football Manager 2007 so good?
Firstly, I think there’s an innocent and nostalgia which plays a part here.
The modern-day equivalents are obviously better.
You can speak personally with players, conduct interviews in more depth and even speak to agents prior to approaching talent in the transfer market – and it gets better every year!
But I do miss the times when things were a little bit simpler, when it didn’t take very long to load and you could actually rely on a goalkeeper to make a save in a ‘key highlight‘ without having to waste your life staring at whatever unfolds under extended.
And with the option of classic FM databases being available in newer versions, I thought it’d be fun to look back at 6 of my personal favourite bargains from Football Manager 2007.
Maxi Lopez – Striker (Club: FC Moscow)
Kicking off this list is the Argentine striker Maxi Lopez, a potent goal-scorer available at FC Moscow in Football Manager 2007. Known for his clinical finishing and poise in front of goal, Lopez is brilliant.
Usually game to go to the EFL Championship and above for about £3m.
Despite his relatively low initial cost, Lopez boasts the potential for substantial goal returns, making him an ideal addition for clubs seeking a budget-friendly goal-scoring machine. Act fast, as other virtual managers might soon discover the treasure that Maxi Lopez represents in the Football Manager transfer market.
Freddy Adu – Attacking Midfielder (Club: Benfica)
The quintessential wonderkid.
It’s impossible to do many of these lists of classic FM wonder kids without delving into the ‘what if’ story of Freddy Adu, even on Football Manager 2007 – where his star was beginning to shine a little bit.
Compared to the previous year when he’s still in America, he’s now at Benfica in a more officialised CAM midfield role which limits a little bit of the versatility that made him so universally attractive.
That being said, Adu’s dribbling ability, vision, and knack for finding the back of the net make him a valuable asset in the attacking third. Given his relatively low cost, acquiring Adu early in the game provides an opportunity for virtual managers to mould him into a creative force that can unlock opposition defenses.
You’ll struggle to get him on a permanent deal right away as I believe he transferred here this year, but a loan for him as a ‘key player’ with a potential buy clause north of £5m should do it!
Darijo Srna – Not Even Sure (Club: Shakhtar Donetsk)
Captain versatility, I used to love buying Darijo Srna.
He was the ultimate Football Manager 2007 cheat code. Imagine everything that’s good about Andres Guardado on the left side, this is what Srna would provide for any team on the right.
Srna’s versatility allows him to contribute both defensively and offensively, making him an asset on the right flank. Given his relatively low initial cost, acquiring Srna can be a strategic move for managers looking to strengthen their squad without exhausting their budget.
That being said, given the stature of Shakhtar and the enviable stats he already possesses, only top clubs can get him on FM 07, but most of them have the £10m-or-so required to do so.
Branislav Ivanovic – Defender (Club: Lokomotiv Moscow)
In the heart of defense, Serbian stalwart Branislav Ivanovic emerges as a bargain buy for virtual managers. Starting at Lokomotiv Moscow, Ivanovic combines defensive solidity with the ability to contribute offensively from set-pieces.
Back then, he was also just as adept in the centre of the defence as he was on the wide right.
His aerial prowess, tackling ability, and leadership make Ivanovic an invaluable addition to any defensive line. Considering his potential for growth and the relatively low cost, virtual managers looking to shore up their defense should keep a close eye on this hidden gem.
He could even cost in the region of £2m – depending on how good of a negotiator you are!
Mauro Zarate – Forward (Club: Al-Sadd)
A man immortalised by the famous ‘Zarate Kid’ series on YouTube – at least, for me he was!
An exciting attacking prospect, Mauro Zarate, can be found plying his trade at Al-Sadd in Football Manager 2007. The Argentine forward’s speed, flair, and goal-scoring ability make him a thrilling addition to any squad, especially for clubs operating on a limited budget.
Zarate’s dribbling skills and versatility across the front line provide virtual managers with a dynamic attacking option. Given his relatively low initial cost, securing Zarate early in the game can pave the way for a budget-friendly investment that pays dividends in goals and excitement.
However much like Freddy Adu earlier, you’re going to have to be tactical and play a bit of a long game to get him on the deal you want. But it might be worth it at c. £4m.
Javier Saviola – Striker (Club: Real Madrid)
Yeah, you’ll need to be a Premier League, Serie A or Bundesliga team for this.
Not for the fee (around £7m), but certainly for the wages of a Real Madrid fledgling.
Despite his stature, Saviola’s agility, clinical finishing, and poise in front of goal make him a bargain buy for clubs seeking a seasoned striker at an affordable cost.
Saviola’s wealth of experience adds a leadership element to any squad, and his goal-scoring instincts can prove crucial in decisive moments. For virtual Football Manager 2007 coaches looking for a budget-friendly forward with a relatively proven record, Saviola is a gem waiting to be rescued.
There’s nothing like unearthing your very own gem on FM.
And there are a plethora of choices on Football Manager 2007
So, if you decide to go back to this brilliant game or use one of the databases available to download on the newer games, then make sure you get at least one of these players for your team.
Who is your ultimate Football Manager 2007 bargain?