Guy makes his family watch Champions League final on Football Manager from living room
| Last updated
A diehard Football Manager fan celebrated reaching the Champions League final on FM by making his family watch the action unfold from their living room.
Sam, a 24-year-old law student from Hertfordshire, managed to guide his beloved Arsenal team to one of the biggest events in the football calendar after beating Lyon, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
On his way to the showpiece event, Gunners academy product Serge Gnabry played a huge role in their European campaign, as did Folarin Balogun and Buyako Saka.
You can probably tell from the below data that Sam likes to use homegrown players.
"I try to challenge myself by having a team with a minimum of 5 HGC players to make it more difficult for myself," he tells SPORTbible.
"The fact there are so many Arsenal academy players makes the save feel more personal and unique."
Juventus, a club with a Champions League title to their name already, would come up against the Gunners at Wembley armed with former player Martin Odegaard and experienced centre-back Leonardo Bonucci.
It was set to be a huge occasion and law student Sam knew that, so he decided to provide himself with the ultimate viewing experience.
"It was a Sunday night after roast dinner and I was testing out the new features on Nan's new TV," he says. "I thought what better way to christen it than to stream and play my final."
As the empty seats from a tense Football Manager press conference flashed on screen, mum and dad made their way to the living room, and so did his grandparents, who just wanted to watch Strictly Come Dancing.
"I immediately made them aware that this Champions League final took precedence over anything else so they conceded to watching me play," explains Sam.
"Nan had absolutely no idea what was going on. As far as she was aware I was going to press start and Strictly would start playing.
"Grandad also absolutely no idea what was going on. For a man who struggles to turn his iPad on, I wasn't surprised that he had no idea what was going on in my game. If it wasn't Tetris or Space Invaders, he couldn't follow."
Soon, the iconic Champions League theme rang around the room ahead of kick-off. A few giggles followed, but there was no smile from Sam.
"I knew I had to treat it as seriously as any Law exam, if not more serious," he says. "They must have wondered where it all went wrong for me."
It was a tightly-contested opening 45 minutes inside Wembley. Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice tried to control possession in central positions but Arsenal struggled to find a way past a typically well-organised Italian defence.
Those inside Arsenal's dressing room needed a passionate team talk to get the juices flowing. Some family members were starting to doze off as the quality dropped off. A big half was needed.
Minutes into the second period and the floodgates well and truly opened. Juventus forward Federico Chiesa scored a screamer before Colombian powerhouse Duvan Zapata made it 2-0 after just 53 minutes.
Things were about to go from bad to worse. Zapata bagged another to make it three before the inevitable Chiesa made it 4-0. To rub salt into the wounds, every goal was met with laughs from those in attendance.
"Juventus made it their mission to embarrass me in front of my family," recalls Sam. "And each goal made them laugh just that little bit more."
Sam, who racked up over 2,000 hours on FM21, then decided to drown his Champions League sorrows by spending £275 million + £110m in add-ons to buy Phil Foden, who could only score an average rating of 6.88 this season.
That being said, it's another person he feels sorry for most.
"I feel most bad for my Nan, whose unfinished Christmas decorations and naked Xmas tree [something she takes a lot of pride in] has been seen by so many people.
"I'm sorry, Nan."
From 26-28th December, watch all 10 Premier League games live, including Aston Villa vs Liverpool, Arsenal vs West Ham, Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest and more. Watch for free with a 30-day free trial to Prime!