Can you challenge La Liga’s big two in FM24?

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la liga trophy

The beta version, or early access of FM24 as SI chief Miles Jacobson wants it called, is now available after its release on Thursday 19th October.

One challenge I am looking forward to in FM24 is battling with Barcelona and Real Madrid for supremacy in La Liga. Between them, the pair has won eight of the last ten Spanish titles. Here are some teams to manage in FM24 in order to challenge the pair:

Atletico Madrid

Los Colchoneros have been the only team to even challenge the big two in recent years, as Diego Simeone’s team has claimed the Spanish title twice in the last decade, arguably punching well above their weight in La Liga.  They are the most likely team to manage in Spain if you want to be successful in this challenge.

Atletico’s squad contains some major talent, including Jan Oblak, Jose Gimenez, Marcos Llorente, Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata. They have a good foundation in which to build a title-winning team. With a few additions, a clever manager could turn Atletico into a force at home and in Europe, similar to what Simeone has done in real life, but to an even larger extent.

Real Sociedad

The side from San Sebastian has established themselves as one of the best teams to watch in the Spanish top flight under head coach Imanol Alguacil. La Real is likely to be a strong top-four challenger this season.

Sociedad has built a strong squad of late, with quality players of the likes of highly-rated young Japanese attacking midfielder Takefusa Kubo, Brais Mendez, Mikel Oyarzabal and Ander Barrenetxea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz_tviU5QzE

Like Atletico, Sociedad has the foundations of a stellar squad, and a few smart signings could turn La Real into real title challengers. There are obviously caveats to potential success with Sociedad.

One factor is that you are vulnerable to losing your players to teams with more money or a higher profile. The other is that you won’t get the same sort of transfer budget as you would with Atletico or Spain’s big two.

Villarreal

The Yellow Submarine have in the past been amongst La Liga’s top-four. Currently, they are experiencing a difficult campaign in La Liga after the summer exit of key players such as Pau Torres, Samuel Chukwueze and Nicolas Jackson.

However, they did manage to bring in Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth youngster Ilias Akhomach from Barcelona, with Chile international Ben Brereton Diaz arriving on a free transfer from Blackburn Rovers. The players Villarreal signed in the summer joined a squad with the likes of Yeremy Pino, Alex Buena, Juan Forth and Gerard Moreno.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo3dyQ-Zox8

It would undoubtedly be more challenging to achieve success in La Liga in FM24 than it has been in previous editions simply because of the loss of the quality players in the summer.

What you do with talented youngster Pino may well be the key to success at the Estadio de la Ceramica. If you manage to keep hold of him, he can be a vital asset, as he has quality, potential and versatility. However, you could take the other route and sell him in order to bring in much-needed money to strengthen the squad.

Athletic Club

The Basques are one of the most historic clubs in Spain, as they are the only Spanish club other than Barcelona and Real Madrid never to suffer relegation from the top flight. They have also won eight Spanish titles, a tally bettered only by the big two and Atletico.

Your chances of success are helped by the presence of the Williams brothers, Inaki and Niko, who are extremely talented forwards. The latter is a winger who is a must-sign, if you have funds, of course, as he becomes a truly elite player.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPCrolKIEII

You have a very capable goalkeeper in Unai Simon, while Oihan Sancet is a promising young midfielder.

Now, the big challenge in turning Athletic into the dominant force in Spanish football is the player restrictions. Athletic is a club that prides itself on tradition, and as part of that tradition, you will only be able to sign Basque players or players of Basque heritage. This transfer policy makes player recruitment extremely challenging. However, it’s good for those managers who like a challenge.

Which team would you pick to manage in FM24 to overthrow Barcelona and Barcelona at the top of La Liga?