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With the festive period upon us and so many of us under restrictions over Christmas, now is a great time to start a new Football Manager 2021 save. No matter where you are or who you are with during the festive period, there will be plenty of time to play some Football Manager and we're taking a look at some of the challenges you could try in the top five European Leagues.
Some of these challenges will be based around dethroning the current champions or winning the title with a team that either hasn't won the league in a long time or possibly never before. Surviving relegation and building a team fit to stay in the top-flight is another challenge that we will cover. Simulating through to Christmas, taking over the bottom team and trying to save them from relegation is always challenging but fun. There are many challenges to try and they can be short or long term depending on your personal playstyle, either way, it will give you something fun to do over Christmas.
Everton and Tottenham are the only two sides in the top six, as things stand, that have never won the Premier League title before. Considering that even Leicester have claimed the top division title since the Premier League was founded back in 1992 just goes to show how disappointing and frustrating it must be for fans of the Toffees and Spurs. This challenge sounds easier than it will be but considering both teams have looked good this season, we want you to win the league title with Everton or Spurs. This challenge can take as long or as short as it needs to be, but fair play to anyone that manages to complete it during the first season.
Sheffield United will be bottom at Christmas in the real world and trying to save them would be a seriously tough ask. We wan't you to sim through to Christmas Day and then take control of whoever is bottom of the table and try to save them from the dreaded drop. If you would prefer to start a challenge from the beginning of the season, then why not take control of one of the newly-promoted clubs and see where you can take them.
There are a number of established top-flight teams that have won one of the two domestic cup competitions in over a decade. Everton, Tottenham, Southampton, Newcastle, Aston Villa, West Ham, Wolves, are all sides that are overdue a domestic trophy, so why not try to guide one of these clubs to FA or League Cup glory.
AC Milan are top of the table and looking like genuine title contenders for the first time in over a decade, but could you take AC Milan back to the very top of Italian and European football. Juventus remain the team to dislodge at the top with Ronaldo still firing on all cylinders, but both Milan clubs are well equipped to knock them off their perch. For even more of a challenge, you could try to do the same job with Napoli, Roma, Atalanta or Lazio and build a side that challenges for the Champions League on a regular basis.
At the other end of the table, keeping Benevento, Crotone or Spezia in the division would be a challenge of its own in the first season, but establishing either club as a main fixture in Serie A and possibly European contenders would be even tougher. Limited budgets and reputation mean loan signings and free transfers would be a good way of securing players ready to perform in the top-flight.
Replacing Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top of La Liga is a challenge many an FM player enjoys taking on and Atletico Madrid are usually the side players choose to attempt this challenge with. Simone's men are outperforming everyone in La Liga right now, but Real Sociedad and Villarreal have also shown their true quality this season. Whoever you choose, this challenge won't be for the faint-hearted as Real and Barcelona will have their pick of the best players in European football, but that is what makes this challenge even more satisfying to complete.
Newly-promoted Cadiz have made a good start to life back in the big time but trying to keep them in the top-flight in your first season on FM21 will prove tricky. Your challenge is to keep Cadiz up any way you can and make them an established La Liga outfit. Gaining experience in European competition will help the club grows and attract the next level of players, but guiding the club to league or cup glory would surely be challenging for even the most experienced of FM fanatics.
Bayern Munich top the league once again in Germany but Bayer Leverkusen, RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg have all emerged as potential rivals for the Bundesliga this season. Your challenge is to finally dethrone the mighty Bayern and keep them beneath your for as many seasons as possible. In the long haul, you could try to eclipse their total of 30 Bundesliga titles and make your team the most successful in German history.
Bielefeld and Stuttgart made it back into the Bundesliga this season and keeping them there will be a challenge in your first season. Turning either club into a force in Germany would certainly take a long time, but Stuttgart have the stadium, the fan base and the history to suggest they could win the league in the not too distant future.
Knocking PSG off their perch in Ligue 1 might actually be the toughest challenge in FM21 due to the sheer quality of heir side and the money the club has to spend on wages and players compared to the rest of the division. In the real world, Lille and Lyon are having a good go at claiming the top spot this season, and it is with one of those sides or perhaps Marseille or Monaco that this challenge would be most realistically completed.
Lens are enjoying life back in France's top division but could you take the newly-promoted side and make them European challengers? Keeping them in Ligue 1 would be your first challenge and limited finances mean taking them onto the next level will take shrewd signings (and sales) and top tactics. You could even try to combine saving Lens from relegation with the challenge above and build the club into title challengers over time.