It may be 20 years since the release of CM9798 but FM18 is upon us. Although this blog is dedicated to keeping CM9798 alive, I can’t encourage you enough to keep involved with the FM series if you have the time. But who will you find lurking in the database, having gone from young pup in CM9798 to old dog by FM18? I was going to put in the FM18 screenshots but I don’t have the game yet and from the demo, you can’t turn off attribute masking. If somebody wants to send me them, I’ll be very grateful.
Back in 1997, Buffon wasn’t even Parma’s number 1. Fast forward 20 years and Parma have been and gone and Buffon, well. What a career he has had. Here he is in CM9798
Those 20’s…fair to say the researchers nailed his skills even aged 19. Whether FM18 is his last FM or not remains to be seen.
Remember when Roy Carroll was Man Utd’s first choice goalkeeper? Ridiculous times. Now aged 40, Carroll is back at Linfield in his native Northern Ireland. Rewind the clock 20 years and we find our man at Wigan, just starting out his career and showing a lot of promise. I guess he did fulfill that promise by playing Champions League football with one of the World’s biggest clubs, I just didn’t see it coming.
Everyone’s favourite pyjama wearing goalkeeper is still playing, somehow, and you’ll find him now at Haladás in his homeland of Hungary. Haladás is the Hungarian word for progress, which ironic seeing as they have a 41 year old between the sticks.
The former Newcastle stopper insists he is not retired despite being clubless at the beginning of the 17/18 campaign. This is possibly due to the fact that his autobiography has just been released, or maybe he just loves playing.
Given was very promising on 97/98 and, much like real life, rewards you for sticking by him about 4 seasons down the line. He went on to get 134 caps for Ireland, which is mightily impressive.
What I love about Aaron Hughes is that he’s still playing International football, having been part of the Northern Ireland squad that narrowly missed out on World Cup 2018
109 caps later, Aaron Hughes recently turned 38 and plays for Hearts in the SPL. That pace has probably decreased a little over the years.
Ok, this is a technicality. Pirlo has just announced his retirement but is still in FM18 as he retires at the end of the MLS Season. He starts on CM9798 as a young Forward (left), a far cry from the central midfield position he made his own
That passing figure will go up, as will his set pieces.
Veron decided to come out of retirement at the ripe old age of 42, and he is technically player-chairman of Estudiantes. He’s excellent aged 22 on CM9798 but I don’t think he’s up to much on FM18.
Wait, what? Robbie Keane is still playing? Yes the man who played for Inter Milan, Liverpool, Leeds, Celtic and Tottenham (amongst others) then finished his career in the USA with LA Galaxy. Except he didn’t. Now aged 37, he has signed up for Indian Super League side ATK. You’re a long time retired, I guess.
Also in the Indian Super League we’ll find Wes Brown, or Wesley as he was known back on 9798. Brown has signed up for the Kerala Blasters, where I’m fairly sure we won’t see a creativity of 15.
Do I want to start a game in the Indian Super League? I’m thinking not.
Bywater is a bit of an anomaly, in that he went to the Indian Super League but not to retire. No, that seemed to just put him in the shop window
Bywater returned to England with Burton Albion, and has featured several time this season already. He’s only 36 so we might have another 5 years of him yet.
So, this is awkward. Ze Roberto starts CM97/98 at Real Madrid, however by the time the patch came out he has been moved on to Flamengo. When that happens, he doesn’t get loaded in the game. Admittedly, I could move him, but here he is in the editor:
Move on 20 years and he’s back in Brazil, having played for German giants Bayern Munich at his peak. He’s still playing, aged 42, so fair play to him.
This one surprised me but seeing as Chorley were on TV the other day, we learned that Matt Jansen is player-manager these days.
On FM18, he’s just a manager, so I’m iffy putting this one in. I blame BT Sport.
No, not the goalkeeper. The uncompromising left back, now of Birmingham, but then of Watford. That aggression is a bit low.
As if to prove that point, here he is as a player-coach and 20 for aggression
I like that his squad number is higher than his age.
This one’s questionable, but I’m running with it. Michael Brown was once a promising midfielder, you may remember he scored a load of goals for Sheff Utd and got a move to Tottenham. Before all that, back in 1997/98 he was at Man City doing Kinkladze’s dirty work
Forward on 20 years and Brown has been sacked as player-manager at Port Vale, having started the 17/18 season in charge. He registered himself as a player for the season so technically, he’s still a player. Here he is on FM18 to prove it.
We love a technicality.
Yeah yeah, another goalkeeper.
He actually went on to get 16 caps for Wales, but now aged 43 he is Shrewsbury’s goalkeeping coach – but also a player. He’s also valued at £110.
I know what you’re thinking. Andy Todd! No way is he still playing. It’s not that Andy Todd. This is Nottingham Forest Andy Todd, who is er, on a free transfer in 97/98 despite being contracted to Nottingham Forest
I know nothing about this kid but those stats aren’t awful. Here he is aged 38 where he is…still on a free.
Good luck to him, I say.
This is another manager who is out of work but still apparently a player. Here he is as a 16 year old trying to make his way past Andy Hinchcliffe at Sheff Wed.
PACE. CREATIVITY. He then became player-manager of Torquay, oh and the date of birth is a month out, but it’s definitely him
I have no idea how Lee Hendrie has made the cut. Last seen playing soccer 6’s for England looking like a club rep, Hendrie’s last club was Redditch in the Southern Premier League. He’s available for free. He’s also now a CM, and played once for England. Back in 1997/98 he was more of a winger
I definitely wouldn’t want to be influenced by Lee Hendrie.
This is bordering on silly now. Here is Russell in 97/98. I don’t know who he is
But he’s still available in 2018, on a free.
Quite who is in a rush to buy him, I don’t know. But here he is, having been released by Bristol Manor Farm at the end of last season.
Anybody? No? Well, don’t be so disrespectful! Darren Ward scored a Premier League goal for Watford in the 1999/2000 season before featuring for many Championship clubs, including Wolves, Crystal Palace (at the time) and Milwall. He was most recently at Yeovil, but how he isn’t.
Bad luck if you want to sign him, he’s out for 2 months.
By my reckoning, that’s 20 players from CM9798 still playing today. Who have I missed? There’s bound to be some, so do let me know please.
As expected, I had missed out a few. Some were more obvious than others, but the total is up to 28!
My excuse here is that “Kenneth” wasn’t in the Hibs squad, instead he was hanging about on a free transfer
Creativity of 20 is…generous. Mind you, so is 20 for technique. Good old Kenny. Or Kenneth.
The veteran stopper starts as a promising youngster at Stenhousmuir, little did we know that he’d still be going 20 years later. These stats aren’t bad like
He’s at Livingston now, having played for Scotland 3 times.
Day starts as one of Watford’s star men, which I guess you’d expect as he’s in the England Under-21 squad
Nowadays he’s a player/coach at Stevenage, but he’s also 41 and won’t be adding to his 6 Under-21 caps.
Outfield players still playing are very welcome, as I toy with the idea of putting these fools together as a squad. Gareth is technically player-manager at Wycombe, though he doesn’t do much of the playing these days. In 97/98 we find him at Port Vale with pace to burn
By the time he’s 44, his pace has been burned. Works hard though, which is probably for the best.
This is one of my favourites. He’s 30 in CM9798, so you can see where this is going.
He went on to get 89 caps for Japan, I don’t think he’ll get to 90 but it depends if I become the Japan manager any time soon or not. I’d really like to see his stats from FM18 if anybody is at a loose end.
This one is largely unfair, given that he came out of retirement after I’d written the initial article. They all count
Douglas came out of retirement to play for Arbroath last weekend, which is ridiculous as he’s 45. But fair play. I imagine he’ll be reinstated to FM18 in a data update, provided he sticks around.
I was amazed to find Cureton is still playing. He’s now at Farnborough in the Southern Premier League. He’s another I can’t find on FM18 but I’m sure if I loaded enough leagues he’d be there. I bet he still scores shed loads too.
Clinton Morrison is still turning out for Mickleover Sports in the Northern Premier League, which I guess counts. Maybe I should have put a lower level limit on but it matters not, Clinton has made the list. I don’t even know if Mickleover Sports are on FM18, but if they are, that’s where you’ll find Clintycakes.
That’s it for now – thanks for all your suggestions. Sadly Gareth Barry isn’t on 97/98, whilst another Barry – Hayles, to be precise – is playing in a regional league which I just won’t stoop to.
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