Football Manager

Real Madrid on Football Manager 2022: 10 tips when starting a new save

Tom Gott
Benzema is Real's top talent
Benzema is Real's top talent / JAIME REINA/GettyImages

Real Madrid are a fascinating team on Football Manager 2022. They're one of the best teams on the planet right now, but the age of their core means they are a few years away from needing a complete rebuild.

To manage Real, you need to be a win-now boss as well as a long-term squad builder. Fortunately for you, Los Blancos are one of the biggest clubs on the planet and can offer you both the profile and the finances to do pretty much whatever you want.

Here are some tips to get you started on the job.

1. Trim the wage budget

Gareth Bale
You need to find a buyer for Bale / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

You're spending close to £6m per week on wages when the game begins, and so much of that is pretty much going to waste.

Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard, your two highest earners, can both be sold. You'll struggle to find somebody to take their wages on in full, but any contribution you can find is worth listening to.

You should also make sure to list up Isco and Dani Ceballos. Offload all them, and you'll have £1m per week to play with.

2. Say goodbye to Marcelo

Marcelo's current ability has plummeted / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

As far as current ability goes, Marcelo is by far the worst player on the team. The only La Liga without a left-back better than him is Osasuna (Atletico Pamplona), where 20-year-old Manu Sanchez is one ability point below.

Marcelo is a club legend, but his time at the Santiago Bernabeu needs to come to an end. You can't take home £250,000 per week while offering that little in return.

Nobody is going to match that, but given he's not going to play, finding somebody to take a chunk of that off your hands for the next 12 months should be high on your to-do list.

3. Develop your academy gems

Miguel Gutierrez
Gutierrez is your future / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Young left-back Miguel Gutierrez is almost better than Marcelo already and he's got the potential to grow into a superstar. You could keep him around as your backup early on, but don't rule out a loan move either.

The same goes for 20-year-old midfielder Antonio Blanco. He'll be a huge player for you in a few years so take an active interest in his development early on.

Deeper in the academy, Andri Lucas Gudjohnsen and Lucas Canizares have huge potential, as do Bruno Iglesias, Takuhiro Nakai and Julen Jon Guerrero.

4. Build around Camavinga & Vinicius Junior

Eduardo Camavinga, Vinicius Junior
These are your young stars / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Vinicius Junior is already one of your best players and he's got the potential to grow into a real star. He's going to be a focal point of your attack for years to come, so build around him.

He plays best as an inverted winger on the left, but you won't get much of a drop-off as an inside forward. If you're feeling particularly crazy, a striker with the advanced forward role is actually his third-strongest position.

Further back, Eduardo Camavinga has the highest potential available at 170-200. He's best as a Carrilero but the young Frenchman does a job as a defensive midfielder too.

5. Keep space for the loanees

Takefusa Kubo
Kubo is nearly good enough for your squad / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Takefusa Kubo, who is now an attacking midfielder instead of a winger, has some enormous potential. He's on loan at Mallorca and could be pushing for a starting spot as soon as he comes back, so don't waste money on somebody early on.

The same goes for Brahim Diaz at AC Milan. The Rossoneri have the option to sign him permanently for a bargain £18.75m, and you better pray that they don't trigger it.

Joining the AM fun is Reinier. His loan with Dortmund is woeful because he's not good enough to play there, but once you get him back and find him a suitable home, he'll grow into a real star as well. That's three 10s for no cost at all.

6. Find better right-back cover

Daniel Carvajal
Carvajal is injury prone / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

29-year-old Dani Carvajal is very capable on FM22, but his 18 injury proneness is a massive concern, especially considering he's the only actual right-back in the squad.

Lucas Vazquez, whose current ability is higher than Carvajal's, is capable of playing there but his stats aren't very good for a right-back, so a new signing could be on the cards.

Take a look at Bayern's Benjamin Pavard, who is available for a bargain £19m.

7. Loan out Vallejo & Lunin

Jesus Vallejo
Vallejo needs more experience / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Jesus Vallejo and Andriy Lunin are just emergency backups in your current squad, so you might as well loan them out now.

The duo are both young enough to develop into genuinely useful pieces, but they won't do that if all you give them is sporadic minutes in easy cup ties.

Given they aren't particularly important to your squad, ship them both out and have a look at the free agents for short-term replacements who don't need minutes. Miguel Angel Moya is there for goalkeepers, while Mateo Musacchio will join you as a fringe centre-back.

8. Don't be afraid to trust Jovic & Mariano

Luka Jovic
Jovic is dependable on FM22 / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz might not have inspired much confidence on the real pitch, but on FM22, they're both serviceable strikers.

Karim Benzema is your obvious star striker, but if he needs a rest, you shouldn't be scared to turn to either Jovic or Mariano. There's no need for a Luka Modric false-nine experiment.

Both players actually have 16 finishing, so they'll definitely get you goals if you play them.

9. Sort out your expiring contracts

Luka Modric
Modric needs a new deal / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Across the seniors and the academy, Real have a boatload of contracts winding down, the most important of which is Luka Modric. Re-sign him. Now.

He's the only first-teamer who you need to worry about here, but there are so many academy kids who need their contracts sorting out. There are a whopping 52 to deal with.

Some can be sold or let go, but others need keeping around. Take a close look at Andri Lucas Gudjohnsen, Julen Jon Guerrero, Victor Munoz, Miguel Sanchez, Takuhiro Nakai, Sala, Alvaro Carrillo, Luis Carbonell, Ivan Morante, Pablo Ramon, Victor Chust and Diego Altube.

10. Prepare for Mbappe's arrival

Kylian Mbappe
Can you bring Mbappe to Real? / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Let's be honest. Your sole focus is going to be on signing Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer. As it should be.

Mbappe, who will only start listening to offers once his contract enters its final month, will demand big money and a lot of clubs are prepared to pay him, so you better make sure you can hand him that little bit extra.

Keep your wage budget down, make sure you've got enough in the bank for a sign-on bonus and don't get cheap. If you don't pay up, you'll lose him forever.