FM18 | The World Cup 2030 fairytale

Two virtual years ago Hungarian football national team was defeated by Germany in the EURO 2028 Final after penalties. After two years we are now in June 2030, Hungarian national team won the qualifying group and made it to the World Cup 2030 hosted by Spain. And they will meet Germany in the first match of the group stage phase…

If you read my previous article about EURO you know the style of my squad recruitment. It’s not needed to repeat everything again as it was absolutely the same before the World Cup.

We were drawn in World Cup Qualifiers Group 1 along with Denmark, Scotland, Finland, San Marino and Iceland.

We won nine matches and only one match ended with a draw. It was the second match of the group away with Scotland and this match ended with a 3-3 draw. Our biggest qualifying win was a 9-0 victory over San Marino at home and beat them also in away match at the end of the qualification but it was a 7-1.

We also beat Scotland at home 5-4 as they were the biggest opponent in the group.



If we take a look back to 2028 and the final tournament squad we can see the key players are the same again in 2030. We can call it as consistency or we can find other word but the truth is there are no better players with Hungarian nationality right now in this save and I would select them even if they would be a couple of years older.

The biggest difference is that some players who were BFC Siófok players back in 2028 are now in much bigger clubs.

Csaba Varga-Jancsó – Bayern Munchen, Áron Filó – Newcastle United, János Major – Arsenal or Sándor Vass – Tottenham.

The last one was the star of EURO 2028 when he was 18 and he moved to Juventus in 2029. During this tournament, he moved to Tottenham for €25.5M.

You can also see there is, for example, László Fekete in the squad. This young newgen is from my club and he developed into a great player during last season. He had so good season that I decided to make him my first right fullback and let Varga-Jancsó sits on the bench despite he is from Bayern.

The EURO 2028 squad


The World Cup 2030 squad

The key players of the squad remained the same. Goalkeeper Gergely Hutvágner, defender Áron Filó, midfielders Görgy Benedek, Dominik Szoboszlai, János Major and striker Sándor Vass.

You can maybe remember that I played EURO 2028 with a 4-1-4-1 formation. The one I use also with my club. During the 2029/2030 season, I decided to create and use 4-3-3 wide formation. The formation I used shortly during FM17 and sometimes in the past during older edition of Football Manager.

I started to use this formation during club matches against weaker sides or during domestic cup matches to test it. When I forgot to change formation and I also let to play backup and young players against the second team in the league table and we won 3-0 I decided to keep this formation for almost all matches and I started to use it also with the national team to test it in more matches.


The principles are pretty simple. I like to use wide players and I like when there are combinations between them. It’s very common that striker doesn’t score a goal(s) in the match but he has an assist(s). Especially with Complete Forward/Support as he roams from the position and he often finds the ball on the right or the left side of the pitch and he is able to find winger or inside forward with a cross.

A central midfielder with support duty has hold position instruction same as within my 4-1-4-1 formation and goalkeeper is instructed to distribute to fullbacks and pass it shorter.

It can result in goal like this for example…

vs. Peru in the 2nd Round

…or something more simple like this. You can also see we scored all six goals in this match against Nigeria from the penalty area.

vs. Nigeria in the group stage

We were drawn in the group with Germany, South Korea and Nigeria. As I mentioned at the start of this post we played the first match against Germany. It was the first since EURO 2028 Final and meanwhile our team was almost the same the German national team had some same players but they were around 35 years old and they were not regulars.

And it was a great revenge.

Our inside forward Péter Vörös scored a brace and both goals were almost from the same position. You can see the first goal was more complicated 🙂

After this perfect start to the group stage, we also beat South Korea 1-0 and Nigeria 6-1. Sándor Vass scored a hat-trick in the match against Nigeria and it meant we won the group stage ahead of Germany.

In the second round, the first knock-out stage, I decided to use a 4-1-4-1 again because Peru played with 4-3-3 narrow or 4-4-2 in the previous matches and I wanted to play more defensively.

We were through to the Quarter Final after a 2-0 win and very solid performance.

stažený soubor (3)

In our tournament tree side, we had a chance to face England or Serbia in the Quarter Final and it was England after their magnificent results.

stažený soubor (4)

Again, I kept the 4-1-4-1 formation, we scored one goal in each half and we won 2-0 again. They were six half chances and they had also five long shots or two blocked but only five on target. But Hutvágner was in really good form and he kept another clean sheet.

stažený soubor (5)

A Semi Final against Argentina was quite dramatic after we were 1-0 up from a 52nd minute and goal by János Major but they equalised in the stoppage time.

They scored in the 91st minute but it looked like my players didn’t want to go to extra time and be tired before they will be able to take some “cerveza” in the hotel bar after the match and we scored a winning goal in 95th minute and reached the World Cup Final.

stažený soubor (6)

The Final was played at Camp Nou against France. They beat Spain, Brazil and Portugal on their way to the Final.

I shared the key moments of the Final in my FMSlack channel and I think it would be good to recap them here…

  • Martial & Mbappé and co. vs. Szoboszlai & Benedek and co.
  • First chance just after the kick-off for France but Simon didn’t hit the target


  • 18′ János Major won the ball at the half line, passed it to Vass but he hit the exit door instead of the goal
  • 39′ Left back Andrea Florio injured, Áron Filó takes his place
  • 45′ Penalty kick for Hungary!


  • 45+1′ Szoboszlai! 1-0!


  • ⏱️ HT 1-0
  • 68′ Almost 2-0 but great save…


  • 75′ Nothing happens here, still 1-0…
  • 88′ Chance! But he saved it…


  • 89′ 1-1! ⚽️ Timko who came to the pitch in 81st minute lost the ball on the right side as he is injured and France made an attack on the right side, Kamga found Mbappé and he levelled the score.


  • ⏱️ End of the 90 minutes 1-1
  • ⏱️ No chances during the first half of the extra time
  • ⏱️ And nothing happened during the second half of the extra time. Both teams already really fatigued. Full-time 1-1.


  • Szoboszlai ✅ Mbappé ✅ 1-1
  • Vass ✅ Le Calvez ❌ 2-1


  • Mihálszki ✅ Lemar ✅ 3-2
  • Kiss ✅ Kamga ❌ 4-2


🇭🇺🇭🇺🇭🇺 WORLD CUP 2030 WINNERS 🇭🇺🇭🇺🇭🇺

stažený soubor (8)

Some things I like from the Cup just only because it’s connected to my players.

  • Keeper Hutvágner kept 4 clean sheets
  • Sándor Vass scored 6 goals
  • Görgy Benedek made 6 assists and it’s a new World Cup record
  • Gÿorgy Benedek was voted the best player of the tournament – quite good for a player I bought as a cover midfielder in 2024 when he was 18 🙂
  • Four players in the best XI of the tournament
  • Hungary reached the 1st place in the World Rankings 🌎🌍🌏

What next? Well, this tournament was the last international adventure of Keysi Rensie within this save in Hungary.

During the 2029/2030 season, I decided I will resign from the national team job and it didn’t matter how the tournament end. I don’t have enough time to play club & country save and it will be better to play only with a club and try to build something good.

That means I resigned as Hungarian national team manager just after the tournament.

stažený soubor (13)

It was a pleasure…

Thanks for reading as always. If you are interested in something let me know there in the comments section, on Twitter or in my #fmrensie channel in FMSlack.

What is Slack? Read this or ask me and others on Twitter for example.

Take care and enjoy Football Manager 2018.

Keysi Rensie


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