Michael Leniec holds Guinness World Record for longest ever game of Football Manager

  • Rob Swan

If you’re a football fan who grew up in the 90s or 00s there’s a pretty high chance that you spent a lot of time - probably too much time, in fact - playing Championship Manager and then Football Manager.

Let’s face it, we probably all would have done a little better in school or university if CM/FM weren’t around back in the day. It was ridiculously addictive.

Those who’ve failed to kick the habit would almost certainly argue that the most-recent versions haven’t lost any of their addictiveness value.

Whether it’s taking our favourite lower-league clubs to Champions League glory, signing Cherno Samba and watching him score 100 goals a season, or putting on a suit for the FA Cup final, we all have our personal tales about the legendary video games.

They were part and parcel of most of our childhoods and will always occupy a special place in our hearts.

But some people take their love for Football Manager *way* too far.

In 2016, UK football fan Darren Bland broke the Guinness World Record for the longest game of Football Manager with 154 - yes, 154 - seasons in charge of Italian outfit Fiorentina.

This was broken a year later by Seb Keenan, whose 170 in-game years saw him take the record. The Oxford United fan managed teams including Barcelona, QPR, Bristol City - and, yes, Oxford United - on his record-breaking save.

However, Seb no longer holds the record, it’s emerged.

A couple of months later - and with very little fanfare, it must be said - Michael Leniec, a 38-year-old from Poland, smashed the record for the ‘longest single game of Football Manager’.

Playing on FM 2016, the Pole played for a remarkable 221 in-game years with his favourite team in real life, Lech Poznan.

His character in the game was, at the time the record officially entered the record books, 258 years old and midway through the 2237-2238 season.

He played a total of 14,381 matches in the save, winning 10,997 of them and losing just 1,720 - giving him an impressive 76% win percentage.

Michael also managed to amass a staggering 680 trophies during this time, including:

Polish Ekstraklasa (top division of Polish football) – 207

Polish Cup – 161

Polish Super Cup – 184

Champions League – 45

European Super Cup – 34

World Club Championship – 42

FIFA World Cup – 1 (with Holland)

UEFA European Championship – 2 (with Holland)

FIFA Confederations Cup – 1 (with Holland)

UEFA Nations League – 2 (1 with Spain and 1 with England)

Africa Cup of Nations – 1 (with Ghana)


Michael admits he deliberately set out to break the Guinness World Record, conceding it was both a challenge for himself and his family.

"I begun the game a few days after SI released FM2016, the middle of November 2015. So I spent over two years playing this record-breaking game." Leniec told the Guinness World Record website.

"My goal is to train young players and introduce them to first team, almost the same as the real Lech Poznan.

"My best moment in the game is definitely when my pupils (current or ex-players, but all from Lech Poznan Academy) were the starting eleven of (World) Team of the Year. Yeah - it's a pretty big achievement!

"I treat this record as a prize for my family, I always had FM running in the background so it was a challenge for my family too."


Lech Poznan organised for Michael to have a photoshoot to celebrate his achievement, which is a nice touch.

Michael Leniec, we salute you.

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