Football Manager has long been the closest fans will get to taking charge of a professional club.
The popular franchise offers players a quite frighteningly detailed experience of what it’s like to be in the dugout - and it’s stupidly addictive.
As far as football video games go, there are few greater achievements than transforming an unknown club into European giants.
That’s exactly what Andrej Pavlovic did with FK Bezanija of the Serbian second division, racking up a glittering honours list over the course of 16 years.
He guided them to ten consecutive league titles, six domestic cups and a Champions League semi-final, beating the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and Bayern Munich along the way.
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Pavlovic - a 22-year-old Belgrade local - saw fit to offer his expertise to the struggling Novi Beograd outfit in real life.
Remarkably, they offered to take him on as a data analyst after looking over his virtual CV.
“I reached out to them with my achievements on FM and suggested I could help them. I didn't expect they would call me,” he said, per SportBible.
“We just had a friendly chat and the club director asked me if I can could come on Saturday for the first game to see how things go.
“I suggested I could help them out but I didn't expect they would call me.
“I really couldn't believe it. I was shocked but when we talked they asked me if I could volunteer for them as they are in a rough spot financially.”
Pavlovic got his first taste of working with Bezanija over the weekend - and you can bet it won’t be the last.
He compiled a report of Saturday’s 2-1 home win against FK Dedinje, which impressed the club so much that they asked him to do the same for their under-21s match the next day.
Pavlovic even posted some of his work on Reddit for other stat nerds to enjoy.
Although Pavlovic plans on using his degree in medical sciences to build a long-term career, he’s open to seeing where his current position takes him.
“If the chance occurs, I would love a career in football as a scout or data analyst, something that has been my dream for long time and something I do pretty well,” he said.
“Currently I am not paid by FK Bezanija but I do this because I love the club and the job.
“I hope in the future I can see myself being paid by a club to do something I love.”News Now - Sport News