Football Manager 2020 predicts the careers of the world’s top players over next 10 years

  • Rob Swan

Football Manager has a mixed history when it comes to successfully predicting the future.

They correctly said that the likes of Sergio Aguero, Cesc Fabregas and Javier Mascherano would all become top players very early on in their careers.

On the other hand, we’re still waiting for Freddy Adu, Cherno Samba and Keirrison to take the world by storm.

The latest edition of Football Manager (FM 2020) is about to hit the shelves, although many are already playing the beta version.

One Football Manager-related YouTuber (GoldenFM) has released a video showing what will happen in football over the next 10 years, including the careers of the world’s current top players.

So where will the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah be in 10 years’ time? Let’s find out…

Lautaro Martinez

One of the most highly-rated young strikers in the world right now, Lautaro Martinez joins Man Utd in a £77 million deal from Inter Milan in 2020 and ends up scoring goals fairly consistently for the Red Devils.

By the end of the 2028/29 season, Martinez has banged in 142 goals in 281 games for the Red Devils.

Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva is still a Manchester City player in 2029. The midfielder has already represented Portugal 149 times, scoring 49 goals. He has also won the World Player of the Year award twice, in 2025 and 2026.

Kai Havertz

The talented Kai Havertz completes an £81 million move from Bayer Leverkusen to Barcelona in 2022 and goes on to become a key player for the Catalan giants, scoring plenty of goals and providing even more assists.

Thibaut Courtois

By 2029, Thibaut Courtois is *still* Real Madrid’s first-choice goalkeeper. The Belgian clearly turned things around for himself at the Bernabeu following some unconvincing performances early on.

Jadon Sancho

Liverpool fork out £79 million to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund in 2021 – and then sell him for £104 million to Real Madrid four years later. His goals and assists stats are more impressive at the Bernabeu compared to his time at Anfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold has spent his entire career with Liverpool, Reds fans will be delighted to hear. The right-back has also played for England 84 times, scoring five goals.

Erling Haaland

The hugely-promising Erling Haaland finally leaves Red Bull Salzburg in 2023, signing for Man Utd for a surprisingly low £20 million fee. After impressing at Old Trafford, where he scored 21 goals in 39 games, the Norwegian then moves to Atletico Madrid a year later for £50 million.

Lionel Messi

In 2029, Messi is now a coach at Osasuna (named Atletico Pamplona on the game), following a brief spell as a coach at Granada. The legendary forward retired in 2025 after the goals and assists began to dry up.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Messi might be a coach in 2029, but Cristiano Ronaldo is an actual manager – at Leeds United!

The Portuguese icon played for Juventus up until 2024 before hanging up his boots. He then began his managerial career at Hull City, before taking charge at Sheffield United, Reading and then Leeds.

How can you not love Football Manager?

Harry Kane

Harry Kane, now 35 years old, is still at Tottenham in 2029. Now that’s what you call loyalty. But has he become the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer…?

No! Kane has 241 Premier League goals, which is 19 short of Alan Shearer’s record. He is, however, now England’s all-time leading goalscorer with 70 goals from 128 caps.

Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe wins the World Player of the Year award at the age of 23 and is still with PSG aged 30 in 2029. Unsurprisingly, the French striker has been prolific throughout his career, picking up Man of the Match awards for fun in the process.

Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann is retired and looking for his first job as a manager, aged 37, in 2029. The Frenchman spent the remainder of his career with Barcelona, bringing the curtain down on his career in 2027.

Mohamed Salah

Worryingly for Liverpool fans, Mohamed Salah ends up completing a £127 million move to Real Madrid in 2020. The Egyptian is still plying his trade at the Bernabeu in 2029, at the age of 36, and has scored goals consistently throughout his time in the Spanish capital.

Andy Robertson

Intriguingly, Liverpool replace the brilliant Andy Robertson with Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney as their first-choice left-back. Robertson ends up leaving Anfield for Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal on a free transfer in 2026. He then moves on to Qatar-based Al-Sadd for a couple of seasons and is with Maccabi Haifa in Israel by 2028. Random.

Virgil van Dijk

As well as cashing in on Salah in 2020, Liverpool also sell Virgil van Dijk for £111 million in 2020. What is going on at Anfield?!

The Dutch defender spends the rest of his career at Paris Saint-Germain before becoming the assistant manager of Bordeaux reserves.

Joao Felix

Atletico Madrid sell Joao Felix to Manchester City for £87 million in 2022 (£26 million less than the £113 million they paid Benfica in real life in 2019). City then sell him two years later to Barcelona for £146 million. The Portuguese star shines at Camp Nou, scoring 83 goals in 163 games.

Marcus Rashford

Chelsea sign Marcus Rashford from Manchester United in 2021 for a staggering £122 million fee. The English forward isn’t exactly prolific during his four seasons at Stamford Bridge and ends up joining Juventus (named Zebre on FM20) for £85 million in 2024. He’s still with the Old Lady in 2029 and has also scored 32 goals in 134 games for England.

Raheem Sterling

By 2029, Raheem Sterling has earned an astonishing 165 caps for England, scoring 45 goals. Now 34, the winger is still a Man City player.

So, there we have it.

A lot of these ‘predictions’ are obviously far-fetched in the extreme, but football is a funny business – never rule out anything.

That said, we can’t imagine Andy Robertson will be plying his trade for Maccabi Haifa in 2029 after spending the previous years playing in Saudi Arabia and Qatar!

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