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The One Who Throws The Stone Forgets, The One Who Is Hit Remembers Forever

Duruji Kvareli – 2042 Open Thread

December 2041 / January 2042 – Odds & Ends.

While it is tempting to look ahead to the transfer window, we are not there. Yet.

In the Champions League, we draw Thomas Delaney’s Atletico — a chance to avenge our 2041 Club World Cup Group Stage defeat, one of only two losses we suffered during the entire 2040 campaign. While it was little more than a glorified friendly, it still burns. Atletico currently sit a distant 3rd in La Liga, and appear ripe for the plucking.

We greet the 2041 award season with a warm glass of Sizzurp and low expectations.

Dariusz Sapa is named World U21 Footballer of the Year for the second straight year, while Jalal Hosseinpour also repeats as Asian Footballer of the Year.

Atle Hovring is named to the World Team of the Year, which is otherwise (predictably) filled with players at the so-called “big” clubs.

Meanwhile, new signing Miguel Katchipwisayla earns numerous distinctions, including the Broadcaster’s African Footballer of the Year, a separate African Footballer of the Year, and African Striker of the Year. (I, for one, am disappointed there is no “Libero of the Year.” I also task Shaw with putting the knobheads in charge of the Ballon d’Or on notice of Katchipwisayla‘s future candidacy. As a courtesy, mind you.)

We’ve also scheduled a testimonial for Valdas Freidgeimas, as part of the initial pre-season slate of friendlies.

It is the least we could do for the player who arrived on a free in October 2030, having gone on to: (1) earn 100 caps for Lithuania, becoming their all-time leading goalscorer; (2) make 402 appearances and score 328 goals in a Duruji Kvareli kit, in all competitions to-date; (3) be named the supporters’ Player of the Year on 7 separate occasions, among numerous other accolades; and (4) be named our top (or joint-top) goalscorer 5 separate times.

We’re hitting the final phase of Freidgeimas’ long, illustrious career at the club. His contract expires at the end of 2043, and he has already fallen down the pecking order, dropping to the 2nd XI. He’s only still here because of sentiment — against my usual inclinations. Of course, if he were to ask to leave I would honor that request given his service to the club and the affection I hold for him.

January 2042 – Transfers.

While I’m proud of the transfer business we have conducted to-date at Duruji Kvareli, this is a window like no other.

The arrival of Miguel Katchipwisayla ($109M, incl. future fees; Wolves) is easily the biggest transfer story of the year, in-game.

On the one hand, it is a record fee for a Georgian club and for an Angolan player.

On the other hand, Katchipwisayla is an utter beast. He will step immediately into our 1st XI as a libero, replacing Milosz Banach (who was himself, a converted striker and departs for Stuttgart, for $32.5M — more than half of which will be paid in installments, plus a 50 percent sell-on clause). We are also immediately working to unlearn Miguel’s nasty habit habit of playing with his back to the goal.

(Truth be told, Katchiwisayla is almost certainly the biggest signing I’ve ever made in my years of playing FM/CM. If you’ve followed any of my saves before, you know that I typically don’t like spending money on transfers or wages, much less on players over the age of 19. Frankly, I would not have signed him, but for the appeal of splashing all this cash on a player who may be the best forward in the world…only to play him as a libero.)

The other “big” arrivals are: (1) Belarussian-Georgian dual national Maxim Prokhorenko ($1.6M; Shakhter Soligorsk), who will play as a mezzala and arrive in June; and (2) Giorgi Gelashvili ($1.7M; Lokomotivi Tbilisi), who joins immediately, and will retrain as a shadow striker. Barring an unexpected departure, both will play primarily with the U21s over the course of the 2041 campaign, while also seeing minutes from the bench with the 2nd XI.

We’ve also signed two promising Georgian centerbacks, Nika Samkharadze ($375k; Dinamo Batumi) and Ioseb Chankotadze ($90k; Telavi), who will play as ball-playing defenders with the U21s this year alongside Georgian-Swiss dual national Francois Tisserand ($150k; Tskhumi), who will train as a roaming playmaker. These 3 players may not have the potential to reach our 1st XI, but they could have a role to play with the national team going forward. It is worth it to develop them now, especially at what is a negligible cost.

We’ve also secured the future signings of three additional players who appear to have the requisite potential to play a role in our first team squad: (1) Jair Adamo ($150k; Ferroviario de Beira), a promising mezzala who will join in January 2043; and (2) Otar Jikia ($3.8M; PAOK), a Georgian-Greek dual national who will train as a shadow striker upon joining the club in June 2042, whom we signed in late December for a fee due to interst from other clubs; and (3) Florian Joly ($750k, not incl. future fees; PEC Zwolle), a speedy Dutch wingback who will join in March 2043.

As suggested in last year’s season review, the goal during this window was primarily to establish greater strength in depth, to supplement those players coming through our academy.

The more cynical among us might also note that these players are of a caliber which all-but guarantees a return on our investment — even if they do not develop to the point where they join our first-team squad, they will have sell-on potential.

Television revenue in the Erovnuli Liga continues to rise, with each club receiving $66.27 million in 2042, a modest year-on-year increase from the $63.61 million received in 2041.

February 2042 – Champions League, First Knockout Round (1st Leg).

After a straightforward pre-season in which we run rampant, working primarily to get Katchipwisayla used to playing as a libero, we are as ready as we can be for Thomas Delaney’s Atletico.

The first leg is in Madrid, at the Wanda Metropolitano. We know the perils of looking past a team of this quality. And, yet, I have no hesitation whatsoever in continuing to play Katchipwisayla at libero.

We start well enough, but Rubio hits a world-class, curling strike into the top corner from distance in the 15th minute, to give our hosts the lead.

In the 42nd minute, we punch back. Mbabu with a long throw, finds Katchipwisayla attacking the near post. A casual flick, and we’re back level. This is why we signed him, and adjusted all of our set pieces to play to the strengths of and feature this brilliant young man. My mind registers the goals-scored clause in his contract, but my heart does not care. Not one bit. It is his debut. The moment is his. And to his credit, he celebrates like a man gone mad.

The second half is equally lively, though neither side can find a goal.

A 1-1 draw is a fine result on the night, especially when Katchipwisayla is named Player of the Match.

On the eve of the domestic campaign kicking off, the projections are out — surprising no one, we are heavy, heavy favorites to win the Erovnuli Liga for the 16th year on the bounce, with no less than 10 players in the media’s pre-season Dream XI.

This year’s token non-Duruji Kvareli player is Pablo Antelo at left back, certainly a solid player but he’s not a patch on Munteanu as a left back (though Munteanu is in the XI as a midfielder).

March 2042 – Champions League, 1st Knockout Round (2nd Leg).

Ahead of the Georgian Super Cup, the news trickles through — season ticket sales rise to 1,102, up from 1,037 last year. (Ticket prices rise modestly, to $44 per match and $341 per season ticket, up from $43 and $336 last year.)

The Georgian Super Cup and runs according to plan — Dinamo Tbilisi sit deep, like the fradulent cowards they are. We run out comfortable 3-nil winners.

It is hard to blame them for sitting deep, though, as the first Erovnuli Liga match demonstrates what happens when Georgian teams try to play us straight up. Away to Saburtalo — who have, in my opinion, have the second-strongest side in the league — we took a 6-nil lead into the half away, and finished at 8-nil.

While we are taking our time in this early stage of the year, ensuring that Katchipwisayla learns his new position and our style of play, the domestic results have little importance. Our eyes are on Atletico.

The second leg at the Goose is a raucous, noisy affair straight from the first whistle, as our supporters are in rare form to celebrate the first big European night of the year. Panchev obliges them with an easy tap-in at the back post in the 31st, as Katchipwisayla attracted the attention of the Spanish defense at the near post.

While Katchipwisayla has a penalty saved in the 44th minute, Hjaltason smashes one home in the 3rd minute of extra time to ensure we carry a two-goal lead into the half.

The second half is muted — the tie is over, there is no fight left in the Spaniards. A comfortable 2-nil win.

We will face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United in the quarterfinals, after His Oiliness overturned a 3-nil deficit against ze Germans, winning the 2nd leg 4-nil despite being reduced to 10 men. The Red Devils sit 2nd in the Premier League, where 5 teams are within two point of Julian Stephan’s Chelsea at the top.

April 2042 – Champions League, Quarterfinals (1st Leg).

We travel to the Theatre of Dreams for the first leg, fully aware that urCristiano will instruct his men to be aggressive from the off. We will respond in kind, no matter how warm the reception is for Shaw, who amiably obliges the crowd with a wave, before turning his steely gaze to the match.

We strike first blood in the 8th minute, as Daugaard hits a 40-yard Hollywood ball to meet Hjaltason breaking through a gap in the half-space in full stride — the Icelandic legend and club captain rounding the keeper to finish calmly, to give us a 1-nil lead.

Mere minutes later, Hovring bundles the ball into the net, but Rooney and the UEFA mafia intervene to deny us via VAR. We’re playing against more than 11 men tonight, make no mistake about it.

United come close in the 33rd minute, striking the post off of a corner, but we manage to clear. It is a warning sign. A harbinger, perhaps, as our hosts begin to twist the screws. We reach the half with our narrow lead intact, but a long 45 minutes is ahead. We sit slightly deeper, and instruct the lads to be more incisive in the final third when what we imagine will be few chances arive.

United strike the post again on the counter in the 50th minute, following our enjoyment of a sustained period of possession in the final third. Yet, we maintain our composure and the lead through the hour mark, at which point we need to consider substitutions. Hosseinpour will replace Panchev, with Henriksen on for Sapa.

A nearly-instantaneous impact from Henriksen, who forces a fine save from Garcia in the 68th minute. Olivera replaces the tiring Hjaltason a few minutes later.

While urCristiano prepares for squeaky bum time by applies a healthy splash of his “lucky” essential oils, Shaw is in ours, preaching calm. He need not have bothered. We are the very definition of composure.

Though only 3 minutes of time-added on are shown, United win a free kick in the 94th minute, 20 yards out, slightly off-center to the left. urCristiano quickly strips off his tracksuit, looking to enter the pitch, but the 4th official denies him entry. This has all the makings of a classic UEFA ****-job, and I can only imagine the glee in Rooney‘s vacant eyes, somewhere above in the UEFA box. The crowd can sense it, too. This is the moment they’ve been waiting for.

They can only watch in horror, however, as Jansen smashes the ball into the wall, and we counter at pace — Hosseinpour leading the charge and getting to the endline, but unselfishly cutting back to find the streaking Henriksen. Arild makes no mistake, smashing it into the back of the net with authority. 2-nil, as the clock ticks into the 95th minute.

Because **** you, that’s why.

It was not an iconic night in terms of the fluidity of our attacking play. But it is a historic night, in every other possible measure.

April 2042 – Champions League, Quarterfinals (2nd Leg).

Back in Kvareli, Shaw decides to engage in a bit of mind games with urCristiano, dispatching the interns to scour the region and purchase every available ounce of essential oils, and to steal whatever supply United’s hotel might have on hand. Though urCristiano is known to travel with a reserve, there is always a chance that his pre-match jitters will result in overuse and the need to restock his supplies…after all, this is a delicate balance that must be maintained.

Shortly before kickoff, word passes through. The interns have done it — more importantly, they’ve kept the receipts — our grapefruit budget is already high enough as it is. Shaw instructs the lads to dump all the oils into a hot tub which he has rigged with wheels. I know better than to ask questions. I don’t want to know.

We nearly open our account in the 16th minute, countering at pace from a United corner, but Sapa fires just wide.

5 minutes later, it is a carbon copy counterattack, only this time Mbabu rifles it into the top corner, beating the keeper at his near post. As urCristiano gestures angrily in the technical area, Shaw shouts something to him — something I cannot make out over the din of the crowd. I cam imagine what it was, though, as urCristiano quickly whips out a mirror to check whether his face is properly moisturized, a worried look in his eye as he glares at Shaw, who pretends not to notice and just smiles in his amiable, canine way.

We are awarded a penalty in the 30th minute, as Sapa is cruelly hacked down…only for Katchipwisayla to fire wide. As urCristiano celebrates in our technical area with an admittedly-epic “diamond cutter,” Shaw takes the opportunity to muss his hair — which prompts a scuffle, resulting in both Shaw and urCristiano seeing yellow.

The penalty miss notwithstanding, we are in rampant form — Panchev finding our second in the 37th minute, all but ending any hopes of a comeback.

Shaw confers with the interns at the half, who promptly rush out of the locker room. It doesn’t take long to see why, as we emerge for the 2nd 45 to see that a platform has been quickly erected behind the United bench, upon which sits the hot tub. The smell of eucalyptus oil is overpowering, seemingly filling the entire stadium.

To the delight of the crowd, Shaw climbs up, strips down to a banana hammock emblazoned with the Duruji Kvareli logo, dons a snorkeling mask and climbs in.

In celebration of Hjaltason’s 51st minute goal, Shaw removes the banana hammock and fires it — rubberband style — at urCristiano‘s head. It hits with an audible, wet thud, to the delight of the crowd and fury of the United manager, who must be restrained by his assistants. Shaw ignores the fracas below, focused instead on leading the crowd in a rendition of Kvareli Style and dance, a crowd favorite to the tune of the age-old Psy hit.

United pull one back a few moments later, as Khasenov lunges to clear off the line but cannot do so. He is unfairly credited with an own goal, no doubt due to the petty anger of some UEFA minion.

The fireworks cease at the point, however. We run out comfortable 3-1 winners on the night, 5-1 on aggregate, as urCristiano exits the pitch to a lengthy chorus, led by Shaw cavorting in his oil, predicting his imminent sacking.

We will face Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid in the semifinals — a rematch of last year’s final — after they eliminated Mario Hermoso’s Roma 6-1 on aggregate. With six matches to play, the Virus sit comfortably atop La Liga.

A chance to avenge last year’s loss? Yes, please.

Suit up, lads. It’s about to go down.

April 2042 – Champions League, Semifinals (Leg 1).

The hot tub stays for the first leg against the Virus, after Shaw had the idea to auction off tickets to watch the match from it, with the proceeds going to charity.

It’s the catbird seat as we start the match with a vengeance, pushing forward aggressively, with Hovring driving past 2 defenders in the first minute to claim his goal. He runs over to celebrate with the scantily clad contingent in the hot tub. As one does.

Hovring hits a second in the 28th minute with a sumptuous, first-time volley off a Sapa free kick, only for VAR to rule it out for offsides. The crowd serenade Zidane with a rendition of “your bald spot’s offside,” which draws a wry chuckle from the 69 year-old, who is then invited gregariously into the hot tub. He demurs.

Iashvili denies Ochi from close range shortly before the half — it was the Virus‘ best chance of the night, thus far.

And, again, in the 50th minute — Iashvili denies Ochi. By all rights, the Virus should be level. We need to sharpen up.

We fail to do so. The Virus draw level in the 54th minute.

We fight our way back into the match, but need to find another goal. Katchipwisayla‘s head is down, but in the 84th he begins a brilliant pass-and-move sequence which concludes with Henriksen firing past Ramirez to restore our lead.

The bit between our teeth, we again have the ball in the back of the net through Hjaltason in the 3rd minute of time added-on, only for VAR to again intervene.

We’re left to rue the whims of the UEFA mafia, as expressed through the inscrutable VAR. We’ll take a 2-1 win to Madrid, especially since it featured what was arguably the least impressive display of Katchipwisayla‘s tenure at the club.

With the World Cup rapidly approaching, the fixtures are piling up. Not that we can complain.

These runs can be brutal on your legs, even if the momentum generated is something special.

May 2042 – Champions League, Semifinals (2nd Leg).

The night before the second leg, we watch the other semifinal at the hotel. It requires extra time, but Diego Simeone’s Liverpool advance, beating Thomas Tuchel’s Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate.

We start of the match playing a higher line, with a two-fold purpose — compressing the field, and ensuring that Katchipwisayla is as high as possible. We’re rewarded in the 4th minute with a slick passage of play, ruthlessly finished by Hovring.

We continue to look dangerous, smashing the crossbar in the 20th minute, mere centimeters away from closing out the tie. After some initial pressure from our hosts, we are the side looking most likely to score.

The pattern holds through halftime. We’re within touching distance of the final. We only need withstand the barrage that is surely coming. Or beat them to the punch.

In the 51st minute, Sapa launches an ambitious thunderbolt from more than 20 yards. It is still rising when it hits the back of the net, beating Ramirez at his near post.

That’s 2-nil. 4-1 on aggregate. 40 minutes to play.

Ochi pulls one back in the 56th — Iashvili hesitates coming off his line after Daugaard turns the ball over in the build-up. Giving the Virus hope.

We do not lose focus, however, and continue to threaten…until the 65th minute, when the Virus strike on the counter. Brilliant individual effort from Konradsen to make it 2-2 on the night.

Katchipwisayla hits the crossbar in the 74th, but the Virus manage to clear.

In the 79th minute, after we handed the Virus two goals, it is their turn to return the favor — Ramirez letting Hovring’s shot go straight through his hands, restoring our lead. It’s 3-2 on the night.

Now, the Virus need 3.

Panchev claims another our 4th of the night in transition, in the 85th minute. A sublime chip over Ramirez, who has certainly had a night to forget.

That is where things end. 4-2 on the night, 6-3 on aggregate.

We can book our tickets to the Camp Nou. For the 4th time in 5 years, we will play for the Champions League title.

June 2042 – Champions League, Final.

The domestic matches leading up to the final are straightforward — 5 wins with a +23 goal difference.

A flurry of takeover rumors appear in the days immediately preceding the match — as if we need that kind of distraction.

Diego Simeone’s men are narrow favorites, which I find ironic given our track record against Liverpool in recent years.

The lineups contain no surprises. Both sides are at full strength, with Duruji Kvareli academy graduate Soso Bokhashvili on Liverpool‘s bench. There can be no excuses today.

Per usual, Katchipwisayla is fired up when we leave the dressing room, ready to charge through a brick wall. And, per usual, I will need to tell him to calm the **** down immediately after kickoff.

The opening minutes are defined by one word, and word only — nullification. Neither side able to accomplish anything. Liverpool unwilling to commit men forward in possession, sitting deep with two defensive midfielders shielding their back 4. Cowards.

The first real chance of the match comes in the 15th minute, when we win a free kick 25 yards out, wide to the right. Mestrovic swings it in, looking for Katchipwisayla on the back post, but Liverpool manage to clear. We recycle possession, moving the ball at pace, eventually finding Mestrovic on the flank — he gets to the byline and crosses, but it is too heavy — taking Panchev beyond the back post. Undeterred, the Bulgarian heads it back across goal, finding Hjaltason at full steam, 4 yards from goal, the Liverpool keeper befuddled in the extreme. 1-nil to the good guys.

While Liverpool continue to create chances, after 30 minutes we are the side looking more dangerous.

The whistle blows for halftime. The neutrals are likely distraught. Not that our supporters will care. Liverpool continue to sit deep, refusing to commit men forward in possession. We cannot afford complacency — not 1-nil up.

Katchipwisayla looks nervous at the half. This is the biggest match of his career thus far — exactly what he signed up for. (Well, that and the mountains of cash we deliver to his house every week in unmarked, non-consecutive, small-denomination bills.)

To break the tension, Shaw gently squeezes his left buttock in the hallway leading to the pitch — a loving, tender squeeze — a squeeze that says “hey, bro-dawg, you got this.” (Unfortunately for all involved, this tender moment was broadcast live to the millions watching around the globe, leading to a series of delightful memes over the coming hours, days, weeks, months and years.)

An hour gone, the tension begins to rise again. Liverpool have yet to create anything meaningful this half, but the clock is ticking. They will need to commit bodies forward at some point.

One such opportunity arises in the 66th, when they send 5 men into our box on a corner, with a 6th lurking on the 18. Bousenine heads off the post, and Khasenov clears, looking to start the counterattack.

Hovring gathers, turns, beats one man and begins to run at the Liverpool defense as we get forward en masse, Panchev isolated against one centerback while the other backpedals furiously in anticipation of Hovring‘s pace. But Hovring hesitates…and lays it off for the overlapping Sapa, who is brought down by Antunes on the edge of the box.

Antunes is on a yellow…that’s the second. Liverpool are down to 10 men. Bokiashvili is brought on, but surely Simeone‘s men are in trouble now.

Hjaltason curls the ensuing free kick around the wall, and the keeper cannot get there. 2-nil, with 24 minutes to play. Freidgeimas and Kyei immediately replace Hovring and Mbabu, respectively — adding a seasoned, suave finisher with fresh legs, and a bit of bite.

Henriksen replaces Sapa with a little over 10 minutes to play. Liverpool have begun to push forward, but surely it is too little, too late.

In the 82nd minute, Munteanu breaks down the flank, cutting into the box, where he is cruelly hacked down. The referee has no choice. VAR confirms. Penalty to Duruji Kvareli.

While Katchipwisayla would usually take it, Hjaltason is on a hat trick — the newest member of the squad hands the ball to our captain, who curls it high to the keeper’s right. 3-nil. The match is over.

Hjaltason — the player who joined the club in January 2032 for 170k, was named our captain in 2035, and scored the match-winner in last year’s Club World Cup final — has taken us to the promised land, claiming a hat trick on the biggest stage in European club football, the third goal being his 201st for the club in all competitions.

It is all over but for the shouting. At the final whistle, Shaw licks Simeone‘s earlobe playfully. Diego is not amused, but at his age is unable to catch the wily, pudgy Englishman who cackles as he dances out of reach.

Duruji Kvareli are the Champions of Europe, once again.

June 2042 – European Review.

The Champions League is rather thoroughly documented above, as we took Diego Simeone’s Liverpool apart, 3-nil, to claim our 2nd Champions League title.

As Luke Shaw always says, “it takes two to make a thing go right, it takes two to make it out of sight.” (I’m still not sure why he calls himself Rob Bass when he says it, though.)

Frank Daugaard, Sergei Khasenov, Magnus Oliver Hjaltason, and Dariusz Sapa are named in the Dream XI, a shocking slap in the face given that, last year, the Virus had 9 players selected after winning the title. Guga Iashvili and Toni Panchev are named Goalkeeper and Midfielder of the tournament, respectively.

In the Europa League, Isco’s Dortmund defeated Ilzat Akhmetov’s Gladbach on penalties, after a scoreless draw.

In the Europa Conference League, Julian Stephan’s Chelsea claimed the title with a 4-1 win over Mauro Camoranesi’s Saint-Etienne.

In the active leagues, Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid claimed their 4th straight La Liga title, the final title of his career as the French legend retires (and is eventually replaced by urCristiano); Ruben Amorim’s Manchester City won their first Premier League in 12 years; Merih Demiral’s Lyon won their first Ligue 1 title since 2025/26; Dejan Stankovic’s Inter Milan reclaimed the Serie A title; and, Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern did Bayern things, narrowly edging Erol Bulut’s Hoffenheim.

All eyes, however, are on Germany 2042, as the World Cup prepares to kick off. My sincere hope is that the Georgian position opens up — they have a favorable Group draw, and have enjoyed the fruits of our rise, seeing their own concomitant rise in the FIFA rankings, with 13 current or former Duruji Kvareli players in the World Cup squad.

The only thing I know for certain is that someone will get fired, resign or retire at the end of the tournament. I’ll be waiting with baited breath.

We receive an additional $61.21 million from the UEFA mafia in additional prize money ($22.36M), television revenue ($4.95M) and coeffecient ranking pool money ($33.9M).

In the end, the Erovnuli Liga drops to 9th in the UEFA competitions rankings, down 2 spots from last year, falling behind Croatia and Ukraine. The problem being that other clubs are not carrying their weight.

That being said, Georgia is still 7th in the nation club coefficients table — a mere 0.233 points behind Portugal. If the other Georgian clubs would start performing… As it is, we should overtake Portugal next year, claiming that extra Group Stage slot.

Duruji Kvareli remain 1st in the club coefficients table.  Reputation-wise, we’re now 5th, only sitting behind Real Madrid, Bayern, Manchester United and Manchester City.

June 2042.

The big news of the month is centered around the long-awaited arrival of Otar Jikia ($3.8M, PAOK) and Maxim Prokhorenko ($1.6M, Shakhter Soligorsk), who join the first-team squad but will also play with our U21s.

All other transfer business is on hold, pending the conclusion of the World Cup and — hopefully — Shaw and I taking the reins of a national team. If and when that occurs, we want to utilize Duruji Kvareli to develop players for the national side. We also have no interest in selling any of our existing squad — not at this juncture.

Spencer arrives with his usual preview of the youth academy lads, and it is dire.

A quiet month on the home front. After the fixture congestion of the Spring, we will take it.

Germany 2042 – World Cup Review.

After several dull World Cups, there were finally some brilliant surprises this time around.

During the Group Stage, though, there were few surprises even if Nigeria, South Africa and Greece will be mightily disappointed.

Exiting in the Second Round were the likes of the Brazil, Ivory Coast, Serbia, the United States, Uruguay and Holland.

Giants Belgium, hosts Germany, England and Italy all exited in the Third Round — far below any expectations.

Those nations exceeding expectations included: Russia, reaching the semifinals; Turkey and Senegal reaching the quarterfinals; and, Australia reaching the Third Round.

However, the real Cinderella story was Norway, who won Group H and defeated Brazil, Congo, Colombia, Peru, Portugal and Russia en route to the final thanks in part to the presence of 4 current/former Duruji Kvareli players — Ghayas Vikskjold, Marius Dahlen, Arild Henriksen and Atle Hovring.

The only bad news? They got smashed by a Patrick Vieira-managed France, 4-nil, in the final.

2042 World Cup: Overview | Knockout Rounds

Groups A-D | Groups E-H | Groups I-L | Groups M-P

July 2042.

Anticipating the end of the World Cup and the endless possibilities of international management, we find ourselves several weeks after the fact, befuddled at how it could have all gone so wrong.

The “major” footballing nations saw extensive turnover, but none of the countries which we were interested in.

As a salve for my wounded feelings, I yell at the Board until they agree to expand the Goose. And hand debuts to Prokhorenko and Jikia against Zestaponi — they both score in an 8-nil romp, which helps.

August 2042.

Isco’s Dortmund prove little obstacle in the UEFA Super Cup — a 4-1 win in which our ruthless finishing left ze Germans bereft of hope.

The Champions League draw sees us grouped with Merih Demiral’s Manchester United, Shakhtar and PSV. An excellent draw in every respect, as we look to extend our 72-match unbeaten streak (in all competitions), dating back to our Club World Cup loss to Atletico in June 2041), 9 matches shy of our existing 81-match record.

If we maintain our form, the 81st match will be against United at the Goose in late October.

September 2042.

A busy month as we formally secure the club’s 16th straight Erovnuli Liga title with the 2nd XI’s win over Zestaponi, and kick off the Champions League campaign with wins away to Shakhtar and PSV. We’re also on pace to surpass our own Erovnuli Liga record of 180 goals scored, with 153 in 30 matches to-date.

The youth intake arrived, and if I’m being honest it’s hard to tell what to expect.

Spencer is rather bullish on Lado Mamporia, though to my eye Giorgi Khuroshvili is equally promising. Rati Lomidze and Tamaz Modebadze round out the players worth assessing.

October 2042.

With the international break, Shaw calls wanting to know if we should congratulate Shota Akhaladze on his first cap for Georgia.

I try to play it off, but he can hear the confusion in my voice.

I genuinly have no ****ing clue who Shota is.

Turns out, Shota is annihilating all-comers, with our U21s and U19s, while being on a youth contract. I casually suggest that we get that lad to sign professional terms.

“That’s a brilliant idea, Boss. Can’t believe we didn’t think about that beforehand…”

Shaw knows I hate it when he gets sassy. Because I’ve told him. Repeatedly. But if I tell him again, he’ll just mockingly start repeating everything I say in a stupid voice. Which I’ve also told him not to do.

But, like a toddler, telling him “no” only encourages him.

Meanwhile, takeover rumors continue to swirl.

We leave it late against hyper-defensive United at the Goose, but a brace from substitute Hosseinpour sees us claim a deserved 2-nil win, to take charge of the Group — it is also our 80th consecutive match without losing, after the Dinamo Batumi cup match was postponed. The 1st XI annihilate Torpedo Kutaisi, 7-nil, to equal the club record.

To reach 82, the 2nd XI are tasked with the rescheduled cup match, away to Dinamo Batumi.

Historically, we hold the edge — winning 64 matches, with only 6 draws and 3 losses, and an overall +234 goal difference. Yet, all 3 of those losses (and 3 of the draws) came during the 2026 and 2027 campaigns. The last time we dropped points against Batumi was in August 2035, more than 7 years ago.

The 2nd XI give us a good scare, spotting Batumi 2 goals before smashing 5 past them to set a new record — 82 matches unbeaten in all competitions.

An epic run, no doubt. But we are hungry for more. So much more.

November 2042.

I have to say — the intimidation factor at Old Trafford is diminished when the Red Devils are too scared to play you straight up. We let ourselves down on Matchday 4. Forced to settle for a scoreless draw, we could not break through the buses they parked in front of goal.

Even Shaw was appalled at the shameful display of cowardice — keep in mind that he played at Old Trafford for that Portuguese ****, too.

We put Shakhtar to the sword on Matchday 5, a 6-nil win that leaves no doubt as to our intentions or our focus on returning to the Champions League title.

Yet, on the eve of the final match of the Erovnuli Liga campaign away to Dila Gori, I cannot help but dream of a new record. We sit on 180 goals scored — equal to our record haul from 2035, a campaign in which we conceded 21 goals. All we need is a single goal to break our goalscoring record.

The last time we were held scoreless in the Erovnuli Liga? August 2040. Away to Dila Gori. A run of more than 2 years…during which we have not only managed to find the back of the net in every match, we have not dropped a single point.

Of course, if we can shut Dila Gori out, we will also secure the lowest goals conceded in league history — a mere 5, 1 better than in 2041.

Given the significance of the moment, the 1st XI are handed the task.

Hjaltason did his level best to intimidate the Dila Gori captain at the coin toss.

The lads do not disappoint, as Katchiwisayla leads them to a 4-nil win with a perfect hat trick from the penalty spot — left foot, right foot and a header. Granted, he missed a 4th penalty in the 33rd minute — best left unsaid what he struck that penalty with.

2 matches remain.

December 2042 – Season Review.

The Davit Kipiani Cup final is not remotely competitive — a 3-nil win in which Dila Gori manage a single, off-target shot. PSV prove to be made of sterner stuff a few days later, but it does not prevent us from claiming a straightforward 3-1 win.

The Board finalize plans to expand the Goose as the curtain falls on another “invincible” campaign. 63 matches, including friendlies. 61 wins. 2 draws.

In the last 3 years, we have only lost 2 matches in all competitions.

We have accomplished everything we could possibly accomplish at the club level. That much is clear.

The standard of football is slowly rising in Georgia — that is also clear. At the same time, the gap between Duruji Kvareli and our domestic rivals has only continued to widen — this year’s Erovnuli Liga campaign was our most emphatic march to the title yet, setting records for goals scored (184) and fewest conceded (5).

While I am hopeful that climbing into 6th in the club coefficients table will accelerate this process — since we are poised to overtake Portugal for the 2043/44 campaign — that may just be wishful thinking on my part, with long-term progression dependent on other clubs’ success in continental football.

The obvious next step at Duruji Kvareli is to pivot — focus on Georgian youth development, with an eye towards developing youth for when we take over the national team. However, Rekhviashvili — the utter fraud that he is — is already succeeding with a squad built around a core group of players that came through our doors. Why should I continue to prop him up?

I’ve dispatched Shaw to the Ivory Coast, to observe the 2043 Cup of Nations and ingratiate himself with the representatives of the FAs from any nations who are underperforming. He has a suitcase filled with small denomination bills and — to help with the language barrier — the first season of Caillou to watch on the plane. What could go wrong? Worst case scenario, we lurk around the Euro qualifiers over the coming year, to pounce when the right opportunity arises.

Goals for 2043:  Win everything. Take over the Georgian national team or, in the alternative, that of a similarly enjoyable nation to bide our time.

Squad | Erovnuli Liga | Transfers

Finances | Income | Expenditure

God leaned over to the Devil, drew him close and declared, “those who will drink three glasses of chacha may be on my side. After that, they are yours.”

If you’ve stumbled upon this post and are finding yourself a bit confused, the basic concept behind Duruji Subsequent ThreadSave is explained here.  Just need to catch up? Each installment in Levan “Goose” Akhobadze’s attempt to take over the football world, starting from the Georgian Regional Leagues, can be accessed through the Duruji Subsequent ThreadSave Archive.

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