The Santos Experience – The Next Generation

Santos Futebol Clube has a rich history of developing the next generation of talent in world football. Names such as Pelé, Robinho, Diego, Ganso and Neymar are all names that came from the famous academy over the years and that tradition doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. When Neymar was sold to Barcelona Santos had another young exciting prospect ready to step in and fill his boots in the name of Gabriel Barbosa or Gabigol as he is more commonly known as.

But sadly for Santos fans he has now left the club also but the current side is still full of talent that have come from the now famous academy and no doubt in the coming twelve to eighteen months you’ll start becoming more familiar with the new stars Santos are producing like Thiago Maia, Zeca, Caju and Guedes to name but a few. All those players will likely be linked to the bigger European sides in the coming months, Thiago Maia especially as he is different class. It’s not only the current batch of players either that will make headlines, the new generation is already waiting in the wings for their chance. Names such as André, Nicolas, Arthur, Matheus Oliveira and Sabino are all players likely to break into the first team in the next few years. The talent at the Santos academy seems to endless.

It’s one of the reasons I love playing as them on Football Manager because the academy produces lots of good players which not only help the club but depending on the type of saved game you are playing, can also greatly benefit the league too. All the players I produce are either used by myself or sold to teams in the league to strengthen it and make it more challenging as I aim to make it a more competitive league. It takes a long time to achieve but the investment is well worth it long-term. I actually wrote about this on here in the past, if you’d like a refresher or haven’t read it then here is the article;

In Football Manager the Santos academy is just as good and produces lots of decent to good players who can play at a good standard. This year I’ll be documenting the players I develop and showcasing how I do that with the aim of long-term squad building in mind. I’ll also be talking you through intake days as they happen so we can track who is at the club and how they’re being developed.

The Squads

While Santos do have a lot of high potential players, the starting attributes for a lot of the under 20’s are not set so will differ from game to game. If you created your game with Santos before 7.1 then some players will have slightly different potential ability too, as in 7.1 a few of the players got a nice big boost to represent more closely to how they are viewed in real life. Sabino is one of those who received a rather substantial boost.


This is the current first team, I’ve filtered out all the loan players the club currently has because my very first task as manager was to terminate all loan deals no matter how good the player was. What’s the point of having a development save if you aren’t going to give youth a chance. I’ve left myself a bit short in certain areas because of this but that’s also a positive as it means I will have to use the younger players and they’ll get important game time.


There’s a few more players at the bottom of the list but they’re all on loan and will be sold or released when they return. One of the first things I do here is promote Sabino and Medeiros to the first team to add a bit of depth.


As you can see there is lots of talent at the club. I’ve said this in the past but I think people thought I was messing around but I honestly believe Santos have the best overall youthful squad on the entire game. A lot of these players will go on to big teams and already a few days into the save I’m fighting to hold onto a lot of these players. But I don’t plan on selling any of them just yet if possible.

The Plan

The plan is to build a very versatile squad and develop each player differently to add diversity to the squad. One of the things I touched briefly on in the initial intro I did last week, I said I wanted to have players who interpret the positions they play differently to the other players who at the club play the same position. This is another tactical tool that I like to use to change games around. You don’t always need to alter things tactically, you can just swap a player out and replace him with someone who offers something differently and quite easily turn a game around or change the course of the game. Hopefully this comes across as the save develops, it might not seem much to begin with as it takes quite a while to achieve the development needed plus to have the personnel to develop in the first place. To begin with I have to work with what I currently have available so it’s all about laying the foundations now, so to speak.

As this is an introduction of kinds, I’ll not be focusing on the first team just yet it’ll be about my u20’s and how I’m currently shaping them to be the players that I need to fit the tactic I used. I posted the tactic I used earlier this week, the post can be found here;

By linking that it saves me going over the tactical details again. That’s the system I am developing the players for.



Personality Type – Balanced

Tutored – Jonathan Copete who is fairly professional.

Andre has bags of potential but in order to fulfill that he needs a personality change hence the tutoring. A balanced personality type is really poor and ideally you want to change it as soon as possible to something much more suitable. I’ll add a list of personality types to the bottom of this post and show you what they’re made up of, so you can make the best choice for yourself.

Andre isn’t ready for the first team yet and while first team football will accelerate his development and aid it greatly I feel it’s still a season too early for him. This is partly down to already having two strikers at the club already established in the first team and fighting for one starting spot. So I feel it’s best to leave him in the under 20’s and only use him if injuries and suspensions take their toll and force me into selecting him.

Due to Andre being young and still really raw in terms of attributes his training is going to be more rounded for the first year with no real focus. That’s why I’ve put him on the complete forward routine and will monitor his attribute growth in the next three to six months. Then once he starts showing signs of attribute development I might reconsider his training and adapt it to be more specialised. But I feel there’s no rush with Andre just yet and time is on his side. The reason for choosing the complete forward schedule is just purely because it focuses on a lot of attributes so it requires much less micro managing for now considering I’m at the very start of the game. Once I’m a month or so in though then I can begin to be more meticulous with training and really tailor players individually.



Personality Type – Balanced

Tutored – Ricardo Oliveira who is ambitious

Arthur is on the verge of breaking into the Santos first team in real life but on Football Manager he can be a bit hit and miss potential wise. On some saves he is brilliant and on others very poor, there doesn’t seem much middle ground with him. Luckily for me he seems semi decent on this save.

I have high hopes for Arthur and long-term I see him as a direct replacement for the player he is currently being tutored by – Ricardo Oliveira. There not the same type of player at all as Ricardo is more of an advanced forward with a decent bit of physicality to go with it. Arthur is much more creative so that’s how I’ll be developing him. I already have a big physical forward in the first team in the name of Rodrigao and I don’t want like for like players. This is why Arthur has been put on the Trequartista training schedule.

While I felt Andre had time on his side and decided against calling him up the first team I feel the opposite way about Arthur. I think he’s at that point were he now needs exposure to the first team and needs important game time. That’s why I’ve called him into the first team. Not only that but I don’t have a creative striker in the first team so he’s offering me depth and something the side currently lacks. I can give him substitute appearances and the odd full match against the weaker sides if I feel we’d benefit from a more creative striker to carve the opposition open and create chances for the players behind him, rather than take the chances himself.

Before I give him an individual attribute focus I want the season to be up and running. So I’ll give an update on all individual focuses and attribute changes for all the players mentioned in this article at the end of my season and do a new article for those updates.



Personality Type – Driven

Tutored – No

This player is an interesting one as he is weak across the board and is already 18 years old. He’s at the age now were he must have first team football but I honestly can’t give it him this season. I already have a good strong six centre backs all better than him and all ahead of him. Some of those also need the game time. I can loan the player out but I dislike doing that unless it’s a player I know has no future at the club because it takes away important time for developing the player the way I want. I’ll have to try to give him game time some how in order to take his development to the next level but without it he won’t develop much.

I’ve give him a centreback training schedule and will give him six to eight months and see how he develops in that time before making a final decision. If this was a long-term save I’d have already gave him lots of game time from a young age so that when he was 18-19 years old he’d look more developed. The key is to not have to large of influx of players in order to guarantee that all of them get some game time. But because this is the start of the game it’s not possible and we end up with situations where someone needs first team football but I can’t give it. If it doesn’t work out I can always sell him I guess.

Diogo Vitor


Personality Type – Balanced

Tutored – Lucas Lima who is balanced but much higher determination

This is another player who falls into the same category as Bambu except Vitor is a year older. In front of him he already has Lucas Lima, Jean Mota and Vitor Bueno. Realistically I can’t give him the time he needs unless I get injuries or sell one of the players I mentioned but I don’t really want to do that. Diogo Vitor’s attributes actually aren’t that bad if you look at them closely. They’re not fantastic but if you can round some of those lower ones up to double figures they would seem a lot better.

The players I mentioned above are all different, one is creative, one is more of a striker and another one is more well-rounded. This means that I can try to mould Vitor into anything as the club is already really diverse in this position. Due to his age and the attributes that he does have I decided a Trequartista training schedule with an individual focus on his composure would be best for his development. One of the reasons for the composure training is my attacking midfielders get a lot of scoring changes or are in positions where players with low composure would be a hindrance due to panicking and rushing their decision-making. Santos are a decent side so I expect a lot of people to sit deep and press my front players, so composure is a must.



Personality Type – Balanced

Tutored – Victor Ferraz who is fairly loyal

Matheus Guedes is only just 16 years old at the start of the game so while his attributes do look poor, in a few years time they’ll look completely different. His mental attributes should rise dramatically over the next two years. I see a lot of people on social media dismiss players who look like this because they have low attributes which is total madness. The guy is 16 years old, he is not the finished article at all and any of those low attributes can be high double figures if they’re trainable.

I’ve put him on the centreback training schedule and gave him the fitness individual focus to help build his stamina and natural fitness. I’ll keep checking on him monthly and see how he is progressing and adapt his training accordingly to match his attribute growth. His individual attribute focus will last for just two months before I change it to something else.

The start of next season I expect him to have shown quite a bit of progress and if he has, he will then get the odd appearance in the first team via substitute appearances.



Personality Type – Balanced

Tutored – He refused, the utter, utter twat!

While John has good potential, his refusal to being tutored by absolutely everyone is a major concern and will stop him from fulfilling it. A balanced personality won’t see him develop beyond okay because it lacks professionalism and ambition, the two important factors for player development. I’ll try and tutor him again when I have a free tutor but if he keeps resisting then I’ll simply sell him on as he won’t fit the philosophy I’m building at the club and will be held back by his personality.

As for his training he’s just on the normal keeper schedule.



Personality Type – Fairly Determined

Tutored – No

I have high hopes for this player, he’s one of my favourite young players in real life. I’ve already knocked back bids for him in the opening week of my saved game from Dortmund, Barcelona and Chelsea. There’s no way I’m selling him.

If you look at his player traits you’ll see he has the gets forward whenever possible player prefered move. Despite him having this I’ll use him as Thiago Maia’s understudy and be utilising him as a ball winning midfielder. In some games against opposition who are sat deep I’ll need a ball winning midfielder who can play higher up the pitch and be more of a presence in the final third and even help attacks without having to change the role. Medeiros fits this bill nicely and will also be able to play the other central midfielder role in the tactic too should I have injuries, suspensions or condition issues late into the season. So he’ll see and get a lot of game time that should hopefully see him show giant attribute changes come end of the season.

For his training he’s just on the ball winning midfielder schedule with no individual attribute focus at the moment. Like all the other players I’ll keep track of his development and decide what to specialise him in further after a month or so.



Personality Type – Balanced

Tutored – Not any longer it broke down

In real life the media have already been dubbing Nicolas as the new Robinho due to his style of play and his small stature. There are definite similarities between the two. He’s also another player that I’ve enjoyed watching at youth level and expect to see his name get mentioned a lot in the next two to three years.

While he can play up top or on the wings I don’t actually have a need for wingers so he’ll be developed as a striker for now. But he might not end up being a striker in a few seasons time for me, I might develop him to be a creative shadow striker. I think that’s where his long-term future will lie but I’ll decide 100% by the end of this season. First I want to develop him as a F9 to get his development under way. So I’ve put him on the False Nine schedule along with Stamina training for the individual focus. This is because if I do end up using him as a shadow striker then he’ll need high amount of stamina to keep bursting into the box time and time again from deeper positions. A lack of stamina here would see him tiring early in games and needing to substitute him.



Personality Type – Balanced

Tutored – David Braz who is fairly professional

Before patch 7.1 Sabino was very underrated on the game and wasn’t worth investing any time developing at all. But the Brazilian researcher was notified that he was vastly underrated on the game and gave him a nice boost. In Santos he is highly regarded and probably the best defensive prospect they have who currently hasn’t broken into the first team yet, so it’s great to see this now reflected in-game.

Tutoring him was the first job I had to do because it’s so important for reasons I’ve mentioned several times above already. While mentally he is still quite raw and underdeveloped, I have called him up to the first team and he will play lots of games. He has to play there’s no two ways about it if I want him to develop and not become stale. It’s a massive year for him on the game due to his age.

His training is straightforward and he’s just on the normal centreback schedule with no individual focus.



Personality Type – Balanced

Tutored – Renato who is fairly determined

He looks really good doesn’t he? I’m developing him as an advanced playmaker for now but I actually think that long-term he will be my central midfielder playing the box to box role. I could do with a more playmaker type playing the role so he’s a natural playmaker and not a forced one. This should work well as I already have a destroyer type to play the role and someone who is your more stereotypical box to box midfielder.

His current training consists of the advanced playmaker schedule and an individual focus on composure. I’ll be mixing this up quite a bit as the season goes on and giving him several different focuses to get the best out of him. He’s also been called up to the first team to provide back up to Lucas Lima so I can rotate a little better.

So that’s the class of 2016 introduced and I’ll be providing regular updates to the progress of the players and showing you how I change things up along the way. As well as showing you the youth intakes I have along the way, so expect to see lots of development posts and they should be a lot more exciting and vastly different to this article.

I also mentioned I’d share the personality guide I did a while back so here it is again. It should allow you to pick the type of hidden attributes you’d like your players to have via tutoring or knowing what makes up personalities for those players you are scouting and thinking of buying.

A players personality is made up from hidden attributes;

  • Adaptability
  • Ambition
  • Controversy
  • Loyalty
  • Pressure
  • Professionalism
  • Sportsmanship
  • Temperament

Sometimes some of the descriptions which will be described further down this post will also be made up of;

  • Determination
  • Influence

You might also notice sometimes in a scout/coach report that they give you an indication of the other hidden attributes I’ve yet to mention. Not all the time mind you but sometimes you might come across them. They would be;

  • Consistency
  • Dirtiness
  • Important Matches
  • Injury Proneness
  • Versatility

Player personalities are a vital part of Football Manager and sometimes are overlooked by people but they can tell you quite a lot about the player and how he’ll deal with certain things like team talks, chats, off the field events, on the field events and so on.

Another big part of player personalities is the media handling, it’s quite clever and intricate how they all link and work. It’s a lot to get your head around and very complicated so I’m just going to link you to two threads that go into detail and explain the workings out and how they all link together;…Handling-Guide…onal-youngster

Smac as actually uploaded a spreadsheet in the second link above that makes it all easier to understand if someone wants to delve deeper into this side of the game.

Below are all the types of personalities that you can find, some are harder to find than others but I think this is the complete list. If I’ve missed any I do apologise but feel free to add more if you’ve found some I’ve missed


  • Model Citizen Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Pre 18-20, Amb 18-20, Loy 18-20, Spo 18-20, Tem 18-20
  • Model Professional Pro 20, Tem 10-20
  • Professional Pro 18-19, Tem 10-20
  • Perfectionist Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Amb 18-20, Tem 1-9
  • Resolute Pro 15-20, Det 15-20, Pre 1-16 Spo 5-20
  • Temperamental Tem 1-4, Pro 1-10
  • Driven Det 20, Amb 10-20
  • Determined Det 18-19, Amb 10-20
  • Slack Pro 1, Det 1-9, Tem 5-20
  • Casual Pro 2-4, Det 1-9, Tem 5-20
  • Very Ambitious Amb 20, Loy 1-9, Det 1-17
  • ambitious Amb 16-19, Loy 1-9, Det 1-17
  • Unambitious Amb 1-5, Loy 11-20
  • Honest Spo 20, Det 1-9, Pro 5-20
  • Sporting Spo 18-19, Det 1-9, Pro 5-20
  • Easily Discouraged Det 1, Amb 1-9, Spo 1-17, Pro 5-20
  • Low Determination Det 2-5, Amb 1-9, Spo 1-17, Pro 5-20
  • Unsporting Spo 1, Det 11-20
  • Realist Spo 2-4, Det 11-20
  • Very Loyal Loy 20, Amb 6-7, Det 6-20
  • Loyal Loy 18-19, Amb 6-7, Det 6-20
  • Iron Willed Pre 20, Det 15-20, Spo 5-20
  • Resilient Pre 17-19, Det 15-20, Spo 5-20
  • Spineless Pre 1, Det 1-9, Pro 5-20, Spo 1-17
  • Low Self-Belief Pre 2-3, Det 1-9, Pro 5-20, Spo 1-17
  • Light-Hearted Pre 15-20, Spo 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 1-17
  • Spirited Pre 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 11-17, Spo 1-14
  • Jovial Pre 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 1-10, Spo 1-14
  • Fairly Professional Pro 15-20, Det 1-14
  • Fairly Determined Det 15-20, Pro 1-14, Spo 5-20, Pre 1-16
  • Fairly ambitious Amb 15-20, Pro 1-14, Det 1-14
  • Fairly Loyal Loy 15-20, Pro 1-14, Det 1-14, Amb 6-14
  • Fairly Sporting Spo 15-20, Pro & Det & Amb & Loy all 1-14
  • Balanced Pro 1-14, Det 1-14, Amb 1-14, Loy & Spo 1-14
  • Born Leader Inf 20 & Det 20. Age needs to be 23+ (if age requirement not met, he would be Driven).
  • Devoted Loy 20 & Amb 6-7
  • Leader Inf 19 or Inf 20 & Det < 20

None Newgen’s

  • Model Citizen Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Pre 18-20, Amb 18-20, Loy 18-20, Spo 18-20, Tem 18-20
  • Model Professional Pro 20, Tem 10-20
  • Professional Pro 18-19, Tem 10-20
  • Perfectionist Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Amb 18-20, Tem 1-9
  • Driven Det 20, Amb 10-20
  • Determined Det 18-19, Amb 10-20
  • Very Ambitious Amb 20, Loy 1-9, Det 1-17
  • ambitious Amb 16-19, Loy 1-9, Det 1-17
  • Honest Spo 20, Det 1-9
  • Sporting Spo 18-19, Det 1-9
  • Very Loyal Loy 20, Amb 6-7
  • Loyal Loy 18-19, Amb 6-7
  • Iron Willed Pre 20, Det 15-20
  • Resilient Pre 17-19, Det 15-20
  • Light-Hearted Pre 15-20, Spo 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 1-17
  • Spirited Pre 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 11-17, Spo 1-14
  • Jovial Pre 15-20, Tem 10-20, Pro 1-10, Spo 1-14
  • Resolute Pro 15-20, Det 15-20, Pre 1-16
  • Fairly Professional Pro 15-20, Det 1-14
  • Fairly Determined Det 15-20, Pro 1-14, Pre 1-16
  • Fairly ambitious Amb 15-20, Pro 1-14, Det 1-14
  • Fairly Loyal Loy 15-20, Pro 1-14, Det 1-14, Amb 1-14
  • Fairly Sporting Spo 15-20, Pro & Det & Amb & Loy all 1-14
  • Balanced Pro 1-14, Det 1-14, Amb 1-14, Loy & Spo 1-14
  • Born Leader Inf 20 & Det 20. Age needs to be 23+ (if age requirement not met, he would be Driven).
  • Devoted Loy 20 & Amb 6-7
  • Leader Inf 19 or Inf 20 & Det < 20

As I’m focusing on youth development with the aim of developing/buying cheap and selling for (hopefully) big money then player personality is a big part of what I’m trying to achieve. So for this I need players who I know will train hard and give it their all. What determines this is not determination, that is a misconception amongst the community, what you need to look for in a player is an indication of the hidden attribute professionalism. Ambition wouldn’t hurt either but ultimately it is professionalism that determines how well a player applies himself in training.

10 thoughts on “The Santos Experience – The Next Generation”

  1. It’s funny that every time I read one of your articles I learn something, it’s less funny that I never seem to be able to put any of it to practice.

    1. Same here man. Just decided to not buy new fm, Just want to master all of tactics thing on fm2016.
      Hope SI can provide tools for small scope for tactic analysis.
      Again, Good job as usual Cleon 🙂

  2. Appreciate writing like this. Makes me love the game more and push me to develop players to get that “connection” with the game.

  3. Fantastic. This is the direction I want to go with my Parma save. You know I understand the process in developing youth. But what can I do to make my clubs newgens on youth intake day a better quality of player. Your screenshots indicate players with attributes of 11,12,13 mostly, my players my get an odd 11 or 12 but mostly 1 and 2. Is it club reputation? e.g. If santos were to have the worst coaches in the game and the poorest facility’s would they still produce fantastic youths? Am I wasting my money on state of the art facility’s if it’s coded in the game that I’ll never get a good a newgen as santos do. Rambling a little but any advice on this would help as I’d rather be developing the kind of players you have than mine.


    1. Youth Recruitment = Increases likelihood of recruiting high PA youth and increasing how far your youth recruitment network will reach (low recruitment means you will probably only get local players who aren’t recruited by bigger clubs, high recruitment means you will get top talent from all over the world). Youth recruitment, however, is also affected by your club’s reputation.

      Youth Facilities = The quality of the training facilities used by the players currently in your youth team. Good youth facilities will help your youth players improve more.

      Junior Coaching = The quality of the coaching of the lower levels of your youth system. Basically, this represents coaching of youth players before they’re generated as 14/15 year-olds. In terms of game mechanics, high junior coaching will increase the average ability of your youth players when they’re first generated.

      So in short it’s;

      Recruitment = Regen PA
      Junior Coaching = Regen CA
      Youth Facilities = Rate of youth player CA improvement

  4. Great work as always Cleon, just one question though. If it’s not the determination that determines how hard the player trains, what does determination exactly do?

    Thanks. 🙂

    1. How hard a player trains is down to the hidden attribute professionalism. Determination is more about on the pitch events than anything else apart from PPM’s. If you go a goal behind then determination will play a big factor on how hard the player will want to try and turn the result around etc.

      Also someone with high determination is more likely to learn a PPM compared to someone with low determination.

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