Best Leagues to Manage In on Football Manager 2022

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Have you ever started a new save on Football Manager, signed a few players, and then try to set up your squad only to find out that the league’s squad registration rules prevent you from registering that South American you were all hype up about?

It can get really frustrating having to sell a player just so you can register another, or having to say no to a player that your scouts have said to “sign whatever the price” because they just can’t fit into your squad with the registration restrictions.

Divisions such as the French, Greek, Italian, and Spanish Premier leagues are known for the restrictions placed on the number of non-EU (non-European) players that you can register at once. Serie A in particular takes this rule very seriously, allowing no more than two non-EU signings per season.

Every FM fan knows that many excellent regens in the game come from non-EU countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, etc. When your club is unable to sign them for whatever reason, it takes some of the fun out of the game.

To deal with all of that, it helps to know ahead of time what the squad registration rules for these FM 22 leagues are, so you know what exactly you’re getting into before you go to any trouble.

Here, we discuss five of the best leagues to manage in on Football Manager 2022. These are the best leagues and countries to manage in where you can take charge of a club with minimal worries about squad registration limitations, but still take them to glory in a fun save.

We also provide a couple of suggestions for big/underdog teams to manage in these Football Manager 2022 leagues, depending on the type of challenge you’re looking for.

German Bundesliga

Let’s start off with the most popular league on this list – the top tier of German soccer. The squad registration rules are as follows:

  • Minimum of 8 players trained in Germany for 3 years between 15th and 21st birthdays
  • Minimum of 4 players trained by the club for 3 years between 15th and 21st birthdays
  • Minimum of 12 German players in the squad
  • Minimum team size of 15 players
  • Maximum team size of 99 players (!)
  • Free transfers can be registered any time

On paper, it looks like the German league has quite a number of restrictions, but when you consider the fact that you can register up to 99 players at once, then the restrictions become almost irrelevant because they are very easy to achieve.

If you’re looking to take over one of the big boys, then the obvious first choice is Bayern Munich. That would barely be a challenge though, so you could look at other options in Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen, or Borussia Monchengladbach.

With any of these clubs, the challenge will be to usurp Bayern Munich as the perennial title winners and establish your club as the new king of Germany. You would have to do all of this while batting suitors away from your best players every transfer window.

If you’re looking for a stronger challenge with a smaller club within the league, consider one of FC Koln, VFL Wolfsburg, or new boys SpVgg Greuther Fürth.

The first two have won the Bundesliga at least once, and Greuther Fürth is also a three-time German champion – albeit in the previous league format of the 1910s and 1920s.

Swiss Super League

The Swiss Super League is a fairly competitive one – especially since Young Boys halted their dominance in the 17/18 season. The squad registration rules in Switzerland on FM22 are as follows:

  • Maximum of 10 non-EU players
  • Minimum of 8 players trained in Switzerland for 3 years between 15th and 21st birthdays
  • Minimum team size of 15 players
  • Maximum team size of 25 players

Obviously, this league is not as relaxed as the German Bundesliga, especially with those restrictions on non-EU players. However, it’s still a decent option because a limit of 10 non-EU players in the first-team squad is still a fair number to work with.

If you’re looking to start off easy here, the most obvious options are Basel and Young Boys. Basel have won 20 league titles and Young Boys have won 15, so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to bring business as usual to either one of the teams.

The real challenge would be your performances in European competitions and the overall progress that the club makes in the world rankings under your tutelage.

For a stronger challenge, your best bets are Grasshoppers and Servette. Grasshoppers is the most successful team in the league with 27 titles won, and Servette is the third with 17 titles.

None of these two teams have won the league since 2003 (Grasshoppers’ last title), so the challenge is for you to bring back the glory days and stop Basel and Young Boys.

With a free run at up to 10 non-EU players to bolster your squad, an extensive scouting system could be enough for that journey back to the top.

Primeira Liga

The Portuguese league is one of the most widely-watched fm 2022 leagues outside the big five, and there is a constant production line of world class players from there every year.

In fact, two of the most valuable players in FM22 are products of the Primeira Liga. It begs the question of the need for strict squad registration rules because the Portuguese league have one of the most relaxed systems out there but they produce quality home-grown players regardless.

The squad registration rules for the Primeira Liga on FM22 are as follows:

  • Minimum of 10 players trained in Portugal for 3 years between 15th and 21st birthdays
  • Minimum of 7 first-year senior players in the squad (born between 1/1/2002 and 1/1/2003)
  • Maximum team size of 68 players
  • Maximum of 30 over-23 players (born before 1/1/1998)
  • Minimum team size of 15 players

Like the German Bundesliga, the Portuguese league does have some restrictions, but the weight of these restrictions is balanced by the high number of players that can be registered.

Benfica, Porto and Sporting are the biggest teams in the league, winning the highest number of league titles in the same order.

An easy save will involve one of the three, although we would recommend Sporting as they’ve only just broken the duopoly of Benfica and Porto with the league title win in the 20/21 season.

AIf you want a tougher challenge, consider playing with Boavista. They’re only one of two teams apart from the big three that have won the Portuguese league title, although that was about two decades ago. They’ve also been runners-up three times, so it’s a pretty decent background to work with.

Nowadays, they’re not doing so well. They barely escaped relegation in the 20/21 season, so you have a real fight on your hands to stabilize the club before going for title challenges and European success.

Ekstraklasa

The Ekstraklasa is the least relaxed league in terms of squad registration rules on this list, but they get a pass because free transfers can be registered anytime, and home-grown restrictions allow for players that have trained in the country any three years before their 21st birthday.

The rules are as follows:

  • Minimum of 3 players trained by the club for 3 years before their 21st birthday
  • Minimum of 8 players trained in Poland for 3 years before their 21st birthday
  • Minimum team size of 15 players
  • Maximum team size of 25 players

Legia Warsaw are the most successful club in the league, and FM22 comes right after another title win in the 20/21 season. The league may be an easy ride for you, but they’ve never tasted success in Europe, so that would be a challenge.

The closest they’ve come to winning an European title was a semi-final defeat to Feyenoord (2-0 aggregate) way back in 1970. See if you can go two steps further and win the cup.

Austrian Bundesliga

We saved the best for last.

The Austrian Bundesliga is the absolute dream if you’re looking for a league that gives you completely free rein to setting up your squad. On FM22, there are only two squad registration rules in this league:

  • Minimum team size of 15 players
  • Maximum team size of 99 players

There are no significant restrictions, so you can register more players than you’ll ever need – from any part of the world. This is particularly brilliant for gamers that like to unearth stars from the the furthest reaches of the globe.

Salzburg are absolutely dominant in the league nowadays, winning the last eight league titles in a row. They’re the obvious choice if you’re looking for a relaxed, easy save – but they’re not the most successful club in the league.

That title belongs to Rapid Wien, who have been Austrian league champions 32 times and runners-up 29 times. They’re struggling nowadays though, only managing a 2nd-placed finish in the relegation play-offs after finishing 8th in the regular 20/21 season.

Can you get them back to the top?

With any of these five leagues, there’s nothing stopping you from getting the best players, regens or wonderkids in the game whenever you want. Well, as long as you can pay for them!

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