The best thing about FM, for me, is its unpredictability.
We can never be sure who will mature to be one of the best players in the world and there will always be players that overachieve and seem to come from nowhere to have a brilliant season or two in one of Europe’s top leagues.
So, for a bit of fun, I’ve picked out a few players who have arguably unexpectedly made the World Player of the Year award’s top three.
Lenny Nangis is someone I knew about before FM13 however I didn’t expect him to fulfill his vast potential as he was at a relatively small club and very few talented youngsters actually become world-beaters.
In 2025 Nangis, at 31, came second to Neymar in the World Player of the Year award after scoring 15 goals and making 16 assists with an average rating of 8.17 for Olympique Lyonnais.
This was the last year a non-regen made the top three.
Lenny Nangis’ in-game biography:
Erik Lamela, the Argentinian attacking midfielder, is another well-known player whose future is unsure. He’s ridiculously talented but he’s often hidden behind the shadow of compatriots Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi.
In 2022 on FM13, while he was at Man City, he scored 10 goals and made 23 assists in 44 games with an average rating of 7.83, and was named the third best player in the world.
He was 30-years-old, so a late bloomer like Nangis you might say.
Erik Lamela’s biography
Gianluca Caprari is a youngster I don’t know much about as I have tried, and failed, to sign him on FM13 but he was made the third best player in the world in 2020 as a 27-year-old Arsenal player.
I’ve followed his FM career closely though and he performed at a very high standard every season scoring goals and making assists in abundance.
Caprari is proof of the quality of Roma’s youth recruitment network which seems to attract top young talent every year.
Lucas Moura recently joined French champions-elect, Paris Saint Germain, from Sao Paulo for £37.5m.
The young Brazilian is someone I actually expected to develop in to one of football’s great players in FM but equally I thought his immense ability might make him complacent and he could end up like Man United’s McDonald’s-loving flop, Anderson.
He won the Best Player in Europe award in 2023 when he earned an amazing 23 goals and 20 assists in 44 games with an average rating of 7.96.
Lucas also made 72 appearances for the Brazil senior side, scoring 10 goals, and winning the World Cup in 2014 and 2022.
This one might surprise you. Spartak Moscow’s defensive midfielder Romulo played for Brazil U23s in the 2012 London Olympics and he’s on the radar of all Europe’s major clubs but I never expected him to be one of the three best players in the world one season.
From 2012 to 2027 Romulo stayed loyal to Spartak which makes his second place in the 2018 World Player of the Year more impressive.
Romulo helped Brazil win the World Cup in 2014, 2018 and 2022. He can be bought for around £15m on FM13.
I’m currently using the Nuu Skin by Max FreyFreyyr and the DF11 Megapack facepack.