Fake National Teams and Players

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Why are there all greyed out players on some national teams in Football Manager?

This is because Sports Interactive, the creators of the Football Manager series, do not have the legal rights to have real players play for these teams.


What teams or players does this apply to?

Germany's national team is not in the game due to EA Sports' 'FIFA' series and Konami's 'Pro Evo Soccer' series holding the rights to the team. The Japanese J-League and the Japanese national team are not allowed in the game at all due to Konami holding exclusive rights for their Pro Evo Soccer series.

The following teams have greyed out players playing for them due to a lack of licensing.

  • Chinese players in the China national team
  • German players in the German national team
  • Japanese players in the Japan national team as well as the Japanese J-League
  • South Korean players in the South Korea national team

Oliver Kahn is the most notable player who SI do not have a license for, and he is known as Jens Mustermann on the game.

How to fix

How can I fix this?

You can fix this by going into program files & deleting the fake.lnc and nleague.lnc files in your 'db' folder.

Where will I find fake.lnc and nleague.lnc?

If you're using Steam: C:\Program Files\Steam\Steamapps\Common\Football Manager X\data\db\*whatever database you want to use*\lnc

If not using Steam: C:\Program Files\Sports Interactive\Football Manager X\data\db\*whatever database you want to use*\lnc

*Note: You will need to start a new save game for these changes to take effect.


As Football Manager relies on large numbers of researchers, testers and coders, sometimes players have slipped into the game who do not exist in real life. Some have gone down in Football Manager 'folklore' as a result of their unusual characteristics, such as Tó Madeira of Championship Manager 01/02, who despite lacking particularly good stats, was able to score huge numbers of goals for whichever team signed him. It eventually transpired that he, along with many other players from that game, was in fact the creation of a member of SI's team. While this type of practice is not uncommon amongst game developers, it can be extremely controversial in a game like Football Manager which sells itself as a simulation, as its realism is compromised by the addition of players who do not exist in real life.

Mascio and Cascio

In Football Manager 2009, a controversy developed over some players from Italian team Cisco Roma, particularly Mascio and Cascio. Mascio in particular was extremely skilled at set pieces, and was therefore signed by several Football Manager players for sums of around £50,000, but went on to perform at levels far above those that his fee might have suggested. However, as these players began to search for details of the player, none emerged, and it appeared that he probably did not exist, which was confirmed when it transpired that not even the official researcher for Cisco Roma had any idea where the players were from. However, in the latest patch released by Sports Interactive the fake players have been removed from the database.

There are various rumours about how these players got into the game. Some people suggested that this was purely a malfunction in the database, which no one from Sports Interactive could have prevented. The research tools indicated that the players were created by the Lazio researcher, who transferred them across to Cisco, his second side.

To find out how Mascio got into the game of Football Manager 2009, give our Q&A with Simon Tipple a read. He explains how the player got into the game.


SI employee John Schofield

All Sports Interactive employees and researchers are included in the game as regens. There may not be many in your game at the start, but as you get further into the game you will notice more and more of these SI regens appearing. You can search for these regens by typing 'faceinthegame' into the search bar.

Some SI regens have quirky personalities listed on their profile page or in scout reports, as you can see in the screenshot of John Schofeild to the right. Others include Craig 'Ter' Hunter's "cluck cluck" and Philip Rolfe's "search engine".

*Please note that not all of the players on the 'faceinthegame' results page are SI employees; some are people who applied to have themselves put into the game (along with a picture of themselves - hence the term faceinthegame) when given the opportunity years ago. As facegen technology is now being used, these regens no longer have their own picture in the game.

Greyed Out Players

Greyed-Out players are basically gap-fillers. These are players that are put into your team whilst you don't have enough players, to ensure that every match can be played. You can offer contracts to your own grayed-out players, but not to other teams. As soon as you have enough players to field a full team the grey players will disapear, never to be seen again. They get their name as they appear grey instead of the customary white of the real players.

These players also play for the Chinese, Japanese, German and South Korean national team on Football Manager 2009. This is because, as SI do not have licenses for these national teams, they have to replace the real life players in the national team with fake players (see the first section of this page)

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