Yes, it’s actually happened.
ESPN reports that 21 year-old Vugar Huseynzade has successfully landed himself a job as the manager of Azerbaijan football outfit FK Baku’s reserves.
Huseynzade, who was born in Azerbaijan and has studied in universities in Sweden and the US, was hired back in February in an assistant/advisory role purely based on the strength of his success in Sports Interactive’s Football Manager series.
Eight months later the team found themselves without a reserves coach. And the rest is history.
ESPN added that it’s even being reported that Huseynzade was preferred to former Marseille and France legend Jean-Pierre Papin”.
The most famous Football Manager application story stems back to 2006 when John Boileau famously wrote to Middlesbrough Football Club chairman Steve Gibson, citing his skills at the game.
I have managed clubs including Nuneaton Borough, Chievo Verona, Kalmar FF, Doncaster and even Chelsea,” he wrote. Although my experience at Chievo was not a particularly positive one and led to my sacking (I’m sure you saw the headlines) I feel that I have brought success to all of the other clubs I have managed.”
Gibson’s legendary response was golden.
Many thanks for you recent application for the Managerial position at Middlesbrough Football Club,” he wrote. You were of course the outstanding candidate but after careful consideration we decided against your appointment.
Quite frankly we were of the opinion that your tenure with us would have been short lived, as your undoubted talent would result in one of the big European clubs seeking your services. We consider it a sign of our progress that someone of your status could consider us.”
The Boileau/Gibson exchange can be seen in full here.