UEFA Manager 2000
Windows - 2000
Description of UEFA Manager 2000
International football isn't what it used to be. Twenty years ago, as a child living in the United States, it was excruciatingly difficult to watch any televised footy whatsoever, unless you included that funny game Pele got bribed into playing on artificial turf with the 35-yard offside lines. I recall staying up way past my bedtime to watch old First Division games on public television (these were the days before cable and satellite dishes that didn't look like radio telescopes) which were often four or five months out of date and involved guys named Steve Heighway. Imagine watching the FA Cup in September and not knowing who won. These days, because I read , I knew that KP Polonia Warszawa advanced to the Champions League Third Qualifying Round before you did, and can pay $19.95 to have my satellite dish bring me Uruguay vs. Peru. Consider this my revenge. Still, it might be somewhat disconcerting to think that some guy in the middle of a Midwestern cornfield could design a better football management sim than all the collective talent at the flagship game publisher in France. In the case of UEFA Manager 2000, though, that's not an exaggeration. Infogrames may have been ordered by the French government to start taking over the world game publishing industry along with Havas Interactive, but if they release many more games like this, I foresee the game publishing equivalents of Sedan and Dunkirk in the not-too-distant future. Did I mention Compičgne?
The general idea behind a football management sim is simple: create the illusion that you are managing a real football club. Of course, since this often involves making pouty faces and talking about "sexy football," many games extend the experience to involve all aspects of club operations, like ground improvement and ticket/souvenir sales. Championship Manager has built a franchise on a database-like approach to man-management, as well as focusing on a manager's actual duties. UEFA Manager 2000 is similar to Premier Manager and EA Sports' Premier League Football Manager in that you set ticket prices, handle sponsorship arrangements, and even negotiate the minutiae of each player's contract. Want to offer Steve McManaman a sports car to lure him away from Real, but only want to pay for a compact for Edu? You can do that here. In UEFA Manager 2000 you even have to play economist, deciding when rates are advantageous for taking out a big bank loan to finance your transfers. On the face of it this might seem like unparalleled immersion, but while the details are impressive, Infogrames forgot that it doesn't do much good to paint the trim if the foundation is collapsing. There is a certain minimum level of realism a management sim needs to achieve which can be attained through simple things like putting all the right teams in the same division. While UEFA Manager 2000 hasn't put Cowdenbeath in the SPL, it practically concedes all pretensions of being a football simulation by apparently failing to obtain proper licenses. Although it may seem a good idea in marketing meetings to produce game boxes with the name "UEFA" and pictures of a pensive Kevin Keegan on them, it's decidedly less attractive to have those boxes contain games which refer to the Old Firm as "Glasgow Parkhead" and "Glasgow Ibrox." While Rayo Vallecano are indeed based in the Spanish capital, they are in no way called Rayo Madrid. Except in UEFA Manager 2000. I can't wait for this design team to do a Major League Baseball game and present us with the Arlington Rangers. This may seem like a trivial point to make until you find that the current European Cup holders Real Madrid are just called Madrid. So you have "Rayo Madrid" and "Madrid." And "A Madrid." That would be Atletico.
This crippling problem extends to the fact that all the players are listed by last name only (sometimes with a first initial if the last name is sufficiently common). Stadiums also carry names other than the ones they have in real life. A final handicap burned into the CD is the fact that while the box says "UEFA Manager 2000," this is apparently a typo, as the game we're given is "UEFA Manager 1999." Despite the fact that the 2000-01 season has already started in several major cloth-producing nations, UEFA Manager 2000 insists on making us replay the the events of last year. Remember when you didn't want to play Strat-O-Matic Baseball anymore because you only had the player cards from the previous year? Neither do I. If I did, that's what this would be like. When you start out with disadvantages like this, you'd better have a stunning game to make up for it. Instead, we get the footy equivalent of the Maginot Line: a game that's cumbersome and ugly, but easily bypassed in the end.
What UEFA Manager 2000 lacks in licenses, it tries to make up in detail. In fact, this seems to have been Item One on the design document: put as much "football stuff" as possible into the game and maybe people won't notice the missing bits. For this reason, presumably, we're given information like "Staff Morale." This should send gamers scurrying to their LaRousse's to look up the French translation of "I don't care." I mean, what's this supposed to simulate? That my physio is going through some tough times? Note to France: stick to the footy. Players in UEFA Manager 2000 have individual scouting reports, much as in FA Premier League Football Manager. Unfortunately, these seem to be either randomly generated blurbs, or reports generated by an extraterrestrial race of cybernetic Johan Cruyff/Marco Van Basten clones. Luis Figo, for instance, "needs to work on his passing." Right. Maybe his zero-G, faster-than-light, high-gamma-ray-environment passing. As far as I know, his normal "football passing" is just fine.
It is perhaps understandable that design team members weren't comfortable with something as complex as football research, since they showed a far more distressing command of simple geography. For unspecified sentimental reasons, I usually check the status of various Polish players throughout the European leagues, just to see how shamefully undervalued they are. Matysek at Leverkusen, Dudek at Feyenoord, Adamczuk at Rangers. For the most part, they seemed to be there. Except for one small detail: all but one of them were Indian. As in subcontinent. Imagine my surprise in finding that Jerzy Dudek, the Feyenoord keeper rated number one in FIFA earlier this year, was listed as Indian, and had a little Indian flag next to his name, as though the designers were personally telling me, "Being French, we find your country indistinguishable from Bangladesh. Now stop polluting our language with Franglais." The same fate befell Tomasz Klos at Auxerre, Jacek Bak at Lyon, Piotr Swierczewski at Bastia, Tomasz Iwan at PSV...I could go on. Interestingly enough, Leverkusen's top keeper (in 1999-2000), Adam Matysek, wasn't even on the club's roster. There was an Indian player listed, though. His name was "Downer." Very funny. Tomasz Hajto at MSV Duisburg was similarly replaced by an Indian by the name of "Watkiss." These aren't even remotely Indian or Polish names, so I'm assuming this is simply a not-too-sophisticated slap by La Belle France at its not-yet-in-the-EU colleague. Hey Infogrames, how about this one: "Vichy." American players on the continent were similarly misplaced, with Frankie Heyduk and Tony Sanneh replaced by Yanks with generic, American-sounding names. Scotland seems to have some kind of mind-enhancing powers conferring extra-geographical awareness, though, as both Claudio Reyna and Dariusz Adamczuk were properly named andidentified by nationality. They're both with Rangers, though, so maybe it's a Glasgow Ibrox thing. Lest you think that this India-for-Poland phenomenon is simply a prescient geopolitical prediction rather than sheer Gallic imbecility, Lazio's Juan Verón is listed as an Argentine and as a non-EU player, even though there has been quite a controversy lately about the validity of his Italianpassport and corresponding ability to not be counted against the non-EU player limit. This only cropped up after the 1999-2000 season ended, and has in no way been resolved, so I somehow doubt Infogrames has any inside info on how this is going to turn out.
The Sorrow and the Pity
One of the biggest problems the game has is the simple fact that it's almost impossible to find anything. Just finding out what position to assign a player is a harrowing experience. UEFA Manager 2000 distinguishes between "position" and "role." The positions are keeper, defender, midfielder, and attacker. These are all color-coded. Fair enough. But since it makes a big difference whether someone plays as a defensive midfielder or attacking midfielder, you have to pay careful attention to the indicated role, which unfortunately is listed in the main squad management screen as a tiny little football pitch with the player's role indicated by a dot of the appropriate color. It's not the dot's color which matters, though, since right next to the role is the position indicator, which is essentially a much bigger dot with "G" or "D" or "M" or "A" in the middle. No, to get any useful info out of the "role" column, you have to pay attention to where the dot is on the pitch. Since all of the midfield dots, for instance, are roughly in the center of the pitch, you need to see if the dot is in the middle of the center circle (central midfielder) or on the perimeter of the center circle in the defending half (defensive midfielder) or maybe where the circle crosses the center line on the left (left midfielder). Remember that we're talking about a circle that's probably four pixels in diameter. Want to know if "Anelka" is assigned to play as a centre-forward or a striker? To do this at a glance, you have to decide whether the red dot is in the middle of the penalty area (striker) or simply on the edge of the penalty arc (centre-forward). Because the area in question is so small, even the game's fixed 640x480 resolution doesn't make it easy to distinguish between the two. What I want to know is who, when presented with a main squad status screen depicting player positions as tiny little dots on tiny little pitches, said, "That looks fine to me."
There is another way to find this out, but it involves double clicking on the player's name, which brings up a pop-up window which obscures most of the squad selection screen (and renders it unclickable until the pop-up is closed). This means that there is no easy way to do something as fundamental as seeing where all your players are assigned to play, unless you have better vision than I do or are a national squinting champion. You can use the tool-tips function to display the players' role one at a time by holding the cursor over the appropriate space for a second or so, making it just as annoying as FA Premier League Football Manager in this regard. If you want to see a player's individual ratings for all the positions, you can double-click on "role" and see the numbers displayed all at once, but again for just a single player at a time. Furthermore, there's a column which lists a player's "preferred" and "possible" positions, but these often don't correspond to the ratings; a player can be listed as possibly playing central midfield but not attacking midfield, yet both numerical ratings will be the same. In any case, this awful layout makes getting even the most rudimentary information a chore. There is a nice "player comparison" function which unfortunately only lists individual skills. It's astonishing to me that the person who devised this system is not currently in some labor camp.
In any case, the numerical values assigned to the skills themelves are highly suspect. For example, Christian Karembeu is listed as being a much better goalkeeper than he is a right back. I guess he'll be backing up Barthez in 2002. This may all seem like a lot of bother over nothing, but it's a microcosm of the whole interface design. The interface starts out with the sound premise that main menu items should be available at all times in an easily accessible place, but then presents you with a myriad of useless charts, graphs, and indecipherable icons which guarantee that you'll be waving the cursor all over the screen. Instead of spelling things out, everything is based on some kind of icon. Apparently a globe being orbited by a giant, menacing red arrow is the internationally recognized sign for "non-EU player." No wonder Brazil is so secretive about its space programme. The emphasis is on drag-and-drop, but sometimes (like in the sponsorship screen) no amount of dragging can get the Frank's Wild Melons advert into your runner board slot. And yes, you have full control over what kind of sponsorship you have on your kit, in your programme, everything.
I could write an entire review just on the shortcomings of the UEFA Manager 2000 match engine. I won't, though, because I have to finish this article before our Sports Editor starts telling me more of his fascinating curling stories (actually, at this time of the year, it'd be lawn bowling - Ed.). The bottom line is that it's singularly horrible. This has nothing at all to do with the crap graphics, as I greatly prefer the unspectacular match engine in Player Manager 2000 to the graphical extravaganza in the FA Premier League Football Manager series. The key element in any match engine is how what happens on the pitch reflects the strengths and weaknesses of the lineup you field. For example, if your wing-backs lack pace and passing skills, and you're running a 3-5-2, you should see your outside game stifled, a dearth of crosses for your strikers, and the opposition running an effective counter-attack by pinching off your outside runs and feeding overlapping runs through the center. In UEFA Manager 2000, the only thing you can discern about the success of your strategy is that you shouldn't have given all of your players Thorazine. Players run and pass aimlessly, wandering the pitch in seemingly purposeful but functionally useless patterns which are all indistinguishable no matter what tactics you select. The animations themselves are hilarious, and show the players slowing to a walk when approaching defenders with the ball, whereupon the defenders often just wander away like disinterested six-year-olds. If you're going to have an animated match engine, make it serve a purpose. Otherwise, stick to text. Watching the football equivalent of synchronized swimming is downright painful. Fortunately, you can make it stop. UEFA Manager 2000 has a 2D view (which automatically becomes the primary view if your machine can't handle the 3D) and at least that mode hides the awful player animations. The difficulty is that like some other games, the match view displays "highlights" which the user specifies. The amusing thing about this is that the players entering and leaving the pitch are both included. On things such as fouls and free kicks, dead-ball animations are as prominently shown as actual gameplay. You can actually watch the entire game, but since the clock ticks by in real time this is completely useless. (Speeding up the clock speeds up the play, so that in order to actually finish a match in a reasonable amount of time, the speed has to be turned up so high that it's impossible to follow what's happening on the pitch.) In short, the match view is simply inadequate.
Commentary by Alan Hanson and Alan Green is downright bad, and sounds more like an episode of Fawlty Towers where Basil has contrived to announce a football match. All it needs is a Barca-Real match and John Cleese repeatedly saying, "He's from Barcelona," to complete the effect. Sometimes the announcers have difficulty simply keeping touch with reality. There was one incident where my keeper stopped a shot (at least in the animation) but the commentators announced a goal, and the scoreline changed. At one point in a match as (Real) Madrid against Racing Santander, I was up 2-0 when Racing got one back. Yet the commentary (which I managed to write down despite my shock) went: "At 2-1 that puts them back in the lead!" Followed by, "They'll be looking for another one to give them a cushion." Indeed. This unpolished feel extends to all aspects of the game. At least the music serves to take your mind from the incompetent commentators. Instead of hiring some yob with a keyboard and a sampler, Infogrames chose to simply use classical music as a backdrop. The great thing about this is that I love Handel. The drawback to this is that it's completely incongruous.
There are some good ideas in UEFA Manager 2000, and it's a testimony to the utter failure of the game's producer that instead of being highlighted, they were swamped by useless features and clumsy interface design. For example, the "coverage" feature, where you can assign players to try and cover more of the pitch than normal (governed by fitness) is a good idea. So is the general layout of the match tactics screen and the marking system. The game "scenarios," where you can choose from several goal-oriented tasks (right a sinking ship, generate money for a nearly bankrupt club, use a cash infusion to jump-start a traditional power that has fallen on hard times) is nothing short of brilliant. (It's such a good idea that FA Premier League Football Manager 2001 will have a similar feature built into its career mode.) Sadly, the fact that I have to click on what seems like fifty thousand different things to find out if I should be playing Raul as a striker or an attacking midfielder, or if I should upgrade the North Stand.
It seems like UEFA Manager 2000 set out to break some new ground in trying to comprehensively model the money aspect of the game more than any other sim does. Unfortunately, it's evidence of poor design that the development team was apparently unable to distinguish between financial decisions that are important on their own and need to be modeled (like the relationship between ground size, maintenance, ticket prices, and gate receipts) and things which are just details and which could simply be incorporated into a larger whole. There is absolutely no reason for a player to need to decide whether Fernando Redondo gets a luxury car or a sports car from his club. This could simply be represented in the total value of the player's contract, since that's all that matters, anyway. And don't tell me that it's about satisfying a player's personal taste in autos or I'll strangle you with this Plymouth Argyle scarf. If you're going to model arbitrary things, why stop there? Why not model indigestion or when a player has to use the toilet?
UEFA Manager 2000 takes this approach throughout the game: you can manipulate just about everything. In training, there are individual slider bars for time devoted to training fitness, passing, shooting, and a number of other skills. The bars control the relative amount of time per four-hour training session spent on each attribute. Training schedules can get terribly complicated, as can everything else: financial management, scouting, what have you. The overall effect, though, seems hollow. There are so many details that you simply become overwhelmed. While you can delegate almost all tasks to your staff, they often don't perform them well (or they do so according to their skills, which are often poor). If you end up delegating, you're left with the player management aspect, which is ruined by the terrible match view. I can't shake the feeling that UEFA Manager 2000 had a lot of details built in to hide the fact that, individually, none of them were particularly interesting.
22 June 1940
Despite all its shortcomings, sometimes the game can be fun. Like when you load it but while it's loading you get distracted and go off to do something else, like turn down the air conditioning because it's damned freezing in here, and you forget that you were playing UEFA Manager 2000 so when you come back you're greeted by "St. John Passion" and you're really happy until you realize that it's only the game music and you still have to play the game and not just listen to the music because otherwise you could just go upstairs and put an actual CD in the stereo and drink some wine and really relax and enjoy yourself instead of playing some pants management game. Even so, moments like this are rare.
Sometimes I wonder what would it be like to play a badly implemented, poorly researched football game with an annoying interface and beautiful yet incongruous music. On these occasions, I promptly reach for UEFA Manager 2000. At other times, I just think, "Why bother?" The game costs about Ł25. You can get a good Handel CD for less than a tenner. I'm assuming that the difference between these two prices is the cost of the footy. It's not worth it. Your time would be better spent learning to properly pronounce "Anorthosis Famagusta." And then asking the people at Infogrames if they know where that is.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
krashd 2021-02-14 0 point
For anyone asking about a NO CD crack I had no luck finding one and I scoured everywhere, even old P2P servers where you can find obscure files. If you want to play the game you just have to play it with the .iso mounted like I do. I use PowerISO but any CD mounting software like Daemon Tools should suffice I imagine.
Veli 2019-11-17 0 point
When I try to save my progress, the game crashes.
When I try to load that saved file, the game crashes again.
Any help? Thanks.
Don 2019-05-28 0 point
Problem solved with original CD request. I installed this english version, no CD available, so couldn't start game. Searched Ebay for the game, but only other languages than English. So I bought an German version on ebay for a few euro's, just for the CD, to startup the english version I had already installed, works perfectly.
Don 2019-05-07 0 point
Same problem as jackiechang, after starting the game, it is asking to insert the original CD. Is there a way to divert that?
Anorak boy 2019-01-17 0 point
Nice game. You should also upload the Euro Club Manager 2003/2004 from GMX Media. It's a slightly better game in my opinion.
jackiechang 2018-10-21 2 points
Does anyone please tell me where i can find the crack for uefa manager 2000 game?
Edorf 2018-07-31 0 point
An edit to my previous post.
This game actually contains the english version as well. What happened at first was that I hit autorun after I mounted the iso and a scrambled menu popped up. Pushed one of the buttons and the game installed, only that it turned out to be in russian. What I noticed afterwords was that the iso contains two setup files. One file is named "setur", and it turns out that this installs the russian version. To install the english version you have to install using the file just named "setup".
Thats just it, folks.
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