Roberto Nascimento da Silva Lazaró – better known to his friends as Robinho Lazaró – wasn’t alone in being out of a job. The unemployment rate in his homeland of Colombia currently sat at a huge 15.44% – which spiked to 21.4% in May 2020 – having been down at just 9.6% the previous year. While the unemployment rate of his father’s homeland Brazil wasn’t far behind at 14.7%. Those are the two highest unemployment ratings in the entirety of South America, and the 36th and 38th highest unemployment rates in the world.
While others in his situation might turn to less than legal routes to make money, the 37-year-old’s sights were firmly set on the unlikely pipedream of becoming a football manager. Even if his mum, his dad, his brothers, his sisters, his friends and anyone else who thought they knew better than him told him he was too old to embark on a career in the football industry, he was determined to give it a shot. And he was also more than willing to start at the bottom, hone his skills and see where it took him.
Aventuras Américas objectives
Despite his fairly modest roots, Robinho Lazaró had pretty lofty dreams. His key objective was to win the top tier of every playable nation in North and South America on Football Manager 22. In total, that means the core objective of the Aventuras Américas series is to win the top tier division in:
- United States of America
As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, he also wanted to compete for continental honours by winning one of the two South American competitions – the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana – and the North American competition, the CONCACAF Champions League. Should time allow, Robinho Lazaró also had his eye on the international stage, with the objective to win Copa America and/or the World Cup with his dual nations of Brazil or Colombia.
To reach those lofty targets, Robinho Lazaró had a long road ahead of him. He plugged into the managerial world using a large database consisting of all the available countries in North and South America, with additional players from across the two continents taking him to around 50,000 players. He also had player attributes masked but did take the option to add players to playable teams.
Of these countries available, only Brazil has three tiers available, Argentina, Chile Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay have two, and Canada, Peru and USA only have one playable tier.
Joining the Football Manager dole queue
Robinho Lazaró officially entered the managerial world as an unemployed manager on 21 June 2021. He considered himself to have a management focus on youth development but came into the game without any coaching badges and only his very brief experience of playing Sunday League football as what he considered himself a cheeky, sometimes overly committed striker.
He immediately headed down the Job Centre and “applied for all.” A week later, nothing had happened other than a mass of teams flat-out rejecting him. However, he then got offered a flurry of jobs by international teams in central America (which he must have inadvertently applied to), including Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago and Dominican Republic, as well as a few Under 20s roles. But Lazaró thought that didn’t really sound ideal or realistic, so he rejected them all.
A month later, he was rejecting that decision as there wasn’t so much as a whisper of him getting a job interview. However, his first interview finally arrived on 21 July with Chilean side Coquimbo Unido. Nine days passed and he heard nothing until Brazilian third-tier side OES (the real name fix didn’t work!) offered his second interview because “he would be an acceptable fir for the club’s somewhat scaled back vision for the future,” which didn’t sound overly enthralling. However, they hired some guy called Roberto Carlos dos Santos (not that Roberto Carlos).
Another couple of weeks passed and another Chilean side Deportes Puerto Montt offered an interview. And this time they liked the cut of Robinho Lazaró’s jib – and offered him a job!
After two months of unemployment, Robinho Lazaró was finally a real-life Football Manager. He quickly packed up a few shirts and a dashing new suit and got himself on a flight to Chile.
Join us next time as Robinho Lazaró’s Aventuras Américas kicks off for real!