The streets of South London again witnessed jubilant scenes as the players of AFC Wimbledon paraded the Charity Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Premier League and Champions League trophies to a growing fanbase attracted to Trebor Mahtal’s old-school playing style.
The celebration also doubled up as a farewell to elite winger Harvey Elliott. He retired on a high in the summer of 2038 having inspired his new club to a famous quadruple and playing at the World Cup, which Spain won by beating Colombia 2-1 in the Final. We also lost his potential replacement Harrison Fuller as Real Madrid came in with an offer and we negotiated them up to an outrageous national record £191m.
We also bid farewell to legendary goalkeeper Andrés Araújo, who also joined Madrid for £68m. The 30-year-old is our all-time record appearances holder but had been surpassed by 20-year-old Julian, so it made sense to cash in now. As it did with defender Aykut Sirin, who moved to Bayern for £50m to take our total summer sales past £300m.
We added to our rich attacking talents by paying PSG £60m for “pacy goalscorer” Mateusz Wilk. He was joined by wonderkid defender Ostoja Deliblacanin and attacker Lucas Wiltgen, who signed in January for £7m from Partizan and £3.7m from Pacos de Ferreira and went back out on loan. Then we signed another promising English talent to replace Fuller as winger Ryan Clarke arrived from Ipswich for £36.5m.
The signing of natural right-wingers also ushers in a return to a more traditional-looking 4-4-fucking2 with no more need for these fancy-sounding inverted wingers.
The 2038/39 campaign began with the traditional curtain raiser as we won the Charity Shield on penalties following a 1-1 draw with Wolves – for whom our former captain Chris Passant opened the scoring. And another trophy followed a few days later as Wilk scored on his debut followed by goals from Daniel Pacheco and Rodolfo Díaz as we beat Chelsea 3-0 to defend the UEFA Super Cup.
Kicking off another title defence
The media make us massive 11/10 favourites to defend our title followed by Chelsea (6/1), Liverpool (13/2), Man UFC (11/1) and Man City (12/1). And Javier Santamaría, Apostolos Papargyriou and Alan Kardec, who’s considered the best player in the league, are in the dream 11.
We began our title defence at Brighton and, with an exhausted squad, did so pretty poorly in an awful 0-0 that saw the two-time reigning best player in the world Eli reach 14 matches without a goal. And another followed at home to Man UFC. But we got the campaign started as Eli bagged a hat-trick in a 4-0 away win at Fulham, which means Julian now has 7 clean sheets in his first 9 games for the club. And, after 3 games, Rotherham United sat top of the Premier League!
We finally conceded in game 4 but, luckily, scored 4 as we dominated Liverpool 4-2 with goals by Eli, Díaz, Diogo Augusto and Wiltgen’s first for the club. But the solid defence returned with five straight clean sheets and wins that sent us top of the league for the first time, including a 2-0 win at Arsenal, before a 0-0 at Chelsea made it just 2 goals conceded in 10 league games – which won Julian the August and October young player of the month awards.
The mean defence ended in a 4-1 thumping of struggling Everton led by a Díaz brace. And the good performances just kept on coming. But the best news was that Eli was very much back to his best, scoring a four-goal haul to down Spurs 4-2 away, 2 goals and 2 assists in a 4-1 win at Sheff United and a hat-trick as we eased past Man City 3-0 at home in consecutive games.
Eli kept his good form going, scoring in a 2-1 win at Villa and a 1-0 win at home to Leeds, another four-goal haul in a 6-0 mauling at Newcastle, then braces in a 2-1 win over Arsenal on Boxing Day and a 4-0 win at West Ham 2 days later – taking him to 22 goals in 11 games since the start of November and 19 in 8 in December alone! This guy is just phenomenal.
A 9-game winning streak sent us into the new year still unbeaten and a dominant 10 points clear of Man UFC and 17 ahead of 3rd-place Liverpool. Eli has 30 goals in 20 league games, plus the third-most assists (7) and the highest average rating (8.02) and player of the match awards (8). While Julian tops the clean sheets chart with 14 and has conceded just 9 in 21.
Another Champions League defence
We got another favourable Champions League group alongside Roma, Fenerbahce and Villarreal for the second year in a row. The toughest game was up first and we scored 2 in the first 6 minutes through both wingers Valentin Schumann-Blaschke and Joerie Ploem before Roma got one back in injury-time.
We raced into a 6-0 lead inside 36 minutes at home to Fenerbahce and won 7-0 led by a Wilk brace. A rotated side won 3-0 in Villarreal then beat the Spaniards 4-1 at home thanks to another Wilk brace to win the group. And fully rotated sides won 1-0 in Turkey and drew 1-1 at home to Roma.
Major award domination
Eli’s scintillating form saw him clean sweep the Ballon d’Or, FIFA Best Men’s Player and FIFA FIFPro Player of the Year awards for a 3rd year in a row, with 36 goals and 15 assists at a 7.49 average rating from 44 games. He is absolutely exceptional. Wiltgen won FIFA Best U21 Men’s Player and 20-year-old Julian beat his predecessor Araújo to the World Golden Glove and FIFA Best Men’s Goalkeeper awards as well as winning the European Golden Boy, which is pretty incredible! Julian, Nelson Pareja, Santamaría and Eli also made FIFPro Team of the Year.
2039 began with a shock as Eli didn’t score in a match! But his partner Díaz did to nick us a point at home to Chelsea. And our unbeaten start lasted all the way until the end of January and a 1-0 loss at Man UFC, but we still led by 7 points with a game in hand. We bounced back by battering Brighton 5-0 led by Kardec and Díaz braces while UFC lost at Liverpool and we took an 11-point lead into the final 10 games.
Champions League knockouts
The first knockout round saw us take on Dynamo Kyiv. An inspired VSB performance with a goal and 2 assists earned a 3-2 win in Ukraine then a Díaz hat-trick and Eli brace led a 6-0 home thrashing. Next up was Dortmund, who we’ve interestingly never lost against. That streak continued with a dominant 4-1 home win but ended with a poor 2-0 loss in Germany, but we progressed anyway.
Things got much tougher in the semis as we took on Barcelona, who we’ve never beaten and still have their all-time record league appearances holder (666) Pedri in midfield at the age of 36. We went to Camp Nou first and Pacheco and Eli twice gave us the lead only for Barca to respond immediately twice. The second leg was a tame affair until Augusto headed home a VSB corner. But Barca equalised on the hour and, despite dominating, we couldn’t find a way through even in 30 minutes of extra-time.
So that meant penalties, which didn’t start well as André Hampf missed our first. But Julian came up big to save Barca’s first 2. Barca blazed their 4th over the bar and we were through to a 3rd successive Final!
Chasing 4 titles in a row
Our bid for 4 successive titles was looking pretty good but the run-in began with a trip to Man City. Our strong record against them continued as VSB scored the only goal and he added 2 more alongside an Eli goal as we thumped Marcus Rashford’s Sheff United 4-0 to move 14 points clear. That fired Eli back into lethal form and he bagged a hat-trick as we smashed Norwich 7-0.
We nicked a 2-1 win at bottom side Everton then a Pacheco brace led a 4-0 beating of Spurs. And a few days later, Liverpool drew at Villa to hand us the title with 5 games remaining – which saw me finally jump above José Mourinho to enter the England Hall of Fame for the first time.
AFC Wimbledon won their 4th title in a row!!
I threw the kids in for a few games, which saw us take a 5-1 hammering at Liverpool. But the big boys returned to celebrate with the fans on the final day at home to Leicester and did so in style as Eli bagged a hat-trick and VSB scored and got 2 assists in a 5-1 win.
That saw us win the league by 13 points on 92 points, losing just 2 and winning 27. We scored a huge 97 and conceded just 23. Everton were relegated again and Rotherham finished in an impressive 14th in their first-ever Premier League season.
Eli finished with an incredible 42 league goals, 9 player of the match awards and a 7.77 average rating from 35 games – scoring a goal every 70.48 minutes. Unsurprisingly, he won the Footballer of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year. Pushing him close was VSB, who was back to his best with a league-high 16 assists, which is 1 off Elliott’s record last season, and 6 player of the match awards. Julian won the Golden Glove with 22 clean sheets, conceding just 17 in 36, and Kardec got the third-most assists with 12 and won Players’ Young Player of the Year.
Champions League Final
Winning the European Cup three times on the bounce is no easy task. Real Madrid did it from 2016 to 2018 and won the first 5 from 1956 to 1060, Bayern did it from 1974 to 1976 and Ajax did it from 1971 to 1973 – and we’re the only team to win it back-to-back during this save. But we had a chance to join those great names in folklore as, for the 2nd year in a row, the Champions League Final saw us take on Liverpool – this time at Wembley.
We had no injury concerns going into the big game but Liverpool were without Moukoko. And we lined up:
Julian; Santamaría, Pacheco, Augusto, Pareja; Kardec, Santos, Papargyriou, VSB; Eli, Díaz
Subs: Hampf, Losada, Deliblacanin, Bazerque, Ploem, wiltgen, Helmes, Palmer, Wilk, Clarke, González, Hammond
We thought we’d scored inside 2 minutes only for Augusto’s header to be ruled out for Eli being offside in front of the keeper. Then 15 minutes later, Diaz’s strike was ruled out even though the red line of the Liverpool player was goalside of him! However, we eventually got the deserved opener as VSB sent Eli through to coolly chip the keeper. Liverpool didn’t have a shot until the 40th minute then had 5 just before the break, but we went in 1-0 ahead. Eli missed a massive chance just after the break but Liverpool offered absolutely nothing, allowing us to breeze to a 1-0 win.
AFC Wimbledon a 3rd successive Champions League!!
This has been my best season in charge of AFC Wimbledon, crowning some pretty amazing seasons before it. We dominated the league and waltzed to Euro glory, winning another Charity Shield, Super Cup, Premier League and Champions League quadruple – after selling £300m worth of talent in the summer. And this success lifted me into the Worldwide Hall of Fame for the first time.
Eli was undoubtedly the star man this season. He smashed his own club record, scoring an amazing 48 goals in all competitions and extended his own all-time league goals record to 171 in just 225 games. He won fans’ player of the season and goal of the season, won European Golden Shoe for the first time for any of our players, and Best Player in Europe for the 2nd time in 3 years (after Elliott won it last year).
VSB pushed him close though, setting new club records with 29 assists and 13 player of the match awards and the highest average rating at the club of 7.84 from 45 games. He also set new Champions League records of 12 assists, 6 player of the match awards and an outrageous 8.56 average rating (which smashed Mbappé’s 8.28 in 2035) from 9 appearances. And Julian set a new club record 26 clean sheets in just 46 appearances in all competitions.
Díaz scored 20, followed by Wiltgen (12), Kardec and Wilk (11), VSB (10), Pacheco (8) and Augusto (6). While Kardec got 14 assists followed by Joerie Ploem and Eli (11), Santamaría (7) and Wiltgen, Papargyriou and Díaz (6).
Despite this success, we remain 3rd in the European club rankings behind Liverpool and Real Madrid, so the aim of the save is now to establish AFC Wimbledon as the best team in Europe. That said, AFC Wimbledon has now become the most reputable club in the world.
So can we make AFC Wimbledon the best team in Europe? It seems a matter of time as things stand, but join us next Wednesday to discover if we can make steps towards it as we move into the 2040s.