Watching the Malaysian football team play is painful, kinda like watching Liverpool - but much, much worse. It's like self-inflicting mental torment on yourself. But surpisingly, I keep coming back for more. I don't know whether that's loyalty or I just like torturing myself.

This somehow brought me to think about the legendary football game that is Championship Manager.

Championship Manager, or more affectionately known as CM to fans of this ridiculously addictive game took a lot of my youth, especially during Uni. And I'm sure many other football fanatic would second this.

There were countless times when CM and study clashed.... and CM would always win. I can't recall how many times I chose CM over a boring afternoon lecture, (It would always start like this: I'll decide to be 10 minutes late to the lecture to play another match but eventually ended up skipping the whole lecture altogether). I remember one time when I sat through a class planning my team's off-season transfer dealings & budget, completely ignoring my Week 7 Mechanics lecture. Or the time when I scribbled my latest genius 4-1-3-1-1 formation (complete with individual player runs) instead of taking notes during my tutorial. Damn, those were happy days indeed.

So, in the spirit of reminiscing about CM, I'd like to share some of the legendary & almost mythical names I've encountered throughout my CM career. Note that I'm only referring to CM3 and its subsequent updates (i.e. 97/98, 99/00, etc) - basically before it became crap (i.e. CM4 or Football Manager onwards).

Cherno Samba

An absolutely unbelievable young striker - can be bought on the cheap from Millwall. Starts the game at age 15 if I recall correctly, Samba is the one player everyone should have on their team. He once scored a hattrick within 15 minutes and single-handedly won a FA Cup final for me. Good in the air and very pacy (definitely >18 points in the Heading & Pace stats) this guy can easily score 30+ goals a season. I remember when all my housemates were playing CM at the same time with each having the prolific Samba on our respective teams; shouts of "SAMBAAAAAA!!!!!" would be heard every other minute, hailing yet another heroic effort by our boy Cherno; such as scoring the last minute European Cup winner against AC Milan or blasting 5 goals past sorry Luton Town.

Outside the digital world however, few have heard of Samba's achievement. I remember reading that Liverpool at one point were interested, but that then died off. However, his non-existent real-world success notwithstanding, in my opinion Samba is still a legend. Good job, son.

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