Polish virtual Football Manager holds world record

Michał Leniec, a 38-year-old Pole, is the Guinness World Record holder for the longest single game of the popular Football Manager video game.

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In his game, Mr Leniec played 221 seasons and won nearly 700 trophies, including the Champion of Poland (207 times), the winner of the Champions League (45 times) and the FIFA World Cup (once). He comes from Poznań, western Poland, so his natural choice of the team was Lech Poznań, which he supports. He started running his team in November 2015, just after the release of Football Manager 2016 and broke the record in late 2017.

As a manager in the game, he was not only a manager of Lech Poznań but also took a total of 35 other international roles over the period of his career, including the position of the manager of national teams of Holland, Spain, Ghana and England.

Over his career, he has played 14,381 matches, winning 10,997 of them and losing just 1,720.

"I treat this as a prize for my family, I always had Football Manager running in the background so it was a challenge for my family too,” Mr Leniec told the official Guinness World Record website.

He stressed that he won most of the game’s trophies as a manager of Lech Poznań, but succeeded also as the coach of Holland national team. But not all football associations were satisfied with his job. At the beginning of his career, he was sacked from Poland’s national team.

When Mr Leniec was competing in the 2237/2238 season, his alter ego in the game was at the age of 258.

The previous record was held by Seb Keenan of the UK, who had played a total of 170 in-game years.

Football Manager, created by two brothers Paul and Oliver Collyer, developed by the Sports Interactive company and distributed by Sega is a video game offering a player a chance to be a manager of his favourite football club or the national team.

Until 2004, the game had been created under the title of Championship Manager, but after Sports Interactive ended cooperation with Eidos, a previous publisher, the creators changed the title to Football Manager.