Virtual Game Leads to Real Job as Football Manager in Azerbaijan

On November 21, 2012, Vugar Huseynzade, a 21-year-old university graduate whose favourite past-time is playing the computer game Football Manager was confirmed as the new manager for Azerbaijan side FC Baku's reserve team. In an unprecedented move this gamer pipped former footballers including Frenchman Jean Pierre Papin to secure the job.

21-year-old Vugar Huseynzade, new manager for Azerbaijan's FC Baku's A team. Image courtesy of Azerbaijan FC Baku's official facebook page

Tyler Lee writing for the tech-blog Ubergizmo writes:

While we’re sure many of us out there dream of being able to become professional gamers and basically get paid to play games competitively, not all of us have the chops to get to that level, which is why it’s always nice to read about people who actually succeed while playing video games although in this case, it seems that this particular gamer was so good at playing the game that he was actually offered a job in real life which basically did the same thing. 21-year old gamer Vugar Huseynzade of Sweden has reportedly managed to land a job as a supporting manager of a football team despite having no experience managing a football team before – unless you count Sega and Sports Interactive’s Football Manager series. Huseynzade will be a manager in a support role of one of the Azerbaijan’s top football clubs, and it seems that despite his lack of experience, he has managed to beat out big names who have applied for the position including French legend, Jean-Pierre Papin. Not too shabby!

But is this 21-year-old up to the task? says this on its blog:

Vugar Huseynzade was appointed to the role as manager of FC Baku’s A side despite never having managed a real life team before. The 21 year old’s only qualification for the job is his experience playing the computer game for the past 10 years.

The student has a degree in Business Management from Boston University and gained some experience in the sports world interning for an American sports agency.

Huseynzade somehow found himself in Azerbaijan where he was hired by the Premier League club as an assistant earlier this year. The club were so impressed by his prowess at Football Manager that he was promoted to his new position. So for all those Football Manager fans who spent hours on their computers dreaming they were managing their team to glory, their dreams may come true. Who knows maybe Roman Abramovich might be taking note as he searches for Chelsea’s next manager!


So as the bloggers say, next time you decide to play a computer game, do so with the firm commitment that one day you might be the next manager of your favourite team, the driver of your favourite motoring team or the best martial artist in your side of town!



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