March 2025: It's been over an in-game year since I last updated you all on the developments of Marco Simon & Remo Mahrer, two exceptional Academy players of the 2015/16 Youth Intake. This update takes place two thirds through my final season at Grasshopper Club Zürich (GCZ): Season 10 (2024/25). It's therefore the final Diary post, before I simulate 10 Seasons after 2024/25 wraps up, where I will finish the Marco & Remo Diaries with an Epilogue post. So let's see what they've done in a year and whether they've lived up to their potential...
Marco Simon: a Swiss Galáctico
I always knew Marco Simon was destined for great things, potentially good enough to reach the summit of European football. It's one of the reasons why I insisted on 30% of any profit made when selling to Olympique Lyonnais (OL), I knew OL was just a stepping stone towards the European Elite. In the summer of 2024, Real Madrid came calling and Marco was part of a £200m investment programme from new (fictional) Real Madrid Club President: Israel Abdessalem.
Here are the three predictions from my very first Marco & Remo Diary post:
5 Years: GCZ captain at the age of 21?
10 Years: A Champions League winning captain?
15 Years: Swiss captain with over 60 International caps?
He achieved the 5 year prediction pretty quickly, captaining the Club at 19 years of age to a Swiss League and Cup Double. There's no better place for Marco to be in order to achieve the 10 year prediction and in 2024/25 Real Madrid are on course for a Champions League triumph:
Marco Simon will easily achieve the 15 year prediction almost 7 years early, he currently sits on 52 International appearances for Switzerland. He is also Swiss Captain and a Global Superstar with a Leader mentality:
I have simply run out of superlatives to describe Marco Simon, he's the greatest alumni that GGZ could have and nothing makes me feel more proud in FM16 than seeing him dominate on the Continental & International scene. One of my long term challenges for this save was:
Produce and develop a Newgen, through the club's youth intake, and see them go on to become a Ballon d'Or winner (either at the club or elsewhere)
Marco Simon is the best bet for achieving this and something I will address during the Epilogue blog post.
Remo Mahrer: a Grasshopper Galáctico
It would have been pretty incredible if Remo Mahrer hit the same dizzy heights of Marco Simon's career. Although he isn't yet a Galáctico, he is still with GCZ and his career has been a success story:
A winner of 4 Swiss Cups and 7 Swiss Super League titles (including a goal on the final day of the 2018 season as a teenager, to clinch the title from Basel on the final day!)
A two time Swiss National Player of the year (Nati award). 49 International Caps and 20 goals.
The one thing missing from his trophy haul with GCZ is also what I crave the most: a European cup (as discussed in my last blog post). As we entered Season 10, Remo was out of form and struggling to make the team. The lowest moment for probably both Remo and myself was the 8-0 loss at home to Juventus. Remo was on the bench and I had run out of ideas with the team. Tactically outclassed, I used the Winter Break of Season 10 to re-address the tactics in the team. One major decision was to put faith in Remo Mahrer once again. This was facilitated by a long term injury to first choice Central Striker Richairo Živković. It was Remo's time to shine.
With some exquisite passers in midfield like Julian Weigl (Passing 18/Vision 17) and Academy players: Nuno Gouveia (Passing 16/Vision 16) & Lukas Oswald (Passing 16, Vision 16), we've managed to use Remo as the most advanced forward in a 4-3-3. With the exception of the stalwart defence we've deployed, Remo IS the reason why we face Porto in the Euro Cup Quarter Final. He destroyed Dortmund away from home in the Signal Iduna Park and produced the most magical goal at home to Roma:
Every club has iconic moments that resonate through its history. On Thursday 06 March 2025 Remo Mahrer made that iconic moment, defining my era at GCZ forever. Finishing a fine team move in a 2-1 win against AS Roma at the Letzigrund during a Euro Cup Knockout match. This is probably my favourite goal at GCZ so far. Here is the finish in two different angles:
We're now approaching a Euro Cup Quarter Final against Porto, where we will be relying on our Grasshopper Galáctico once more. Stay updated via my Twitter or await a blog post about how Season 10 concludes here on fmgrasshopper.com. Thanks to all those who have shared my Marco & Remo Diary posts, it's been an absolute pleasure charting their amazing careers with you. For a recap on past blogs see below:
Part II - Invincible
Part III - Breakthrough
Part IV - Heartbreak
Part V - Icons
Part VI - Reunion
As ever, thank you for reading. I think I have at least 3 more FM16 GCZ updates in me:
(1) A Season 1-10 recap on all the shit that's happened in this save
(2) A simulation 10 years into the future and what it meant for GCZ without Loïc Swartzendruber
and (3) an Epilogue for Marco & Remo...as we see what they get up during the 2020s and 2030s.