The fourth instalment of the Championship Manager Heroes series uncovers the truth about one of the game’s biggest stars.
Tó Madeira was a must-buy striker for Championship Manager 01/02 players, but there was a darker side to his meteoric rise.
There was something magical about Tó Madeira. Everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. His was the Midas touch.
Pace, finishing, dribbling, determination. All key attributes for the modern day striker, and Madeira was a man who had it all. If ever a side needed lifting, if ever a team needed a goal, Madeira was the man to provide it.
Yet intriguingly there was something even more extraordinary about Tó Madeira: he didn’t exist.
Season after season within the game, Madeira would score goals at an alarming rate, often ending the campaign with a strike rate of more than one per game.
But it wasn’t his fictional managers that were responsible for his breathtaking form; it was a man called António Lopez.
Championship Manager, and nowadays Football Manager, are games that are driven by hugely intricate and detailed databases. Top football managers such as Arsene Wenger have confessed to having used these databases in some way when searching for new players to recruit.
Naturally then, the creators of the series of games must use many researchers and scouts to build up this database of clubs, players and information.
António Lopez was one such researcher. He was entrusted with the task of providing the information and squad list of the Portuguese team Gouveia. Lopez had actually represented Gouveia at youth level as a player, and was therefore seen as the ideal man to provide a realistic interpretation of the club’s playing staff.
However, Lopez’ time at Gouveia had been cut short by his studies, and Lopez had spotted a unique opportunity; the chance to immortalise himself in a career that he’d never had.
Thus Tó Madeira was born, a fictional player to represent the career that Antonio Lopez had once dreamed about. Rumour has it that Lopez chose the name Tó Madeira as a nod to his impending holiday; to Madeira, the Portuguese island.
Lopez revelled in the role of maker, and Madeira was given outrageously brilliant statistics and attributes in the game, and became a hero to millions of players.
When Lopez’ skullduggery was uncovered, Madeira was removed from future versions of the game, and the magical striker was once again just a figment of the imagination.