Sure, there are games that offer fans the opportunity to pretend they are running a team, whether it's Football Manager or FIFA 19's Manager Mode.
But what's it really like to sign a cornerstone player to a real-life team?
Timbers.com's Richard Farley walks through the process of the Portland Timbers' recent capture of new Designated PlayerBrian Fernandez. The 24-year-old Argentina native was transferred from Liga MX side Necaxa as they were in the middle of a Liguilla-bound campaign, and yet the Timbers got their man.
Among the highlights of the profile? The turning point came when the Timbers realized they would be able to negotiate directly with Necaxa, minus a common coterie of intermediaries that can complicate such deals.
“It came back that we had a direct line with Necaxa,” said Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson.
“I started speaking to the owner and the technical director at Necaxa and found out that it could be possible,” he continued.
With the negotiations underway, it was a continuation of a process years in the making, as the Timbers had vetted Fernandez in an extensive process and would continue to do so until the deal was official.