Do you know your real footballers from your Football Manager regens?

Those of you without a social life will know that, once you get a good few years into a Football Manager save, the actual players begin to retire. Then, slowly but surely, reserve teams become filled with made-up ones to plug the gap in the game’s database. They get an animated face and everything. It’s basically the circle of life.

Problem is, the Football Manager engine has a finite amount of names upon which to draw, which means that – before long – the England national team begins to field players named Wayne Lampard, and Raheem Ward-Prowse. It gets silly, to be honest, and for serious players – those of us who suit up when we reach a Champions League final – it really detracts from the game’s realism, too.

Or does it? Take a cursory glance through an England youth team squad these days and some of the names that appear look almost as though they’ve been plucked straight from the virtual world. Here are some that you might have missed.

SEE ALSO: Proof: Ajax’s glorious youth system

Whilst the line between Football Manager and actual football continues to be blurred, the increasing popularity of double-barreled surnames guarantees that Sports Interactive will always be one step ahead when it comes to super cool footballer names.

So here’s to seeing Harry Dier and Theo Loftus-Cheek combine for the winner in the final of your 2034 England World Cup campaign. Speaking of which, the frequency with which virtual England seem to win major tournaments is perhaps the game’s most unrealistic feature.

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