Comedy, drama, sports
Country of origin
No. of seasons
No. of episodes
The Minnows is a Margovyan sports comedy-drama series created by Sammy Sampuv and directed by Ivan Lebistrov. It premiered on Make Me Laugh Margovya on January 2, 2017 and is centered on the exploits of an ordinary man who becomes manager of the fictional Los Peruanos football team based in Peruviyanovsk, New Marginalia, after posting YouTube videos showing how he could save the team from relegation from the Margovyan Segunda Division on the video game Football Manager. The Minnows stars Godofredo as Ruslan Diaz, the YouTube gamer who becomes the new manager of Los Peruanos.
The series was shot on location in Peruviyanovsk and surrounding localities and uses the Parque de los Peruanos stadium (home ground of real-life football team Asociacion Deportivo de Peru) as Los Peruanos' home stadium.
Ruslan Diaz (Godofredo) is a middle-aged man in a dead-end job after a ruptured knee ligament put a very early end to his budding football career, the one thing which he really wanted to do in life. Diaz takes out his frustrations on his life by playing the video game Football Manager and posting videos of his "career modes" on YouTube. As a lifelong supporter of his hometown team Los Peruanos, Diaz always makes it a priority to attempt to guide Los Peruanos to league safety every time he gets the latest version of Football Manager. Little does he know that when the real-life Los Peruanos sacks their current manager, they've set their eyes on the one man who has proven capable of saving the team from imminent relegation, at least in the virtual world. But can Diaz repeat this supposedly miraculous feat in real life? There's only one way to find out....
- Godofredo as Ruslan Diaz - average joe desk worker in a dead-end job who finds release in posting videos on YouTube showing how he could save his local team, Asociacion Deportivo de Los Peruanos, from relegation on Football Manager. When the team fires its actual manager after a dispute, the club's board discovers Diaz's videos and immediately hire him to do his magic on the club in real life. Diaz's ties to Los Peruanos dates back to his childhood, when he used to be a bright prospect for the team's youth academy and was already on his way to a spot in the first team before tearing his ACL in his first start for the Peruvians, an injury from which he never recovered fully.
- Ruud Akinfenyor as Nestor Godurov - Margovyan goalkeeping legend who signed for Los Peruanos at the end of his career and went on to become the club's goalkeeping coach and eventually assistant manager. Godurov strikes up a friendship with Diaz and teaches him the ropes of being a real-life football manager.
- Timofey Baranov as Osvaldo Ariza - Los Peruanos' star forward. Like many other Peruanos players, Ariza has mixed Margovyan and Peruvian heritage due to the proximity of Peruviyanovsk to the Peruvian border. Ariza is also easily the best player that Los Peruanos has seen in ages, but it all depends on his form. He can score for ten consecutive games and then miss the target for twelve straight. If Ruslan is to achieve his aim of keeping Los Peruanos in the Segunda Division then he must find a way to keep Ariza scoring goals all season long.
- Ludvig Hinteregger as Liudvikas "Luis" Laurinaitis - Los Peruanos' star midfielder. Laurinaitis used to play for some big clubs up in the Margovyan Premier League, but injuries have impacted his development and his talent is now considered on par with the the Segunda Division at best. But Ruslan's constant affairs with Football Manager have convinced him that there is still a bank of talent remaining in Laurinaitis; it's just a matter of both player and manager tapping into it to lead Los Peruanos to Segunda Division safety.
- Valery Zolnerov as Rikard "Richie" Kuznetsov - Los Peruanos defensive midfielder and, according to Football Manager, one of both Los Peruanos and Margovya's rising stars. Ruslan is used to seeing Richie blossom into one of Los Peruanos' most important players in his FM saves. However, when it is revealed that Richie is suffering from a potentially fatal heart condition which prematurely ends his footballing career, Ruslan must find a way to keep Richie active and interested in the club and life in general.
- Lucas Rojas as Rodrigo Holmes - Los Peruanos' captain and star defender. Peruviyanovsk through and through, Holmes has been part of Los Peruanos since he was 16 and rose through the ranks to become team captain and the so-called "Señor Peruano," the embodiment of both Margovyan and Peruvian ideals made possible by Peruviyanovsk's privileged position in South America. Holmes is undoubtedly the fans' favorite, and the good thing is that he is also a good player that he is undroppable at the moment.
- Andreya Ismailova as Dzhamila Vishnevskaya-Diaz - Diaz's wife and sister of Los Peruanos' chairman Konstantin Vishnevsky. Dzhamila was not Ruslan's first love, but she was certainly his last as the two got married after just six months of dating, something which Dzhamila's old rich family does not approve, especially seeing as Ruslan was a "failed" product of the once-vaunted Los Peruanos football academy. Of course, Dzhamila actually hates being part of the rich and actually loves living in the hazy border between lower and middle class that she and Ruslan used to live in before Ruslan became Los Peruanos' new manager, which is forcing Dzhamila to reconnect with her family, with which she effectively severed ties when she married Ruslan.
- Ustin Makarov as Konstantin Vishnevsky - chairman of Los Peruanos, brother of Dzhamila and therefore brother-in-law of Ruslan Diaz. Vishnevsky didn't approve of Dzhamila's marriage to Ruslan and both men still harbor some hate and resentment for each other, although they have been forced to set their feud aside when Ruslan was appointed manager of Los Peruanos. Vishnevsky is the kind of club chairman who is used to interfering in the managerial dealings of the club, something which Ruslan doesn't like, and disputes are sure to rise between the two men because of this.
- Edward Rojas as Jose Holmes - Los Peruanos youth midfielder and Rodrigo Holmes' younger brother. Despite playing in different positions (Jose is a central attacking midfielder while Rodrigo is a central defender) Jose feels a ton of hopes, dreams, and responsibilities weighing down on his shoulders as the younger brother of the one and only Señor Peruano even though by his own admission Jose is "just an okay player." Since Football Manager apparently agrees with Jose's own predictions about his own talent, he initially doesn't fit right into Ruslan's plans, but then injuries and transfers necessitate Jose stepping up for the team, and he doesn't disappoint.
- Konstantin Lisunov as Esteban Kravchenko - leader of Los Ultras de Los Peruanos, the local ultras fan group and friend of Ruslan Diaz. Esteban wants to use Ruslan's newfound position as manager of Los Peruanos to give more privileges to Esteban's ultras, and while Ruslan knows that Esteban and his ultras are not the truly violent type, the board's reluctance to associate with the ultras may prove to be a tough test of the two men's friendship.
- Yelena Porsenko as Cecilia Johnson - part-time barista, part-time football player of Los Peruanos' women's team and full-time ultra who stays in the apartment run by both Ruslan and Dzhamila before Ruslan went into managing mostly against his own will.
- Mikhail Korovin as Scott Pilgrim - real name Zito Anoar Carvalho Abreu, skilled but controversial Brazilian central forward. Scott Pilgrim was supposed to be Fluminense through and through, but when Flamengo gave him an opportunity to become their star player, he jumped at the chance, earning him the ire of Fluminense fans and the nickname "the Brazilian van Persie." Scott becomes Ruslan's first signing, but only because Vishnevsky has already negotiated a deal with Flamengo before Ruslan arrived.
- Hafimwahlid Talnaev as Abu-Mahmoud Abdul Khan, an aging goalkeeper looking for a last steady paycheck by signing with Los Peruanos with an eye towards becoming another goalkeeping coach under Nestor Godurov suddenly called back into action when the rest of Los Peruanos' first team keepers are too drunk to play a league game.
|No. in series||No. in season||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"Pilot"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv||January 2, 2017|
|Ruslan Diaz posts his latest Football Manager 2017 career mode on YouTube detailing how he has managed to guide his hometown team Los Peruanos out of the Segunda Division de Margovya and into the Margovyan Premier League. Meanwhile, in real life, Los Peruanos sacks their old manager after a poor run of form in the league which has left the team rooted to the bottom of the Segunda Division. In their quest for a new manager, they stumble upon a YouTube channel depicting the many ways in which Ruslan Diaz has turned Los Peruanos from Margovyan minnows into Copa Libertadores champions. Diaz is summarily named Los Peruanos' new manager, but with half of the season gone, can he do what he has always done virtually and save his boyhood club from relegation?|
|2||2||"The Brazilian van Persie"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv||January 9, 2017|
|Ruslan is about to make his first real-life transfer deal for controversial Brazilian striker Scott Pilgrim (Mikhail Korovin), but there's just one problem: Ruslan doesn't want Pilgrim into the team. The transfer is all the work of Los Peruanos' chairman and Ruslan's brother-in-law Konstantin Vishnevsky (Ustin Makarov), who likes to meddle in such club matters. Ruslan is forced to integrate Pilgrim into the club despite his meticulous plans.|
|3||3||"No Era Penal!"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv & Pavel Kuchinski||January 16, 2017|
|Ruslan has to appeal what he sees as an undeserved red card on his team captain and star defender Rodrigo Holmes (Lucas Rojas) which cost Los Peruanos a vital league point away to rivals New Marginalia Kickers.|
|4||4||"This is Why I Hate Weddings"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv||January 23, 2017|
|All three of Ruslan's first team goalkeepers attend a wedding and end up being too drunk just hours before a vital game. Ruslan must delve into Los Peruanos' reserves to find a goalkeeper who won't embarrass the team too much.|
|5||5||"I've Got a Long Jacket Which Doesn't Zip!"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv & Ruslan Tafirov||January 30, 2017|
|Richie Kuznetsov (Valery Zolnerov), a promising young player who's always become one of the best Margovyan football players ever in Football Manager suddenly collapses during a Copa Margoviana game and is subsequently diagnosed with a heart condition which means that Kuznetsov can no longer play football or else he'll die. The whole club and town rallies around Kuznetsov during this troubling time and Ruslan himself offers some perspective on his own forced departure from "The Beautiful Game."|
|6||6||"Diaz In, Diaz Out, Shake It All About"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv & Tarik Falafelov||February 6, 2017|
|A poor run of form in all competitions suddenly has the board and the fans questioning the merits of Ruslan's appointment as manager even though he's been in the job for only one month and a bit.|
|7||7||"This Lot Ain't Worth Dying For"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv||February 13, 2017|
|Ruslan believes that he is beginning to lose his locker room and therefore decides to find out who is still on his side and who isn't. When he learns the identities of those who want to oppose him, he has to enact a plan that he hopes will bring them back to his side in time for big games in the league and the Copa Margoviana.|
|8||8||"Spare Me a Good Cheap Player"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv||February 20, 2017|
|With the mid-season transfer window now closed, Ruslan must turn to the free agents list for players whom he believes will help him keep Los Peruanos in the Segunda Division.|
|9||9||"Both the Best and the Worst Seat in the House"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv & Godofredo||February 27, 2017|
|Ruslan reconsiders getting his CONMEBOL coaching badges even as Los Peruanos begins to pick up the pace once again. Meanwhile, an incident between Los Peruanos ultras and the ultras of another relegation rival team forces Los Peruanos to play their next league game behind closed doors.|
|10||10||"Our Troubles Have Only Just Begun"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv & Godofredo||March 6, 2017|
|11||11||"Still Enough Time to Salvage This Season"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv & Godofredo||March 13, 2017|
|12||12||"Turn Us Around or Turn Away From the Job"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv & Godofredo||March 20, 2017|
|13||13||"Who's Ready for Next Season?"||Ivan Lebistrov||Sammy Sampuv & Godofredo||March 27, 2017|