Go back to Pro Evolution Soccer 4

Written by: Rik

Date posted: May 26, 2010

Okay, a disclaimer to start with: despite the many hours I’ve spent playing this game, I haven’t played with every team and I’m not in any way claiming that these are the five ‘best’ players in the game.

Rather, these are the players who earned my respect through their performances for my favoured teams until they could do no wrong in my eyes. Instead of castigating one of them for an in-game error, I would make a mental note to put a paternal arm around one of them at the end of the match and remind them of all the good they’d done for the club. And, if it turned out the error was down to personal problems, they could stay with me and my family until everything had been sorted out.

Look, I told you this game messes with your mind after a while…

 

Pablo Aimar

PES: While Valencia’s squad is burdened by an assortment of fairly lumbering strikers, the presence of Aimar at the head of the midfield more than makes up for it. Blessed with awesome dribbling ability and a fair amount of pace, Aimar is the kind of player you just give the ball to in order to try and conjure a chance out of nowhere. A legend in both PES 4 and PES 5, commentator Peter Brackley seemingly has an extra level of urgency and excitement in his voice whenever he barks his name, and replicating this curious outburst by shouting it directly into the face of your human opponent upon scoring a goal is a joyous feeling indeed.

Real life: Plagued by injuries following his big-money move to Valencia from River Plate, Aimar was never quite the same legend in reality as he was in my head. Now plays for Benfica in Portugal.

 

Alberto Gilardino

PES: How I came to select Parma as my team of choice back in the day, I do not know, especially with the apparent paucity of attacking talent at their disposal. The only solution is to play with one up front, and if you’re going to adopt that system, then you need a man like Gilardino as your lone striker. Strong, powerful, good on the ground as well as in the air, he was the foundation upon which my sneaky (and unpopular) counter-attacking game was based, holding the ball up and bringing pacier midfield colleagues into the game, before dashing into the box to smash home another awesome goal.

Real life: After more than a goal every two games for Parma, he earned a big-money move to Milan, where he never quite reached the same goalscoring heights. Now at Fiorentina.

 

Adriano

PES: The kind of player who makes your opponents whinge “I’m sorry, but he’s just too good”, Adriano is the kind of striker who can steamroller his way past the strongest of opposition defenders before unleashing the kind of net-busting strike that makes you want to wheel away in celebration as if you’d scored it yourself. Prior to this game, fellow Inter striker Christian Vieri was cast in a similar role, but here he’s a bit old and has stupid long hair (with an alice band) so he deserves to sit on the bench while Adriano takes the glory.

Real life: After appearing on the packaging for PES 6, Adriano went off the rails somewhat, ending up back in Brazil following reports of alcoholism and other personal problems. Ah, if only he could have stayed with me and the wife in Milan, we’d have sorted him out.

 

Edgar Davids

PES: The only downside to playing a 3-5-2 system in PES – which is otherwise great – is that the players in the wing-back positions tend either to be defenders who aren’t that great going forward, or midfielders who aren’t so good defensively. Oh, and whoever you pick, they’re bound to be knackered by the time you’re midway through the second half. Enter Davids, with his super-human powers of stamina, feistiness in the tackle and fearsome long-range shooting abilities.

Real life: Contrary to his performance in this game, Davids endured a largely disappointing season at Inter. Later moved to Spurs (my PES 6 team of choice) before returning to Ajax, the club at which he started his career.

 

 Sébastien Frey

PES: Goalkeepers are generally fairly solid in PES, and so you don’t tend to see too many of them flapping about at crosses, palming shots into their own goal or doing anything else that might cause your blood pressure to rise to dangerously high levels. In fact, you don’t really notice them too much at all in general, but whenever I play as Parma, this bloke seems to pull off the kind of blinding saves that I never noticed any of my other ‘keepers making.

Real life: Moved to Fiorentina after several years at Parma. Despite consistent form, has rarely featured for the French national team (the outrage!)