Whether it is FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer, Football Manager or some other football video game there are always players who are grossly overpowered in comparison to their real life counter-parts. No video game, no matter how well made seems able to avoid this trap of making some players far better than they have any right to be. Even in the heady days of Pro Evo, when the franchise was really at its peak, the developers were not immune to such mistakes.
In the days of FIFA’s incredible monopoly on the video game market it is easy to forget that at one point Pro Evo were the undisputed kings. They dominated all but that didn’t stop them from making mistakes, no sir, not by a long way. With some of the new features for Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 released today at E3 we’ve decided to take a trip down memory lane. We’ve trawled back through some of the old Pro Evo games and we’ve found ten players who were really rather good on the game, but could not really live up to those standards in real life.
Now we should stress that this is not the definitive list and we’re sure that everyone else will have players of their own (if so please let us know) but these were the ten that really stood out for us. Some players did manage to make a name for themselves but others drifted into total obscurity. Here are some of the forgotten heroes of Pro Evolution Soccer games.
Now when Pro Evolution Soccer 2 was released in the winter of 2002 Francis Jeffers was still only a year into his Arsenal adventure so we can understand why the developers may have thought he was going to come good. Nevertheless giving him the stats they did looks inexcusable now, particularly when you consider that Pro Evo 2 was a game that had notoriously harsh ratings. 92 jump, 86 attack, 84 shot technique, what were you thinking Konami? It made Jeffers one of the best young forwards in the game and put him at a level that he was never able to reach in real life.
Once again Pro Evo 2 showed itself to be rather harsh on some players but not on the young stars who had signed for bigger clubs. Fortune was originally seen as back-up to Ryan Giggs although frankly looking at his pace he could well have been starting over Giggs. Fortune had pace, passing and technique as well as a mean free-kick. Had injuries not thwarted him he could have maybe reached these lofty heights but we doubt it.
Pro Evolution Soccer 3 was one of the most iconic games, if only for the cover featuring Italian referee Pierluigi Collina. Thankfully the ratings system was sorted out for this game but that didn’t stop some decent players being made very, very good. In fairness to Yegor Titov he was quite a good player however this does not justify him being turned into Alessandro Del Piero, curling the ball in from all areas. It was just far too easy to score with Titov and his subsequent career never showed that ludicrously high level of talent.
Staying with Russia and Vladimir Beschastnykh was one of the real hidden gems on the game. At the time he was moving from Fenerbahce to Kuban (yeah we’re not sure either) but for some reason Konami decided that this was enough to make him Fernando Torres, as in Fernando Torres when he was at Liverpool. He had pace, balance and finishing ability, the complete package. Most one on one situations resulted in a goal and once you realised how good he was it was hard to stray away from signing him.
When Pro Evolution Soccer 4 was released we had just seen the first real big transfer window at Chelsea under Roman Abramovich. The likes of Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben and Ricardo Carvalho were all signed. However one man who didn’t quite live up to those lofty heights was Mateja Kezman. Before the days of Andriy Shevchenko and Fernando Torres he was the stick with which opposition fans beat their Chelsea counterparts. His form in Holland can perhaps explain why he was given a high rating but with stats that like he should have been the new Drogba instead of, well, Drogba.
In the summer of 2004 Chevanton’s stock was very high. He had just finished a good spell in Italy with Leece and had earned himself a big move to Monaco. As such Pro Evo expected big things, so much so that they made him one of the most complete forwards in the game. As well as the standard attributes you’d expect for a forward Chevanton was even a very good passer. It was a joy to play with him, it’s just a shame that the next decade or so didn’t work out exactly as planned. After an ill-fated spell with QPR he was last seen playing for Liverpool back in his native Uruguay.
Incredibly Ailton was playing as recently as 2013, for German side Hassia Bingen which was his 21st club of a long career. When Pro Evo 5 was released he was moving to Besiktas, affectionately known as FC Bosphorus in the game. Ailton was always a decent enough forward, his goalscoring record at Werder Bremen was very impressive, but frankly his stats at the age of 32 are downright ridiculous. You weren’t going to be missing too many shots with him in your team.
If you support Espanyol you will probably consider Raul Tamudo to be a living legend, for the rest of us not so much. Tamudo is Espanyol’s record goalscorer but he was never able to maintain the form that his stats suggest he should be capable of. Whilst Tamudo wasn’t quite as good as Ailton and the like he was a remarkably low profile option who was a good source of goals. He was pretty well rounded as well with no real weaknesses but his last team was Sabadell in Spain’s third tier.
As you can probably guess there is only one reason that Mr Martins has made this list. Just look at his pace! Just look at his pace! Martins is one of the few players to achieve that illustrious honour of having both his acceleration and top speed stats totally maxed out. Martins was simply unbelievable to play with on Pro Evo 6, once the ball was put in behind he was not getting caught. He had good dribbling, balance and shooting which made him one of the best forwards in the game although he was just 21. Despite doing well at Newcastle it wasn’t until 2013 when he moved to Seattle Sounders that he started to find success again.
Now we’re actually big fans of Ivan Cordoba here at Squawka, we think he’s arguably a touch underrated considering how well he played for Inter Milan over the years. However at no point do we remember him being quick enough to warrant 96 acceleration and 90 top speed. This made him one of the fastest centre-backs in the game and one of the few players who would be able to keep up with Martins. This just does not seem right for a 30 year old central defender.
You didn’t think we had forgotten him did you? If there is one man synonymous with Pro Evolution Soccer and overpowered players it is Adriano. For three versions of the game hd had an incredible 99 shot power but we’ve picked his 2005 iteration as the peak. He had brilliant stats across the board and he was the one player who you felt you could score from anywhere with, he was that good. Legend has it that Konami’s executive director Shingo Takatsuka, whose nickname of “Seabass” could well be the best we’ve heard, ordered this because of his love for Inter and the Brazilian although this has never been confirmed. In years to come you’ll be telling your grandkids about him, that’s Adriano not Mr Seabass