Football Features

Where are they now? The cult Inter Milan side that dominated Pro Evo

By Squawka News

Published: 16:15, 17 May 2023

Many football fans still yearn for the glory days of Pro Evolution Soccer.

These days, Pro Evo is a different game altogether; it no longer has that quick, arcadey feel, instead opting for a sense of realism and rebranded as eFootball – as well as being available for free.

Its most loyal followers, however, will have fond memories of PES 5, one of the great entries in the franchise.

PES 5 combined the series’ best gameplay attributes with a number of memorable teams, none more so than the Inter Milan squad of 2005/06.

Led up front by video game legend Adriano, Inter were just about unstoppable in the virtual world just under 20 years ago.

Using statistics from, we’ve taken a look at what happened to that glorious PES 5 team. And of course, we advise reading this article aloud in your best Peter Brackley voice.

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer

Goalkeeper: Francesco Toldo

PES 5 Rating: 90
Standout Rating: 97 Balance

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Toldo

Inter Milan games: 232
Inter Milan goals: 0
Current club: Retired

With 95 Goalkeeping, 96 Defence and 92 Response, Toldo was one of PES 5’s finest shot-stoppers to the point that playing against him often felt unfair. The Italian’s 97 Balance meant he was rarely on the ground for long after making a save, ready to keep out any follow-up efforts most of the time with ease.

Toldo retired in 2010, having won five Serie A titles with Inter.

Right-back: Javier Zanetti

PES 5 Rating: 90
Standout Rating: 94 Stamina

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Zanetti

Inter Milan games: 858
Inter Milan goals: 21
Current club: Inter (Vice-President)

At 32, Zanetti still had a bit of pace, and PES players would rely on the Argentinian for most of the width in the 4-2-2 system, although his crossing (long pass accuracy) could have been better. Zanetti made up for that with his ridiculous in-game stamina, something he also possessed in reality, playing until he was 40.

Inter recognised Zanetti’s service to the club by naming him vice-president in June 2014, a role he still holds and is a regular at the San Siro.

Centre-back: Ivan Cordoba

PES 5 Rating: 90
Standout Rating: 99 Jump

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Cordoba

Inter Milan games: 455
Inter Milan goals: 18
Current club: Retired

Cordoba’s rapid 86 Acceleration was only topped by his 99 Jump. Even though some strikers boasted better than his 86 Heading, the defender’s jumping stats meant he could win almost any aerial duel. What’s more, he was always quick enough to catch up with attackers who had somehow gotten through on goal.

Inter’s vice-captain retired having won multiple major honours, including four Coppa Italia trophies. He is now on the board at Venezia, one of the most stylish clubs in world football.

Centre-back: Walter Samuel

PES 5 Rating: 97
Standout Rating: 95 Defence

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Samuel

Inter Milan games: 236
Inter Milan goals: 17
Current club: Coach (Argentina)

Samuel was essentially a brick wall on PES 5. Carles Puyol was the only better defender on the entire game. His special abilities were Marking and Covering, meaning he’d often be in the right place without the player having to do much thinking.

The Argentinian was always a goal threat for Inter, only failing to find the net in one of his nine seasons at the San Siro – not bad for a centre-back – before leaving for Basel, where he retired.

He’s currently part of Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina coaching team, tasting the ultimate success at the World Cup in Qatar.

Left-back: Cristiano Zanetti

PES 5 Rating: 75
Standout Rating: 92 Stamina

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Zanetti

Inter Milan games: 177
Inter Milan goals: 74
Current club: Retired

With no world-class attributes, Cristiano was undeniably the lesser Zanetti and arguably the team’s weak link. Like his namesake, the left-back had plenty of stamina to get up and down the pitch, but his other statistics pale in comparison to his teammates.

Having retired in 2012, Zanetti is now an unemployed manager, last coaching Serie D club Massese.

Defensive midfielder: Juan Sebastian Veron

PES 5 Rating: 93
Standout Rating: 97 Long Pass Accuracy

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Veron

Inter Milan games: 74
Inter Milan goals: 4
Current club: Estudiantes (Chairman)

Veron was the perfect PES playmaker. His long passing was unerringly accurate, so putting lofted balls over the top for a pacy attacker – who we’ll get to – was a surefire way to create plenty of chances. The Argentinian’s shots packed a punch, too, and his Tactical Dribble ability made it easy to get away from defenders.

The former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder is now chairman of his first-ever club, Estudiantes.

Defensive midfielder: Esteban Cambiasso

PES 5 Rating: 86
Standout Rating: 85 Technique

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Cambiasso

Inter Milan games: 420
Inter Milan goals: 51
Current club: Retired

An ideal all-round midfielder, Cambiasso had few standout stats but was competent in just about every area. His Short Pass Accuracy and Technique meant he could keep things ticking over in possession, a similar job to the one he notably did for Inter in the real world.

Spells with Leicester and Olympiacos followed Cambiasso’s incredible Inter career. He is now retired but was seen among the celebrations at the San Siro as Inter Milan beat AC Milan to reach the final of the 2022/23 Champions League, covering the game as a pundit.

Attacking midfielder: Dejan Stankovic

PES 5 Rating: 84
Standout Rating: 88 Teamwork

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Stankovic

Inter Milan games: 326
Inter Milan goals: 42
Current club: Sampdoria (manager)

Stankovic’s high Teamwork stat was a result of his capacity to transition between a deeper-lying midfield role and a more attacking one. His Long Passing ability also allowed him to drift into wide areas when the wing-backs were busy defending.

In reality, Stankovic is probably best remembered for beating Manuel Neuer from his own half in a Champions League clash between Inter and Schalke in April 2011. Stankovic turned to management a few years ago, taking charge of Red Star Belgrade in December 2019, steering them to three league titles. He left to return to Italy in October, but suffered relegation with Sampdoria.

Attacking midfielder: Alvaro Recoba

PES 5 Rating: 95
Standout Rating: 97 Swerve

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Recoba

Inter Milan games: 261
Inter Milan goals: 67
Current club: Retired

That’s right, 97 Swerve. If anyone could put the sufficient amount of curl on a free-kick to beat a goalkeeper – either virtually or in the real world – it was Recoba. Scoring from set pieces with the Uruguayan was a breeze in PES 5. Combine that Swerve stat with his 90 Free Kick Accuracy and stopping him was a hopeless task.

Striker: Obafemi Martins

PES 5 Rating: 82
Standout Rating: 99 Top Speed

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Martins

Inter Milan games: 136
Inter Milan goals: 49
Current club: Retired

The temptation to simply run past entire defences every time Martins had the ball at his feet was real. His speed statistics were hilariously useful, making it so a player could be through on goal by merely holding down the sprint button.

Martins was the last player to retire of this team, calling time on his career after a spell with Wuhan Zall in China – having also spent time with Shanghai Shenhua across two spells either side of a long injury break.

Striker: Adriano

PES 5 Rating: 98
Standout Rating: 99 Shot Power

Inter Milan Pro Evo Soccer Adriano

Inter Milan games: 177
Inter Milan goals: 74
Current club: Retired

It’s a big call, but ‘PES 5 Adriano’ may be the greatest video game footballer of all time. His iconic status owes much to his incredible 99 Shot Power, which saw players shoot on sight whenever possible because the ball would often fly past the goalkeeper before he could even attempt to save it. Making the Brazilian even more effective, his 98 Balance meant shots could be attempted from difficult angles – something that was almost impossible with most virtual strikers.

Adriano’s career began to go downhill even before he left Milan, although he did enjoy decent spells back home in Brazil. Miami United proved to be his final club in 2016.