It’s the time of year that all of the football games are released.
While FIFA 17 has hit the headlines with EA Sports releasing their ratings ahead of their new game, it’s easy to forget their competitor.
We are, of course, talking about Pro Evolution Soccer (PES).
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PES has been in the shadow of FIFA for many years, but Konami are hoping this is the year they catch up with their main rival.
And now, to whet the appetite of some of their fans, PES have started releasing some of the players rating ahead of their very own release.
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We’ve discovered the top five free-kick takers on the new game, and it certainly makes for interesting reading.
1. Dimitri Payet | Club: West Ham | Free-kick rating: 82
Payet arrived at West Ham as a relatively unknown player but his free-kick taking ability wowed everyone immediately. He scored four sensational efforts for the Hammers, as well as one for France in a friendly against Russia.
2. Miralem Pjanic | Club: Juventus | Free-kick rating: 82
Pjanic is rated the same as Payet in terms of free-kick taking - and it’s easy to understand why. The Bosnian moved from Roma to Juventus this summer and is considered one of the best midfielders in Europe. Last season, 'Who Scored' created a graphic showing that Pjanic had the best conversion rate in terms of free-kick since the 2013/14 season, having scored seven from his 38 free-kicks.
3. Hakan Calhanoglu | Club: Bayer Leverkusen | Free-kick rating: 92
Also on a free-kick rating of 92 is Turkish international Calhanoglu. The 22-year-old has established himself as a terrific free-kick taker in his short career - especially from long-range. Check out his 41-yard effort against Borussia Dortmund in 2014.
4. Lionel Messi | Club: Barcelona | Free-kick rating: 91
One of the best players in the world is also pretty handy at taking free-kicks. Messi has scored a hatful of outstanding free-kicks in his Barcelona career and you’ll have a great chance to score on PES if he’s standing over the ball.
5. Wesley Sneijder | Club: Galatasaray | Free-kick rating: 87
Sneijder may be reaching the end of his career but he’s still a quality set-piece taker. His rating of 87 doesn’t quite put him on terms with Payet, Pjanic and Calhanoglu but he is certainly more than capable of planting one in the top corner from 25-yards.
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