If you’re in your 20s or older, you’ll know that Pro Evolution Soccer was the daddy during the early-to-mid 2000s.
It didn’t have the correct player names, or even the proper team names, due to sponsorship issues. Neither did it have the proper kits or stadiums.
But that didn’t matter too much because it *felt* like proper football, unlike EA Sports’ FIFA, which was far more polished but lacked the realism of its main competitor.
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FIFA has made giant strides over the past six or seven years, while Konami’s lead title has failed to evolve in the way its loyal fans expected it would.
Subsequently, many former PES lovers switched to FIFA and haven’t really looked back since.
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However, we’ll always have the memories. PES 1-6 on the PlayStation 2 were all truly magnificent football games.
PES 6 was memorable for one player...
Back in October 2006, Konami released Pro Evolution Soccer 6 and it was arguably their best title of the lot.
You might remember the cover which featured John Terry in his England kit and the Brazilian striker Adriano. Aw man, take us back to 2006!
The latter made it on to Konami’s front cover after scoring 28 goals in 42 appearances for Inter during the 2004-05 campaign. He was widely regarded as one of the world’s best strikers with an extremely bright future ahead of him.
It’s unclear whether Konami deliberately upped Adriano’s stats because he was the cover star, or if they genuinely felt they were being realistic, but the Brazil international was God-like on PES 6.
Seriously, he was unstoppable. You and your mates would sometimes agree that you couldn't use him because it felt like cheating.
He was pretty quick (top speed of 88) but that wasn’t his main attribute. Undoubtedly his biggest strengths were his balance (98 - you literally couldn’t knock him off the ball) and, of course, his ridiculous shot power (99).
What a beast
Basically, if you were in the opposition’s half and Adriano was on his left foot, all you needed to do was hold down square (depending on your controls) and there was a good chance both the ball and goalkeeper were flying into the back of the net.
Adriano turns 35 today - where has the time gone?! - and a brilliant YouTube video has emerged of some of his best goals on PES 6.
Here are a couple of other clips for your viewing pleasure...
So, here’s to Adriano: the best player in Pro Evo history.