Pro Evolution Soccer: Remembering the original Master League XI

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Growing up as a football fan in the 2000s, as well as making that initial crucial decision about what football team to support, the second vital choice was FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer?

On the one hand you had the FIFA familiarity of official teams, players and competitions. While on the other, there was Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer, which despite not having the licensed teams, ultimately provided the player with that thrilling gaming experience.

True, you may have ended up playing as North London Red or West Midlands Blue, but what separated Pro Evolution from its EA rival was ever engrossing single-player Master League mode.

The goal was a simple one, turn a low ranked side into a winning team or acquire enough funds to buy one of the best players in the game Adriano. We all remember his shot power, don't we?

Listed below, therefore, are those legends that made up that Master League XI to ensure the streets never forget them.

Ivarov – GK

Beginning with Russia’s Ivarov, who was a solid goalkeeper between the sticks and ever dependable.

Valeny – CB

Often compared to England’s John Terry, Valeny offered a constant threat from set pieces.
He was ultimately the best tackler in the team and provided a strong defensive foundation. The only draw back Valeny had, however, was his lack of pace.

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Stremer – CB

The Swede international also brought a certain degree of leadership to the backline. His key strength was certainly his positioning, but every so often might be liable to what is probably known now as Sergio Ramos moment today.

Jaric – CB

Jaric was often on corners or set piece duty and he certainly had that Roberto Carlos air to him. This ultimately made him one of the first names on the team sheet.

Dodo – DM

Dodo provided that defensive security for his back three, the Brazilian could also offer versatility by playing as a full-back.

Iouga – DM

The perfect foil to Dodo, Iouga was known for playing the crucial deep-lying playmaker role and made sure the team kept ticking over in midfield.

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Espimas – RWB

Frenchman had pace to burn, but did not quite have the crossing ability to match the likes of a David Beckham or a Luis Figo.

Ximelez – LWB

Not quite as talented as Espimas, but still a more than capable winger.

Minanda – AM

The advanced Portuguese playmaker Minanda certainly had the capability of producing that bit of magic from nowhere if you provided him with the right service.

Ordaz – ST

The Spaniard Ordaz played the role of the target man up front and was particularly good at holding the ball up. His presence in the air also came in handy.

Castolo – ST

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The team’s primary attacking threat, Castolo proved a particular versatile member of the Master League XI with the ability to play as a support striker or an out-and-out forward. No matter where he was on the pitch, he bagged for fun.

Anyone else just get a real case of nostalgia reading that? Whether you were FIFA or Pro Evolution, you cannot argue that the Master League mode was pure class.

We still miss you, Castolo!

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