The two in recent years have gone hand in hand. In PES Adriano has always been a goal scoring machine, even in the most recent versions despite his fall from grace. But the two go hand-in-hand more obviously these days, with both parties struggling to recapture ‘form’ of days gone by. We take a deeper look at the connections, and see if Adriano and the PES series are indeed two of a kind.
The picture in the header is a model of Adriano, created by the Fanatico brand. Standing at 9 inches and made of resin, it dwarfs my other footy models by size and weight. Standing at the end of a row of fellow superstars on my shelve, the model is imposing and in many way represents itself as a King. And a King is what Adriano certainly was back in those days, being quite possibly the worlds best striker at that time. The model by Fanatico shows ‘The Emperor’ at his all time best – dribbling and terrorising defenses with power and grace. The kit he’s wearing also gives away the time scale at when this figure was created. It was Inter’s 05/06 home shirt, and probably was the peak in Adriano’s career before the gradual decline.
Link this to the PES series, and the picture isn’t too dissimilar. Back in 05/06 many were enjoying the gaming delights of PES 5 and WE 10, and to many those heights haven’t been reached since. Through these releases, and even since, Adriano was one of the most prolific and incredibly difficult players to play against. His incredibly powerful shots, coupled with decent accuracy and superhuman stability made him unplayble. He quickly became known as a cheat player, with Inter also becoming a team that was frustrating to play against.
But criticisms about how gameplay was flawed in certain areas aside, it was a period where in a sense no one could touch Adriano, and no one could get near the PES series. The cover of PES 6 certainly pays homage to the brazilian striker, placing him as the primary cover star. It was a high point for all concerned, and a time that many hope Konami will again reach.
Who knows, the story of PES and Adriano could come full circle this year. With a positive outlook by all regarding the future of PES (it can only get better), there seems to be a decent feeling the king will indeed return. As for Adriano himself, its probably more unclear. A recent return to form has been marred by yet another late flight back from his native Brazil. In recent weeks he’s been gradually getting back to his best, time will tell if the ‘real’ Adriano returns.
I’m sure Inter and PES fans more than most hope that the quality of the two increases dramatically this year. We’ll all know soon enough.