It’s well-known in the real-life professional game, by fans, players, and coaches alike, that a former player returning to play against an old club is more likely to score a goal than not score a goal. It’s just the way it works. The former player always scores.
It seems to work that way in PES2008 as well. I’m fully resigned to having my former ace striker Elcherino score against me every time I meet him in another team’s colours.
He’s still with Real Zaragoza at the moment—although the day cannot be far away when I buy him back just to put him on my bench and keep him there. My current House Rules forbid me from playing him in my team. The whole sorry Elcherino saga bubbled up over the Christmas and New Year period, and almost derailed my next-gen PES2008 career permanently. At the moment I’m taking a dim view of next-gen PES2008, but it’s not Elcherino’s or anybody else’s fault really. The game is just too easy. That’s its problem in a nutshell.
I went 0-1 up against Zaragoza (at their ground) and was cruising. Elcherino wasn’t in their starting line-up. He came on in the second half and got their equaliser almost immediately—a simple tap-in from a CPU cutback. I managed to keep him quiet after that, and scored my winner in the dying moments just when I’d resigned myself to a frustrating draw. 1-2 to me. Take that, Elcherino.
Next were one of the division pace-setters—Inter Milan, the wet dream-team of many an online PES2008 player. This one was a draw, 2-2. I was 2-0 up and comfortable with it, but started to get a little over-enthusiastic in my tackling as I tried to keep it that way. I had Matuzalem sent off, and Inter got it back to 2-1. Then I had Jackson sent off and they got it back to 2-2. I had several chances to score more goals myself but missed them all.
After Inter Milan, I had to play Barcelona. It was the game I’d been waiting for all season.
This screen was not what I wanted to see before the game:
What great timing. It’s only the biggest game of my season so far. Thanks, France.
(Incidentally, looking at that screenshot, it strikes me that for all the Internet chatter about greengrocer’s apostrophes and whatnot, a good case could be made for the exclamation mark being the single most overused and abused punctuation mark in the English language! They seem to be scattered everywhere!!)
I decided to just get on and do without Mathieu—no great loss, really, as he’s still not yet the triple-A player I knew in PES5 and PES6. Pjinatnigh came in at DMF. The remainder of my team was mostly fit and in form.
Melengue got the first goal—a sort of wonder dribble, but he only beat two Barcelona players before scoring, so it doesn’t really count. (A true wonder dribble, which can be accomplished in every single game in next-gen PES2008, sees the player ghosting past almost the entire opposition.)
Caracciolo got me another goal in the second half. Here it is:
And that’s how it finished. Singers FC 2-0 Barcelona. I am dumbfounded to be top of the league after 12 games.