A new Home version of the classic 1970s CCFC kit for season 14. As modelled above by my 18-year-old Youth team prodigy, Bastian Schweinsteiger.
I also have a new (non-classic) Away kit that I’ve not actually worn in-game yet. The old brown ‘excrement’ kit has been retired. It may return in the future, who knows.
And I have switched to that yellow ball for the moment. I fancied a change from the old black-and-white one that I’d played with since the start.
It’s going to be a very intriguing next few seasons, with all of the youngsters—Schweinsteiger, Hagi, Ribery, Kaka, Rooney, Joe Hart, and Del Piero—starting to come through the ranks.
In the meantime I’ve got to make things happen with my existing veterans, who should be more than good enough to win things in this Master League.
Season 13 was a poor one by my standards. Just a few seasons ago I won the League and the Champions League together (what a season that was!).
The final tale of the tape was a sobering one. 13 league defeats. No trophies. And to compound matters, my revised Club Ranking slipped to 9th:
Interesting to see Schalke moving up there to 6th. I remember playing them in Europe a few seasons ago and they hammered me twice (that was on Professional difficulty).
I brought in no new players at all during the transfer window. I released Brolin and Ribeiro, both past their best.
Slightly inspired by real-life events, I did go after the currently 26-year-old Didier Drogba. I don’t recall ever playing with him in either PES or FIFA, down the years, so he’d bring something new. Sadly, he didn’t want to compete for places.
In this transfer market, persistence pays off eventually. I’ll keep trying and hopefully land Drogba in time for the January window.
I took to the field for my pre-season Training matches with pretty much the XI seen here on the right. That is not anything like the team I’ll be using as the season goes on. Most of the youngsters are only fit to be used as subs in real matches.
Joe Hart, Schweinsteiger, and Rooney are further along than any of them. They’re all at least halfway to being the finished articles. For all Schweinsteiger’s currently lowly OVR rating, he handles well above his stats. I cannot wait to see how he’ll turn out as a fully developed CMF.
Of course, the sooner Hagi gets up to speed the better. I miss my fix of Hagi goal specials.
I’m very concerned about Del Piero. He’s 23 years old now. I found him washed-up and abandoned in the OTHER list. Is it too late now for him to make it? He desperately needs a growth spurt, and soon. I’m going to indulge my curiosity and wait and see. I’ll keep him until he’s 30 if I have to.
Also note the appearance in defence of Cannavaro. 21 years old now. He came up from my Youths four seasons ago, and is blossoming into the player I knew he’d become. Not much height, but he’s got a lot of pace and is very nimble on the edge of the box. Age is on his side, which counts for a lot in this PES.
I’ve played the opening 8 matches. W4, L1, D3. Sitting in 4th spot, 4 points off the top of the table. I’m not scoring anything like enough goals. Just 9 scored so far (with 4 conceded).
I’m starting with Forlan and Caracciolo up front. Both were Youth team promotees from way back. Forlan has eclipsed them all, obviously, but Caracciolo is actually coming along very well.
He’s 24 years old. He’s scored 5 of my 9 league goals in season 2025-2026 so far. He’s a bit of a poacher. No shot power to speak of, really. But he always seems to be in the right place to snaffle up loose balls. He gets his fair share of headers.
I wonder if this is just a flash in the pan, or the start of something big.
I’ve found myself hollering the old PES chant of “Caraccigoalo!” whenever he scores. Quietly, of course…
Here’s a typical Caraccigoalo. This clinched a delicious 2-0 win over Spurs, who were currently the league-leaders:
Standard fare, really, but that’s what you want in this Master League: a striker who can just tuck them away like that, 20 or 30 times a season. Caracciolo at the moment reminds me, vaguely, of how van Basten used to handle at his peak. Hmmm.
I’m amazed and gratified at the emergence of Caracciolo after he spent probably 5 seasons just hanging around to no purpose. I seem to have been trying to sell him for about 3 seasons. I was on the verge of releasing him a few times, but was never quite able to bring myelf to do it. Lucky me.
Stories, eh? Master League is full of them. Caracciolo’s is just one of many.