PES2012 makes you work for everything. It makes you work hard to like it in the first place. And then, after that stage has been reached, you’ve got to play the matches…
Every pass, every tackle, every goal, every point are all dearly bought with sweat and effort and hard work. From Regular difficulty on up.
I’ve played hundreds of matches across about four hundred hours by now. I can probably count on two hands the number of matches I’ve ‘coasted’ through without any trouble. (One of them was that live commentary match from a few weeks age. One rainy day this summer, I’ll post one of the recorded matches where I got thumped. That’ll give a more balanced picture of how I get on with PES2012.)
Here in season 15 of my ML career, I’m going for my first ever silverware on Superstar difficulty.
And I’m out of the Champions League at the group stage. I’ve been eliminated after 5 of the 6 group matches.
I hadn’t been playing well in Europe, but a rich vein of form in the league gave me hope of carrying that over into the Champs League.
Inter were my opponents in game 5, away. I had to win.
On the right you see my actual outfield team, set up defensively, but with plenty of options going forward, of course.
It was, as expected, a hard, hard game. Inter could have had it won easily by half-time. Somehow it stayed 0-0. In the second half all my effort was rewarded with a beautifully-crafted goal by Caracciolo. The build-up was so sweet that I can still taste the pleasure right now, a day later.
Baresi has been a revelation in recent matches, supporting the attack strongly from the back. He’s a great passer. Just prior to this game he basically won me a tight league match against Celtic with a deadly pass from the halfway line into Forlan’s feet in the penalty area. Forlan couldn’t miss.
Here against Inter, Baresi found Forlan again, only now it was on the edge of the area. I spotted Caracciolo making a spontaneous run in behind the defence. A delicate lobbed through-ball put him in for a one-on-one. The onrushing Inter keeper could do nothing to stop the goal.
There were 15 minutes left. I subbed Forlan and Barnes, went 4-5-1 with Perrotta and Gerrard deep in midfield, and readied myself to hang on for grim death.
It went okay, until Inter got a bullshit free kick 25 yards out with 5 minutes left, and curled the ball in. 1-1. I was fuming. All my hard work, up in smoke.
At the final whistle my players sank to the turf. John Champion kindly informed me that the draw wasn’t enough. I was out.
So that’s a trophy gone. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever win the Champions League on Superstar.
The league is looking up. I’m not out of it yet. Still just one defeat—that opening day mauling by Man Utd.
Man Utd are the soaraway CPU team-of-the-season, but they’ve now actually lost a match. I’m within striking distance, but I think if I suffer one more defeat, or even a few too many draws, it’ll be over and I’ll be scrapping to finish 4th again. A long way to go, though.
The FA Cup is still on. An easy first few rounds now sees me in the Quarter Final against Sunderland. It’ll be tough, but I should win. If so, it’ll probably be a semi-final meeting with Man Utd. Then one of the big boys in the Final, if I get there.
I’ll say this for PES2012. It’s lasting.
And I had some wonderful transfer news in late November of 2026. Come January, I’ll be joined by the 29-year-old veteran, SIBON. Yes, I finally got my man.
I have no idea why the latest repeat bid—probably my 20th bid in total—was successful, but it was. I gladly paid £40m for a striker who seems at the top of his game right now, but may be about to decline.
That’s OK. As long as I get one good season out of him, it’ll have been worth it. Roll on January 2027.