I am not Legend

I have played 39 matches of Season 4. I have been on Superstar difficulty since Matchday 9. PES2019 on Superstar might be the hardest PES I have ever played.

There will certainly be no promotion this season. With 7 matches remaining, here is the table:

I have only just unlocked Legend difficulty with my 5th victory since switching to Superstar.

It took me 31 matches on Superstar to notch up those 5 wins.

Many are the readers of this blog who will find this to be an astonishing and scarcely believable confession. It took this guy 31 matches to win 5?!

However. As I’ve mentioned numerous times on the blog, I am an average-skilled player of football games. I haven’t been misrepresenting my skills. I am average. ‘Tis true.

I’m not sure I will ever play on Legend. I didn’t last year, and probably won’t again this year. Superstar might detain me for the entirety of the rest of my time on PES2019.

The game in general is holding up incredibly well. The challenge is immense. The gameplay is deep. Solid 9/10 session follows solid 9/10 session. I am in PES dreamland. I never thought a nuPES game could deliver this kind of sustained satisfaction. I caught myself looking at PES t-shirts and baseball caps on eBay last night. (There’s a PES2009 woollen scarf on there right now for a tenner if anyone wants it.)

There are still downsides. PES2019 will never be perfect for me so long as I continue to regularly experience matches without a single AI foul in them. My average AI fouls count is still something like 1.3 per match. Of course this is another outcome of my individual play-style.

A couple of unusual moments in video now.

First, a heel-flick from Robben that takes a wicked deflection and loops over the keeper. One of those goals that you score, and know that something weird has just happened, and you scrutinise the replay frame-by-frame.

Second, something I’ve waited a decade to see make a return to PES: my Goalkeeper being sent off. Of course I never keep a reserve GK on the bench – because why would you, this is PES and keepers don’t get sent off… So after some dithering and confusion on the Squad Screen (why is every outfield player rated the same for Goalkeeping? pissing hell, Konami) a defender had to go in goal. Watch the restart to see my calamitous ‘defending’ at the free kick:

Updated: 6th November 2018 — 10:57


  1. I’m going to lose Gomis at the end of the year. He is on 580k, he wants 2m. I simply don’t believe that’s deliberate programming, it leads to a revolving door of players when you may be sitting on 100m in the bank. Consequently I’ll join him – apart from Lloyd the sack would i be the only multi club manager or are others doing it?

    Abbeyhill – some huge Pokemon gains recently, just need to find four more pokestops I haven’t visited.

  2. Turf – I’m a multi club manager myself as well so you’re not the only one there. Thinking of doing a Europe tour-type thing through the Netherlands, England, Italy, France and Germany.

    Paul – fully agree, well put. Look at the knock-on effects the (unintentional) finance situation brings about. Fouls to a lesser extent. It would be so, so easy to make ML great again but Konami just won’t make it happen. Happy I got the pc mods and all but master league in itself is still a polished turd in its current state.

  3. Master League inadvertently forcing you to go to big clubs if you want to have big players? I can’t think that’s deliberate either, and it’s unwelcome to a one-club man like myself. I will tough it out.

    Had a wonderful match today where I went down to 10 men vs a top Championship team, newly relegated, and the AI changed its approach, pushing right up against me, leaving itself open to my 10 men counter-attacking. I saved a penalty, then conceded another a minute later, and they hit the bar. It ended rather thrillingly – more on Friday. At the start of Season 5 in the Championship, every moment of every match, every kick, counts triple. Probably my single best match on PES2019 yet.

  4. Turf – that’s why I said I doubt the finances being tighter was deliberate, because you’ve just confirmed my suspicions.
    There is no point having tight finances if the transfer funds are unbalanced in respect of salary funds being too small.
    The game could force you to leave a constant churn over if players as it’s knoossible to afford to keep any decent ones.

    Does this happen with players you hve developed too ? They demand a higher salary than you’re able to provide ?
    If so, finances are broken.

  5. Paul – I can part-answer that: you can give your players the higher amount regardless of budget, but it’ll take you into salary budget debt, stopping you getting any other players. In this way you end up with your own squad plus any loanees you can get.

    It works from a game point of view, as you’re forced to play with lesser players and it’s glorious – the true ML feeling in bucketloads. But I suspect I will never be able to eventually assemble a squad of galacticos at my Edited-over PES United, and would have to move to a Big Club to get a big wages budget. It’s a similar mechanic to the one unfolding in your CM on the other game.

    No matter whether Konami meant it or not, it is the absolute making of ML in PES2019. We’re very used to any club potentially being growable into a future giant on the ML world stage. That will still be possible, but it’ll have to be done with one or two stars and a hard-working squad that you squeeze everything possible out of.

    p.s. my own Youth players are so far not asking for silly money.

  6. Paul – I have a slightly different answer – I offloaded every default in year one as anyone I wanted to keep wanted a tripling of salary at least. Why bother when you can go to the amf farm and buy a Lincoln for nothing and 200k wages. See also centre halfs, keepers, full backs etc. The only position I’d say is trickier to find good like for likes is centre forward, so many of them have zero individuality. Gomis is a beast.

    It’s so easy to make money – sign a cb from the frees, play him for a few months, sell for 4m, get another free. It obviously impacts team spirit but as long as you do it on a rotating basis not too much. This has always been an option in modern ml and I hate it as you get through a Harry redknapp of players, or go that loan route which is pretty much the same thing.

  7. Uncle Turf – where does that carousel of Youth-selling get you this year, though? Doesn’t matter if you make a billion pounds from it, so long as the salary budget situation remains the same.

  8. NG – exactly what I was thinking. I called this quite a few posts back in the comments section. The only revolving door that could be beneficial is selling players to bring in similar OVR on lesser wages and then selling them when their wage requests get too high. I’m about to enter my third season of 0 (ZERO) ins or outs as I continue to mould my team into eventual world beaters!

    Paul – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madureira_Esporte_Clube

    I have no affinity to them other than those kits that particular year!

  9. Yes, that’s it, there is no benefit, that’s the huge flaw, that you either need to loan players or indulge in revolving door to keep within the wage budget regardless of th billions sitting in the account next door. You can’t retain the majority of your squad for an extended period as they want huge inflated rises that aren’t matched by your meagre increases. I’d venture to suggest that nobody could do ‘an abbeyhill’ and run the same default squad for many seasons – arcas would want over a million for a start. Fair play if you are still with the same mob in season 6 Jay. It’s a complete bag of shite because just as you get attached to a player you can’t keep him unless for the rest you do a next man up swap and get the free 200k player.

    And is it really a good system where you can play forever without having to buy a single player? The free agent list is insane.

  10. One thing I noticed on my now – again! For fucks sake. And yes it’s my own fault – disappeared Liverpool ML save is that if you get players who are a “star player” then you will get quite a bit more wage budget at the end of each month. Siem de Jong is one of those by default and Mitchell Dijks grew into one after two seasons. In my last month I got 900k extra salary wages. Pretty hefty and allowed me to keep arcas after all. The month before it was significantly less though so there must be some random element to it.

  11. Jay – I’ve just passed through my first period of no new players except a few loans to fill the benches. Very much terra incognita, this ML.

    Uncle Turf – been a long time since I could afford any of the Free Agents’ wages, so again it comes back to the salary budget defining everything. I’m not fussed at all about this. Quite the opposite. I would have chosen this. Lots of games offer the opportunity to play non-realistically. I vaguely follow a Football Manager YouTube series called Regen Rovers where a bloke takes a team made up entirely of Regen players and staff from non-league as high as he can go.

    #1 – I had de Jong and I let him go before I knew this ML was like this…

  12. NG – he’s pretty old though so you should be able to get him as a regen perhaps… Very konami-esque in its execution but I like that there are a few players running around that will boost t-shirt sales and whatnot, resulting in higher wage budget in the end..

  13. NG – I think #1’s example is contextual as Liverpool though. I have a star player and get 70k extra. What you’d get as what was pes united is debatable.

  14. #1 – unlike skills, regens don’t keep their player roles. Lloyd’s input would be useful here. As he’s swapped teams in his ML. What’s the wage budget like at Millwall?

  15. Hearing both sides of the story, i’m not convinced yet that this is a good thing.
    If you are forced to build a team of lower rated players, youths, and loanees due to restricted salary budget then great, good mechanic, but if then, those players you have developed over one, two, three seasons start demanding ridiculous salary increases which you cant afford, so either have to a) let them go or b) sell other players to fund their new contract, then that would be very bad, as you would never build an affinity with any players, you’d never have a Gerrard, or a Scholes, or a Terry, one club men, as every new contract they’d just demand more and more wages.

    WHy Konami didn’t implement the option to modify your transfer/wage budget and take some out of one pot and assign to the other I don’t know.

    I haven’t experienced any contract problems myself on the 2 seasons I played on my ML, maybe because I hadn’t reached a point where any players contracts were due to expire.

  16. Paul – there is a C) option: C) you can renew the contracts of players at your club indefinitely and repeatedly but if it takes you into minus salary budget it means you can’t sign anyone externally, only youths. That does allow a one-man club scenario but it also demands that you assemble a team (quality wise and numbers) you’re happy to stick with before you get into the red.

    I agree with you that it’s far from ideal. You could argue that all three happen in real life – particularly A and B – but into my seventh season with 4 consecutive top 7 finishes in the PL (7,1,7,2) the salary budget remains just as stringent and I only have £10m in transfer funds, not that I’ve sold anyone since season 3/4 and have all my income directed to wages. I, for now, am getting joy from it though, because it does give an element of the old school ML feel that came so so long ago. If I get to season 10 (TEN) and have won multiple trophies, and the salary budget remains at a fixed punishing constant I will declare the system “broken,” in true PES fandom style.

    The TL;DR – I agree with Paul’s above comment but also NG’s positive experience of if thus far.

  17. Season 2 goals, goal lovers!

    2nd Mikel Rico goal against Clermont in the middle is my favourite. Also note the free kick at the end, a 94th minute winner against Ajaccio. Scenes.

  18. Tommy – Some nice, neat goals there. One question: why is your Lincoln not bald?!

  19. Tommy – lovely build up in some of those goals. Nice signings there, too. Eliseu is great! Also Red Star’s badge and kits are both delightful. Tempted to change commentary too, just for the freshness. I alternated between English and Spanish the past two years (I can speak a reasonable amount of Spanish but understand more). I don’t speak or understand French at all, but I listen to a French radio station called Latina because they play Spanish language music, so familiar with its sounds and rhythms.

    Paul/others – to clarify my last comment: even when in salary budget deficit, you can continue to renew contracts of players already at your club.

  20. So in effect you can carry on spending money you simply dont have, which then prevents you from signing anyone extrernally ?

    Jay – just an idea?

  21. Shed – Because he’s not. Bless him, the poor lad has only just clocked 20, yet Konami have made him look close to retirement! I gave him some active hair follicles in edit mode.

  22. Jay – you can’t sign Youths either when in negative salary budget…

    Paul – it’s wacky and weird all right, but it works. It pushes all the buttons and pulls all the levers of that classic ML feel. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, granted. Player bonding is possible, you can hang onto your gems, but you have to make sacrifices in other areas like we’ve rarely had to in ML before. I can’t imagine any squads of galacticos in this ML. I also can’t imagine anyone at Konami intending this. I’d love to believe there was at least 1 person working there who intimately gets why ML is so loved, and put together this ultimate ‘Squad-building Challenge Edition’… but I doubt it.

    Tommy – your finish at 0:59 is an example of a finish I keep trying… and dragging wide of the post with my strikers under pressure and of course still developing (Gomez and Jarvis). Contextual and stats-based outcomes are back, big time.

  23. So you can renew contracts when they demand more money than you have, which takes you into debt, then you cannot sign any external players, or any youths?
    You just keep on running the club at a loss, for season upon season ?

    Is there ever a point where you get to balance the books?
    From what i hear prize money for a league title, or european cup is paltry, so how?

  24. Paul – yes, balancing the books is possible, but I choose to stay in debt so I can keep my top earners. I could leap back into profit at a single bound by selling a high-earner. Lincoln, Gomez, or Giorza in my case (earning £1m each – £1.4m in Gomez’s case). Any of these leaving would restore a positive balance and I could get a load of new players, but I want to play with these. This is what I’ve been saying – player loyalty and bonding is a thing. There is no revolving door.

  25. I love how the last load of comments have seen Paul taking on the role of some kind of crusty old sceptical visiting magistrate in a rural town, whom the locals have to earnestly persuade of some local virtue, and he’s just not buying their shit.

  26. NG – you misunderstand my point. Obviously if you sell a bunch of high earning players, you will recoup money back, but thats counter-productive to what the game is all about, the game is about developing players, and building a winning team around them.

    So if you have say 4 or 5 high earning players who’s contracts you renew which takes you into debt, surely the risk/reward factor of that would be that by taking on the debt, and keeping these players, they then help you win trophies, which in turn should bring financial rewards, thus the ‘risk’ pays off.

    If this doesn’t work because even if you keep the players and win trophies, the financial pay-outs are so low and unrealistic that it still doesn’t help you move into the black then that is completely f*c ked up.

    Win Championship – 8-12 mil plus another 40 mil premier league tv rights pay out.
    Win premier league – 90 mil
    finish 2nd – 20th – anywhere between 80 mil and 25 mil
    Champions league – An extra 35-60 mil
    Europa league – 10-28 mil

    These are the realistic figures for those achievements.
    from what i see they are in no way anywhere near replicated within PES.

  27. Paul – I’m nowhere near any of those heights so I don’t know yet. A 6th place finish in Division 2 two seasons ago was the best I’ve ever done.

  28. HI
    What i eventually came to, while dealing with the finances is that yes, you may have to sell one or two players, which is not unrealistic, in order do keep a balanced squad.
    As a Championship team i had already a player (Arcas) that was 85 overall (had a few bursts of development), and asking for +2mil in salary. It made sense to sell him.
    I also became a lot more involved in salary negotiations and renewals, discovering that you can bring the asking salary down quite a bit by re-re-re-negotiating. They wont become bargains again, but may help make things more manageable.

  29. NG – I was simply to trying to get a handle on how the mechanics of the finances work, not wandering into a small town RDR style and demanding to audit their town hall finances 😉

  30. Paul/NG – To reiterate and clarify: you can extend existing players contracts even when in a salary budget deficit but when in that deficit, all you can do is renew the contracts of players you already have. You can’t sign frees, buy players or sign youths. The only other option is to bring in loans as you don’t pay their wages, but you do pay for the loan out of your transfer budget. Into season 7 (SEVEN) I am seeing more money go into my wage budget as I bring in fan favourite bonuses etc due to a few of my players developing roles that bring in extra finance and I *think* competition bonuses have risen. I imagine to myself for a narrative that it is due to sponsor bonuses!

    I’m roughly on minus £6m in salary budget and plus £10m in transfer budget.

    As I said, if I get to season 10 (TEN) having won some trophies in the next few seasons and I’m still in a deficit, I will declare the finances broken rather than just a glorious feature of ML.

    Paul – that’s a nice template. If you were happy to put the same detail on the back like the other shirts (the motto and Che stencil) and a Havana Club Rum sponsor across the front, that would be perfect! Very much appreciated. I’ll use it alongside the other two as a Cup competition shirt 🙂

  31. Paul – I got money for winning the Europa League, probably about £2.5m extra for the wage budget and as a result have £500k left after 5 contract renewals and signing another new player so there’s no need to run a deficit if winning trophies. If I hadn’t won the Europa I probably would’ve sold some players. It’s great, weighty decision making only adds to the experience.

  32. That’s good to hear Cook, that’s how it should work.

  33. That is magnificent! Thank you very much 😀

  34. Whisper it, but I’m starting to pick up more fouls. My average over the last half-season has gone up to around 2.3. This is due to me slightly changing my playstyle, I.e. on Superstar there’s an almost Darwinian thing going on where I have to try and dribble/take people on more, to get anywhere. My basic pass and move game only goes so far.

    This is pretty fantastic now. I’m having 9.5/10 sessions.

    Paul – The Man From Del Monte said Yes!

  35. Paul – I totally get what you are saying as the risk/reward is what makes these games. Do you remember years back when Leeds got to a Champions League Semi-Final and invested heavily the following season in the hope of continued Champions League success. The risk didn’t pay of and the decline started from there.

  36. Maybe you just unlocked the platinum level of your GHold Copy of the game NG.
    a game that you stated on record is 3 times better than PES 5 AND fouls!!!! Jee Whizz!!!

  37. Not difficult when pes 5 would be around 2/10 on most people’s scale.

  38. Ahead of Season 7 (SEVEN) I have sold 7 (SEVEN) players, taking my Transfer budget from £10m to £84m and signed 7 (SEVEN) cheaper paid players, to take my salary budget from minus £5.9m to plus £35k.

    Paul’s beautiful new kit added. Let’s be avin’ Ya!

  39. Jay – What is your favourite film?

  40. The Fantastic 4 (FOUR)

  41. Back to the Future 2 (TWO)

  42. Paul -could I ask if you could make a kit for me? In the style of the away utd kit from a few years back it was the all black with the blue v with Aig. Could that be done with the WE crests and Saab as the sponsor with the nike decals? (Sweet Jesus it’s rather specific).

  43. Gary – leave it with me

  44. Interesting referee session. The pundits drive them mad too, particularly an offside that they say ‘he just about got that one right’ – no he didn’t, it’s either offside or it’s not. Foul tackles, seemingly, are judged careless, reckless or dangerous, the punishment being commensurate with whichever criteria it’s judged (free kick, yellow, red). To be honest it sounded really quite black and white, it’s the game/player management that takes the personal approach ie. telling an irate captain he will answer his question at half time rather than being slagged off on the pitch. Of course the contextual pressure that may make someone wobble over the judgement of which kind of foul it is has to be considered, part of being an individual decision, but strictly speaking it’s not open for interpretation – pundits really shouldn’t disagree over something played in slo mo. Canny money for doing a few games on a weekend too.

  45. That exchange between Gary and Paul is like the activation of a Soviet sleeper agent.

    Uncle Turf – all very fine-sounding, but we know that in practice no referee in the world referees in that by-the-book fashion. If they award a penalty, suddenly the criteria for awarding that team another penalty mysteriously change. Award a red card to one team and the criteria for the other team getting one also mysteriously changes. And so on. There are dozens of areas where decisions depend on the decisions already given. My current ‘favourite’ is where refs give a hotly disputed penalty, which is then saved by the GK and cleared by defenders who clearly encroached by a yard or more before the ball was struck. Rules say the penalty is retaken, but when was the last time you saw a referee ‘be brave’ as the saying has it, and actually get the kick retaken? Can you imagine the fuss if they did that? So it doesn’t get done – rulebook, ripped up. Association Football refereeing is an interpretive, contextual sub-game of its own within a football match.

  46. 22 degs north 37 south. Romaleos will see you at the sceptre.
    Inform Vladimir.

    The package is in hand.

  47. Paul – the kits look great! Love how they’ve got that busy look many Latin American club shirts have. I’d 100% buy this top if it existed.


    Have you seen the Deportivo Wanka kits? They’re an actual team in Peru. I also want to get my hands on a Mexican club shirt sponsored by Bimbo.

    In other news. I got a rarer than rare 9 (NINE) earlier. I think it’s the first one I’ve got on this PES; certainly the first one I noticed.

    View post on imgur.com

  48. Jay – is that 3 goals and 2 assists for Aduriz, meaning you scored at least 5 goals in that game? Is that a common occurrence for you now? Has the game turned its belly up? Looking at the other players’ scores there, I’m guessing Paredes got the other 2.

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