That’s Hagi up there, modelling season 8’s Away kit. It looks more yellow than it is. In real life it’s far more ‘Wolves gold’.
I played ISS for the first time in Summer 1998, approximately. I played PES proper for the first time in November 2002. Overall, then, I’ve experienced about 14 years of Konami-flavoured football gaming.
In all this time, down all these long years, throughout all the unthinkable thousands of hours, after probably tens of thousands of shots, I had never scored a goal with a bicycle kick. I mean a proper bicycle kick, as I see it. (Not one of these side-on scissors kick impostors.)
On Sunday, January 29th, 2012, at approximately 8.30am, GMT, I scored my first ever bicycle kick in Pro Evolution Soccer.
My team is wearing its yellow away kit. My player is John Barnes. The opposition are Malaga, in the Europa League. The score at the time was 0-0.
It’s not a very spectacular example of the type. I wish it was farther out. I wish the ball wasn’t placed so centrally. But what the goal is is more important than what it looks like.
It’s a bicycle kick, dudes. Barnes’s shoulders and hips are in a perfect line parallel to the ground. The kick is executed with my player laying flat on his back on an invisible bed of air, in the air.
They’re a singular type of goal in football. YouTube yields very few examples where a player’s back is truly parallel to the ground at the moment of striking.
They’re very, very rare in PES. At least they are for me, as the fact that this is my first one ever demonstrates. It’s been rare enough for me to see the animation and have an attempt—just once or twice, over the years.
And now I’ve finally got one. I can tick that box at last. Now I can quit PES forever. My journey is complete.
The above match, as I said, was against Malaga (sporting a lovely striped kit, incidentally, that I plan to imitate for my next Home kit). It was in the Europa League group stages. This was match number 6, and I had to win it to clinch 2nd place in the group and progress to the knockouts.
I did win it. The bicycle kick gave me a 1-0 lead in the first half. I secured the 2-0 victory in the second half with this goal from Hagi:
I’ve been playing him in a central role recently just behind van Basten. Both players are scoring goals a lot more freely. Barnes (my bicycle kick man) has been far better employed out wide on the left.
Speaking of van Basten reminds me that I rarely speak about him. This is because the thing he mainly does is scoring bread and butter goals. The five-yard tap-ins. The scruffy, scrambled-over-the-line efforts that wouldn’t be worth the effort of unlocking my phone to record.
Occasionally he gets a goal that’s a bit better than his average. I’ve been waiting for him to get one worth showing off on the blog. It finally came, in the league against the mighty Liverpool.
That was my consolation goal in a 4-1 thumping at their place. I would characterise at least two of Liverpool’s goals as unstoppable by any human.
Some top teams in PES2012 are darn near unplayable on Professional difficulty. At the end of Sunday morning’s session I played one match back on Regular. I wanted to see if it was possible for me to go back and play the game on that level.
My opponents were Blackburn away. I won 5-0. Which is not a surprise with the players in my squad.
So I don’t think I can go back to the lower level. I’m stuck on Professional. Oh well. At least I got my first bicycle kick goal out of PES2012.