I seem to leave articles way too long on the PESUniverse website, but I thought of an idea. Take the previous 5-a-Side articles, mix it with the new partnerships announced for eFootball PES2020 and sprinkle it with Legends and what have you got?
If you said Legend 5-A-Side Wishlist, you’d be spot on!
Today’s article starts with the side that has the biggest trophy cabinet in English Football, Manchester United. With the size and historic pedigree of the Red Devils, I would argue that it is a bit of a coup to get partnered up with the red half of Manchester. With that tapestry comes access (we hope) to some of the game’s greatest ever players.
I’m going to dive into it with a 5-A-Side, picking players from different positions and eras.
Feel free to comment below and get in touch on Twitter to choose your 5-A-Side Wishlist for eFootball PES2020!
Coming out with the most solid base that I could think of and in my honest opinion, the best goalkeeper to grace the Premier League, it is the incomparable ‘Great Dane’ Peter Schmeichel. He was such an important factor in some of Manchester United’s greatest sides. Moments of goalkeeping brilliance mixed with an iron will to win and an authority across his backline, Schmeichel had everything that embodied what it was to be a United No.1. For me, his best season was arguably his final for United, having stopped Dennis Bergkamp in the semi final of the FA Cup, which led to the greatest goal scored on Villa Park’s turf (I would know being a Villa fan!).
This led to United having the momentum to secure the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League in a historic treble, which has not been replicated in England since. Of all the superstars that Fergie had at his disposal, it all started with Schmeichel and there’s a very strong argument to suggest that he wasn’t replaced until Edwin Van Der Sar was brought in (another goalkeeper unlucky not to make my selection).
We’ve seen him in other games as a legend, could the Dane make an appearance in eFootball PES2020?
Now, there were so many players to consider when thinking of defenders at United. Stam, Vidic, Neville, Irwin, Pallister, Blanc, the list is endless! But for me, there was something else about Rio Ferdinand. The cultured style of play, mixed with an ability to carry the ball and launch attacks from centre back. Together with Nemanja Vidic, he formed one the most feared defensive partnerships in recent years. You knew that your team were in for a rough day when you saw Ferdinand and Vidic lining up against you.
But with that defensive prowess, there was also an attacking flair to him. When you saw Rio score, they were never basic! Be they powerful headers that he had no right to win or piledrivers that nearly took the net off, Ferdinand was always a prominent threat from set pieces.
Another key player in the latter years of Ferguson’s reign, Ferdinand picked up medals of every kind at Club and European Level. I’d like to see a peak Rio Ferdinand in eFootball PES2020, but this I’d say is highly unlikely.
Now I don’t think that I could get away with a United 5-A-Side without including a midfield general that was Roy Keane. Not only would he probably chase me down and question why he wasn’t included, I think The Midnite Kid may release me from the PESUniverse site!
In all honesty though, Keane gets in on merit alone. So many memories for me growing up, watching and admiring Manchester United for having a player like Keane in their ranks. Would put everything on the line for his club, he was as close to having Fergie on the pitch as any player came for United. Even in his punditry now, his brutal and frank assessments of performances are exactly what makes me respect the man so much.
In his prime, he was all action, tough tackling in a time where it was allowed, demanded perfection from his teammates and fought for them in times where they were challenged. Summed up in the pre-match incident with Vieira (if you’ve never watched Keane vs Vieira – Best of Enemies, it’s a fascinating window into the psyche of an elite sportsman), he wouldn’t be backed up by anybody.
Granted, his disciplinary record wasn’t fantastic, but it was the risk you would happily take for a player like Keane. And I suppose it’s what you get with elite players, they play on the edge and sometimes, Keane didn’t know where the edge was. With that all being said, I would love the former captain to show up in PES this year, imagine him and Vieira reigniting their rivalry on a PES virtual football field.
Now I’ve been debating the last two spots in the team ever since the announcement came of United being back in eFootball PES2020.
This could have gone to Bobby Charlton, who honestly doesn’t require a reason to be included, however I felt that the balance in my team needed a flair winger. This could have gone to Ryan Giggs, Andrei Kanchelskis, Lee Sharpe and many more, but I think from a historical standpoint, I have often been intrigued by the footage of George Best.
How could someone be that good in that age of football? The age of kicking each player 6 foot in the air, of boggy pitches drenched in the rain and the frozen pitches covered in snow. And yet, there was a mystique to Best, he had that quality of a player that looked like they floated across the pitch. You see it now with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, that change of gears and pace, almost like these three have the ball stuck to their feet. With Best, he could party like the best of them and be the best player on the pitch the next day, it was effortless with him.
Although I was never alive while he played, I often look back and think ‘What if he’d have stayed at United until the end of his career?’. If I could teleport a player from his prime to play today, it would have been him without question. That dribbling, mixed with such an intelligence of how to play the game, it would have been awesome to see him on the carpet like surfaces that you see today. He was a maverick, and I don’t think we’ll see anything like him again…..
A legend that we’ve seen in FIFA, but could we get a glance at George Best in eFootball PES2020? Probably not, but we can dare to dream!
And finally, to round out my 5-A-Side Wishlist with Manchester United, we end it with royalty, The King, Eric Cantona.
If ever a non-UK player left a mark on me as a youngster, it was Cantona. While growing up, I wanted to be a striker and there were two for me as an impressionable English 6 year old, Alan Shearer and Eric Cantona. From emulating their celebrations (see the lob vs Sunderland or wheeling away with an arm aloft) to flicking up my collar on my primary school shirt before taking sponge ball penalties in the playground, these two were my fantasy strike partners as a kid. But what set Cantona apart from all others, was the way he carried himself. The sheer confidence of the man, and someone that could back it up in equal measure.
I vividly remember the FA Cup Final in ’96 and watching Cantona hit a fallaway volley to win it for United. It was just another moment of class and magic from a mercurial talent. He was a brilliant footballer and an integral part of the Ferguson winning culture at Old Trafford and all for an incredible £1.6 million in 1992. Imagine a player of his quality being on sale today? Exactly how much would the King be worth?
That question will never have an answer, but will we get an answer to this one, will we see the King in eFootball PES2020? Only time will tell!
Well that’s my 5-A-Side Wishlist for eFootball PES2020. Let me know your thoughts on your 5-A-Sides and if you think they’ll appear in September!
For now, I’ve been Wezza FC and I’ll see you next time where we go through Bayern’s history and dig out my choices of a 5-A-Side!