The first of a 2 part series, we wind the clock back six years to PES 2011 to see where some of today’s best talent stood back then. Read on below to see who makes our list… we think you’ll be surprised by quite a few!
David De Gea – 73 OVR
Kicking off our list is David De Gea. The Spanish number 1 was just 19 years old back in PES 2011, part of an Atletico Madrid squad featuring a number of other future stars who make our list a little later on. As a result of his young age, De Gea was rated at a slightly below average 73 OVR. Fast forward to the present day though and its hard to believe the Spaniard was ever so lowly rated. De Gea has since established himself as a world class goalkeeper picking up a haul of trophies on the way and has been at the top of his game now for what seems like years – making it easy to forget his humble beginnings…
Alexis Sanchez – 72 OVR
Next to make our list is a 21 year old Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean was plying his trade at Italian side Udinese back in PES 2011 and was rated as a 72 OVR supporting striker. Alexis’ rise in just the 6 years since PES 2011 is quite extraordinary, earning big money moves to FC Barcelona and then Arsenal, building up quite the collection of honours along the way to the point where he’s now considered as one of the world’s best. Something that is reflected in his PES 2018 rating – a mouthwatering 89 OVR. That’s a huge 17 OVR increase from his time at Udinese 6 years ago! Not bad Alexis… not bad at all.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 56 OVR
This is one that may surprise a few of you! Just 6 years ago in PES 2011 the Armenian playmaker was rated as a pretty dismal 56 OVR AMF. Playing for Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk and just 21 years old at the time its fairly easy to see why the Armenian was so lowly rated but little did anyone know just how good he would go on to become. After winning a haul of titles during his time in Ukraine with Shakhtar, Mkhitaryan’s rise to prominence began in the summer of 2013 as he completed a big money move to Borussia Dortmund. After a couple of strong seasons over in Germany, the wealth and lure of the red half of Manchester came calling and Mkhitaryan soon moved to England making Dortmund €42,000,000 richer as a result. After a good first season in England that saw him collect a Europa League trophy for his efforts, Mkhitaryan has started this season in fine form too notching a goal and 5 assists in just 7 games. As a result of his constant improvement over the years, Mkhitaryan’s rating has sky rocketed since PES 2011 going from just 56 OVR to 85 in PES 2018, a massive increase of 29!
Marcos Alonso – 67 OVR
The Spanish Wing Back is the next player to make our list. Marcos Alonso was just 19 years old back when PES 2011 released and as such was rated at just 67 OVR. Whilst not an initial success, Alonso’s career began to gather pace in 2014. After a loan spell away from parent club Fiorentina, Alonso returned to La Viola and nailed down a place in the side. After a few successful seasons, Alonso swapped Italy for England, moving to London in a €23,000,000 transfer. Alonso was an instant hit in England, establishing himself as one of the most dangerous wing backs in the league, scoring 6 goals from defence including some spectacular free kicks! At the end of the season came the English league title and Alonso’s rise to the top was complete. His latest PES rating reflects his improving career and ability, coming in at 82 OVR. Quite a lot of progress since he was just a teenager in PES 2011!
Robert Lewandowski – 73 OVR
Another one that we think may surprise a few of you… Robert Lewandowski is up next. The Polish marksman was a 22 year old free agent back in PES 2011. Rated at just a 73 OVR CF, few could predict the world class player he would go on to become. He burst onto the scene at German side Dortmund in the 2012/13 season producing an incredible haul of 36 goals and 13 assists from 49 games. Lewandowski announced himself to the world in the Champions League semi final that season as Dortmund destroyed Spanish giants Madrid 4-1 in the first leg. Lewandowski scored all 4 and his goals were ultimately enough to see Dortmund through to the final where they were ultimately beaten by rivals Munich. Another clinical season at Dortmund followed before the Pole completed a controversial free transfer to title rivals Munich. A move that has to be a contender for the best value transfer of all time. Lewandowski has only got better since moving to Munich, scoring an incredible 119 goals from 154 games since joining the club. With Lewandowski now an established world class front man he’s come a long way since PES 2011. At 90 rated in PES 2018, the Pole is the second best centre forward in the game behind only Luis Suarez.
David Luiz – 74 OVR
Brazilian International David Luiz is the 6th name on our list. Fresh off a €25,000,000 transfer to London from Benfica, the centre back came in at 74 OVR in PES 2011, perhaps a reflection of his relatively young age at 23. The defender would go on to have a turbulent spell in London which ultimately saw him collect both domestic and European honours before departing to French giants PSG in a deal worth €49,500,000 making him the most expensive defender of all time. More domestic honours followed in France before the Brazilian completed a sensational return to London on deadline day in 2016. Luiz returned a different player, playing a key role in the middle of a solid back 3 which would ultimately secure the English League title, adding yet another trophy to his impressive trophy cabinet. The defender’s gradually improving discipline and maturity has led to a sharp increase in his rating since his first spell in London back in PES 2011 with an 84 OVR rating in PES 2018 reflective of this.
Raphael Varane – 62 OVR
France International Raphael Varane was just a fresh faced teenager back in PES 2011. At just 17 years old and 62 OVR rated, Varane would have been considered a promising youth prospect back in PES 2011 and likely wouldn’t have made anyone’s starting 11 when playing with French side RC Lens. Fast forward 6 years though and Varane’s progression is remarkable. The world’s best soon took notice of his vast potential and a €10,000,000 move to Madrid followed. Since then there’s been no looking back for Varane as his constant improvement and vast talent has led to him nailing down a starting spot in Madrid’s side alongside captain Sergio Ramos. The centre back is already a 3 time Champions League winner and has also collected a whole host of Spanish domestic trophies during his time in the capital and at just 24 years old, there’s potential for that trophy cabinet to get rather congested. Varane’s rise has seen his PES rating increase dramatically over the years with his latest rating coming in at 83 OVR in PES 2018.
James Rodriguez – 62 OVR
Next up is Colombian star James Rodriguez. Back in PES 2011, the playmaker was just a 19 year old youth prospect. Playing for Porto at the time, James was registered as a 62 OVR centre forward. The next few years would see James’ career take off in quite dramatic fashion. After 3 hugely impressive seasons with Porto in which his role had changed from front man to left winger and then ultimately to attacking midfielder, the Colombian earned a huge €45,000,000 move to newly monied Monaco and it was here where James really announced himself on the world stage. He enjoyed a fruitful campaign playing in the hole behind fellow big money signing Radamel Falcao netting 10 times and assisting 14. After just one season in France, James was on the move again. This time to Spain with the Colombian ultimately signed as the replacement for outgoing Angel Di Maria in an eye watering €75,000,000 switch. At Madrid, James established himself as one of the best creative players in world football, scoring 17 goals and assisting 18 in his first season with the Spanish giants. His time in Madrid soon turned sour though, a poor second season with the club was followed by the Colombian falling out of favour with new manager Zidane opting for a more defensive midfield 3, preferring Casemiro to James. Despite being restricted to the bench for most of the campaign he still notched an impressive tally of 11 goals and 13 assists. James left Madrid this summer, leaving with 2 Champions League titles and a Spanish league trophy to his name, joining German champions Munich on a 2 year loan deal. Despite a faltering 2 seasons, the Colombian has still enjoyed a swift rise through the PES rankings, coming in at 85 OVR for this year’s instalment.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – 68 OVR
PES League ambassador Aubameyang has come a long way since PES 2011. The Gabon international was rated at just 68 OVR playing for French side AS Saint Etienne. Aubameyang enjoyed a breakthrough season during the 2011/12 season, exploding onto the scene with a haul of 18 goals and 11 assists. He would go on to prove he was no one season wonder, netting 21 times and assisting 15 the following season. His hot form caught the attention of Borussia Dortmund who took a gamble on Aubameyang, signing him as the replacement for the prolific Robert Lewandowski in a move totalling €13,000,000. The move would ultimately pay off as Aubameyang made a strong start to life in Germany scoring 16 times in his first season with the club. The striker only got better as the seasons passed, establishing himself as one of the most lethal players in world football, combining explosive pace with clinical finishing. He would go on to score 25, 39 and 40 goals in his next 3 seasons with Dortmund as has picked up where he left off so far this season with 8 goals in 7 games. Aubameyang’s rise to the top has hugely boosted his standing in PES over the years with his 2018 rating coming in at a huge 87 OVR. Oh, he’s also the fastest player in the game too!
Christian Eriksen – 67 OVR
The last name on part 1 of our list is Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen. A product of the famed Ajax academy, Eriksen was just 18 years old in PES 2011 and rated as a 67 OVR AMF. The young Dane broke into the Ajax first team that season, setting the Eredivisie alight, scoring 8 times and making another 16 goals. Eriksen got even better the next season again scoring 8 goals but this time assisting a huge 22 times. His final season with Ajax saw him improve his output once again – this time netting 13 times and assisting 22. Eriksen left Amsterdam for London that summer having won everything there is to win in Holland, including 4 dutch league titles. His first season in England was a resounding success, scoring 12 goals and assisting 16. After a couple more consistent seasons, Eriksen took his game to the next level in 2016/17. He scored 12 goals and set up another 23 as he narrowly missed out on the League title. Hailed as one of the best attacking midfielders in England, second only perhaps to Kevin De Bruyne, Eriksen’s PES ratings have reflected his on field rise. In PES 2018 he is rated at 86 OVR – that’s a huge +19 increase since PES 2011!
That concludes part 1 of our Player Ratings: Then & Now series! Were you surprised by some of the names (and ratings!) that made the list? Let us know over on twitter and Facebook and keep an eye out for part 2 dropping soon!