By know you should know full-well how close the golden age of Pro Evolution Soccer is to our hearts here at Balls.ie. The games we wasted (that's not the right word) so much of our adolescence on in Master Leagues, Konami Cups, and Edit Mode, gave us so much to reflect on and be nostalgic about.
And be nostalgic we will.
Anyone who played Pro Evolution Soccer 4, 5, or 6, will have both harnessed and suffered the wrath of a Brazilian striker by the name Adriano Leite Ribeiro.
Rumour had it that Konami executive Shingo 'Seabass' Takatsuka's incredible love for Inter Milan saw him insist that his favourite player be the most powerful player in the game, but I don't think even he could predict what a legend would become of Adriano.
We wanted to take a look at the stats that made Adriano what he was, and find out just why he was such an untameable beast. We used the data from Pro Evolution Soccer 5, widely agreed to feature Adriano at the peak of his powers. Here are our findings.
The first stat screen gives us an idea as to why Adriano could be mistaken for the best player to ever play the game by someone who played Pro Evo but didn't follow football.
Attack: A 90 attack rating would mean that Adriano has great positional sense and reacts well to rebounds and loose balls in the box. This wouldn't have been a big factor in why he was so good as you only shot with Adriano, never with Martins, so there were rarely rebound opportunities.
Balance: Now we're talking. A 98 balance rating means Adriano can easily maintain a dribble at full speed, but most importantly, it would have made his 'fake-shot' skill-move quick and lethal, something anyone who used him can attest to.
Top Speed: 88 is not bad at all, in fact, it's really really quick. Coupled with the 98 balance it meant Adriano could breeze past defenders like they weren't there.
Acceleration: Yikes. 90 acceleration had the Inter man flying out of the blocks so no defender could afford to play him tight.
Shot Accuracy: 89 seems like it is far too low considering every shot from within the opponent's half found the top corner, but you are about to find out why it seemed higher..
Shot Power: Bingo. 99 bloody shot power. This means that Adriano was one single rating point away from being able to kick the ball as hard as humanly possible. What goalkeeper stood a chance when the ball was effectively being shot out of a fecking cannon?
The second stats screen gives us an idea of the different type of goals Adriano could score.
Curling: Adriano won gold for Brazil at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002, so it was good that Konami recognised his ability with the stone and brush. Either that or he could bend the ball like Roberto Carlos.
Header: 84? It felt like 94, on the rare occasion someone other than Adriano had the ball, a simple cross would result in a goal nine times out of ten.
Jump: What a ridiculous athlete. In real life Adriano rarely left the ground, but on PES he could leap like a salmon.
Aggression: Another key as to why he was so dominant, Adrino was an angry bastard. If it felt like defenders couldn't tackle him, it was probably because they were scared shitless.
Injury: An 'A' rating meant that like the shape-shifting Terminator in 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day', Adriano could not be stopped.
The special abilities screen shows what traits Adriano was given, and when you realise that most players only had two or three, you begin to see just how ridiculous this guy was.
Dribbling: Only the very best dribblers in World football had this trait. Adriano made it his own.
Tactical Dribbling: A fancy way of saying "Don't even bother pal..."
Scoring: The man's special ability was scoring. What did you expect? Not even finishing, just scoring in general. Don't ask how, don't ask when, he just scored.
Post Player: We can only assume that this special ability was left over from NBA Live 2005, where Adriano would have been a dominant Power Forward with an ability to score in the post, which means he wouldn't have been able to be pushed off the ball, so that adds up.
Middle Shooting: Just shoot from the middle. He'll score. The middle of the box? The middle of the pitch? The middle of the universe? It didn't matter.
Side: Ok, we have no idea what this means. "Side"? His special ability is "side"? Perhaps it was a special ability to put defenders and goalkeepers on their back-side.
Outside: This is a trait for long-range shooting, or where his opponents went to contemplate life after playing against Adriano.
There were only a few key features to his personal details.
Age: 23, the perfect age for the perfect player.
Dominant Foot: For most other players in PES, this just said "Foot", but a suitable adjective had to be added for Adriano's left peg.
Groth Type: Late Peak meant he stayed a complete beast until the very end. Easily the most inaccurate stat in comparison to the real-life Adriano.
Goal Celebration 1: This was significant because we saw this animation so bloody much that it nearly burned a permanent image into our television screens. Here it is in case you forgot:
So there you have it. The main reasons why Adriano was an unstoppable force in Pro Evolution Soccer were a 99 shot power rating, ridiculous balance, good speed, great athleticism, pretty much all the special abilities, and the fact that he didn't deteriorate over time.