Three words but so many emotions. The mere mention of them will have any former Pro Evolution Soccer player taking an immediate trip down memory lane, waxing lyrical about a special formed between them and the gloriously **** default players assigned to them at the start.


​Everybody had their favourite.

  • “Espimas was like a French Beckham.”
  • “Ximelez was the real star, like Espimas but less flash.”
  • “Andy Robertson wears Ruskin pyjamas.”
  • “Castolo > Original Ronaldo.”

The truth is that they were all terrible but that did not stop us from loving them. Slowly but surely, they would be replaced by “real” players as your Master League team improved, but too late - they Master League default players had secured their place in your heart.

The truth is that Pro Evo isn’t what it used to be. At least not to me. Football games used to be fun and now they seem a bit like hard work. It was this, combined with the rather important fact that we literally have to stay at home, that prompted ClaytsFM into a labour of love... The original PES Master League Defaults… in Football Manager 2020.

Did it take a long time? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes.

This database file, as well as all of the resources included (facepacks, kits, stadium photos and badges), are available to download for free. Find the download links here:

Below you can see the database in action.


In true Master League style, I didn’t half-**** it. Back in the day, it was spending hours trying to make a little Adidas logo in the kit creator and it was no changes nowadays really. I’ve gone full whack; kits, badges, player facepacks and the Konami Stadium.

I’ve decided to give it a season with no signings. I did spot a certain youthful-looking at Adriano at Flamengo but maybe that’s one for the future…


Tactically, it’s a 3-5-2 deal as it always was at the start of a Master League. You were never blessed with good full back options and Gierson and Ruskin look a bit off it here too. I decided to go with this for a first league game up against Brighton and Hove Albion. It did occur to me that they would have been called Seagull White and Blues or something. Or was it East Sussex actually?


Ivarov in goal, Stremer, Valeny and Jaric at the back. The latter mainly included for his 20 attribute for free kicks. A flat midfield four including Ximelez and Espimas out wide with the midfield maniacs; Dodo and Iouga in the middle. Snapping into tackles and doing the dirty work so that their silky Portuguese teammate in front of them can shine – Minanda plays in the hole behind the strikers. Upfront it was a toss-up between Barota and Ordaz, I’ve opted for Barota and he’ll partner the star of the team: the fleet-footed, corn-rowed Castolo.


Into the game, we go and it’s a quiet start. Then though, after surviving a Pascal Groß scare at the other end, Espimas whips in a lovely ball and its headed home by Barota. A bullet header from the edge of the box. 1-0. That takes us to half-time, and an *assertive* “I expect more from you in the second half” seems to have gone down well. Until the 47th minute. Shane Duffy heads home and it’s 1-1. And that’s how it finished. A futile attempt to scrape a win by throwing on the youngster Huylens fails and it’s a point apiece. Plenty to build on.


After that game, I decided I was curious. I holidayed until the end of the season to find out how they would get on. Finished 19th. Got sacked and Steven Gerrard took the job. Probably should have bought some “real players”.


Want to find out how to add the database to Football Manager? Watch the video below.

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Twitter: @claytsfm
Kits created by: @kitsbyjack