With the new iteration of football games slowly gearing up for their Autumn release, rumours about Konami's new partner club deals have started to emerge. According to a thread on Twitter, Real Madrid may be the new team to join the PES family.
If there's one thing that can be said about eFootball PES 2020, it's that it is an amazing football simulation title. The very slogan of Konami's giant is "the pitch is ours", and indeed, the on-pitch action is absolutely fantastic. However, the main downside of the game is pretty much everything that takes place off the pitch; more specifically, its notorious lack of licences.
Last year saw the Japanese publisher bring in some massive teams to its lineup of officially licensed partners: Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich. While not exactly a game-changing upgrade, the additions were very welcome as they brought back some monumental stadiums as well, such as Old Trafford, Allianz Stadium and Allianz Arena, all fully scanned and wonderfully represented in the game.
And it seems as though Konami's hunt for even more major licences will very much continue with PES 2021. Namely, according to a Twitter user named William G. Martins , Real Madrid could be the next club to join Pro Evo's seemingly growing family of officially licensed partner teams.
Though the tweets are written in Portuguese, we were able to translate them using Google Translate and thereby get our information.
William starts his rumour mill by bringing up EA's 3-year long partnership announcement with Real Madrid back in July 2015. This means that said partnership would end in 2018, but as he goes on to explain , in August 2017, the team renewed its deal with EA for an undisclosed duration.
Because the length of the new contract was not specified like before, it could mean that the team's licence may not be exclusive to FIFA when the new iterations of football games come around this Autumn.
Adding more fuel to this fire of speculation is the fact that EA have recently added retro kits for some of their partner teams in FIFA 20. Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG and Liverpool saw their classic uniforms introduced to the game, and it is indeed quite peculiar that a mammoth team such as Real Madrid was left out of this rather exciting update.
Expanding on his suspicions, William turns to the newly added legend players of PES 2020, such as Fernando Morientes whose "Iconic Moment Series" was set to 10 February 2002 - the date when this striker scored five goals for Real Madrid in a match against Las Palmas. Konami opting for this specific moment of Morientes' career does leave room for speculation indeed.
Another interesting thing this Twitter user pointed out is the fact that Konami's previously mentioned partnerships with Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester United were finalized much earlier than when they were announced. The deals with said teams and their respective homegrounds were closed between October and November 2018, but the announcements weren't made until July 2019.
Could Konami be following the same pattern with Real Madrid for PES 2021? All of this might be a bit of a stretch - sure, but it's by no means completely out of the question.
Now, of course, everything mentioned above is pure speculation based on some rather loose theories, so take all the things you've read with a hefty pinch of salt.
However, after Konami's acquisition of some of the biggest clubs in the world, and even completely snatching the rights to Juventus from EA last year, seeing Real Madrid fully licensed in the new game may well be within the realm of possibilities.