When playing the phenomenally successful Football Manager series, we still can’t help but bemoan the inability to actually play football. Likewise, while playing PES or FIFA we can’t help but turn our noses up at the comparatively rudimentary management systems. What if one game were to combine it all into a glorious? Well, Konami’s taking a step closer to this dream with the new and improved Master League mode in eFootball PES 2020.

Master League has always been Pro Evo’s management mode; a chance to don the tie (or a tracksuit if you’re Tony Pulis, a manager who buys his suits from Sports Direct) and make all the crucial decisions from transfer negotiations down to the bonuses for when that player finally finds the back of the net. 

eFootball PES 2020 ups the ante for Master League though. You’ll now have 18 manager models to choose from, including such legendary players and managers as Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Ruud Gullit, and more. From there, you’ll now be dropped into dynamically generated cut-scenes and drama as the season progresses, taking care of press conferences, overseeing training sessions, and negotiating transfers including fees and salaries.

For those who want to delve a little deeper into Master League, PES 2020 will even include a full pre-season to bring your squad up to speed, as well as experiment with youngsters and new formations. Perform well on a pre-season trip aboard and the team will earn more global reputation. More renown means more wealth, more wealth means better players and, yep, you get the picture.

Once you get into the dirty business of the games themselves, there are also some key changes under the hood. Derby Matches will now have a special build-up and be particularly frenetic and intense. Beat your rivals and you’ll be particularly well regarded by your supporters. 

You’ll also need to manage a tight squad through a packed fixture list, trying to ensure players stay fresh and injury free despite international competitions, national leagues, and cups to play in. Players will have to utilise the entire depth of their squad or risk tiring out their regular starting line-up.

It all sounds promising so far, even if it’s still nowhere near the depth of a game like Football Manager. Still, the more eFootball PES 2020 can do to bridge the gap, the better. We’ll have the holy grail of player/manager sims soon enough.

eFootball PES 2020 comes to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 10th. You can see the PC system requirements for Pro Evo 2020 here.