Best PES 2017 players: FFT's ultimate guide to the top stars and their ratings

FourFourTwo has been shamelessly binging on Pro Evo – especially the excellent Master League – so we’ve acquired a pretty good idea of who the leading lights are in this year’s instalment

In this table-heavy feature, we’ve put together a guide to the highest-rated forwards, midfielders, defenders and goalkeepers in PES 2017. However, as listing players with the best overall ratings in each category probably won’t tell you anything that you don’t already know, we’ve also researched best-in-class player lists in various useful categories – such as tenacious midfielders, fast centre-backs and powerful targetmen. 

We’ve also used our Master League experience to document young players with high growth potential. If you have yet to make meaningful progress in the Pro Evo management mode, these are targets that should eventually earn a place in almost any squad – and some will step right into your first team as if they belong there. (If, of course, you can afford them.)

Players always tend to perform best in their primary designated position in PES

Before we get to the tables, a few notes:

  • The majority of players in the 85+ “world class” tier in PES are great if you’re playing straight online head-to-heads, MyClub, or other game modes, but aren’t the players you should (or even can) acquire in Master League careers. They tend to be prohibitively expensive and, moreover, are usually at the wrong point in their development to represent a sound long-term investment (unless you’re lucky enough to bag them one of them on a Bosman). 
  • As most people with an interest in these kinds of lists will be scouting for potential Master League recruits, our tables covering individuals who excel in a particular role focus on players between the ages of 16-26. 
  • Players always tend to perform best in their primary designated position in PES (indicated as a position marked in bold in the tables below). Even if a player is ostensibly capable of playing in several positions, most will experience an overall rating drop when outside their specialist role. While there are exceptions (some individuals actually get a marginally higher rating), this is worth bearing in mind before you make a late-night Master League signing for a player who can also fill in as a RWF… only to find that he drops eight points when played there.
  • In Master League careers, note that all retired players are resurrected as 16-year-olds within a season or two of hanging up their boots. These youngsters are not cheap to buy (unless you’re lucky enough to have them land in your youth squad), and make unusually high wage demands, but the right ones can be phenomenal purchases. Be sure to check your team’s academy when new intakes arrive at the start and middle of each season. If a player has rating from 68-73, he could be a solid prospect or even better – but anything above that usually means that he’s a potential world-beater.
  • Players listed in the “Hot Prospects” sections are all below the age of 24 when you start a Master League career, but will all experience growth over several seasons. If you prefer to develop your own superstars, these are all sound investments. Should you have the squad space and the funds to acquire them, you can buy more than you really need and farm the surplus signings out on loan. If they don’t have a role at your club, you can later sell them on for a profit. 
  • All player data within this feature is correct as of the most recent live update.

Messi tops the PES 2017 player ranking

Top Attackers

Best Overall Ratings

Name

Rating 

Positions

Messi

94

RWF, SS, AMF

Ronaldo

93

LWF, CF, SS, RWF, LMF, RMF

Suarez

92

CF, RWF, LWF, SS

Aguero

90

CF, SS

Ibrahimovic  

90

CF, SS, AMF

Neymar

90

LWF, SS, LMF

Bale

90

RWF, LWF, RMF, LMF

Stegers*

90

CF, SS, AMF

Higuain

89

CF, SS, RMF

Tevez

88

SS, CF, LWF, RWF

Muller**

88

SS, RWF, AMF, RMF

Robben**

88

RWF, LWF, SS, AMF, RMF, LMF

Sanchez

87

RWF, LWF, CF, AMF, LMF, RMF

Griezmann

87

SS, RWF, LWF, AMF, RMF

Benzema

87

CF, RWF, LWF, SS

Di Maria

87

RWF, LWF, AMF, RMF, CMF, LMF

Reus

87

LWF, RWF, CF, SS, AMF, RMF, LMF

*PES 2017 version of Lewandowski, not registered to a club.

**Not registered to a club

Suarez with a customary dribble past the opposition backline

Agile Forwards (16-26)

Search criteria: Attacking Prowess 80+, Ball Control 75, Finishing 75, Speed 85 and Explosive Power 85

Players who have the ability to unlock defences with great footwork and world-class acceleration, but can also deliver a respectable standard of finishing.

Name

Rating 

Positions

Neymar

90

LWF, SS, LMF

Hazard

87

LMF, RMF, AMF, SS, RWF, LWF

Griezmann

87

SS, RWF, LWF, AMF, RMF

Salah

85

RWF, LWF, SS, AMF, RMF, LMF

Lacazette

84

CF, SS, RWF

Bellarabi

84

RMF, LMF, SS, RWF, LWF

Morata

83

CF

Lucas Moura  

83

RWF, SS, AMF, RMF

Promes*

83

RWF, LWF, AMF

Schurrle

82

LWF, RWF, SS, LMF, RMF

*Not registered to a club

Hazard: the most agile player in the game bar Neymar

Targetmen (16-26)

Search Criteria: Attacking Prowess 75+, Header 80+, Physical Contact 80+

Many forwards of this archetype obviously lack pace, but more than compensate for that with their physical presence and aerial prowess. 

Name

Rating 

Height 

Positions

Kane

84

188

CF

Lukaku

83

193

CF, SS

L. De Jong  

83

188

CF, SS, RWF, LWF, AMF

Klaassen

82

185

AMF, CMF, SS

Benteke

80

190

CF, SS


An 84 rating for Kane is thoroughly respectable

Pure Finishing (16-26)

Search Criteria: Attacking Prowess 75+, Finishing 85+, Kicking Power 75+

With the peak-level superstars taken out of the equation, this is the next generation of potential Golden Boot winners in PES 2017.

Name

Rating 

Positions

Neymar

90

LWF, SS, LMF

Griezmann  

87

SS, RWF, LWF, AMF, RMF

Kane

84

CF

Lacazette

84

CF, SS, RWF

Icardi

83

CF, SS

Hot Prospects

Deulofeu (RWF): Slight but very skilful; excellent pace and technical stats.

Berardi (RWF): Good technique, strength and a wand of a left foot, but a mediocre Form stat of 3 will limit his starts per season.

Gabriel (SS): Fast, consistent, two-footed poacher; may cost over 20m to acquire.

Sterling (LWF): Versatile but slight. His pace and footwork can make an impression immediately, but you’ll need to wait a year or two for his shooting stats to rise to respectable levels.

Martial (CF): Physical, fast and great with the ball at his feet. Can become a complete forward within a few years.

El Ghazi (RWF): Taller than most wingers, and good in the air, so an excellent buy if you favour a 4-3-3 with an onus on crossing. 

Embolo (CF): Balanced, industrious striker with great pace. 

Rashford (CF): Will take a few years to stake a claim if joining a larger club, but his pace makes him a solid understudy until then.

Cornet (LWF): World-class pace and strength for a winger within a season… but his crossing ability isn’t great due to an unusually low Lofted Pass stat.

The boy wonder Rashford

Top Midfielders

Best Overall Ratings

Name

Rating 

Positions

Pogba

89

CMF, DMF

Iniesta

89

CMF, RMF, LMF, AMF, LWF

Kroos

88

CMF, AMF, RMF, LMF, DMF

Vidal

88

CMF, LMF, RMF, DMF, RB, LB

Ozil

87

AMF, LWF, LMF

Willian

87

RMF, LMF, AMF, SS, RWF

Hazard

87

LMF, RMF, AMF, SS, RWF, LWF

Fabregas

87

CMF, SS

David Silva  

87

AMF, RMF, LMF

Busquets

87

DMF, CMF

Modric

87

CMF, RMF, LMF, AMF

Verratti

87

CMF, DMF

Cazorla

86

CMF, DMF, LMF, AMF, LWF

De Bruyne

86

RMF, CMF, LMF, AMF, RWF, LWF

Marchisio

86

CMF, DMF, AMF

Hamsik

86

AMF, CMF

Rodriguez

86

AMF, RMF, LMF, SS, LWF, RWF

Playmakers (16-26)

Search Criteria: Ball Control 80+, Dribbling 75+, Low Pass 80+, Lofted Pass 75+ 

Players with an eye for a pass, and the technique to make the space to play it. If you’re struggling to break down packed defences, these are the type of players who can make a difference.

The world's most expensive player is the top midfielder

Name

Rating 

Positions

Pogba

89

CMF, DMF

Kroos

88

CMF, AMF, RMF, LMF, DMF

Hazard

87

LMF, RMF, AMF, SS, RWF, LWF

Verratti

87

CMF, DMF

De Bruyne  

86

RMF, CMF, LMF, AMF, RWF, LWF

Box-to-Box Workhorses (16-26)

Search Criteria: Speed 75+, Ball Control 75+, Low Pass 75+, Lofted Pass 75+, Defensive Prowess 70+, Stamina 80+

Players who can make a contribution in all phases of play, but are mostly defined by their boundless energy.

Name

Rating 

Positions

Pogba

89

CMF, DMF

Verratti

87

CMF, DMF

Kante

84

CMF

Florenzi

82

RMF, RB, LMF, CM, AMF, RWF, LWF

Danilo Pereira  

82

DMF, CMF, CB

Long Shot Wizards (16-26)

Search Criteria: Finishing 70+, Kicking Power 70+, 'Long Range Drive' player skill

Top-class midfielders who can turn a tight match on its head with a 30-yard drive are a special commodity. These aren’t necessarily the best players at taking long-shots in PES 2017, but they’re all highly skilled individuals who definitely have that ability in their repertoires. 

Name

Rating 

Positions

Kroos

88

CMF, AMF, RMF, LMF, DMF

De Bruyne  

86

RMF, CMF, LMF, AMF, RWF, LWF

Oscar

84

AMF, CMF, RMF

Gundogan

84

CMF, RMF, LMF, AMF

Ramsey

83

CMF, RMF, DMF

Ball-playing Anchormen (16-26)

Search Criteria: Low Pass 75+, Defensive Prowess 70+, Ball Winning 75+, Physical Contact 75+

A good anchorman in PES should sit deep on the formation grid, just in front of the centre-backs. It’s not enough to be a pure destroyer: they also function as a pivot as you build or recycle attacking moves, so a good standard of passing ability is a necessary attribute.

Name

Rating 

Positions

Kante

84

CMF

G. Xhaka

83

CMF, AMF, DMF

Strootman

83

CMF, DMF

Danilo Pereira  

82

DMF, CMF, CB

William C.

82

DMF

Prospects

Renato Sanches (CMF): Can become undroppable within a year in the first team. Exceptional pace, strength and tackling ability, though it takes a season or two for his passing stats to develop. Great long shots, too.

Calhanoglu (AMF): Becomes one of the best at shooting with power from dead-ball situations, but he’s also great at cracking them in from range in open play (he has the Long Range Drive and Knuckle Shot skills).

Sane (RMF): Exceptionally fast but extremely one-footed inverted winger: you really have to pay attention and ensure that you always use his left peg. Potentially brilliant impact sub if you have money to burn.

Dier (DMF): No great pace, but otherwise develops ideal attributes for a holding role. 

Bazoer (CMF): Strong and energetic box-to-box midfielder. It takes a while for his defensive attributes to develop.

Kenedy (LMF): Can play all along the left side of the pitch. Great signing for a smaller side: his club seem to be desperate to offload him when Master League begins, so he could be a real bargain.

Dier is rated as a top defensive midfield prospect

Top Defenders

Best Overall Ratings

Name

Rating 

Positions

Thiago Silva

92

CB

Sergio Ramos  

90

CB, RB

Boateng*

90

CB, RB, LB

Vertonghen

87

CB, LB

Godin

87

CB

Pique

87

CB

Miranda

86

CB

Jordi Alba

86

LB, LMF

Pepe

86

CB, DMF

Marcelo

86

LB, LMF

Alaba*

86

LB, CB, LMF, DMF, CMF

Hummels*

86

CB, DMF

Koscielny

85

CB

Baines

85

LB, LMF

Otamendi

85

CB, RB

Kompany

85

CB

G. Rodriguez

85

CB

*Not registered to a club

Strong Centre-Backs

Search Criteria: Header 80+, Defensive Prowess 85+, Ball Winning 80+, Physical Contact 85+

When you absolutely, positively have to clatter an opposing player, accept no substitute. 

Name

Rating

Positions

Manolas

84

CB, RB

Mustafi

83

CB, RB

Koulibaly  

83

CB

Gimenez

83

CB

Gomez

80

CB

Fast Centre-Backs

Search Criteria: Header 80+, Defensive Prowess 80+, Ball Winning 80+, Speed 80+, Explosive Power 75+

The defenders listed here can catch any forward in PES 2017 but, perhaps more importantly, have the raw pace to recover from their mistakes. The sheer strength and pace of Manolas makes him an extraordinary buy for any Master League team that can afford him.

Zouma: a top, young centre-back to go for

Name

Rating 

Positions

Manolas

84

CB, RB

Koulibaly  

83

CB

Laporte

83

CB, LB

Varane

83

CB

Zouma

82

CB

Attacking Full-Backs

Search Criteria: Dribbling 70+, Low Pass 70+, Lofted Pass 70+, Defensive Prowess 70+, Ball Winning 70+, Speed 75+, Explosive Power 75+, Stamina 75+

Wing play is often the best way to break down packed defences in PES 2017, and full-backs with all-round ability are absolutely critical.   

Name

Rating 

Positions

Alaba

86

LB, CB, LMF, DMF, CMF

R. Rodriguez*

85

LB, LMF

Daniel Carvajal  

84

RB, LB, RMF, LMF

Danilo

82

RB, DMF, CMF, RMF

Clyne

81

RB

Ghoulam

81

LB, LMF, LWF

Mario Rui

81

LB

Mario Gaspar

81

RB

Fabinho

81

RB

Kurzawa

81

LB

*Not registered to a club

Prospects

Bellerin (RB): Can hit 99 in both speed stats in a season or two. He’s not entirely polished until later in his career – but with pace like that, you’ll easily overlook such shortcomings.

Laporte (CB): Becomes a world-class centre-back within a season or two.

Zouma (CB): Fast and strong from the start. Surprisingly good at making driving runs from deep.

Gimenez (CB): Outstanding in the air – may hit a 90 in the Jump stat within a year.

Jose Gaya (LB): Consistent, indefatigable attacking full-back. 

Top Goalkeepers

Best Overall Ratings

Name

Rating

Neuer*

90

Buffon

88

Courtois

87

De Gea

87

Cech

86

Lloris

86

Handanovic  

86

Bravo

85

Navas

85

Hart

84

*Not registered to a club

Prospects

As in real life, buying a high-class goalkeeper under the age of 28 really isn’t cheap, so most players will be unlikely to prioritise this position in the opening few seasons… by which time, any names we suggest here will probably be established first-team players. That said, if you happen to pick a top-level side with a calamitous clown minding the nets, Leno of Leverkusen might be worth a look. We saw his overall rating rocket from 83 to 89 within a single year of a Master League career. The same growth might not happen for you, but he’s a great keeper nonetheless.

Miscellany 

Fastest Players

Though pace matters less in PES 2017, players with incredible acceleration and top speed can still terrify defences if supplied with the right passes.

Name

Rating 

Position 

Speed 

Explosive Power

Aubameyang  

85

CF

97

96

Gervinho*

86

LWF

96

97

Walcott

81

RWF

96

95

Bellerin

80

RB

95

97

Bale

90

RWF

93

94

*Not registered to a club

Best Dribblers

In addition to Ball Control and Dribbling, we’ve added the essential Body Control stat (which represents tackle resistance and balance recovery after impacts) to our calculations. PES 2017 is a very physical game: mesmeric footwork alone will only get you so far.

Name

Rating 

Position 

Ball Control 

Dribbling 

Body Control

Messi

94

RWF

96

96

96

Neymar

90

LWF

95

97

93

Iniesta

89

CMF

96

94

92

Robben

88

RWF

88

94

90

E. Hazard  

87

LMF

91

92

86

Set-Piece Specialists

Payet’s feats last season (and, of course, that goal at the Euros) have evidently caught the attention of the Pro Evo development team. If you’re desperate to add a quality dead-ball specialist to your Master League team, and you have 20 million or so to burn, poaching Eriksen from Spurs – sorry, North East London – would be a smart move. He grows by a few points, and maintains a high level for several seasons.

Name

Rating 

Position 

Place Kicking 

Swerve

Payet

85

LMF

92

89

Messi

94

RWF

91

89

Lodi

75

DMF

88

87

Sneijder*  

85

AMF

87

90

Eriksen

83

AMF

87

85

*Not registered to a club

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