PES 07 Jun 2021 11:39 AM +00:00

Here are the contenders to become the PES 2022 Cover Star

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Attentions are starting to turn towards PES 2022, despite still being months away from release.

So, check out the potential cover stars for Konami's next release below.

Latest - Atalanta sign exclusive partnership with Konami for PES 2022

Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. has announced that the company has signed a long-term, exclusive partnership agreement with Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio (Atalanta), the top-tier Italian football club who recently finished the season in third place.

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PES PARTNER: Atalanta signs exclusive deal with Konami

As “Official Video Game Partner”, Konami has secured exclusive rights to the use of the Atalanta license, including team name, crest and kits, within real-time football simulation games, starting with the 2021/22 football season.

This exclusive deal means that FIFA 22 will no longer include the official Atalanta team name, crest, kits and player names.

PES 2021 Cover Stars

For the last two years, the PES cover stars have gone from the four main partner clubs.

PES 2021 saw Alphonso Davies from Bayern Munich, Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus and Manchester United star Marcus Rashford.

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NEW MEETS OLD - Two GOATS were flanked by up and coming stars last year

PES 2020 followed the same format, with Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Miralem Pjanic (Juventus) and Scott McTominay doing the honours.

So who could we see from the clubs this year?

Bayern Munich

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Alphonso Davies still has a deal with Konami, so he is the frontrunner at this stage.

Still just 20 years old, the Canadian is one of the world's brightest left backs, and is likely to be a mainstay in the Bayern side for the next decade.

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NEW ERA - Jamal Musiala, Alphonso Davies, Chris Richards & Douglas Costa are all in the running

But if Konami decided to mix things up, who could they go for?

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Sticking with established players, Robert Lewandowski would be the fan-favourite with over 280 goals for the club.

Leroy Sane and Joshua Kimmich are two regular first-team starters, and would be reliable choices, and wouldn't be too dissimilar to Serge Gnabry's selection for PES 2020.

If they want to go for another youngster, Jamal Musiala could be the youngest cover star we've ever seen, with the attacking midfielder just 18 years old.

Barcelona

This is where things get really interesting.

Lionel Messi is out of contract at the end of the season, and although it would be a shock to see him leave, Konami may have to prepare a plan in case the GOAT leaves the Camp Nou.

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OUT WITH THE OLD? - Could Lio Messi step aside for Pedri, Neto, Ronald Araujo or Carles Alena?

Phillipe Coutinho and ex-Juve star Miralem Pjanic have been on the cover before, but if they want pulling power they may need to go for Antoine Griezmann.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is an option if Konami opts for a goalkeeper, with Pedri or Ansu Fati the standout wonderkid choices.

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Juventus

Another cover star could head for the exit door this summer, with Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus unlikely to claim the Serie A title this season.

So again, Konami may look for players less likely to leave, with Paulo Dybala the star to build the side around.

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YOUTH OR EXPERIENCE? - Federico Chiesa, Weston McKennie & Gianluca Frabotta are mixing it with the Juve senior players

The Old Lady has plenty of young players on the rise as well, most notably Matthijs de Ligt.

The £68 million man leads a new generation of Juve players, with Weston McKennie, Arthur and Federico Chiesa all PES 2022 cover star contenders too.

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Manchester United

Like Alphonso Davies, Marcus Rashford still has a deal in place with Konami.

That said, for PES 2022 it may be too hard to resist the prospect of bringing United's talisman Bruno Fernandes onto the cover.

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DOUBLE TROUBLE - Left backs Luke Shaw and Alex Telles would be outsiders for a Cover Star berth

The Portuguese has 35 goals and 21 assists in 67 matches so far for United, making him an obvious choice.

Paul Pogba's unclear future perhaps rules him out, but there are plenty of youngsters to choose from, including Mason Greenwood, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Amad Diallo.

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Anyone else?

PES picked up AS Roma exclusively last year, so perhaps they will earn a cover star spot - but having five players on the front could be a bit crowded.

Roma as a club has less pulling power than the others, with even star man Edin Dzeko linked with an exit this summer.

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STEPPING UP - Roma players will be in the frame for the cover this year

Chris Smalling or Nicolo Zaniolo could be alternatives, but we'd be surprised to see a Roma star on the cover.

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A left-field choice would be someone from outside a PES partner club - with Real Madrid youngster Takefusa Kubo agreeing a deal with Konami.

If similar deals happen with other players - the shortlist for the PES 2022 cover star will only get longer, plus there's always a chance Konami could add to its licences.

Keep it local

If you are a die-hard fan of one of the PES partner clubs then it makes sense to go for one of the PES 2022 Club Editions.

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RED DEVILS - Marcus Rashford was joined by Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Dan James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka for the PES 2021 Man United edition

Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United and more are all likely to receive club editions - with the cover featuring players just of that club.

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