Alex Alguacil: “Our goal is to win PES League World Finals. Anything but that is a failure”

eFootball.Pro interviews FC Barcelona’s player Alex Alguacil before he plays PES League World Finals in CO-OP mode

Alex Alguacil (Spain, 1997) is an FC Barcelona player. Along with his teammate PaUUU24, he finished the eFootball.Pro League 2018-2019 season in 3rd place after losing in the semifinals to the championship winners AS Monaco, although Barcelona finished runner-up at the Regular League. He has been one of the most successful players in numbers throughout the matchdays, gathering 16 goal assists, 1 match MVP (on Matchday 1), 753 passes completed from Matchday 3, of which 616 were successful (the best performance among all the players) and 116 passes intercepted.

But besides the eFootball.Pro League, Alex Alguacil is among the best Pro Evolution Soccer players in recent years. Without going any further, he was 1v1 PES world runner-up in 2018 and is also the current world champion in CO-OP. He won the cooperative trophy in July 2018 with the team Broken Silence, playing alongside ETTORITO97 and Ildistruttore-44 (former Celtic FC players) and this year the three are back together to repeat the victory. Therefore eFootball.Pro interviews Alex Alguacil, to know his opinions before the 2019 PES League World Finals (June 28th and 29th).

eFootball.Pro: What are your views on the first season of the eFootball.Pro League?

Alex Alguacil: “I think that this has been a quantum leap in quality for the PES competitive scene. This is what we players have always wanted: a professional competition that gives us visibility. And thanks to that the football clubs have jumped into the esports world and that is very positive for PES, the players and the whole esports field.”

Alex Alguacil: "The eFootball.Pro League is what we players have always wanted: a professional competition, that gives us visibility."

You finished the league in third place, losing in semifinals to the champions: AS Monaco. What do you think of that result?

“It’s a negative result. We (PaUUU24 and I) were a new couple and had not played together before but over time, we achieved a very high level. I was sure we had a chance to win, the final was between Monaco and us. In my opinion we were the two strongest teams. We have showcased a different style, more attractive than that of the other teams. 

The difference between PES teams was remarkable; Barça gave no other choice but to play with the ball on the ground and one-touch football, while with other teams you could play in the air, in depth, between spaces... and that limited us. But we adapted and displayed a very good level, although it wasn’t enough. I’m happy with the way we worked, but obviously I’m not satisfied because everyone expected more from us and we failed to make it.”

You did an almost perfect Regular League, finishing runner-ups. Would you have prefered that the season had ended there, remaining in that second place, knowing that after the Finals you finished in third position? Or was it worth the risk because there was a chance of winning  the Finals?

"Obviously we wanted a playoff to prove that we could be better. Still, the format penalised us, because the games could be extended to extra-time and, as I was saying before, due to the physical characteristics of Barça in PES, the rivals had physical advantage in the extra-time. But in a nutshell, you only want to win and placing second, third or sixth was something that wouldn’t make me feel satisfied, and anything other than being the champions is a failure.”

Alex Alguacil: "You want to win, and placing 2nd, 3rd or 6th was something that wouldn’t make me feel satisfied, and anything other than being the champions is a failure."

What have you been doing these weeks between the eFootball.Pro League Finals and the PES League World Finals?

"After the eFootball.Pro League I had to switch myself off because I was playing 2vs2 with a different team and a different teammate. One month before PES League, I had to change so as to play with Ettore and Luca. We play with a different team and a totally different playing style. The first few weeks were a disaster because it seemed like I didn’t know how to play the style with which we had qualified for World Finals a few months before. But after some time we are currently training fine again, the chemistry we have is spectacular. One week away from the World Finals, we have good vibes. I’m already craving for the upcoming competition.”

Despite you didn’t come to play against them (in the FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC match, Celtic was already represented by E_C_Oneill and INDOMINATOR), how did you feel competing in the same league against your friends and Broken Silence teammates ETTORITO97 (Ettore Giannuzzi) and Ildistruttore-44 (Luca Tubelli)?

“It was complicated for me, and I guess for them too. The ideal thing would have been to keep the same team because we had just proved to be the best team in the world. But the new format was 2v2 and Barça knocked on my door and I couldn’t say no. I would have liked to play against them to see who would have won that duel. It would have been exciting.”

Have you had enough time to prepare both PES League and the eFootball.Pro League this season, as they have been taking place at the same time?

“It’s been really tricky. On the one hand it was a relief to qualify for CO-OP in December, but at the same time I combined the 1v1 with the eFootball.Pro League, two different and demanding modes. I remember that the PES League’s qualifying months that overlapped with eFootball.Pro matchdays were very hard and, to top it off, it coincided with the defeat against Schalke.

Those were tough times but I think I went through them quite well. I’d never been used to such a demanding performance and to people expecting that much from me. At the end of the year the result was positive: we are in the World Finals and with a good chance to win.”

Last year you reached the PES League final in both 1v1 and CO-OP, but this year you only managed to reach the final in CO-OP. What do you think is the reason behind this?

"It's been a difficult year, living away from home. I had to play so many different modes and it caught me by surprise. I fell at the last hurdle before World Finals, in the last 10 minutes against Usmakabyle. Perhaps not being as lucky as I was in previous years has also influenced. But the year has been quite good and it has to end even better. I can give more out of myself and the good thing is finding the way to improve.”

Alex Alguacil: "The ideal thing would have been to keep the same team (with Ettore and Luca) because we had just proved to be the best team in the world. But the new format was 2v2 and Barça knocked on my door and I couldn’t say no."

You have already been CO-OP world champion playing in the two categories but, do you think that competing this time in only one will help you perform even better?

“Absolutely. I remember last year's World Finals, when we played in both categories on the same day. That was a terrible pressure, because it could come out well but it could also end up a complete disaster. All the thing was hanging by a thread. But this year is different, knowing that my teammates will perform balls to the wall and without the pressure of playing 1v1, which is more demanding than CO-OP because you depend on yourself. Playing only CO-OP will be good to me because I will be at 100% and with no pressure.”

What is playing with ETTORITO97 and Ildistruttore-44 like? Can you explain to us how you work, distribute the roles, who takes the lead...?

“Everyone has a role in the team, whether it is more aggressive or more conservative. It’s difficult because our styles are very different but knowing how to juggle them and how to make everything add up is what let us stand out from the crowd. Regarding schedules, training is difficult because Italy’s and Spain’s are different. The language also makes it a bit difficult, but I handle it.

What does help us is the friendship and confidence that we all have; we've been playing together for two years and that shows. Playing cooperative with them is having a good time.”

Do you think you are going to repeat the CO-OP title this year?

"I don’t know what will happen but the goal is to win. Anything but that is a failure. It’s true that the format doesn’t help, as it’s just single-game matches in both group stage and the final, hence it’s more difficult to control. But we are confident and if we do things the way we know we’ll be able to take the initiative and win the matches.”

Alex Alguacil: "I don’t know what will happen (in PES League World Finals) but the goal is to win. Anything but that is a failure.

What do you think about the eFootball PES 2020 sneak peek we saw in E3?

“It has impressed me, starting with the name. I can't wait to give it a shot. Right now I'm not thinking about playing it, as I don’t want to change the dynamics of playing one game or another. But as soon as the World Finals are over, I will only think about PES 2020. I think a very positive year is coming when it comes to competitions, game improvements, licenses...”.

What do you expect from the next eFootball.Pro League season?

“I hope that there will be more teams, more competition, new stages, that it will become more visible thanks to those who can help make it... And that there will be the best players, not only from Europe but also from Asia and America. I want to play against the best ones and the goal is to prove to be the number one, and if eFootball.Pro renders that possibility… can’t beat it!”