It’s a tale as old as time—or at least as old as sports games. Athlete plays the in-game version of themselves and is sorely disappointed by what they see. Keisuke Honda, you are not alone!
Honda is one of Japan’s soccer greats. For his native Japan, Honda played in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups and helped Japan win the 2011 Asia Cup. Internationally, he’s had a long and varied career, playing for CSKA Moscow and Milan, among others. In recent years, he’s bounced around from team to team: last year, Honda played for Brazilian team Botafogo, while he played for Neftçi PFK in the Azerbaijan Premier League earlier this year. He is currently the coach of the Cambodian national team.
In a recent YouTube clip (via J-Cast), the midfielder was asked if he ever checked his in-game soccer ability.
“In 2012 I established a soccer school business, and honestly, I didn’t do anything besides soccer,” Honda replied. “And then, I really started Pro Evo a bunch.” And when he’d play, he would play as himself in-game—as one would, no?
“But then, my ability was low, I thought it must be fucking kidding me,” he continued. “I thought about bringing it up [with Konami] and saying, ‘Come to a match and really watch me.’”
Honda wasn’t pleased that his top level abilities were absent from the game. “It’s been like that many times when playing games, and I end up getting pissed off when I play myself.”
Besides, other athletes experience this in different games, too—on an annual basis. It’s the long tradition of appearing in everything from Pro Evo, FIFA, Madden, MLB The Show and more. He’s in good company.