Seen from Portugal: Pepe, 41, is still on top form and dreaming of the euro in his head

Seen from Portugal: Pepe, 41, is still on top form and dreaming of the euro in his head

Seen from Portugal: Pepe, 41, is still on top form and dreaming of the euro in his head

Pepe celebrated his 41st birthday on Monday. He is the undisputed leader of FC Porto's defence, he is breaking records, but he is not guaranteed to participate in the next Euro tournament.

When the young man is 18 years old Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira, who arrived on the island of Madeira in 2001, no one could have imagined that he would become one of the most prominent defenders of Portuguese football in the 21st century. Fewer people would have thought that, 23 years later, he would still be considered one of the key members of the team in the world. Porto Club Who fights for the title and shines in Europe.

Pepe arrived in Portugal to play in Maritimo

C.S. Maritimo

Declaration

Born in Maceió, Pepe arrived in Portugal to play for them MaritimoWhere he made his first appearance with the second team, which was playing in the third division. Only in the following season (2002/2003) he established himself in the main team of the Islanders, where Mitchell van der GaagHe is now assistant to Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, and also played as a centre-back.

It only took him two full seasons to attract the attention of European champions FC Porto. After winning the Champions League under the leadership of… Jose Mourinho After undergoing a profound restructuring process, Pepe was chosen for success Ricardo Carvalho (Leave me Chelsea) and reorganizing the central defense, which boasted names such as Jorge Costa And Pedro Emmanuel.

It was not until the following season (2005/06) under his leadership Adriansi Company, he's definitely making a name for himself. He helped the Dragons win back-to-back championships before real madrid He is offering 30 million euros to buy it back.

Pepe celebrates winning the Super Cup with Porto

Porto Club

International fame

2007 is perhaps the most amazing year of Pepe's career. The midfielder moved to Real Madrid, and also holds Portuguese citizenship, and in November, he wore a Quinas shirt for the first time (he would do so 133 more times), during a Euro 2008 qualifying match against Finland. He is only the fifth naturalized player to achieve this feat.

This is the beginning of Pepe's rise to a world-class centre-back. During his ten seasons in Madrid, he formed a very successful duo with… Sergio Ramos He also showed his versatility when Mourinho used him in midfield to try and stop Leo Messi's forays into goal. F.C.B It is considered the best ever.

His time in Madrid brought trophies (three Champions League titles, one European Super Cup, two Club World Cups, three championships, two Copa del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups), but also the episode of the famous kick given to Helmet During the match against Getafe In 2009. This incident seared the collective memory and earned him a bad reputation, unfair for a reckless central defender but true when it comes to tackling.

Repair records

The following summer, after becoming a European champion with Portugal (where he was best player in the final), Pepe began to lose ground at Real Madrid. Raphael Varane And Nacho Fernandez Take importance in choices Zinedine Zidane The Portuguese defender was forced to leave for Turkey, where he spent half a season Besiktas.

In January 2019, he returned to Portugal and to the home that gave him the impetus for his successful career. The 35-year-old has been revealed as FC Porto's centre-back. Many were already talking about a possible retirement, and about a farewell to the field soon in the blue and white shirt.

Pepe broke the record for oldest player in the Champions League knockout stage.

Promedia

Six years have passed and Pepe is still indispensable Sergio Conceicao. He added two championships, two Super Cups, and three Portuguese Cups, and helped the club win the first League Cup in its history.

He is the oldest player to play in the league (beaten only by goalies). Rafael Bracalli42 years and 15 days from(42 years, 2 months and 1 day) and holds the same record in the Champions League (group stage and knockout stage), which he achieved this season.

European dream

The 2023/24 season saw many physical problems, including injuries during his call-up to the national team. He played just one match during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers and now faces competition from… Robin Dias, Gonzalo Inacio, Antonio Silva And Danilo PereiraWhich were the confirmed values ​​of Roberto Martinez In the defense axis.

Pepe has 134 international matches for the national team

FPF

If he manages to win (and there is no doubt about that), he will play in the fifth European Championship of his career (2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020), and his tenth continental competition with Portugal (2010 World Cup, 2014, 2018, 2022 and 2017 Confederations Cup). Stratospheric numbers for a central defender who has distinguished and continues to represent an entire generation.

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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