Pepe (footballer, born 1983)
Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira ComM (born 26 February 1983), known as Pepe (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈpɛpi]; European Portuguese: [-pɛ]), is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a centre back for the Portugal national team and is currently a free agent. During his professional career he has played for Marítimo, Porto and Real Madrid, with individual and team success with the latter two clubs. He won three league titles, three European Cups and played 334 games for Real Madrid. An aggressive, physically strong and tenacious defender, Pepe is known for his hard-tackling style of play. However, despite his defensive abilities, he has also drawn criticism due to his tendency to pick up cards, as he has occasionally shown violent or unsportsmanlike behaviour, which includes diving, on the pitch.
|Full name||Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira|
|Date of birth||26 February 1983|
|Place of birth||Maceió, Brazil|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:14, 16 December 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:01, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
Born and raised in Brazil, Pepe opted to play for the Portugal national team, playing at three FIFA World Cups and three UEFA European Championships. He was a member of the team that won UEFA Euro 2016, also reaching the semi-final of Euro 2012. His father named him Kepler Laveran in honor to scientists Johannes Kepler and Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran.
Born in Maceió, Alagoas, Pepe started playing football with local Corinthians Alagoano. At age 18, alongside teammate Ezequias, he moved to Portugal to sign with Marítimo in Madeira, spending the vast majority of his first season with the B-team.
During the 2002–03 pre-season, Pepe was given permission to train with Sporting CP for two weeks, after which a deal could be negotiated for his transfer. However, neither club could agree on financial terms and the negotiations broke down, with the player returning and going on to help Marítimo finish sixth in the following campaign and qualify to the UEFA Cup, having contributed with 1 goal in 30 matches.
During the summer of 2004, Pepe signed with top division giants Porto for €1 million plus three players: Evaldo, Antonielton Ferreira and Tonel. A clause in the agreement also stipulated Marítimo would receive 20% of any future transfer fee.
In his first season, with Spanish coach Víctor Fernández at the helm, Pepe was mostly used as a backup, playing under veterans Pedro Emanuel, Jorge Costa and utility defender Ricardo Costa. However, in the following year, under the guidance of Co Adriaanse, he had a breakthrough season, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the domestic competition: the Dutchman often chose a 3–4–3 offensive system, with the Brazilian often pitched as the only natural stopper. Porto eventually won back-to-back leagues and the Taça de Portugal.
On 10 July 2007, Real Madrid signed Pepe to a five-year contract, paying Porto a €30 million transfer fee. On 15 March 2008, Pepe scored the only (own) goal in a 0–1 away loss against Deportivo de La Coruña. Eight months later, he was involved in a fight during training with teammate Javier Balboa – the defender was nonetheless called up for Real's next match, whereas the winger was not. As Los Blancos were eventually crowned champions of La Liga, he delivered a Man of the match performance in a 1–0 win at Barcelona.
Pepe was constantly hampered by injuries throughout the 2008–09 campaign. On 21 April 2009, he was also involved in an incident with Getafe's Javier Casquero: with the score at 2–2 and only a few minutes to play, he brought down the midfielder in the penalty area, being subsequently sent off. He then kicked Casquero twice, once on his shin and once on his lower back. When being pulled away from Casquero, he also pushed his head into the turf and stamped on him several times. In the ensuing mêlée, he also struck another opposing player, Juan Ángel Albín, in the face and eventually received a ten-match ban, which effectively ended his season.
In the 2009–10 season, Pepe returned to claim his place back in the starting line-ups. On 4 October 2009, he scored his first goal in the league, against Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, heading home from a Guti free-kick in a 1–2 loss. However, on 12 December, during a match at Valencia (3–2 win), he landed awkwardly following an aerial challenge and was stretchered off the pitch in the dying minutes of the first half. Scans later showed that he ruptured his right knee's anterior cruciate ligament. He went on to miss the rest of the season, jeopardizing his 2010 FIFA World Cup chances.
For 2010–11, Pepe was joined at Real Madrid by countrymen Ricardo Carvalho and manager José Mourinho, pairing up with Carvalho to form one of the most efficient defensive pairings in La Liga. On 2 October 2010, Diario AS published an article where the player was reportedly open to leave the club on a Bosman transfer. According to the newspaper, "[W]hen he signed for Real Madrid in 2007, he sacrificed a part of his salary to pay for his huge transfer fee – this made him one of the lowest earners at the club, making €1.8 million a year." Again, he missed several matches due to injury and, after exhausting negotiations, finally signed a new contract, renewing his link to the club until 2015.
Pepe spent the final stretch of the season appearing as a defensive midfielder as Real Madrid faced Barcelona four times in less than one month. On 27 April 2011, in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg, he was sent off for a controversial challenge on Dani Alves in an eventual 0–2 home loss. However, Alves also came into strong criticism, with Real Madrid claiming the Brazilian fullback had exaggerated the incident. Additionally, sportspersons including Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Rory McIlroy criticized Alves' actions. The next day, UEFA opened disciplinary cases against both clubs for a number of incidents during the match. The verdict was announced eight days later: the red card stood and Pepe therefore received a one-match ban from European competition, which he served by not playing in the second leg at Camp Nou.
On 12 July 2011, Pepe extended his contract with Real Madrid again, until the end of the 2015–16 season. In a match against Osasuna on 6 November, he scored the team's second goal in an eventual 7–1 home routing. In the first match of the Copa del Rey quarter-final against Barcelona on 18 January 2012, he stamped on the hand of Lionel Messi, who was on the ground after having been fouled. The incident drew strong criticism from the Spanish media, who also noted his coming-together with Cesc Fàbregas earlier in the 1–2 home defeat, but he insisted that the incident, which was not seen by the referee, was "unintentional". On 23 January, the Royal Spanish Football Federation cleared him of any wrongdoing.
On 21 March 2012, Pepe was involved in another serious incident: after a 1–1 away draw against Villarreal in which he was booked and Real Madrid finished with nine players, he confronted referee José Luis Paradas Romero in the locker room area, saying, "What a ripoff motherfucker." Two days later, he was suspended for two matches.
In the 2011-12 season, Pepe formed a formidable center back partnership with Sergio Ramos. That campaign, he went on to make 29 appearances in La Liga and 45 appearances in all competitions as Real Madrid claimed their 32nd league title.
On 19 August 2012, in the Liga opener against Valencia, Pepe collided with Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas in the play that led to the visitors equalizing the score 1–1 (the final result). He was subsequently taken to hospital for observation, being released the following day. Amid feuds with Mourinho, Pepe lost his starting place to Raphaël Varane throughout the season and would end up getting into a scuffle with Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone from the substitutes' bench in the 2013 Copa del Rey final.
In the 2013–14 season, Pepe had a personal career high number of goals scored and appearances made for Real Madrid, making 11 appearances in their La Decima winning campaign. Carlo Ancelotti, the Real Madrid manager at the time, spoke to his importance saying, "We’re more assured with him. He gives us confidence, personality and he helps the other players; he is very important for them.” In the 2015-16 season, Pepe made 9 appearances in the Champions League and 31 appearances in all competitions. He started the final when the team won the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League.
On 4 July 2017, Turkish Süper Lig side Beşiktaş announced the signing of Pepe on a free transfer from Real Madrid. He would earn €9.5 million in total during the two-year contract, plus a €4,000 bonus for each match played. On 13 August Pepe scored his first goal in a 2-0 home away win against Antalyaspor.  A few months later, he scored his second league goal in a 5-0 home victory against Kardemir Karabükspor.
On 19 April 2018 in the second leg of the Turkish Cup against Fenerbahçe he received his first red card for Beşiktaş after a tackle on Souza. The match was later abandoned after Beşiktaş coach was struck by an object thrown from stands.
On 17 December 2018, Pepe revoked his contract with Beşiktaş in a mutual agreement.
Pepe never represented his native Brazil in any youth category. However, according to the player's father, in 2006, he was contacted by head coach Dunga about a possible call-up which he declined, stating that once he obtained Portuguese citizenship, he would join its national team. He became naturalized in August 2007 and, on 30 August, was named in the Portuguese squad for the first time in view of a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Poland. An injury while training for his club prevented the debut for his adopted country, which would materialize almost four months later, in Portugal's last match in the tournament against Finland on 21 November, a 0–0 home draw.
In the tournament's final stages, Pepe played in all of the national side's matches, scoring once in a 2–0 win against Turkey on 7 June 2008. Portugal was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Germany.
2010 FIFA World CupEdit
During the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Pepe was often used as a defensive midfielder by national coach Carlos Queiroz. After his serious knee injury while playing for Real Madrid, he was eventually selected for the squad that participated in the finals in South Africa, appearing against Brazil in the group stage (0–0) and eventual champions Spain in the round of 16 (0–1 loss).
Again a starter in Euro 2012 under manager Paulo Bento, Pepe opened the score in the second group game against Denmark, heading home after a João Moutinho corner kick in an eventual 3–2 win. He was later chosen by UEFA as man of the match and, in the semi-final, he was one of two Portugal players to score in a 2–4 penalty shootout defeat to Spain.
2014 FIFA World CupEdit
In the 2014 World Cup, Pepe received a red card in the first half of Portugal's opening match against Germany for headbutting Thomas Müller late into the first half of an eventual 0–4 loss. At the time, Müller was sitting on the ground and Pepe walked back to Müller to headbutt him.
UEFA Euro 2016Edit
Pepe was named man of the match in the Euro 2016 final, helping his team to keep a clean-sheet in a 1–0 extra-time victory over hosts France and win his nation's first ever international title. His performance in the final was particularly noted by some members of the media for being firm and disciplined.
2017 FIFA Confederations CupEdit
On 2 July 2017, in the third-place match against Mexico at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, Pepe scored an injury time equalizer to send the match into extra-time. Portugal eventually won the match 2–1 to capture the bronze medal.
2018 FIFA World CupEdit
In Portugal's opening match against Spain, Pepe went down after a collision with Spain forward Diego Costa, who then took the ball into the penalty area before scoring. The goal was checked by the Video assistant referee (VAR), who allowed the goal to stand. In Portugal's second match, Pepe went down after he was tapped on the back by Morocco's Medhi Benatia. In BBC studio, former footballer Rio Ferdinand called Pepe's dive "embarrassing". Former striker Didier Drogba also expressed derision for Pepe, stating "he's been doing this quite a few times". Pepe would go on to score a goal himself in Portugal's knockout match against Uruguay. 
- As of 12 November 2018
- Statistics accurate as of match played 10 September 2018.
|1.||7 June 2008||Stade de Genève, Geneve, Switzerland||Turkey||UEFA Euro 2008|
|2.||9 September 2009||Stadium Puskás Ferenc, Budapest, Hungary||Hungary||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3.||13 June 2012||Arena Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine||Denmark||UEFA Euro 2012|
|4.||1 September 2016||Estádio do Bessa, Porto, Portugal||Gibraltar||Friendly|
|5.||2 July 2017||Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow, Russia||Mexico||2–1 (a.e.t.)||2017 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|6.||30 June 2018||Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia||Uruguay||2018 FIFA World Cup|
|7.||6 September 2018||Estádio Algarve, Faro/Loulé, Portugal||Croatia||Friendly|
- Primeira Liga: 2005–06, 2006–07
- Taça de Portugal: 2005–06
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2004, 2006
- Intercontinental Cup: 2004
- La Liga: 2007–08, 2011–12, 2016–17
- Copa del Rey: 2010–11, 2013–14
- Supercopa de España: 2008, 2012
- UEFA Champions League: 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17
- UEFA Super Cup: 2014
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2014, 2016
- UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 2008, 2012, 2016
- UEFA Champions League Team of the Season: 2013–14
- ESM Team of the Year: 2013–14
- CNID Best Portuguese Athlete Abroad: 2014
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 2nd team: 2016
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 3rd team: 2014
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 4th team: 2013, 2015
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 5th team: 2017
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- Balboa y Pepe se pelean durante el entrenamiento (Balboa and Pepe fight during training); Marca, 9 November 2007 (in Spanish)
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- "Thank you for your services Pepe!".
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- Portugal name Pepe in Euro 2008 qualifiers squad; ESPN Soccernet, 30 August 2007
- Pepe joy in Geneva; UEFA.com, 8 June 2008
- Last-gasp Varela revives Portugal's hopes; UEFA.com, 13 June 2012
- Pepe does it again for Portugal Archived 15 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.; UEFA.com, 13 June 2012
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