Pepe (footballer, born 1983)

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This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Lima and the second or paternal family name is Ferreira.
Pepe Euro 2012.jpg
Pepe training with Portugal in 2012
Personal information
Full name Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira
Date of birth (1983-02-26) 26 February 1983 (age 32)
Place of birth Maceió, Brazil
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Real Madrid
Number 3
Youth career
1995–2001 Corinthians-AL
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2002 Marítimo B 14 (1)
2002–2004 Marítimo 63 (3)
2004–2007 Porto 64 (6)
2007– Real Madrid 198 (10)
National team
2007– Portugal 67 (3)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:40, 24 September 2015 (UTC).
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:39, 7 September 2015 (UTC)

Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira (born 26 February 1983), commonly known as Pepe (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈpɛpi]), is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team as a central defender. During his professional career he has played for Marítimo, Porto and Real Madrid, with individual and team success with the latter two clubs. He is known for his violent behaviour on the pitch.[1][2][3][4]

Born in Brazil, Pepe has represented Portugal over 60 times, playing at two World Cups and two European Championships.

Club career[edit]


Born in Maceió, Alagoas, Pepe started playing football with local Sport Club Corinthians Alagoano. At the age of 18, alongside teammate Ezequias, he moved to Portugal and signed with C.S. Marítimo on the island of Madeira, spending the vast majority of his first season with the B-team.

After being promoted to the main squad for the 2002–03 season, under Russian manager Anatoliy Byshovets, Pepe rarely missed a game, playing in several positions including defensive midfielder.

During the 2002–03 pre-season Pepe was given permission to train with Sporting Club de Portugal 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[5] and going on to help Marítimo finish sixth in the following campaign and qualify to the UEFA Cup, having contributed with one goal in 30 games.


Pepe playing for Porto in 2006.

During the summer of 2004, Pepe signed with top division giants F.C. Porto for 1 million plus three players: Evaldo, Antonielton Ferreira and Tonel. A clause in the agreement also stated that 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 2006 Portuguese Cup.

Real Madrid[edit]

2007–08 season[edit]

On 10 July 2007 Real Madrid signed Pepe to a five-year contract, for a fee of €30 million.[6] On 15 March 2008, he scored the only (own) goal in a 0–1 away loss against Deportivo de La Coruña.[7] Eight months later, he was involved in a fight during training with teammate Javier Balboa –[8] 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 FC Barcelona.[9]

2008–09 season[edit]

Pepe was constantly hampered by injuries throughout the 2008–09 campaign. On 21 April 2009, he was also involved in an incident with Getafe CF'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 proceeded to kick the fallen opponent 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 10-game ban, which effectively ended his season.[10]

2009–10 season[edit]

Pepe chasing down Sergio Agüero of Atlético Madrid

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 FC at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, heading home from a Guti free kick in a 1–2 loss. On 12 December, however, during a game at Valencia CF (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.[11] He went on to miss the rest of the season, jeopardizing his FIFA World Cup chances.

2010–11 season[edit]

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 sectors in the league. On 2 October 2010, Diario AS published an article where the player was reportedly open to leave the club on a Bosman transfer:[12] according to the newspaper, "when 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.[13] Again, he missed several games due to injury (calf)[14] and, after exhausting negotiations,[15] finally put pen to paper on a new contract, renewing his link to the club until 2015.[16]

Pepe training with Real Madrid in 2012.

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.[17] 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.[18] The next day, UEFA opened disciplinary cases against both clubs for a number of incidents during the match.[19] The verdict was announced eight days later: the red card stood and hence, Pepe received a one-match ban from European competition, which he served by not taking part in the second-leg at Camp Nou.[20]

2011–12 season[edit]

On 12 July 2011 Pepe extended his contract with Real Madrid again, until the end of the 2015–16 season.[21] In a match against CA Osasuna on 6 November, he scored the team's second goal in an eventual 7–1 home routing.[22] In the first match of the Copa del Rey quarter-final against Barcelona on 18 January 2012, he was accused by certain sections of the media of intentionally stamping on the hand of Lionel Messi, who was on the ground after having been fouled.[23][24] 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,[25] but he insisted that the incident, which was not seen by the referee, was "unintentional".[26] On 23 January, the Royal Spanish Football Federation cleared him of any wrongdoing.[27][28]

On 21 March 2012, Pepe was involved in another serious incident: after a 1–1 away draw against Villarreal CF, 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."[29] Two days later, he was suspended for two games.[30]

2012–13 season[edit]

On 19 August 2012, in the league 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,[31] being released the following day.[32]

International career[edit]

Pepe in Funchal on 15 December 2013, at the opening of the Cristiano Ronaldo Museum.

Pepe never represented his native Brazil in any youth category. However, according to the player's father, in 2006 he was contacted by coach Dunga about a possible call-up, which he declined, stating that once he obtained Portuguese citizenship he would join its national team.[33] He became naturalized in August 2007 and, on the 30th, was named in the Portuguese squad for the first time, in view of a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Poland.[34] 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 game in the tournament against Finland on 21 November (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.[35] Portugal eventually exited in the quarter-finals.

2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]

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).

Euro 2012[edit]

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.[36] He was later chosen by UEFA as man of the match[37] and, in the semi-final, he was one of two Portugal players to score in a 2–4 penalty shootout defeat to Spain.[38]

2014 FIFA World Cup[edit]

In the 2014 World Cup, Pepe received a red card in the first half of Portugal's opening match with Germany, for headbutting Thomas Müller, having walked back to his opponent who was sitting on the ground to do so, late into the first half of an eventual 0–4 loss.[39][40]

International goals[edit]

Club statistics[edit]

As of 23 September 2015[41]
Club Season League Cup1 Europe Other2 Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Marítimo 2001–02 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
2002–03 29 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 30 2
2003–04 30 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 31 1
Total 63 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 66 3
Porto 2004–05 15 1 1 0 5 0 0 0 21 1
2005–06 24 1 4 0 5 2 0 0 33 3
2006–07 25 4 1 0 9 0 0 0 35 4
Total 64 6 6 0 18 2 0 0 88 8
Real Madrid 2007–08 19 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 25 0
2008–09 26 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 32 0
2009–10 10 1 1 0 6 0 0 0 17 1
2010–11 26 1 4 0 8 0 0 0 38 1
2011–12 29 1 7 0 9 0 0 0 45 1
2012–13 28 1 3 0 11 1 0 0 42 2
2013–14 30 4 7 1 11 0 0 0 48 5
2014–15 27 2 2 0 6 0 3 0 38 2
2015–16 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
Total 198 10 28 1 60 1 3 0 289 12
Career totals 325 19 37 1 78 3 3 0 443 23

1 Includes the Supercopa de España.
2 Includes UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.



Real Madrid



  1. ^ Pepe receives 10-game ban; Sportsnet, 24 April 2009
  2. ^ The Nasty Boys: Ramos and Pepe tarnish Real Madrid's rich history with play acting, rows and red cards; Dailymail, 24 March 2014
  3. ^ The Pepe Controversy And The Spanish Press: Marca, Xenophobia And The Lowest Common Denominator; SB Nation, 24 Hanuary 2012
  4. ^ Pepe faces possible three-game ban after red card; Reuters, 16 June 2014
  5. ^ "Pepe regressa ao Marítimo" [Pepe returns to Marítimo] (in Portuguese). TSF. 23 July 2002. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Madrid pick up Pepe from Porto;, 10 July 2007
  7. ^ Deportivo curse strikes again for Real; Soccerway, 15 March 2008
  8. ^ Balboa y Pepe se pelean durante el entrenamiento (Balboa and Pepe fight during training); Marca, 9 November 2007 (Spanish)
  9. ^ Navidades blancas: el Real Madrid apuntilla al Barça (0–1) (White Christmas: Real Madrid kills Barça (0–1)); Diario Crítico, 23 December 2007 (Spanish)
  10. ^ Pepe receives 10-game ban; Sportsnet, 24 April 2009
  11. ^ Injury blow for Real Madrid defender Pepe; The Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2009
  12. ^ Pepe está dispuesto a irse libre en 2012 Pepe está dispuesto a irse libre en 2012 (Pepe willing to leave for free in 2012); Diario AS, 2 October 2010 (Spanish)
  13. ^ Pepe nearing Real Madrid exit; Soccer News, 2 October 2010
  14. ^ Madrid defender Pepe ruled out with calf injury; USA Today, 7 January 2011
  15. ^ Madrid hopeful over Pepe deal; ESPN Soccernet, 21 March 2011
  16. ^ Pepe signs 2015 Real Madrid contract extension;, 21 March 2011
  17. ^ Ten-man Madrid undone by Messi magic;, 27 April 2011
  18. ^ Real release "proof" of Alves dive; ESPN Soccernet, 28 April 2011
  19. ^ "Disciplinary cases opened against Real Madrid and Barcelona". 28 April 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  20. ^ "Sanctions for Madrid and Barcelona". 6 May 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "Pepe, Ramos extend Real contracts". 12 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  22. ^ "Ronaldo hits hat-trick". ESPN Soccernet. 6 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  23. ^ Lowe, Sid (19 January 2012). "Real Madrid's Pepe sparks controversy for stamp against Barcelona". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  24. ^ Hayward, Paul (19 January 2012). "Barcelona magician Lionel Messi has a rare talent that deserves protection after Real Madrid rough-housing". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  25. ^ "Spanish papers brand Pepe 'shameful' for stamping on Lionel Messi". The Guardian. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  26. ^ "Pepe apologises for 'unintentional' stamp on Lionel Messi's hand". The Guardian. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  27. ^ Edwards, Luke (23 January 2012). "'Jose Mourinho to quit as Real Madrid manager in June'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  28. ^ "Pepe cleared over stamp claims". Sky Sports. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  29. ^ "Vaya atraco, hijo de puta" [What a ripoff motherfucker]. Marca. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  30. ^ "Pepe handed two-match ban". ESPN Soccernet. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  31. ^ "Real Madrid's Pepe in hospital following Casillas collision". 19 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  32. ^ "Real Madrid's Pepe home from hospital". ESPN Soccernet. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  33. ^ “Pepe esteve exemplar” (“Pepe was perfect”); Correio da Manhã, 9 June 2008 (Portuguese)
  34. ^ Portugal name Pepe in Euro 2008 qualifiers squad; ESPN Soccernet, 30 August 2007
  35. ^ Pepe joy in Geneva;, 8 June 2008
  36. ^ Last-gasp Varela revives Portugal's hopes;, 13 June 2012
  37. ^ Pepe does it again for Portugal;, 13 June 2012
  38. ^ "Spain survive test of nerve to reach final". 27 June 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  39. ^ "Muller-inspired Germany thrash ten-man Portugal". 16 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  40. ^ Hayward, Paul (16 June 2014). "Thomas Müller not to blame for Pepe's headbutt during Germany's 4–0 win over Portugal". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  41. ^ "Pepe". Soccerway. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 

External links[edit]