Pepe in 2010
|Full name||Simone Pepe|
|Date of birth||30 August 1983|
|Place of birth||Albano Laziale, Italy|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 1⁄2 in)|
|2002||→ Lecco (loan)||5||(0)|
|2002–2003||→ Teramo (loan)||31||(11)|
|2004–2005||→ Piacenza (loan)||30||(12)|
|2006–2007||→ Cagliari (loan)||36||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 May 2016.
After starting out at Roma, he went on to compete in Serie A for ten seasons, spending most of his time at Udinese and Juventus and amassing totals of 219 games and 29 goals. He also had his later career hindered by several injuries.
Early years / Palermo
Pepe was born in Albano Laziale, a comune not far from Rome. He started his career at A.S. Roma but never represented the team officially, being loaned to amateurs Calcio Lecco 1912 and Teramo Calcio for the duration of his contract.
In summer 2003, Serie B side U.S. Città di Palermo signed Pepe in a co-ownership deal, for a nominal fee of just €1,000, and he scored one goal in 19 appearances to help his team gain promotion to Serie A for the first time ever, as champions.
Pepe was loaned to Piacenza Calcio also in the second level in July 2004, in order to gain experience. On 31 August, Roma sold the rest of his registration rights to Palermo for an undisclosed amount. It was reported that Roma chairman Franco Sensi owed his Palermo counterpart Maurizio Zamparini money, and both Pepe and Cesare Bovo were sold to the latter at an un-economic price to settle the debt, but the former denied this, stating the transfers were totally transparent.
Pepe joined Udinese Calcio midway through the 2005–06 campaign in a co-ownership deal, for €500,000, along with Salvatore Masiello and Nicola Santoni (as part of the David Di Michele deal for €5.35M). As the club was again intent on signing youngsters he featured sparingly, being loaned to Cagliari Calcio in July as Udinese had just recalled Gyan Asamoah who shined at that year's FIFA World Cup.
Pepe netted his first goal in the top flight on 18 November 2006 in his 23rd appearance in the competition, grabbing the game's only goal at home against former side Palermo in the last-minute, and he helped the Sardinians finally narrowly avoid relegation. Subsequently, although Cagliari bought another half of his registration rights from Palermo for €1.5 million, Udinese acquired the former's half by winning the blind bidding between the two clubs on 22 June 2007. In October Andrea Dossena, Roman Eremenko, Pepe and Cristián Zapata were awarded a new contract until June 2012; after Asamoah suffered an injury, eventually leaving the team, Pepe became an undisputed first-choice.
On 9 June 2010, Juventus F.C. announced they had signed Pepe on loan for €2.6 million, with the option to sign him permanently for €7.5 million on 1 July. He scored five times in 30 matches in his first season in Turin.
In 2011–12, Pepe formed an efficient right-wing partnership with newly-signed Stephan Lichtsteiner, contributing with four of his six league goals and two assists after the first ten fixtures. On 29 November 2011, he netted a vital equaliser against S.S.C. Napoli (3–3, at the San Paolo Stadium) to keep his team's unbeaten run going. the Bianconeri eventually won the national championship, after a nine-year drought.
In spite of some inconsistent displays, Pepe endeared himself to the Juventus faithful for his work rate and pace, earning the nickname of "Speedy Pepe" while also being compared with former club great Angelo Di Livio, who also played as a winger. Starting in December 2012, however, he spent nearly two years on the sidelines, due to several physical problems.
Pepe was operated on 27 February 2013, and after a few matches with the youth squad he returned to the pitch on 18 December, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute of a 3–0 win over U.S. Avellino 1912 in the Coppa Italia. He was injured again in mid-February 2014, and was finally called up again for Juventus's League match with Bologna on 19 April, making his third appearance of the season in a 3–0 success against Cagliari that confirmed the Old Lady's third consecutive national championship conquest.
After recovering fully, Pepe returned to the starting line-up on 15 January 2015 in a 6–1 victory over Hellas Verona F.C. in the round-of-16 of the domestic cup. He scored his first goal in three years on 23 May, as he netted a 90th-minute penalty in a 3–1 home win over Napoli.
In spite of a first poor year in the Serie A, Pepe was selected by the Italian under-21 team to the 2006 UEFA European Championship, but he did not play in any games in Portugal in an eventual group stage exit. He made his debut with the senior side on 11 October 2008, under manager Marcello Lippi, in a 0–0 away draw against Bulgaria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Pepe was part of the squads at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup, both in South Africa. He totalled five appearances in the tournaments, starting in all matches in the latter as the Azzurri were again sent home after the first stage.
Style of play
Initially a forward at the beginning of his career, Pepe appeared in several offensive and midfield positions, being deployed as an attacking midfielder, a wide midfielder, a wingback or a supporting striker. A fast, strong, energetic and hardworking player, his main attributes are his stamina, his defensive contribution and his crossing ability. He also possesses good technique and is effective on set pieces.
1Includes two matches in playoffs
- Serie A: 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2012, 2013
- Coppa Italia: 2014–15; Runner-up 2011–12
- UEFA Champions League: Runner-up 2014–15
- "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 – List of players" (PDF). FIFA. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Versatile Pepe attacks Italy's critics". Reuters. 12 June 2010.
- "Relazione Amministratori al 30 settembre" [Administrative balance at 30 September] (PDF) (in Italian). A.S. Roma. 8 November 2003. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- "Quadriennale per Adriano, Ceduti i Filippini e Vannucchi, riscattato Pepe" [Four years for Adriano, Filippinis and Vannucchi loaned, Pepe purchased] (in Italian). U.S. Palermo. 31 August 2004. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
- "Quattro giovani ceduti al Palermo" [Four youth players loaned to Palermo] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 1 September 2004. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "Precisazioni in merito alle operazioni di trasferimento con l’U.S. Città di Palermo" (in Italian). A.S. Roma. 2 September 2004. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "Udinese winger Simone Pepe confirms he is set to join Juventus". Goal.com. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
- US Città di Palermo report and accounts on 30 June 2006 (Italian)
- US Città di Palermo report and accounts on 30 June 2007 (Italian)
- "Di Michele heads south to Palermo". UEFA.com. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- "Arrivano Pepe e D'Agostino" [Pepe and D'Agostino arrive] (in Italian). Cagliari Calcio. 7 July 2006. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "Il Cagliari aggiunge Pepe nel finale – Palermo sconfitto all'ultimo minuto" [Cagliari brings Pepe in at the end – Palermo defeated in the last minute] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 18 November 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Pepe all'Udinese" [Pepe to Udinese] (in Italian). Cagliari Calcio. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
- "Udinese prolunga 4 contratti a 2012" [Udinese extends 4 contracts to 2012] (in Italian). Corriere dello Sport. 12 October 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2009.[dead link]
- "Calcio, Udinese: In quattro rinnovano fino al 2012" [Football, Udinese: Four renew until 2012] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 12 October 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
- "Agreement with Udinese Calcio for the temporary acquisition of the registration rights of the player Simone Pepe" (in Italian). Juventus F.C. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
- "Napoli-Juventus 3–3: Festa del goal al San Paolo, Pepe timbra la grande rimonta bianconera" [Napoli-Juventus 3–3: Goal party at the San Paolo, Pepe seals great white-and-black comeback] (in Italian). Goal.com. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Pepe: "Orgoglioso del paragone con Di Livio"" [Pepe: "Proud of comparison with Di Livio"] (in Italian). Juve Mania. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Juve, le pagelle dei campioni: Pirlo e Vidal, centrocampo da 10 e lode" [Juve, the champions' marks: Pirlo and Vidal, midfield of 10 and praise] (in Italian). La Presse. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Simone Pepe, sfortuna nera: ecco quanto dovrà stare fuori dai campi" [Simone Pepe, dark fortunes: here's how long he will remain away from pitches] (in Italian). Juve Live. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Juventus, altro stop per Pepe" [Juventus, another stop for Pepe] (in Italian). Data Sport. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "15/20 giorni di stop per Simone Pepe" [15/20 days of rest for Simone Pepe] (in Italian). Juventus F.C. 11 September 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Pepe: «Fuori, ma con il sorriso»" [Pepe: «Out, but smiling»] (in Italian). Juventus F.C. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Bentornato Simone!" [Welcome back Simone!] (in Italian). Juventus F.C. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Tuttosport – Domani Pepe sarà comunque in panchina" [Tuttosport – Tomorrow Pepe will nevertheless be on the bench] (in Italian). Tutto Juve. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "22 convocati per #JuveBologna" [22 called for #JuveBologna] (in Italian). Juventus F.C. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Juventus 3–0 Cagliari". BBC Sport. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Coppa Italia: Pepe, lungo applauso per lui. Lo Juve Stadium lo abbraccia" [Italian Cup: Pepe, long applause for him. Juve Stadium embraces him] (in Italian). Tuttosport. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- Fabiana Della Valle (23 May 2015). "Juve-Napoli 3–1: Allegri onora la festa, Benitez dice quasi addio alla Champions" [Juve-Napoli 3–1: Allegri honours the celebration, Benitez almost says goodbye to the Champions] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- "Pepe joins Chievo". Goal.com. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- "L'Europeo Under 21 come tappa per crescere" [Under 21 Euros as a stage in development] (in Italian). UEFA.com. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "2006: Huntelaar e il trionfo olandese" [2006:Huntelaar and the Dutch triumph] (in Italian). UEFA.com. 1 June 2006. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Paolo Bandini (13 October 2008). "Sofia trouble overshadows young Azzurri's point well made". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Italy 1–1 Paraguay". BBC Sport. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Italy 1–1 New Zealand". BBC Sport. 20 June 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Slovakia 3–2 Italy". BBC Sport. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Il campione ai raggi X: Simone Pepe, l'uomo in piu' della Juventus" [X-ray'd champions: Simone Pepe, Juventus' go-to guy] (in Italian). Calcio Mercato. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
- "Juventus-Siena, Pepe di nuovo ko" [Juventus-Siena, Pepe again ko] (in Italian). Calcio Mercato. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
- "Sampdoria-Juventus 0–0: Quanti errori a Marassi, per Del Piero e compagni c'è solo da mangiarsi le mani!" [Sampdoria-Juventus 0–0: Errors galore at Marassi, Del Piero and company ate up own hands!] (in Italian). Goal.com. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
- "S. Pepe". Soccerway. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Simone Pepe". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- "Simone Pepe". Eurosport. Retrieved 15 March 2015.