Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira, also known as Pepe continues to impress as a tenacious and aggressive footballer who will run through walls for his team.
The highly decorated former Real Madrid star left the club in 2017 after a decade-long stint to join Turkish outfit Beşiktaş, in what was supposed to be a career winding moment. Soon, he rejoined his former club FC Porto, where he continues to impress at the age of 38.
Pepe Continues to Impress at the Highest Level
After three impressive seasons at Maritimo in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Pepe caught the attention of the Portuguese giants Porto. The Portuguese giants had just sealed the treble with boss Jose Mourinho at the helm. The new adventure turned into a fruitful one as the player managed to add two-consecutive Primeira Liga titles to his collection. This journey turned more eventful when Real Madrid decided to clinch the then 24-year old.
Youngster Turned Legend
Despite carving a reputation for being formidable and a force to be reckoned with, the new challenge was more pressurising and daunting. Real Madrid ended the 2007-08 season with the Spanish La Liga title, as Pepe only managed 19 league appearances. In the forthcoming seasons, the Portuguese international established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world after forming a partnership with Sergio Ramos. This began an era of dominance which culminated in him winning two more league titles, three Champions League titles, one UEFA super cup, and a host of domestic cups.
The Curtain Closes
The 2016-17 season was the curtain call for the 34-year old centre-back. A move to Turkey ensued in the following weeks where he stayed for the seasons before Porto’s firm interest resulted in a homecoming for the 2016 UEFA Euro-star in the year 2019.
Pepe immediately left a mark and lifted the Premiera Liga title for the third time in his illustrious career. At 38, one might assume that the player is way past his best and is only a few years off retiring from football. While the latter might be true, the former is false.
Proving Doubters Wrong
At 38, Pepe put on one of the displays of the season against Juventus, the reigning champions of Italy, in a game that saw Porto reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The insurmountable task included defying Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best footballers in the world and former teammate. Despite the odds, the defensive stalwart managed to ricochet the ball, every time it fell into a precarious position. As a surplus, he displayed courage and composure in his tackles. This display made headlines all over the world and sent the internet into a frenzy.
It is not certain if Pepe will be able to carry on for a long time, but the recent performances indicate that he possesses the gravitas to stay and prove himself, for a little more time at the least.
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