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FIFA World Cup 2018: 5 key players for Portugal

Manav Jain
Modified 11 Jun 2018, 15:39 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

#2 Pepe

Portugal v Algeria - International Friendly
Pepe will need to reproduce his man-of-the-match performances for Portugal at the Euros 2016

Position: Defender

Following a 10-year stint with the Los Blancos, Pepe sought another challenge in the twilight end of his career as he moved to Turkish giants Besiktas in the 2017 summer transfer window.

The 35-year old cannot be taken for granted as he boasts of a career many could only imagine which saw him win multiple Champions Leagues and domestic league titles with Real Madrid.

The Portuguese will look to their one constant commander-in-chief at the back to recreate his performances at the Euros 2016 where he won man-of-the-match in the finals against hosts France as they won 1-0 in extra time.

Playing in his last world cup, Pepe will be as hungry as ever to end his career on a high with a fantastic showing for his nation and will have to guide the younger players in the team who will look up to him for inspiration when times get tough.

Known for his rash challenges and mature defensive displays, the centre-back will be prepared to do anything for the team as they require from him.

Portugal has drawn Spain in their group in the final 32 and Pepe will have to be alert to the Spanish attack if his team are to move to the ending stages of the tournament.

Published 10 Jun 2018, 01:04 IST
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