Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira, popularly known as Pepe, is a Portuguese football player, born on 26th February 1983 at the capital of Brazilian state Alagoas, Marceio.
He plays as the centre-back for his national side, Portugal and Turkish Club Besiktas. Earlier in his career, he used to play as defensive midfielder occasionally.
Pepe is a reliable, tough, committed central defender but his hot-headed attitude ruins his status of one of the best defenders in the football fraternity.
Pepe started his football career in Brazil playing for the local side Corinthians Alagoano. At the age of 18, he arrived in Portugal and penned his first contract with Club Sport Maritimo B side in July 2001.
Next year, he was awarded a promotion to the senior side and also trained with Sporting Club. In 2004, Pepe joined FC Porto.
His career flourished in the Portuguese top-tier side during 2006 season and moved to Spanish Giant Real Madrid in July 2007 at 30 million Euros. In Madrid, Pepe started to draw attention with his defensive skills.
Although Pepe was born and brought up in Brazil, he chose to represent Portugal. His first national team call came during the 2008 European Qualifiers against Armenia in November 2007.
However, he remained on the bench and four days later he played full 90 minutes in his maiden international appearance against Finland in the Group A encounter of European Qualifiers in Porto.
Rise to Glory
Pepe was a vital cog in Portugal’s first ever any International trophy victory in the 2016 Euro Cup.
Pepe played exceptionally well in the entire tournament not only thwarting opposition attacks but also he navigated the Portuguese attack.
In the final against France, he led Portugal from the front after Cristiano Ronaldo left the field within few minutes.
His brilliant inceptions, defensive headings, aerial duels kept the star-studded French front-line at bay. He won the “Man of the Match” award in the final.
In the third-place match of 2017 Confederations Cup, Pepe scored a 91st-minute goal to level the score against Mexico, which ultimately Portugal won.
Lose of temperament during the middle of a game has been a concerning issue for the talismanic centre-back.
He was banned for ten games for kicking Casquero twice and raked the midfielder’s spine with his studs during a La Liga game against Getafe in April 2009.
Pepe was heavily criticised for stabbing Messi’s hand with his stud in the El Clasico of January 2012.
In the opening match of 2014 FIFA World Cup against Germany, he was shown the red card in the 37th minute for headbutting Thomas Muller.
Pepe put on the captaincy armband only once against the United States in an international friendly match in November 2017, which ended in a goalless draw.
Pepe won two League titles and one Portuguese Cup, Taça de Portugal, title with FC Porto.
In his 10-year-stint at Bernabéu playing 334 games, Pepe won three League titles, three championships League titles. But under Zinedine Zidane regime, Pepe was overlooked and Pepe left Madrid in June 2017. Pepe is regular in the first XI since joining Besiktas in July 2017.