Real Madrid enjoyed ten successful years with Pepe in central defence. The Portuguese was considered an important building block for the royals for a decade, but was also regularly noticed with dropouts.
And when we say dropouts, we mean above all that the Portuguese was often not in control. In April 2009, however, the supposed climax of feelings came when Pepe simply couldn’t calm down in the derby against Getafe.
In the duel between Real and Getafe it was 2-2 up to the 88th minute. But then the game took an unexpected turn: Pepe conceded a penalty in a duel with Javi Casquero in the Royal penalty area.
The 39-year-old was then so upset that he completely freaked out. But maybe a look at the situation will help for now:
Pepe knocked Casquero down and kicked him twice – and that wasn’t all. He then grabbed Casquero’s head and arms and pushed him to the ground. Pepe still didn’t have enough: he kicked again while being confronted by Getafe players.
Casquero had had enough and Pepe took on the next Getafe player. The then Real Madrid defender turned his attention to Juan Albin and punched him in the face.
He then tried to take on the linesman, but was then pushed into the tunnel by his teammates.
Pepe with an emotional apology – but still a mega lock
Pepe showed remorse for his behavior and admitted in an emotional statement that he was considering retiring from football. “I’ve been in football for several years and it was the worst day of my life as a player and as a person,” he told the mark.
“I’m devastated and very sad. I’m disappointed in myself. The only words I can find at the moment are to apologize to the players and their families, the fans and my teammates. I put myself in didn’t recognize me at that moment. I lost control for a few minutes. I wanted to win the game so we could keep fighting for the championship,” he continued.
In the end he was suspended for ten games – but he was not to end his career. “I’ve acted badly but I don’t think my entire career should be judged by a single act. I’m very sad and right now I don’t feel like playing again. Nobody knows how I feel. I’m depressed and I don’t have the words to describe how I feel. The biggest punishment I could receive is what I feel now,” underlined the current FC Porto defender.
Either way, Pepe went down in Madrid history as a remarkable central defender. And 21 April 2009 saw European football arguably one of the wildest red cards of the 21st century.