Pepe vs Lionel Messi and other rivalries in football

Pepe is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a center-back for Portuguese side FC Porto. Know everything about his rivals.

Pepe for Portuguese side FC Porto; Credit: Twitter/@officialpepe
By Srushti Palkar | May 31, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Pepe is often known for his aggressive and hard-tackling style of play, the tendency to pick up cards, and violent challenges on the pitch. He as well is regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation for his tenacious defending abilities along with his work rate and at times aggressive behavior. Pepe first started playing football for a local side in his hometown before signing for Porto. In 2007, Pepe signed a contract with Spanish giants Real Madrid. Initially, Pepe was hampered by injuries but eventually re-established himself in the starting eleven over the years. A decade later, Pepe joined the Turkish side Beşiktaş on a free transfer from Real Madrid in the summer of 2017. However, he revoked his contract a year later and return to Porto in 2019. Having been born and raised in Brazil, Pepe wished to play for the Portugal national team and similarly made his debut in 2007.

Career Achievements

During his professional career, Pepe has enjoyed a number of individual and team successes. His contributions have helped Porto win back-to-back leagues and even the Taça de Portugal. He has also won four Primeira Liga titles and three Taça de Portugal titles with Porto. With Los Blancos, he had an illustrious career where he won three La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions League titles, and two Copa del Rey titles. For the Portugal football team, he played at three FIFA World Cups and four UEFA European Championships and was also a part of the squad that won Euro 2016. Pepe also reached the semi-finals of Euro 2012 with Portugal.

READ MORE – Who is Pepe’s wife? Know all about Ana Sofia Moreira

Pepe vs Lionel Messi

Pepe and Lionel Messi have gone through many a feud during countless encounters. But the imagery of those during El Clasico holds a special picture in the minds of the fans. The two surely have got a history with each other on certain occasions. Both Pepe and Lionel Messi have gone under each other’s skin during the derby. One such feisty encounter was during the Copa del Rey quarter-final in 2012. This is where Pepe did Messi dirty by stamping on his hand, who was already on the ground after having been fouled. This is just one of many incidents that have involved Pepe for his wrongdoings in world football. However, the same has cost him numerous red and yellow cards due to his aggressive style of play. Regardless of these dirty tricks, he was one of the best defenders in his prime.

Pepe vs Sergio Ramos

Pepe and his ex-teammate, Sergio Ramos are quite the definition of reckless play in world football. Both players have been intense on the pitch which has very often drawn them straight red cards for foul play. Nevertheless, the duo had formed a formidable defence at the Santiago Bernabeu. Pepe and Ramos both have shielded Real Madrid from the opponent’s attacks. The pair have been astonishing in their career for Los Blancos and even a threat to the opposite team with their notoriety. They have guarded Madrid’s ground with their partnership on the pitch, which was surely unprecedented.

READ MORE – David Silva vs Andres Iniesta and other rivalries in football

Pepe vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The tension is always high when hotheads Pepe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic stand face-to-face on the battlefield. Both are said to be temperamental players, who are ready to challenge any opponents and confront any player. The duel between the two came on one such instance when Portugal faced Sweden during the World cup play-offs. It was when Ibrahimovic got dangerously close to Pepe’s boot. But despite those past issues, both players have been exceptional in their professional careers throughout the years and will continue to entertain the world till they retire.