Pepe passed fit for Portugal

Jul 9, 2016 - 7:04 PM Portugal defender Pepe has confirmed he will be fit for Sunday's Euro 2016 final and dismissed questions about his temperament, saying his track record speaks for itself.

Pepe, widely criticised for his conduct on the field during his career, told reporters on Saturday that he was demanding of himself and his ability had been recognised at the "highest level".

The Brazilian-born defender missed Wednesday's semi-final win over Wales with a thigh injury and also trained separately on Friday but confirmed he would be fit for Sunday's final against hosts France.

"I'm fine, I had the chance to train today and will be available for the coach to pick tomorrow," he told reporters.

Pepe was outstanding in the centre of the Portugal defence in their first five games at the tournament and there have been no signs of the volatile behaviour which has marred his career.

The most infamous incident was in 2009 when the Real Madrid defender was banned for 10 games after being sent off in a La Liga match against Getafe for a violent assault on opponent Francisco Casquero and then striking Juan Albin.

He was red-carded in a bad-tempered Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in 2011 for a studs-up lunge on Barca full back Dani Alves and earned wide condemnation for stamping on Lionel Messi's hand in another Real-Barca game in 2012.

Another incident saw him sent off during Portugal's 4-0 defeat to Germany at the 2014 World Cup.

But he has also enjoyed great success, winning two Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles with Real Madrid and two Portuguese league crowns in an earlier spell with Porto.

"I've been at my club, a very demanding club, for 10 years and I've been playing for Portugal since 2008," he said. "I have three European championships and two World Cups under my belt.

"I've been very demanding of myself. I don't like to lose, I want to help my team. That makes me play at the highest level and to be recognised at the highest level.

"The most important thing is to always want more," he said. "That is what makes you win titles."

Source: AAP

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!