Pepe in 2012
|Full name||Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira|
|Date of birth||26 February 1983|
|Place of birth||Maceió, Brazil|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|Current club||Real Madrid|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:24, 9 February 2013 (UTC).|
† Appearances (Goals).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18:40, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
During his career, he played for Marítimo, Porto and Real Madrid, with individual and team success with the latter two clubs.
Born in Brazil, Pepe represented Portugal at the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships.
MarítimoBorn in Maceió, Alagoas, Pepe started playing football with local Sport Club Corinthians Alagoano. At the age of 18, alongside teammate Ezequias, he moved to Portugal and signed with C.S. Marítimo in the island of Madeira, spending the vast majority of his first season with the B team.
After being promoted to the main squad for the 2002–03 season, under Russian manager Anatoliy Byshovets, Pepe rarely missed a game, playing in several positions including defensive midfielder.
During the pre-season of 2003–04, Pepe was given permission to train with Sporting Club de Portugal for two weeks, after which a deal could be negotiated for his transfer. However, neither club could agree on terms and the move broke down, with the player returning to help Marítimo finish sixth and qualify to the UEFA Cup, having contributed with one goal in 30 games.
Portotop division giants F.C. Porto for €1 million plus three players: Tonel, Evaldo, and Antonielton Ferreira. A clause in the agreement also stated that Marítimo would receive 20% of any future transfer fee.
In his first season, with Spanish coach Víctor Fernández at the helm, Pepe was mostly used as a backup, playing under veterans Pedro Emanuel, Jorge Costa and utility defender Ricardo Costa. However, in the following year, under the guidance of Co Adriaanse, he had a breakthrough season, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the domestic competition: the Dutchman often chose a 3–4–3 offensive system, with the Brazilian often pitched as the only natural stopper; Porto eventually won back-to-back leagues and the 2006 Portuguese Cup.
Real MadridOn 10 July 2007 Real Madrid signed Pepe to a five-year contract, for a fee of €30 million. On 15 March 2008, he scored the only (own) goal in a 1–0 away loss against Deportivo de La Coruña. Eight months later, he was involved in a fight during training with teammate Javier Balboa. The defender would be nonetheless called-up for Real's next match, whereas the winger was not. As the Merengues were eventually crowned La Liga champions, he delivered a Man of the match performance in a 1–0 win at FC Barcelona.
Pepe would be constantly hampered by injuries throughout 2008–09. On 21 April 2009, he was involved in an incident with Getafe CF's Javier Casquero: with the score at 2–2 and only a few minutes to play, he brought down the midfielder in the penalty area, being subsequently sent off. He then proceeded to kick the fallen opponent twice, once on his shin and once on his lower back. When being pulled away from Casquero, he also pushed his head into the turf and stamped on him several times; in the ensuing mêlée, he also struck another opposing player, Juan Ángel Albín, in the face, and eventually received a 10-game ban which effectively ended his season.
2009–10 season, Pepe returned to claim his place back in the starting line-ups. On 4 October 2009 he scored his first goal in the league, against Sevilla FC at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, heading home from a Guti free kick in a 1–2 loss. On 12 December, however, during a game at Valencia CF (3–2 win), he landed awkwardly following an aerial challenge, and was stretchered off the pitch in the dying minutes of the first half; scans later showed that he ruptured his right knee's anterior cruciate ligament, going on to miss the rest of the season and jeopardizing his FIFA World Cup chances.
In 2010–11, Pepe was joined at Real Madrid by countrymen Ricardo Carvalho and manager José Mourinho, pairing up with Carvalho to form one of the most efficient defensive sectors in the league. On 2 October 2010, Diario AS published an article where the player was reportedly open to leave the club on a Bosman transfer: according to the newspaper, "when he signed for Real Madrid in 2007, he sacrificed a part of his salary to pay for his huge transfer fee. This made him one of the lowest earners at the club, making €1.8 million a year. Again, he missed several games due to injury (calf) and, after exhausting negotiations, finally put pen to paper on a new contract, renewing his link to the club until 2015.
UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg, he was sent off for a controversial challenge on Daniel Alves, in an eventual 0–2 home loss. However, Alves also came into strong criticism, with Real Madrid claiming the Brazilian fullback had exaggerated the incident; additionally, sportspersons including Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Rory McIlroy, criticized Alves' actions. The next day, UEFA opened disciplinary cases against both clubs for a number of incidents during the match. The verdict was announced eight days later: the red card stood and hence, Pepe received a one-match ban from European competition, which he served by not taking part in the second-leg at Camp Nou.
On 12 July 2011 Pepe extended his contract with Real Madrid again, until the end of the 2015–16 season. In a match against CA Osasuna on 6 November, he scored the team's second goal in an eventual 7–1 home win. In the first match of the Copa del Rey quarter-final against Barcelona on 18 January 2012, he intentionally stamped on the hand of Lionel Messi, who was on the ground after being fouled. The incident drew strong criticism from the Spanish media, who also noted his coming-together with Cesc Fàbregas earlier in the 1–2 home defeat. Pepe insisted that the incident, which was not seen by the referee, was "unintentional". On 23 January, the Royal Spanish Football Federation cleared him of any wrongdoing.
On 21 March 2012, Pepe was involved in another serious incident: after a 1–1 away draw against Villarreal CF, in which he was booked and Real Madrid finished with nine players, he confronted referee José Luis Paradas Romero in the locker room area saying: "What a ripoff motherfucker". Two days later, he was suspended for two games.
On 19 August 2012, in the season opener against Valencia, Pepe collided with Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas in the play that led to the visitors equalizing the score 1–1 (the final result). He was subsequently taken to hospital for observation, being released the following day.
International careerPepe never represented his native Brazil in any youth category. He received Portuguese citizenship in August 2007 and, on the 30th, was named in the Portuguese squad for the first time, in view of a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Poland. An injury while training for his club prevented the debut for his adopted country, which would materialize almost four months later, in Portugal's last qualifier against Finland (0–0 home draw) on 21 November.
In the tournament's final stages, Pepe played in all of the national side's matches, scoring once in a 2–0 win against Turkey on 7 June 2008. Portugal eventually exited in the quarterfinals.
During the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Pepe was often used as a defensive midfielder by national coach Carlos Queiroz. After his serious knee injury while playing for Real Madrid, he was eventually selected for the squad that participated in the finals in South Africa, appearing against Brazil in the group stage (0–0) and eventual champions Spain in the round-of-16 (0–1 loss).
Again a starter in Euro 2012 under manager Paulo Bento, Pepe opened the score in the second group game against Denmark, heading home after a João Moutinho corner kick in an eventual 3–2 win. He was later chosen by UEFA as Man of the match.