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Pepe actively trying to get sent off on his centurion Portugal appearance is peak Pepe

The centre-back has delicately curated his reputation as a red card waiting to happen

What’s the ideal way to cap over 100 appearances for your country?

A goal if you’re a striker? A clean sheet as a defender? For Pepe it looked like he wanted to get sent off for his centurion game.

And to be honest, looking at his career, it didn’t surprise us at all.

We’ve never heard of anyone growing their hair back after 100 games

Getty - Contributor
We’ve never heard of anyone growing their hair back after 100 games

He might be 35 years old now and winding down his career for Besiktas but he is still the mainstay in the heart of Portugal’s defence.

Underneath his swanky new(ish) barnet it is the same old Pepe that we have grown to know and love over the years – the growling, snide, aggressive centre-back that was so divisive during his Real Madrid years.

Watching him actively trying to get a red card against Italy in the Nations League during his 101st game reminded us of the peak Pepe years.


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Studs meet knee

Studs meet knee

Luckily Pepe missed

Luckily Pepe missed

Andre Silva scored the only goal of the game and Portugal looked like they would comfortably hold on to their clean sheet as the clock ticked into the 93rd minute – step forward Pepe.

There clearly hadn’t been enough incident and the roughhouse wanted some action, so as Federico Chiesa received the ball in Italy’s half Pepe took his chance.

Instead of calmly trying to block the outball, he flew in with a viscous knee-high, studs up challenge that left Chiesa floored, but luckily unhurt.

Thankfully the Portuguese player’s studs didn’t connect with the Italian’s planted leg as it could have resulted in a horrific break.

Play continued for a few more seconds the captain was duly booked.

In true Pepe style, he tried to nonchalantly walk off before the referee remembered, only to then be booked and try to hug the official.

No one’s buying it

No one’s buying it

Pepe hasn’t actually been sent off as many times as you would think, picking up just four reds since 2009.

That’s not too say he hasn’t been one of the most controversial b******* in world football since he arrived on stage.

A brief roundup of his biggest offences include fighting his teammate Javier Balboa eight months after joining Real Madrid, getting banned for 10 games for attacking two Getafe players in a derby in 2009 and eventually getting sent off in a Champions League semi-final.

Never change Pepe.


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