With the finals on their heads Portugal needed all the key players to be present and ready to take on the challenge of playing the final game.
That is when Pepe showed his readiness and it came just in time for his country to face the Euro finals against France. The defender confirmed last week that he was fit for taking part in the finals on Sunday. There were talks about the temperament of the player, but he dismissed such rumors, stating that his track record should be sufficient to prove his abilities on the field.
The conduct of Pepe on the field has often been controversial and he told reporters that he was trying to better himself to become a better team member for his country’s team. The semi finals that were played on Wednesday against Wales were missed out by Pepe, the defender who is a native of Brazil. He was suffering from a thigh injury and he also trained away from his team on Friday. However, he confirmed that he would be part of the team that would be playing the finals.
He has contributed in a significant manner as a center in the defense of the country’s team. The first five games of the tournament saw him playing well and not showcase any volatile behavior that he had in previous games. There had been infamous incidents in 2009 when he was banned for 10 games for assaulting an opponent on the field. He defends his behavior by stating that he is demanding of himself and on the field, he wishes to give his team the very best. He has also won several accolades for his team and hence, his contributions should speak for themselves and what pushes him on to achieve more.