In theory Real Madrid defender Pepe shouldn’t be a hateable player – he’s one of those players who’s shown dedication in training to the point that he will play anywhere that his manager asks him to. He’s worked his way up the ranks of teams in Europe after bravely leaving Brazil as a teenager and made his name, now proving a defender for one of the top teams in the world and a regular international for his adopted country. Yet Pepe is a player I’d really like to smack! He’s had his fair share of controversies already, even though he’s still just 26, and there’s something about him that is really punchable. Odd.
I realise that this is a stupid reason to want to punch someone but Pepe’s face just looks like the face of someone you’d want to smack. His grin is overly wide and makes him look clownish and he just looks odd overall. He lacks the Brazilian charm that some of the South American contingent in European teams possess and comes across either as a thug or a sadistic type. This perception isn’t helped of course by his previous behaviour.
Pepe has proven a danger to team mates and opposition alike with a fiery temperament and being unable to take failure or criticism. In November 2007 he came to blows with Real Madrid youth player Javier Balboa during a training session. Pepe reportedly made a dangerous tackle on Balboa which led to the winger overreacting and Pepe was quick to turn the argument into a full on trading of blows. Not the kind of professionalism you’d expect from a first teamer on the books of the mighty Real Madrid.
And then there’s last season’s infamous incident; during a clash between Real Madrid and Getafe Pepe brought down Getafe forward Javier Casquero in stoppage time with the score at 2 – 2. Pepe then proceeded to kick his fallen opponent multiple times as the referee gave the penalty and raged at the officials and the players who tried to confront him or hold him back. A ten game ban followed which is nothing considering Pepe was given three red cards for the assault. That’s 3 games per red card plus an extra 1 game ban – given how disgusting Pepe’s behaviour was a much bigger ban should have been given to him. Then there was the audacity of Real Madrid to try to appeal against the ban which made the whole situation even more infuriating.
Added to Pepe’s poor temperament, attitude, and annoying looks, is the fact that he plays for Real Madrid. Admittedly this isn’t an issue for every football fan out there but I for one find players who play for Real Madrid worth punching – this may be a football bias there though. Players have been hated within football for doing less than what Pepe has done to his fellow professionals and he definitely deserves his place on a list of punchable players. Smarmy Brazilian-turned-Portuguese defenders with a nasty streak shouldn’t be the most likeable of folks. Would anyone else care to smack him?
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