- Pepe (Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira) born 26 February 1983
- Hobby: Of course football, bowling ball, table tennis.
- Position: Defender.
- Nation: Portugal.
Not every player gets enough recognition for their significant contribution, despite almost working twice as hard as any other player on the pitch. One of those players is Kepler Laveran Lima Ferreira. Even though Pepe is a well-known player for a decade now, his name hardly makes it to the list of the best defenders in the world.
For the last ten years, the Portuguese player finds himself among the ‘world’s most consistent defenders and with an impressively successful career at both his club Real Madrid and Portugal.
This performance up till now, despite being in his mid-30s, is still up to par with most top and reputable defenders in the world. Although Pepe is known to be a hot-headed and emotional defender, several events have shown this player has a good heart.
Therefore, ‘we’ve decided to dig more in-depth about this incredible player and provide you with things you don’t know about this man.
#1 – Man of the Match: Euro Final 2016
At the Euro 2016 Tournament, Pepe played an integral part, especially at the defence line, and deserved the accolade received by him and his team. For starters, Pepe and the Portugal team playing at the Euro 2016 final was unbelievable for us and definitely them, as they struggle with winning throughout the whole tournament. Being the champions of Europe was the last thing they would ever imagine in their wildest dreams.
While everyone was focused on Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe was on the defence line projecting the team to a historic triumph. With Cristiano Ronaldo out of the match due to injuries and with only a few minutes left in the game, ‘Portugal’s hopes of winning seems impossible. This is where Pepe showed remarkable leadership skills and held the defence line like his life depended on it.
In the end, he received the man of the match award for his incredible display of solidity and bravery in ‘Portugal’s backline. ‘Pepe’s consistency in every match throughout the tournament earned him a spot in the Team of the Tournament.
#2 – Loves the Needy
‘Let’s talk about a different side of Pepe, which is a bit surprising given his aggressive and emotional nature when on the field. If you are currently reading this piece, then I guess you probably eat thrice in a day.
However, this cases does not hold for everyone; people in some part of the world are currently dying of starvation due to a lot of reasons such as war, poverty, etc.
Pepe grew up in a similar harsh condition, which means he understands how it feels like to have nothing on the table for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For this reason, he donates about 9,000 (Nine thousand) kilos of food to hundreds of families living in and around Las Rozas, Madrid.
This started about 14 days before 2014 Christmas to make sure the under-privileged families had something to merry about and stay bless throughout the season.
#3 – First Pair of Boots
Though the outstanding Portugal defender currently plays with Umbro Medusae, he previously ‘didn’t always have the luxury of playing with such a comfortable pair of boot. Pepe never started playing football with boots that help in the speed of movement and provide solidity.
The story of Pepe growing one is one emotional story. As stated earlier, Pepe grew up in a family that was supported by the father alone. His father was a labourer, who only put on the table whatever he can afford.
Nevertheless, this poor environment did not stop Pepe from dreaming big and require a pair of boots to see his dream through. He always asked his father to purchase a pair of Umbro boots, and one day, his father decided to grant him his request and took him to shop to buy one. Sadly, the price of the boot is three times his monthly pay grade.
But as a parent, who wants to help his son fulfil his dream. Pepe Snr. Went to one of his friends to borrow the cash on an agreement that he would pay back what he borrowed in instalments (15 cruzeiros per month). Eventually, Pepe had an Umbro boot to foster his career.
In order to pay up his debt and still provide his family with food, he started working more shift and try to cut cost by sleeping in the car rather than hotels.
Indeed, the story of Pepe is an inspirational one, considering how it all turned out today and the significant contribution the pairs of shoes made in his life.
#4 – Portuguese or Brazilian
The story about how Pepe Snr. got to pay for his ‘son’s dream shoes may be a bit confusing as his father paid his debt in cruzeiros while he was working and living in Portugal. Pepe was never born in Portugal but Brazil. However, he learns how to play so well in Portugal.
He started playing in 2001 with Club Sport Maritimo – a fruitful decision that help soar his career in the sport.
Pepe was often asked why he never chooses to play for Brazil?
His answers were always related to a lack of recognition.
The Real Madrid defender claimed he left Brazil before turning 18 years, which means nobody would know who he is, which means he would feel like a stranger. Further, he said that an opportunity opened up for him to play in the Portuguese league and he took it. Pepe, up till date, is happy and feeling lucky to have succeeded.
#5 – Once upon a time: La Liga Most Expensive Defender
Pepe outstanding performance in Portugal earned him a spot among the very best in the world. With this steep performance, Real Madrid went ahead to sign him in 2007 despite having to shell about 30 million Euros La Liga record fee.
Currently, he is among the top 10 All-time most expensive defenders. This shows the club eagerness to splurge on outstanding defenders such as Pepe.