Pepe moves the world –

Pepe moves the world –
Pepe moves the world –

The image of Pepe, emotional after Portugal was eliminated in the penalty shoot-out against France, crying and hugging Cristiano’s chest, sad, was one of the hardest that can be remembered in the footballer’s career. At 41 years of age, everything indicates that this is the end of the international career for the defender, although he did not want to confirm it in the heat of the moment: “The hug means a lot… There will be time to talk about my future later. That is not important. The most important thing is to congratulate my teammates for their commitment to the team, always fulfilling the plan we had laid out for this match, but football is cruel.”

The way he left the pitch and the tears he shed suggest that this could be his final farewell to the national team and, who knows, to football: “We have to go through this process of pain, of sadness, which is part of it. We were all here with the objective of wanting to win, of wanting to give the best for our country. We were unable to give our fans this joy, but unfortunately that’s football, it’s very cruel. Five days ago we won on penalties, today we lost. We have to give strength to my teammates because we are on the right path.”

Pepe has played 141 matches for the Portuguese national team, in which he scored 8 goals. He made his debut in 2007 and since then has been in all the major tournaments that Portugal has played. Despite being born in Brazil and not arriving in Portugal until he was 18, he is considered one of the greatest legends in the history of the national team.

After almost two decades in Portugal’s shirt, the time may have come to call it a day. What happens to his future at club level after leaving Porto is also up in the air. In recent weeks there have been reports that he might return to Brazil and continue playing there, rather than retiring.

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