Pepe is a name that will be known around the world for football fans, and not generally because of his age, but more because of his ability at the back and his crazy nature at times.
Having recently turned 38-years-old, the Portuguese centre-back returned to FC Porto almost two years ago, having started his professional playing career with the Dragons back in 2004.
Of course, he made a number of appearances for them before he was signed up by Real Madrid and became a key member of their central defensive pairing with Sergio Ramos before he went on to sign for Besiktas in Turkey before returning home.
Pepe recently became the oldest player (outfield) to feature in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final match when FC Porto were beaten by Chelsea, which is impressive considering his career started almost two decades ago.
With that achievement having been made, we thought we would take a look at his debut for FC Porto back in 2004, and take a look at the team he was playing in as well as the substitutes that were available. Those that enjoy nostalgia should look to strap in, as there are some truly wonderful names to feature. Let’s not forget, this was the season after Jose Mourinho won the Champions League with the team. Those that fancy betting on this year’s edition of the elite European club competition should visit betting24.fi to place their wagers.
Although there were a number of top players to have departed from the side, Pepe still featured with some great talent when he made his debut against Valencia in the 2004 UEFA Super Cup game, as per TransferMarkt, in a game they would eventually lose 2-1.
The centre-back wore the number 7 shirt and featured in a backline that involved Vitor Baia in goal, Georgios Seitardis, Jorge Costa and Nuno Valente.
The midfield consisted of Costinha, Maniche, Hugo Leal and Carlos Alberto, whilst the front two included Benni McCarthy and Helder Postiga.
The substitutes bench for the game saw current Wolverhampton Wanderers manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, as the replacement goalkeeper, whilst Pedro Emanuel, Ricardo Costa, Raul Meireles, Cesar Peixoto, Ricardo Quaresma – who scored their sole goal – and Hugo Almeida available for Victor Fernandez.
Of course, it should not come as a surprise that all of them but Quaresma (who is playing for Vitoria Guimaraes currently) are retired, with many of them well into their 40s now.
Pepe might be close to reaching that personal milestone, however he has shown he can still play at the top level and provide a commanding influence.