Futre downplays Pepe claim

Former Atletico Madrid man Paulo Futre understands Pepe’s frustration at certain treatment received, but believes it is not due to nationality.

The Portuguese defender was quoted on radio station RTP yesterday briefly complaining of how he and compatriots Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho are treated in Spain, because of their nationality.

Futre, who spent seven seasons in the Spanish capital with Real Madrid’s rivals Atletico across two spells, has looked to try and understand the angle being taken.

“Was I always insulted when playing away in Spain? Sometimes more so, sometimes less so, but I was never greeted with applause,” the 46-year-old told Marca today.

“That, ultimately, is part of the life of a footballer. I never thought that these insults were because I was Portuguese, though.

“But I understand Pepe, as I could understand a Spaniard playing in Portugal complaining that he is hated by the Portuguese. Each story is different in every country, but in my case it was just for the 90 minutes spent in the games played away from the Calderon.

“Any time I had the misfortune to come across Real Madrid fans in the street I was almost assaulted. But I am certain that that hatred or mania was for my being with Atletico, not for my being Portuguese.

“Pepe may have his reasons, no doubt, every person is different, no matter if they are Portuguese, Spanish or Japanese. There are good and bad people in every side.”

Tags Futre Pepe