Pepe hopes to be kept on at Real Madrid as he explains what wearing the colours of Los Blancos means to him.
The defender was signed from Porto a decade ago and recently claimed his second Champions League, telling Marca that he didn’t accept being told he was third choice among the centre-backs.
“When the club renewed my contract it gave me the hope of staying here, to be able to continue to wear Madrid’s shirt. When I was told I’d be the third centre-back, on a personal level I accepted it, but not on a team level. I asked that I be allowed to compete on an equal footing, because I was sure if I had an opportunity I would take it,” he revealed.
“I’ve faced difficulties throughout my career. I’ve had 10 years in Madrid, which isn’t easy. When I arrived at Porto almost nobody knew me. In the end the work pays off. Winning two Champions Leagues, entering the history of Madrid, which is the greatest for people who suffer as we suffer for them too.
“Hopefully this isn’t my last year at Madrid. I’m very careful to be here as long as possible. I have one more year [on my contract] and hopefully with my performances the club offer to renew me for another year or two! I always give priority to Madrid. If the season ends and they tell me they don’t count on me, I’ll pack up my things and look for my life. But Madrid will always be my first choice.”