Pepe’s actions in Porto’s draw against Sporting should spell the end of his career and a worthy end.

ONE TIME comic Internet meme, Pepe the Frog was labeled a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League.

Something similar happened to the other Pepe, who is not a frog, but Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira, holder of all kinds of records, but whose career was ruined by violence.

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Porto centre-back Pepe received his last red card against Sporting Lisbon and is now facing Matheus Nunez.Credit: Environmental Protection Agency
Too Often, Portugal Defender Pepe Has Had To Use His Head Better.

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Too often, Portugal defender Pepe has had to use his head better.1 credit

He has other ways to use his head besides contact with the ball, and he once also stepped on Lionel Messi’s hand during Real Madrid’s match against Barcelona.

You can say: “What a croaker.” But not necessarily in his face.

His latest foray into a header came in the last minute of Porto’s 2–2 draw with Sporting CP.

This was the final straw for the referee, who, perhaps sensing great trouble, also called it the final whistle.

Signal chaos. The players loitered around, not quite sure what to do, and Pepe set off a chain reaction that seemed to prompt a large number of club officials, coaches and even ballball players to join him.

In the confusion, people shouted, argued, beat their fists and waved their arms.

The judge was at the center of the whirlpool, taking names and presumably insults.

There must have been 50 people involved, and in the end four players received red cards (another one had been removed earlier). One of them was Pepe, gesticulating, accusing and threatening.

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He has a little football career left. He turns 39 next week and there are speculations that he will be suspended for two years.

Whether it happens or not, players need to understand that they are not on the field to cripple opponents.

I understand that they must be competitive, but breaking through in 20 years is not the best way.

Born in Brazil, Pepe settled in Portugal and made 123 caps. This is a reward for many years of tireless work as a centre-back, most notably at Real Madrid when they won the Champions League on multiple occasions. He also played a key role in Portugal’s Euro 2016 success.

Less commendable is his series of red cards. On 21 April 2009, he was involved in an incident with Getafe’s Javier Casquero in a 2–2 draw and only a few minutes before the game.

He knocked him down in the penalty area and was sent off. A red mist descended and he kicked Casquero twice, once in the shin and once in the back.

Lionel Messi Became Pepe'S Most Famous Victim After He Was Attacked While Playing For Barcelona Against Real Madrid In 2012.

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Lionel Messi became Pepe’s most famous victim after he was attacked while playing for Barcelona against Real Madrid in 2012.Credit: AP: Associated Press

He also did not finish with the Spaniard. He also rested his head on the lawn and stepped on it several times. In the ensuing scramble, he hit Juan Angel Albín of Getafe.

His frenzy against Sporting had a strong resemblance to his latest attacks. On this occasion, he received a suspension for ten matches.

At the 2014 World Cup there was another red card. In the first half of Portugal’s match against Germany, he headbutted Thomas Müller. At this time, Müller was sitting on the ground, and Pepe came up to hit him. His team lost 4-0.

Pepe has already said goodbye to his career. No doubt some impressionable soul will give him a job in our game.

But the fact that a person can arouse so much hatred and contempt is a good reason to keep the stadium doors closed in front of him.

He may have been trying to clean his game, but you’ll need a brush and a bucket of disinfectant to do even a small part of the job.

So the events at the Estadio do Dragao are a worthy curtain for Pepe the frog.

There is one consolation. The audience did not join.

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