Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe said Thursday that he has been inspired by reading seven-time tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's best-selling book on his struggles with cancer.
“My wife gave me Lance Armstrong's biography, which tells what he went through to overcome a serious illness, his will power,” he said in an interview published on the Spanish champions' web site.
“I really enjoyed it because it talks about surmounting problems and it shows that we must always fight to reach our goals,” he added.
Armstrong wrote “It's Not About the Bike” about his 1996 successful battle with testicular cancer after he won the 1999 Tour de France as a long-shot surprise.
Pepe, 25, joined Real Madrid in July 2007 from Portuguese side FC Porto on a five-year contract.
The Brazilian-born player also praised Manchester United's Portuguese striker Cristiano Roanldo who has been linked to a move to Real Madrid, calling him “an extraordinary person.
“I have to make it clear that he is one of the best persons in football. He is always willing to help, is aware of what you need. That is very important,” he added.
Real have long been tipped to make a big money move for Ronaldo, with Spanish media reports suggesting the price tag could be 85 million euros (134 million US dollars) but Manchester have made it clear they will not let the 23-year-old go.