Real Madrid defender Pepe said facing off against former team-mate Alvaro Morata in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals will be emotional.
Pepe and Juventus striker Morata were team-mates at the Santiago Bernabeu from 2010 until last season, before the latter’s switch to Italy.
The pair jointly celebrated five titles in Spain, including the Champions League crown in May in Morata’s final appearance for Real, plus one La Liga triumph (2011-12), two Copa del Reys (2010-11, 2013-14) and one Supercopa de Espana (2012).
“It will be emotional for me as he made his debut with the Real Madrid first team I was already there. I am really fond of him, also of his family,” Pepe said of the Spaniard.
“He’s a special boy.
“So I’m happy our paths crossed in such an important game. I know he appreciates Real Madrid.
“Nevertheless, tomorrow once the game kicks off he’ll fight for his shirt, so will I.
“Friendship and all these nice stuff keep apart in such an important much for both Real Madrid and Juventus.”
Pepe is likely to be engaged in several one-on-one battles with Morata, but Carlos Tevez is also set to give the Real defence concerns.
“Carlos Tevez is a quality player. He fights for every loose ball. He loves retrieving it. He’s a fighter on the pitch,” the Portugal international said.
“That’s good as we’ll face a team with great players.
“Not only Tevez, but also [Fernando] Llorente and Morata. They are great players too.”