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Pepe struggles to explain Champions League tears

Pepe is at a loss to explain why he was reduced to tears by Real Madrid’s draining Champions League final victory over rivals Atletico Madrid in Milan.

The capital city rivals could not be separated over 120 pulsating minutes at San Siro and the subsequent penalty shootout proved too much for the experienced Portugal defender to take.

Madrid prevailed 5-3 in an unblemished performance from 12 yards, with Juanfran’s effort against the base of the post from Ateti’s fourth penalty paving the way for Cristiano Ronaldo to seal glory over opponents they also beat in the 2014 final.

By this stage, Pepe was somewhat tear-stained after Lucas Vazquez’s opening spot kick for Zinedine Zidane’s men caused him to break down.

“That’s hard to explain,” he told Marca. “I started crying when Lucas Vazquez calmly scored his kick with extreme confidence.

“I got emotional and I felt we were not going to lose.

“It all started when Sergio [Ramos] told us we were going to use the goal in front of our fans for the shootout.

“I only cried when it was our turn to shoot.

“I can’t understand it, even after talking to my wife and family and it’s the first time I cried on a football pitch.

“I would have still kicked my own penalty if it was necessary because I’m always down to help. When we win, we all win.”

Pepe re-established himself as a first-choice starter as Madrid ended the season emphatically under Zidane’s leadership and the 33-year-old hopes to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu longer than the 12 months that remain on his contract.

“I hope the next season is not the last in Madrid colours,” he added. “I take care of myself in order to stay here as long as possible.

“I want my performances to convince the club to extend me a year more, or two. Madrid will always be a priority for me.

“If at the season’s end I’m told they no longer count on me I’ll pack my things and leave, but Madrid will always be my first choice.”

Fri 3 Jun, 2016
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