Roberto Carlos: Pepe plays in Real Madrid's style

The Portugal defender has copped a lot of flak for his antics in recent clashes with Barcelona but he has received some words of encouragement from a Blancos legend
Roberto Carlos feels that Real Madrid's Pepe will learn to control his aggression in time but argued that the defender plays in the true style of the club.

The Portugal international has come in for a lot of criticism for his antics in recent clashes with Barcelona, most notably during the first leg of last month's Copa del Rey quarter-final tie between the two great rivals when he was accused of deliberately stamping on Lionel Messi.

However, Roberto Carlos feels that while Pepe does need to play with a more restraint, the centre-half is the perfect embodiment of the fighting spirit so many Madrid players have exhibited through the years.

"If Raul always got the great goals against Barcelona and was said to be the fan favourite, Pepe wants to [be a fan favourite] with his style of play: with his aggressiveness," the former Los Blancos ace is quoted as saying by LaSexta Deportes.

"He's young and will learn to be calmer. But he has Madrid's style: a real fighter."

Meanwhile, the 38-year-old Brazilian admitted that he had some sympathy for Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been chastised for his performances last month.

However, Roberto Carlos was quick to point out that the Santiago Bernabeu is an unforgiving place to ply your trade.

"I was surprised that the fans booed [him]," the legendary full-back admitted. "[But] he is the reference point for Madrid and when you make mistakes, people criticise you."

Madrid are currently leading La Liga, with Jose Mourinho's men seven points clear of Barca at the top of the table, and Roberto Carlos is in no doubt that they can hold off the challenge of the Catalans.

"Madrid have already demonstrated in the Copa del Rey last year that they can beat Barcelona," he added.

Roberto Carlos announced last month that he intends to call time on his playing career later this year.

Starting in November and continuing through to the middle of February, is publishing exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. The last extract looked at how Barca suffered rare disappointment at the hands of Real Madrid in a gripping finale to last season's Copa del Rey. Don't miss it!