The cynical stamping on Barcelona's Messi, brutal kicking out at Getafe's Casquero & more - Pepe's five fiercest flashpoints at Real Madrid

The defender further tarnished his reputation with a vicious stamp on Lionel Messi's hand in the Copa del Rey Clasico on Wednesday night. Here, Goal.com looks at his previous
FEATURE
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Editor

Wayne Rooney called him an idiot; Bernd Schuster claimed his personality changes when he pulls on a Real Madrid shirt. But almost all are in agreement: Pepe has a problem.

The Brazilian-born defender made the headlines again on Thursday for all the wrong reasons, deflecting the attention away from what was actually a very good game of football.

Real Madrid and Barcelona met in the season's fifth Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the Catalans coming out on top, 2-1, in the first leg of the sides' Copa del Rey quarter-final clash.

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Pepe, as last season against Barca, was deployed as a destroyer in midfield, and the Portugal defender lived up to that name with a fierce challenge on Sergio Busquets which earned him a booking early on, before a vicious stamp on Lionel Messi which wasn't spotted by the referee.

If it had been, the official would have been left no other option but to produce the red card. As it was, coach Jose Mourinho spared his player the possibility of that humiliation with a substitution in the closing stages.

Most of Barcelona's players would not be drawn on the incidents, but Xavi called the actions 'shameful' and others such as coach Pep Guardiola and Andres Iniesta simply said that the images 'speak for themselves'.

They certainly do. And it isn't the first time, either. Pepe's career at Real Madrid has been plagued with polemic and here, Goal.com looks at the defender's most famous flashpoints.

5. STAMPING ON MESSI'S HAND (JANUARY 2012)
It's the one that's causing all the controversy right now but Pepe's stamp on Lionel Messi only just makes it on to this list. Having twice failed to win the ball off the Argentine, Pepe finally caught up with the 24-year-old after a foul by Jose Callejon, brushed up against the floored forward and stamped on his hand - right in front of the referee. Pepe also threw himself to the floor feigning a facial injury after an innocent challenge by Cesc Fabregas on the wing.


4. ELBOWING SEVILLA'S ALVARO NEGREDO IN THE FACE (DECEMBER 2011)
It's one of Pepe's lesser-known misdemeanours, but no less shocking. The Portugal defender was marking Negredo in an away game at Sevilla earlier this season and decided to lash out with a cynical elbow in the striker's face as the two looked to win a ball down near the corner flag. But unlike on Wednesday, the referee did spot this incident and presented Pepe with a straight red card. Madrid still won the game 6-2, though.


3. LASHING OUT AT LEVANTE'S XAVI TORRES (SEPTEMBER 2011)
There was plenty of frustration for Real Madrid away to Levante earlier in La Liga as the capital club went down to the on-form Valencian outfit. But some showed more than others and Pepe - once again - was unable to control his temper as he shoved Xavi Torres, kicked the Levante midfielder and then followed through with a stamp as well. The referee failed to spot the incident. "I couldn't believe what was happening," said Torres.


2. THE CLASICO SERIES OF AGGRESSIONS AGAINST BARCELONA (APRIL 2011)
Plenty to choose from here in the three games Pepe played against Barca at the tail-end of last season. There was the infamous tackle on Dani Alves, which saw the defender sent off and subsequently suspended for the Champions League semi-final second leg, as well as a kick in the face for Messi, a slap on Andres Iniesta and some obscene gestures for good measure to Barca's fans after Madrid claimed the Copa del Rey at Mestalla.


1. PUBLIC ASSAULT ON GETAFE'S JAVIER CASQUERO (APRIL 2009)
Even Pepe would have trouble surpassing this example of unprovoked aggression on Getafe's Javier Casquero. The defender conceded a penalty right close to the end of a league match at the Bernabeu in 2009 as he pushed his rival in the back and saw him fall to the ground. Pepe then showed his frustration by brutally kicking the grounded Getafe man in the back of the legs and then again in the back to earn a 10-game ban. And he still hasn't learned from it ...


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