Real Madrid Defender Pepe Returns After 10 Match Ban

After a five-month lay-off Pepe is ready to return this weekend against Tenerife...
One of the low points of Real Madrid's 2008-09 campaign was Pepe's monstrous behavior against Getafe back in April, when the Portuguese defender tackled Francisco Casquero in the penalty box and kicked him twice, then punched Juan Albin in the face before swearing at the fourth official.

Pepe then defied his red card by running back on the pitch to celebrate when Gonzalo Higuain scored the winning goal of the night. The referee gave the giant defender a total of four red cards, resulting in a ten match ban.

Now, five months after the incident, Pepe has finally served his suspension and is expected to make his league debut against Tenerife at the Bernabeu this weekend.

"I am grateful to the club who supported me at all times," quote Pepe as saying. "I must now prove what kind of a man, person, and player I am on the pitch.

"Not being able to play with my teammates was the hardest part, but it is now a thing of the past and I am not bothered. Now, I only look ahead to playing and helping my team."

The Portuguese international then spoke about the next Champions League clash against Olympique Marseille, where he will square off against his ex-defensive partner Gabriel Heinze.

"[Marseille] are a dangerous team, and their players are all very good. I know some of them from Porto, such as Lucho Gonzalez.

"I am not going to speak about Gabi [Heinze]. At Real Madrid he showed just how good he was and he has done the same for every team he has played for.

"He has to come play against his former club and will do his best to help his team," concluded Pepe.

With Garay unable to play because of gastroenteritis, Pepe will finally be given the chance to complete Pellegrini's favorite back-four alongside Ramos, Albiol, and Marcelo for the first time this season.

Feras Saad,