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Posted by Isaiah Cambron on 01/20/2012

When he stomped on Javier Casquero in April 2009, Pepe was sent off and handed a 10-match ban. It's easily arguable to say that his deliberate stamp on Lionel Messi's hand during their Champions League Copa del Rey encounter last night was nowhere near as bad. Yet it is merely a part of a pattern of behavior that stretches back at least to the beginning of his Real Madrid career and it deserves a lengthy suspension.

The match last night had several moments of contemptible actions by both teams, including Xabi Alonso's repeated deliberate fouls and Ricardo Carvalho's tackle from behind on Lionel Messi. Cesc Fabregas kicked out at Pepe, and Lionel Messi and Fabio Coentrao got into it before the latter attempted to shove the former's head into the ground. Both teams also engaged in play acting resulting from some of this harsh play and Pepe was a major actor in that part as well.

Pepe was only credited with 2 fouls on the night, but he was certainly not pulling out of challenges are failing to leave his studs near players' feet throughout. He got increasingly frustrated and even Marca, usually Madrid-biased, was unable holding back, saying "he was the worst of an unhinged Madrid. He brought shame on the whole game with two completely embarrassing actions [his dive against Fabregas and his stamp on Messi]. The worst part is that it's not for the first time."

Perhaps a lengthy ban will not solve the problem, but Pepe deserves to be handed several weeks' contemplation time. A lifetime ban is, of course, far too harsh and reactionary (and also not a serious suggestion I've heard), but if nothing takes place or if a paltry 1 match ban is handed down, the next time these teams meet, there will be more rancor and more hard kicks. By not clamping down on excessive force, the refs and by extension the Spanish FA (RFEF) are condoning it and helping to create a situation in which Pepe finds it acceptable to jab his cleats into an opponent's hand.

If it were possible to ban Pepe for all future clásicos, that might do the trick, but that is probably against the rules. Without any sort of ban, what happens next is someone getting seriously hurt by the next "impetuous" on field act, whoever the aggressor may be and whichever side he may play for. It is not a question of merely making an example out of Pepe, however, it is a question of upholding the rules of the game and the concept of sportsmanship. By all means, run up the score and celebrate goals as you wish, but physical violence should never be tolerated. That kind of sportsmanship, not lip service to the idea of sportsmanship.

As a repeat offender, Pepe should be banned for a minimum of 5 matches. Anything less is basically a joke. Yet any action at all is unlikely because referee Muñíz Fernández would be required to have made mention of the incident in his match report for RFEF to begin proceedings. Such a backwards system, where not seeing something is tantamount to it never having happened rather than using video, will do nothing but exacerbate an already explosive situation. There are at least 2 matches between the teams left this season (one in the cup and one in the league, both at the Camp Nou) and the threat of a Champions League meeting if both teams make it beyond the next round. With at least 180 minutes of football remaining, anything can happen, but hopefully next week's referee clamps down on violent tackles. And hopefully RFEF has the sense to ban Pepe.

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Posted by Tony Ibarra on 01/20/2012

Seriously? "Champions League encounter?" Please get the facts straight, especially the most basic ones before you shout from you soap box. It was a Copa del Rey match. Sadly, missing the simplest points like this takes all credence away from any minutely valid vitriol you had to spew.

Visca Barça.

Posted by CORTES on 01/20/2012

The author misnames the event, but you need only see the game to see the more important points he makes about deceit and violence on the pitch. This comes down to one team outplaying another, and the losing team losing all aspects of professionalism due to its frustration in the process of that loss. It is sad to see a team as successful and as talented as Real Madrid resorting to this type of behavior. Then again, when egos are big, and you're being made to "chase ghosts and a ball" by this talented Barcelona squad, what do you expect from the players? - especially with a leader like Mourinho who has proven time and again his own level of immaturity (check tape of him grabbing Barcelona staff's cheek after another loss against them). Barcelona is not faultless here. They can be held accountable for "many a dive" on the pitch. But then a question is born: What came first, the foul,or the dive? Is this Barcelona's way of forcing the ref. to hold R.M. accountable on the pitch? hmm...

Posted by Davis Ferrell on 01/20/2012

The author clearly misnamed the event on purpose to show that it was not that meaningful of a match but these types of actions still took place and if not reprimanded will take place on a much larger scale and be much worse and could seriously get someone injured.

Posted by Darren on 01/20/2012

Tony....get a clue, yeah?

Posted by sadat on 01/20/2012

pepe is a disgrace to football. he should be kicked out of RM. professional sports should have professional players and pepe's repeated actions clearly shows he's not a professional.

Posted by British on 01/20/2012

Pepe must be banned by using is boot 2 press messi hand

Posted by British on 01/20/2012

Pepe should be banned by using is boot 2 press messi hand

Posted by brian on 01/20/2012

My My My !!! How many sacrifice Real Madrid will make just to compete with Barcelona !Where is the Real Madrid that we fell in love with ? Is Real Madrid smaller than Jose Mourinho and Pepe ? Does Real Madrid really want to take the risk of losing its IMAGE just because of few people...Especially Mourinho ? Since Mourinho cam to Madrid..Madrid has LOST most of its image .Right now Real Madrid is nothing more than a club full of THUGS

Posted by SAL on 01/20/2012

No he stated the events correctly. "There are at least 2 matches between the teams left this season (one in the cup and one in the league, both at the Camp Nou) and the threat of a Champions League meeting if both teams make it beyond the next round"

Please guys learn how to read English correctly before attacking the author. He is making a very good point and readers should focus on the that.

Posted by Jack on 01/20/2012

Pepe may be rudy at times but the fact is he is a good player u barca players hate him coz he outclassed ur 'god'messi.Second i dnt knw why u ar mkin ths a big deal.B4 th game u wer insultin cr7 nw tht ur messi ws a flop u wnt 2mke excuses by attckin pepe.Yes its true barca ar bttr head 2 head but ar five points behind.It wil b gud 4 thm 2win a copa del ray as realmadrid win laliga nd th champions league.Come end of season real wil win laliga.Barca fans 2b honest pepe needs help.But we love him coz he puts messi in hs place.Manu nd realmadrid fan

Posted by Jack on 01/20/2012

I am a madrista troll!
hala MADrid!

Posted by Mon on 01/20/2012

'what came first, the foul, or the dive?' Clearly you have not watched all 9 encounters between these 2 managers in the el classico matches. First came a 5-0 humiliation for Real Madrid at Camp Nou. This paved the way for Mourinho to use his win at all cost philosophy on a far superior Barcelona side. Look at the Amount of red card incidents during these meetings. There has been many players on the Madrid side that have escaped red cards through the pressure to keep the game as even as possible. Madrid now have managed to gain an advantage through this media circus Mourinho has created to protect his players from being carded when they have offended the rules of the game. There is 2 Barcelona players that are responisble for diving and that is Alves and Busquets, although Alves seems to have cleaned up his game. Players on the madrid side that repeatidly foul are; Albiol, Arbeloa, Diarra, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao, Marcelo, Alonso, Khedira, and Carvalho. These Players have no excuse!

Posted by Oleyo-Oloola on 01/20/2012

I can't blame those who described PEPE as "ANIMAL" how dare you stamped 3 time Balloon D'or winner,Best Player the world has ever seen,God's sent Footballer,the Messier of our time,someone who makes entire world happy when they are not happy.Pepe did the same thing in 2009 when he delibrately kicked Getafe Player and later handed over 10 match ban.So to call a spade a spade,though am neither a Barca Fans nor Madrid but Pepe must be giving a life ban otherwise,the life of his opponents is at stake including his Teamate because his action seems to be MADNESS in nature.

Posted by Anonymous on 01/20/2012

pepe should be punished severely.

Posted by Mike That on 01/20/2012

Incidents like this is why the fourth official should have access to a video replay so that they could discipline him on the spot (aka send him off).

I think video replay access for the fourth official is much, much more important than goal-line technology.

Posted by Fmadrid on 01/20/2012

Pepe is simply a sore loser and a bully. All of Madrid acts the same, when abidal scored the winning goal none of them threw their hand up to say offsides until they saw the ball in the net. Madrid are the scum of the earth and Ronaldo cries if he doesnt get his way.

Posted by Steveo on 01/21/2012

Punching, shoving, racist remarks, cleating, diving...oh wait, that is Farsealona. Wake up people, the uneven fouls and number of cards reflect nothing more than extreme bias on the part of the Spanish FA. Pepe stamps when players dive. Messi dove and lay on the ground like the adopted catalan cunt he is. THe FA should thank him not ban him. Bartha play a nice passing game but they can never be considered joga bonito when they dive every 3 minutes. Funny how teams like bartha and ManUre can dominate domestically but fail to win in other countries when the ref is not working on their behalf.

Posted by Max on 01/21/2012

Shame on Pepe,Morinho& Ronaldo,Those three people made Real looks worst,I love portugal but i really dislike such a player like Pepe,Rolando & such a coach like Morinho.I don`t understand Fifa,why let the Pepe still play Soccer,he shouldn`t play in Madrid or any other team.Every body knows that Morinho is worst & he is going to cover his(Pepe) mistake somehow,he is a liar,he has to learn from Guardiola,he needs to go to school again.

Posted by Scott on 01/21/2012

Pepe and the latest thuggery of his is just part of the systemic approach that Real Madrid has employed since Mourinho has become manager. When Barca is tied or ahead, and sometimes before, several Real Madrid players play with the intent to harm Barca players. Barca needs to buy Nigel de Jong, and in the 90th minute, sub him on, after they have already gotten all the points. Then de Jong will do what he does best, go out and attempt to maim an opponent. If Cristiano Ronaldo recieved a fractured jaw in retaliation, Mourinho would never again instruct his players to play like animals.
If Casillias wre told ahead of the game, that for every stamp on Messi's hand, he would recieve one too, then the madness would stop.
When officials fail in their duty, it is up to the players to enforce the rules.

Posted by barca rules on 01/21/2012

pepe is nothing but a cunt,he's the world's worst player afta cr7(aka gay)...all real madrid fans and the club members are bunch of pussys and pepe should be band from football by fifa _!_ u pepe..visca barca

Posted by Pepe on 01/21/2012

is this Barca circle jerk over? Or are you guys still masterbating to jpegs of Messi?

Pepe is one of the top defenders in the world. Vilify him for this minor incident if you want, i'm sure he won't care. It'd be nice if people would shine a light and objectively look at Messi with the same microscope.

Kicking the ball into the madrid crowd last year? No suspension. No media scrutiny. Yet the reality is that incident was MUCH, MUCH worse. Whatever happens on he pitch, between players is one thing. It's in the heat of the moment. But when a player crosses that line and acts violently against the fans - the people who are the reason he can play a sport for a living - that is inexcusable.

How many goals has Messi scored with his hand? How many times does he play the ball with his arm for an advantage and then pretend he didn't? This is something he has done throughout his career. It is a clear pattern of a player breaking the rules. Yet no one is blogging about that....

Posted by Robin Torres on 01/22/2012

Both Barca and Real are gay as penis. They both dive like fucking pansies and cheat all the time. Biscuits, Messi, Ronaldo, Pepe, Ricardo theyre all a disgrace to the game. Barca V Madrid aint even futbol. Its a fucking soap opera with all these faggots diving and crying for cards. Games like this tell me how pathetic these two teams are. Go watch the fucking BPL. There youll see some real futbol played by real men.

Posted by FT9 on 01/22/2012

Ay Robin i totally agree with you. These two teams are disgraceful when they play against each other. When they dont I love to watch them both because you know your gona get some real soccer. However when these two teams collide its a fucking a insult to the game of soccer, the fans and the soccer gods. I also agree with Busquets. That fucker is the biggest piece of living shit i have evr seen breathe on this world. He is a diving nut and doesnt play with a even a sense of respect for the game. He is an utter disgrace and deserves to die in the hells of soccer. Let Satan each your soul you stupidfucking spaniard. Thanks

Posted by yash on 01/22/2012

how about the time when messi kicked the ball soo hard into the madrid crowd?? messi's little fingers are more important than peoples face?

Posted by Sam from Australia on 01/23/2012

I cant believe how ignorant are these Real madrid Fans calling fuckin Pepe a great & Messi a Looser. How dare you dumb cunts compare Pepe with Leo Messi. Pepe is a fuckwit & by stamping Messi he should be banned for atleast 5 games. I swear if Messi would have stepped on Pepe, the whole RM club & their fans wud have gone ape shit & would have asked FIFA to take the Ballon back from him lol.. Real Madrid can only win Off the field NOT on the field. Love Barcelona as a team & their ethics on & off the field as a club.

Posted by Fuck God on 01/23/2012

Fuck Pepe he is a complete nut. CFC4LIFE

Posted by Martin from Denmark on 01/23/2012

I am as of today no longer a fan of Real Madrid. A club that wants to include a player like Pepe does not deserve any respect in my point of view.

Posted by Andrew Kiken on 01/23/2012

The problem is the La Liga discipline in only relying on referees reports and not video tape. Mario Balotelli clearly stepped on Parker's head in the Tottenham- Manchester City game, and he is going to get a deserved 4 game suspension. This is only goes to Mourinho grabbing the Barcelona's coach ear. The spanish league has no credibility if they do not punish coaches and players.

Posted by jp on 01/24/2012

Some people here must be mentally challenged to claim that messi is a diver. have you every played futbol and been fouled? Simple fact, if you are moving really quickly and someone sticks a foot out, physical momentum will make you go down. if you watch messi play every game, which RM fans probably dont, you'd see that people cant struggle to stop messi and if hes not taken completely out, he ALWAYS tryings to jump up and keep going. he HATES taking fouls and tries to play on EVERY TIME.

are you serious about messi kicking ball to crowd? its not a fucking baseball. the safety of fans? i had to laugh :) you dont think balls rocket to anyone behind the net. i remember that too, he didnt rocket it, he kicked it upwards. sure unsportsmanlike but to compare that to a cleat stamp on your hand? ever have you foot stamped with cleats? yep it hurts, try an exposed hand. I thought his hand was broken.

Posted by Anonymous on 01/24/2012

if you understand soccer and what fouls are, you cannot argue that diarra (albeit his style and he is a good defender) chooses to stop the ball/player and has no qualms with it being a foul. pepe i dont even want to discuss the dangerous violent nature of just about every last one of his tackles. carvahlo being 2 yards behind messi and taking a swing at his legs. coentrao shoving messis head down, that could easily have been a read, talk about unsportsmanlike, BUT WAIT MESSSI HE HE, HE KICKED A BALL TO THE CROWD :) just lol

remember last year when ronaldo got kicked in the calf and there was like 3 week coverage about how refs needed to "protect me because i play better, amd better looking and make more money and theyre jealous,"... have you heard anything from messi?

Posted by jpl on 01/24/2012

continued 3rd post

and to the clowns who say watch the BPL where real men play. i watch tons of EPL because there's a higher number of "better teams". its great but it is simply unintelligent to say that neither RM or BARCA can play soccer. simply uneducated and shows lack of understanding of futbol.

RM is a great fucking futbol club. i watch all their games too and theyre devastating. to watch another barca mitigate 75% of their talent is football, you call possesion boring. i call it invigoratingly brilliant skill

and hasnt BPL been schooled by iniesta xavi and messi the past 2 years in copa del rey. OMGOMGOMGOMG I MEANT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE (you almost got me an a stupid point). BPL teams play barca and it is simply a master class of learning. the kind you pay for an hour for with a pro

la liga sucks? why do david silva and juan mata show up to you bpl teams and makes instant impacts to your clubs? silva best player of the year. mata best new player of the year. FACTS

Posted by jpl on 01/24/2012

last one, Pepe is violent, your fans want him out, your loyal newspapers want him out. but YES he is a great footballer. if he didnt do stupid shit like stamping on hands and people, and coming in dangerously (toned down a lot of his aggression) he'd be one of top 4 defenders in the world, but he doesnt (maybe beacuse of mou) and he wont be

and yea busquets and alves dives a lot. but if you watched that game and if you didnt, watch again. busquets did not dive ONCE. alves did not dive ONCE. they have terribly bad yet earned reputations, but they cleaned up their acts after last year. i laughed too that busquets was actually getting clobbered. and to see real pain on his face was kinda funny since its a different look than his acted pained look :)

you cant keep relying on "BUT AMIGO, THEY DIVE THEY DIVE" when they didnt, especially when THE MOST blatant act of diving was when cesc picked pepe's booger and pepe acted like that guy that mou poked his eye out

Posted by Pradeep on 01/25/2012

and Jpl.. i have 2 words for you.. "Simply Superb"..
and anonymous.. "protect me because i play better, amd better looking and make more money and theyre jealous,"... have you heard anything from messi? .. Thts wht iam talking abt my man..
Real madrid is a great club.. has a lot of history.. But sadly their fans are totally retarded.. The club itself is great, but the living and the playing ones are terribly educated..

Posted by jpl is a faggot on 01/27/2012

real madrid suqs dick!

Posted by Spycam on 04/26/2012

Yap dude. He is so dangerous.

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Francesc Tomas Hola! I am Francesc Tomas. Barcelona is my passion and home-town team. I consider myself lucky to have regularly attended matches at the Camp Nou since the early 1980s. My cousin played for the Barça youth academy, sharing the team with Don Andres Iniesta, which gave me a clear inside view of how our club works behind the scenes. I am also the founder, editor and columnist at

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