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Put some respect on his name – Pepe blows fans away with braveheart defending against Juventus

Pepe has been one of the best defenders in the world in his own right over the past decade, being an influential part of the Real Madrid side which won four Champions League titles in five seasons.

The Portuguese centre back was also a starter in Portugal’s successful European Championship campaign in 2016 and has carried on his consistency while turning out for Porto in the last couple of seasons.

Now 38 years old, Pepe is at the twilight of his career, but he is still going strong, as he ran back the years with an incredible display against Juventus last night – the highlight of which included an extraordinary overhead kick clearance in the dying minutes.

After the first leg at the Estadio do Dragao ended in a 2-1 win for Porto, all the focus was at the Allianz Stadium in Turin last night. Sergio Oliviera put Porto ahead from the penalty spot in the first half to cancel out the Bianconeri’s away goal in the first leg, but Federico Chiesa scored twice in the second half to perfectly balance the tie – taking the teams to thirty additional minutes of extra time.

Sergio Oliviera scored deep into the second period of extra time to tilt the tie towards Porto, only for Juventus to throw the kitchen sink at them for the rest of the game. Adrien Rabiot scored two minutes later to make the score 3-2 for Juventus on the night, but the Turin outfit were losing on away goals and needed another goal to progress to the next round.

With the attacking talent that Andrea Pirlo’s side can boast of, Porto needed something very special from their backline to keep Juventus out until the final whistle – something that Pepe provided throughout the game.

Pepe put the cherry on top of the cake with an extraordinary bicycle kick clearance off the goal line as late as in the stoppage time of additional extra time – Juventus would have progressed into the quarter-finals if the ball had gone over the line.

But it was not to be for Juventus, as Porto emerged winners of the tie on away goals – and the football fraternity on Twitter were floored by a 38 year-old Pepe’s willingness to give everything on the line for his club (quite literally) even after having the decorated career that he has had.

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Check out the reaction to Pepe’s performance below –

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By Sagarneel Chakraborty

Living and breathing everything regarding the beautiful game for a decade. Avid follower of all things football, with a soft corner for the Blues.

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