Real Madrid defender Pepe said him and his team mates had to fight for every ball in order to overcome a stubborn Espanyol side on Sunday night.
The Portugual centre back scored the only goal of the game as Carlo Ancelotti’s men won 1-0 to close the gap on the top two in La Liga to just three points. The win also ensured Los Blancos ended the first half of the season with a healthy return of 47 points from 19 games, having lost just two along the way.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Pepe said the win was not easy and that the whole team had to fight hard. Playing down the importance of his own contribution, he stated: “The most important thing is the win. We knew the Espanyol are a tough team at home and that we’d have to fight for everything, and that’s what we did. We fought for every ball to get the win. It was important to win to get closer to the leaders”.
With the Ballon d’Or award the focus of the press now, Pepe was asked about whether Cristiano Ronaldo would be a worthy winner. “If I could vote it would be for Cristiano Ronaldo. What he is doing this year and did last year is amazing and I think he deserves it,” was Pepe’s response.