The Portuguese defender Pepe will leave Real Madrid at the end of the current season to start a new stage in his career in China with Manuel Pellegrini. According to the Spanish media, the full back will play the next season with Hebel China Fortune.
The Chinese club has offered the Portuguese champion a salary of €15M per year, more or less three times what he is currently earning with Los Blancos. Pepe’s contract ends at the end of the current season and he’ll be 34 years old by then. Therefore, the full back has his last opportunity to seal a good deal in his great career.
Hebel China Fortune coach is Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean coach was also Pepe’s boss when he was training at Real Madrid and the Portuguese was one of the most important players then. This could be another good reason for Pepe to decide to leave. Pepe and the club were negotiating in the past but they didn’t reach an agreement. The player wanted a two-year deal, whereas Real Madrid only offered one year more of contract.
The importance of Pepe in the squad has been lower this year. The Portuguese has suffered several injuries and his last game was back in December against Deportivo. He also missed the FIFA Clubs World Cup in Japan and Nacho is replacing him as the third full back. In La Liga he has only played 8 games this season. However, he was a key player in the last season, where Real Madrid conquered the Champions League. Besides, he was one of the best -perhaps the best- defender of the Euro, winning the title with Portugal.
Pepe arrived to Madrid in the summer of 2007 after paying €30M to Porto. In these 10 years with the club, he has become one of the prefered players for the supporters, thanks to his love to the club and his professionalism. He’s won two Champions League, two UEFA Supercups, two FIFA Clubs World Cup, two Ligas, two Copa del Rey and two Spanish Supercups.