Perhaps not everyone knows that Képler Laverán Lima Ferreira, better known as Pepe, was born in Maceió (Brazil) exactly 37 years ago. Today is the anniversary of the defender who, when he began to project himself as a professional footballer, was captured by emissaries who saw him play in a training session at Corinthians Alagoano and took him to Europe. As time went by, it showed its worth and was even nationalized. In an extensive interview, the iconic central marker spoke of intimate themes that he had never touched upon before.
“The trick to staying competitive at this age? My passion for soccer. Every day I wake up to train, I try to do it in the best possible way. I train intensely and I think that’s my vitamin. Obviously being 25 is not being 35 or 37, but at this age I can use energy better in the field ”, he expressed in dialogue with Tribuna Expresso de Portugal. And immediately gave rise to a statement that surprised.
The footballer of Porto He accepted that his genetics helped him to succeed in sport but remarked that “there is also a lot of work behind it, a lot of rigor in food and rest. I wasn’t always this thin; When I was 3 or 4 years old, I was plump, a bit chubby. At the age of 7 I began to lose weight. I am the only male child in the family, I have three sisters (two older ones), so I was very, very spoiled ”. And he finished: “Until I arrived in Portugal at the age of 17, I slept with my mother. I was grown up and slept with my parents, so I imagine my dad didn’t like having me in bed with them very much “.
Then Pepe recalled that in a training session with his home club, the coach and president of Marítimo de Portugal had come forward to assess the conditions of an attacker whom he had to score. “We want to sell the forward to help the club. When he faces you, don’t steal the ball many times, “they told him. The then young Brazilian central defender accepted the proposal but did not put it into practice. After the short 20-minute training session, they approached him and suggested they go to Portuguese football, something he never doubted. Just before traveling he broke his foot in one of his last matches with Corinthians Alagoano and endangered his career, but the president of his team reassured him and told him that he would do his rehabilitation in Madeira, the birthplace of Cristiano Ronaldo. At that time the possibility arose to try out at Sporting Lisbon.
“I met his father before, who worked near the Marítimo field, Cris’s sisters and mother before him. When I went to Sporting we shared a room. I was older than him, but I saw his professionalism in training. Cris went to the gym first ”, he recalled.
As he never reached an agreement with Sporting, he spent two years at Marítimo before making the jump to Porto. When he returned to the Maritime, the offers rained down: Lyon from France, Ukraine and Holland. A representative arrived in Brazil with one million dollars to convince him to go to Olympique, but the renowned representative Jorge Mendes, with whom he had a verbal agreement, told him to play in a good cub in Portugal and then make the leap to other greats in Europe. “It was the best decision of my career”said Pepe, who remembered his parents’ incredulity when he told them that he would not accept the million.