One of the toughest players in the game, the Brazilian born, Portuguese defender has made a name for himself as a combative opponent.
Having started his career in the youth team at Corinthians Alagoano, he left Brazil aged 18 to join Portuguese first division outfit Maritimo where he earned himself a place in the first-team for 2002-03. Showing his versatility, he played as defensive and attacking midfielder and also as a supporting striker, attracting the attention of the Portuguese elite.
After failing to land a move to Sporting, he was signed by FC Porto during the summer of 2004 for €1 million plus three players. Three years at the club moulded him into a tough defender and, based on his growing reputation, Real Madrid signed him a fee of €30 million in July 2007.
His temperament was questioned in Spain as he was given a ten-game ban for kicking out at Getafe's Javier Casquero, but his performances upon his return elevated him among the best in the world. A knee injury saw him miss the second half of 2009-10 and, although he returned just in time for the World Cup, his impact was limited.
Strengths: Loves the physical side of the game and is happy to put his head where is hurts and rough up his opponents.
Weaknesses: Hot-headed and temperamental, he can let the red mist get the better of his decision making abilities.
Career high: Pepe starred in the 1-0 away win at the Camp Nou against FC Barcelona in 2008 when he almost single-handedly stopped all Barca's attacks.
Career low: Given a ten-game ban on April 21, 2009 for kicking out at Getafe's Javier Casquero in the final seconds of a 2-2 draw.
Style: Tough, commanding, combative, a born defender.
Quotes: ''He is said to have scissors attached to his legs because he cuts off absolutely everything.'' An extract from Pepe's profile on Realmadrid.com.
Trivia: His dominance in the air was perfected over years during his childhood when he was forced to go into the sea and jump with a weight strapped to his legs by his demanding father.