Pepe: "Zidane oozes football, it runs through his veins"
In a candid interview, Pepe reviewed the current situation at Real Madrid and looked about at his own career as well as Zidane's first few months in charge.
How are Real Madrid going into this final stage of the season?
Madrid are always strong. We're fine and we could achieve our objectives for this season. It's going to be tough but we are prepared.
Zidane works well at his job. He's very disciplined and is very clear about what he wants and what we have to do on the pitch. I him I think we have a coach for many years to come at Real Madrid. He loves football and he knows about it. He likes football to be happy and joyful. He's going to be one of the best coaches in the world.
He's got so much quality. When we do specific work with him in training, he's always in the right place to put in the final pass. He looks after himself. He oozes football - it runs through his veins.
Pepe, on and off the pitch:
It's important to know that there is a big difference between what happens on the pitch and what goes on off it. I consider myself to be just a normal person off the field, but once I'm on the field, I have to defend my club, I have responsibility to all the people who follow us. I don't like to be beaten in a move, just like forwards don't like missing a chance on goal.
I've never had a coach telling me to calm down. A lot of coaches like having a player with my kind of character and determination on the pitch. What I do on the pitch is always to help the team. I think I'm the centre-back with the fewest yellow cards in the league and the least fould committed.
How would your style fit in in other leagues?
I think my style of play would suit the English league for example but in Spain, it's a bit more technical and not so much playing from end to endor with as much contact as there is in the Premier League.
Would you fancy playing at Chelsea?
Chelsea? Thanks, but not for me, no. I'm very happy at Madrid. The people here love me and I love the club because it has brought me so much happiness.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Diego Costa - he's the grittiest, roughest player I have ever played against. He likes contact.
I really liked [Fernando] Hierro. Roberto Carlos as well, but as a central defender, Fernando Hierro.
If you hadn't become a footballer...