Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez joined former player Raúl, and members of the current side Pepe and Nacho at an event today to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the Ramón Mendoza supporters' group. It was a date which Pepe didn't want to miss - even if doctors had confirmed this morning that he has two fractured ribs, which he suffered in yesterday's derby.
Nacho thanks 'tutor' Pepe
During his speech, Nacho wished his fellow defender well in the future - perhaps a little prematurely... "It's a special event because we'll be bidding farewell to Pepe. I haven't enough time to even begin describing him, I only want to thank him for everything I have learned from him".
Pepe replied: "Only God knows where my future lies. Until 30th June I am under contract at Real Madrid, isn't that right Presi? (signals to Florentino). As I've said before, I will wait for Madrid until the last second, and I will make sacrifices every day to be able to stay here".
Pepe is an example to follow, says Florentino
Florentino meanwhile, praised the Portuguese defender: "Pepe is an example both on and off the field - he carries Real Madrid in his heart. He has won every trophy there is to win twice during his 10 years at the club: 2 Champions Leagues, 2 Leagues, 2 Club World Cups... I only have words of admiration and respect; he does everything that is humanly possible to ensure that Real Madrid fans are happy and united as one".
Predrag Mijatovic also had words for Pepe: "Wherever you go, I wish you the best and hope it turns out well for you"