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Real Madrid

Zidane loses Pepe, Madrid's most effective defender

The Portuguese centre-back, who is likely to be out for the rest of the season with two cracked ribs, has the best figures out of all of Madrid's defenders.

El Madrid pierde a Pepe, su central con mejores números.
Gonzalo Castro

Zidane will be without his best-performing defender for the rest of the season. Pepe will be sidelined for the next four to six weeks while he recovers from two fractured ribs which he sustained after colliding with Toni Kroos in yesterday's derby. Madrid have gained their  best figures whenever Pepe has been in the back four - just one goal conceded every 91 minutes.

Pepe in action in yesterday's derby
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Pepe in action in yesterday's derbyDenis DoyleGetty Images

Pepe's future remains unclear

Pepe could indeed have played his last game for Real Madrid. It looks likely that the Portugual international will leave the club for pastures new when his contract runs out at the end of the season. Although Pepe himself is not ruling out reaching some kind of agreement with Madrid - he wants a two-year extension but the club has offered just one. "I'll wait for Real Madrid until the last minute", he said at this afternoon's event at the Ramón Mendoza supporters group at the AC Hotel.

Pepe and Varane, Madrid's most effective defenders

Pepe scores against Atlético
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Pepe scores against AtléticoJAVIER GANDULDIARIO AS

In the 18 games he has taken part in this season, Madrid have conceded 16 goals and kept a clean sheet four times. When Ramos is in the back four, the team ships a goal an average of every 63 minutes. The only centre-back who comes close to Pepe's figures, Raphaël Varane, is also out injured. The French defender has played 32 games, in which the team has conceded 32 goals.


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