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Pepe admits he’s been upstaged by Dias: “He’s the best center-back”

Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
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Porto defender Pepe spoke about his relationship with Manchester City’s new star Ruben Dias.

There is no denying it, Pepe has had a brilliant career. He arrived in Portugal from Brazil when he was 18-years-old with only five euros in his pocket. Since then, he has played on the biggest stages in Europe with Real Madrid and even became a European champion for Portugal.

On the eve of playing the Portuguese ‘Classico’ between Porto and Benfica, Pepe gave an interview where he was asked who he felt was the best Portuguese center-back. The 37-year-old didn’t hesitate at all.

“For me, Ruben Dias. Ruben Dias turned into a top center-back and he knows that because I’ve already told him. I don’t need to talk to the press about it, he already knows what I think of him.”

Pepe went on to explain why he felt that way about the 23-year-old defender. According to the Porto man, Dias not only has talent but is also a very intelligent player.

“I remember him at the World Cup, we had dinner and he always came over to talk to me. Cris [Ronaldo], some other players and I, we would always go for a walk to help with digestion. He was always there with us, just listening you know? When he had doubts about something he would ask us.”

Despite the fact that Ruben spent his entire career at Porto’s rivals Benfica, Pepe developed a good relationship with his fellow center-back.

“People think that us players get along poorly with each other and there’s violence even. But the same way he respected me, I respected him. Him at Benfica and me at Porto. On the pitch we were rivals, he defended his club and I defended mine. However, we didn’t wish each other bad things outside of the pitch. Nowadays, there is no one better than him. That’s the reality and he shows it every day.”

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