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Portugal Dealt Huge Blow Which Will Increase Your Enjoyment Of Tonight's Game By About 78%

Portugal Dealt Huge Blow Which Will Increase Your Enjoyment Of Tonight's Game By About 78%
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Coming into the tournament, if you were told that Portugal would be thrust towards the semi-finals of Euro 2016 through the performances of a Real Madrid, you would have nodded in agreement before rushing off to double down on Cristiano Ronaldo to be top scorer.

In reality, however, a not-entirely-fit Ronaldo has impressed only sporadically, managing to fit in as many caricatured and celebrated tantrums as goals. No, it has in fact been Pepe -yes, he formerly Jose Mourinho's chief enforcer of evil and now general annoyance - who has been one of Portugal's most important player.

Alongside 108-year-old Ricardo Carvalho, Pepe has been a revelation, and has admirably kept his customary shithousery to a minimum. He is obviously a talented footballer, but his in-game antics have long since alienated football fans, not least us.

 

While an important player for Real, you will rarely hear Madridistas chant 'There's only one Pepe'. Why? Two reasons. Firstly, they are more likely to chant in Spanish than in English. Secondly, it's not true.

There are two Pepes; he is a kind of self-contained Iberian Jekyll and Hyde. There is Good Pepe - the very talented and tough defender who has helped keep Raphael Varane out of the Real Madrid team - and there is Bad Pepe - the stamping, snide master of the Art of Shithousery - who so often rears his head on Champions League nights.

At the Euros, we have seen lots of Good Pepe and very little of Bad Pepe, but tonight folks, we're going to see No Pepe.

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Yep, the centre-back is out of tonight's semi-final with Wales through injury, and has been replaced by Bruno Alves.

Here's the Portugal team in full, also devoid of the suspended William Carvalho (replaced by Danilo):

The Welsh team is as follows:

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It appears Good Pepe will be in the stands:

What an opportunity for Wales.

See Also: The Farcical Days That Wales Have Overcome On Their Way to Euro 2016 Glory


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