Having started his career at Porto as a youngster, Pepe sealed a prodigal return to his boyhood club in January thus bringing to an end his two-year stint with Besiktas.
Having sat unused on the bench for the weekend’s league derby against Sporting Lisbon, Pepe was handed his second debut at the age of 35 on Tuesday night when Porto travelled to face second-tier Leixoes in the Portuguese Cup.
The game ended up going to extra time but eventually Porto scored a 118th-minute winner through Hernani to pilfer themselves a 2-1 away win.
Elsewhere, their returning veteran centre-half managed to display precisely the kind of reckless, dangerous tackling that propelled him to the very top of the game…
For the record, a yellow card was duly forthcoming.
Not quite on a par with his vintage savagery, but still a telling glimpse of the shin-shredding vandal that still dwells just beneath the surface.
In fairness, Pepe hasn’t been sent off once since quite literally seeing red during a Turkish Cup game last April – that’s almost nine months of uneasy civility – but it looks like a return to the Dragao might have triggered some form of regressive behavioural lapse.
Pies offer our sincere prayers to the strikers of Portugal.