‘Be Warned!’ Porto Star Pepe Sends Liverpool a Champions League Threat

Liverpool news: Porto star Pepe sends Champions League threat | Football | Sport

That’s according to centre-back Pepe, who insists he will win the European trophy for the fourth time in his career this season following his previous wins with Real Madrid.

The Reds faced the Portuguese side in the competition last season in the last 16, with Liverpool winning the first leg 5-0 before seeing out the tie with a goalless draw in the return fixture on Merseyside.

Jurgen Klopp’s side face the Primeira Liga giants this time for a place in the last four and, given the outcome of last season’s meeting, are tipped as huge favourites to set up a clash with either Barcelona or Manchester United in the semi finals.

Liverpool have lost just once all season in the Premier League and despite struggling away from home in Europe in the group stages of this tournament, were impressive as they saw off Bayern Munich in the last 16 – winning 3-1 in Germany to progress.

Pepe knows what it takes to beat Liverpool having been a part of the last team to beat them at Anfield in the Champions League five years ago, when Real Madrid won 3-0 in a group game.

Since then, Liverpool have not lost in 12 home matches in the competition and will hope to come away with a result which sets them in good stead for the second leg in Portugal a week later.

But 36-year-old Pepe says Porto will not change their tactical approach from the one that sees them joint top of their domestic league, behind Benfica only on goal difference.

Talking to UEFA.com, the Portuguese defender declared: “[I have already won the UEFA Champions League three times] and this season it’s going to be four, God willing!

“We know we have a very difficult task, against a strong team [Liverpool] who play in the style of their coach.

“But we have to be ourselves, we have to be the same team we have been in this Champions League campaign, a cohesive team that fight for everything, looking for a positive result, looking to score goals – being ourselves.

“We have to respect Liverpool, who are a great team, but we are going to do our job.”

Pepe played for Porto for three years earlier in his career before a 10-year spell with Real Madrid and insists he is ecstatic to be back, having rejoined the club in January after leaving Besiktas.

He added: “Returning to Porto was also my dream – to come back to the club where I was so happy. This is a team that taught me a lot and made me the player I am today.

“Porto improve every single player because this is a very demanding club. Porto prepared me really well and this didn’t go unnoticed in Spain, as before I went to Real Madrid the club were known as a graveyard for centre-backs.

“They had amazing centre-backs that had failed there. I came from a league viewed by many as not as competitive as others, but I played [at Madrid] for 10 years and won many trophies.

“Now I’m back here with Porto, with a lot of [other] good central defenders. Defenders who, in my opinion, could very well be playing for a club like Real Madrid because they’ve a lot of quality. So much so that [Eder] Militao was bought by Madrid, right?”

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