Wife of Malaga midfielder Anacha Duda has defended Real Madrid defender, Pepe over the horrific tackle launched at her husband on Saturday night during a La Liga fixture, a game Carlo Ancelotti’s side won 1-0, courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal.

Anacha described Pepe’s challenge on Duda as “unintentional”, stressing that the combative centre-back and her husband are “great friends”, and he’s a close ally to her family in general. She even shared a picture Pepe took with her kids, to further portray their platonic intimacy.

During Real’s victory at Malaga, Pepe committed a horrible foul on Duda, his compatriot, catching him with a high dangerous tackle which left the 33-year-old Portuguese midfielder needing treatment.

Pepe should have been dismissed but referee Juan Martínez Munuera inexplicably decided not to punish the defender.

After the game, Arancha leapt to Pepe’s defence, tweeting: “I know a lot of you are angry about Pepe’s tackle, but I know it was unintentional and that he is great friends with my husband.”

However, Pepe lamented deliberate attempts by referees to regularly pick on him, he defended his reputation by comparing himself to team-mate Sergio Ramos, who has been sent off more than him overall, still people call him a “murderer”.

Pepe told radio station Onda Cero his position makes it difficult for him not to commit foul: “I try to play as cleanly as possible and not to commit fouls, but in my position it isn’t easy to play without committing fouls.

“Referees don’t have Sergio Ramos’ number the way they have mine. I can’t remember the last time I was sent off.”

“It isn’t easy for a mother to hear a stadium calling her son a murderer”, he added.

“I have never committed any crime to be called that. Something I’m in no doubt about is that the people who are close to me know what I’m like.”

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