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Pepe blames frustration for lashing out at Getafe players

REAL Madrid defender Pepe has blamed frustration for the "crazy" way he lashed out at two Getafe players in incidents that will probably earn him a lengthy ban.

The Portugal defender is facing a suspension from the league that could reach 17 games after his unprovoked actions in the Spanish champion's 3-2 win over Getafe on Tuesday.

Pepe pushed Javier Casquero to the ground inside the Madrid area, conceding a penalty in the 88th minute, before kicking the Getafe player in the back and then stamping on him several times as he lay on the ground. As players rushed to break up the melee, Pepe landed a punch to Juan Angel Albin's jaw.

"We needed the three points. And seeing that (the penalty) complicated things, I just lost my head," Pepe told Marca daily yesterday. "In the moment when I fouled Casquero for the penalty, I felt like the one responsible for Madrid losing the league. I was frustrated.

"These are the worst days of my life. I watched replays and did not recognize myself. It was not me. I went crazy, lost control for a few minutes. The worst moment is what I am living right now."

As he waits for the disciplinary verdict, Pepe said the events had taken away his desire to play the game, although the 26-year-old defender is under contract through 2012.

"If I see that I cannot play football anymore, I will dedicate my life to something else," Pepe said.

"At the moment I'm not motivated for anything. I'll wait and see what happens with the sanction. I've never felt like this and I hope I never do again."

Casquero missed the subsequent penalty and Madrid eventually triumphed to stay within six points of Spanish leader Barcelona with six games to play, including a May 3 date against its rival.

But Pepe is likely to miss the "clasico" at the Santiago Bernabeu with the league's disciplinary committee meeting today to decide on the length of his ban.

On top of the one-game suspension that his red card brings, Pepe is also facing extra games because he made an expletive reference to the fourth referee when leaving the field and because he returned to the field to celebrate Gonzalo Higuain's injury-time winner moments later.

Joaquin Cortizo's ban of 24 games in 1964 remains the lengthiest in league history.

Casquero hoped that Pepe would receive a just sentence.

"It was a deplorable, unsportmanlike action and everyone is responsible for their own acts," Casquero said. "I accept his apologies, but the bruises remain."


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