Calm Pepe looking forward to Morata reunion

Defender Pepe says Álvaro Morata is a "special lad" but warns that friendships will be left in the dressing rooms for Real Madrid CF's semi-final against Juventus.

Pepe at Monday's press conference in Turin
Pepe at Monday's press conference in Turin ©AFP/Getty Images

Real Madrid CF defender Pepe says the atmosphere in the UEFA Champions League holders' camp is "serene" as they prepare to meet Juventus in the semi-final first leg.

"We're up against a typically Italian side," said the Portugal centre-back. "We're prepared for this and we're very confident we can get a good result to go back to Madrid with.

"We don't feel any pressure. We know it will be complicated and how hard it is to play here, but we're very serene and we know that at this stage of the Champions League there are no favourites."

There will be several former team-mates in action on Tuesday, and Patrice Evra, Carlos Tévez and Cristiano Ronaldo were colleagues at Manchester United FC. Yet it is Álvaro Morata who dominates the pre-match talk having come through Madrid's youth system, scoring ten goals in 37 appearances, before joining Juve last summer.

"Morata started alongside me here at Real and I have a lot of affection for him," said Pepe, who was playing when Morata made his Madrid debut in 2010. "He's a special lad and I'm delighted to meet him in such a big game. I know he has a lot of affection for Real, but there will be no friendship on the pitch.

"We want to carry on winning our games and reach the final again. We have a good chance of defending the title we won last year and it doesn't matter which players the coach sends out – we all want to defend the colours of Real Madrid."

Álvaro Morata celebrates a goal for Madrid
Álvaro Morata celebrates a goal for Madrid©AFP/Getty Images
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