Simone Pepe is an Italian retired footballer who played as a winger, on either side of the pitch. After starting out at Roma, he went on to compete in Serie A for 12 seasons, spending most of his time at Udinese and Juventus and amassing totals of 251 games and 31 goals, winning four consecutive national championships with the latter club. He also had his later career hindered by several injuries. Pepe appeared for Italy at the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup, earning 23 caps in total between 2008 and 2011. Pepe was born in Albano Laziale, a comune not far from Rome. He started his career at A.S. Roma but never represented the team officially, being loaned to amateurs Calcio Lecco 1912 and Teramo Calcio for the duration of his contract.
ITALY NATIONAL TEAM
World Cup 2010 Qualifying
Italy vs Montenegro
Match Worn Shirt
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This shirt was worn by Simone Pepe during the Fifa World Cup “SOUTH AFRICA 2010” qualifying game between Italy and Montenegro which took place in Lecce, “Via del Mare” Stadium, on October 15th 2008. Italy defeated Montenegro 2-1. In spite of a first poor year in the Serie A, Pepe was selected by the Italian under-21 team to the 2006 UEFA European Championship, but he did not play in any games in Portugal in an eventual group stage exit. He made his debut with the senior side on 11 October 2008, under manager Marcello Lippi, in a 0–0 away draw against Bulgaria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Pepe was part of the squads at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup, both in South Africa. He totalled five appearances in the tournaments, starting in all three matches in the latter, as the Azzurri were sent home after the first stage on both occasions.
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Initially a forward at the beginning of his career, Pepe was a versatile player who, appeared in several offensive and midfield positions: he was frequently deployed as a wide midfielder, as an attacking winger, or as a wingback, usually on the right flank, although he was capable of playing on either side of the pitch; he was also fielded as an attacking midfielder, or even as a supporting striker on occasion. A fast, strong, energetic and hardworking player, his main attributes were his stamina, his defensive contribution and his crossing ability. He also possessed good technique and link-up play, and was effective from set pieces. However, he was also injury-prone. During the 2011–12 Italian football scandal investigations, Pepe was one of many players to be accused of match-fixing. He was accused of failing to report the alleged fix of a 3–3 draw against F.C. Bari 1908 in May 2010 during his time with Udinese, and faced a potential one-year ban if found guilty; he denied any wrongdoing, however, and he was later acquitted of all charges in August 2012.
Match Worn Boots
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On 9 June 2010, Juventus F.C. announced they had signed Pepe on loan for €2.6 million, with the option to sign him permanently for €7.5 million on 1 July. He scored five times in 30 matches in his first season in Turin. In 2011–12, Pepe formed an efficient right-wing partnership with newly signed Stephan Lichtsteiner, contributing with four of his six league goals and two assists after the first ten fixtures. On 11 September 2011, in Juventus’s opening match of the season at the club’s new stadium, he scored the second goal in an eventual 4–1 home win over Parma. On 29 November, he netted a vital equaliser against S.S.C. Napoli (3–3, at the San Paolo Stadium) to keep his team’s unbeaten run going. the Bianconeri eventually won the national championship, after a nine-year drought. In spite of some inconsistent displays, Pepe endeared himself to the Juventus faithful for his work rate and pace, earning the nickname of “Speedy Pepe” while also being compared with former club great Angelo Di Livio, who also played as a winger. Starting in December 2012, however, he spent nearly two years on the sidelines, due to several physical problems. Pepe was operated on 27 February 2013, and after a few matches with the youth squad he returned to the pitch on 18 December, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute of a 3–0 win over U.S. Avellino 1912 in the Coppa Italia. He was injured again in mid-February 2014, and was finally called up again for Juventus’s League match with Bologna F.C. 1909 on 19 April, making his third appearance of the season in a 3–0 success against Cagliari that confirmed the Old Lady’s third consecutive national championship conquest. After recovering fully, Pepe returned to the starting line-up on 15 January 2015, in a 6–1 victory over Hellas Verona F.C. in the round-of-16 of the domestic cup. He scored his first goal in three years on 23 May, as he netted a 90th-minute penalty in a 3–1 home win over Napoli.