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Real Madrid president: Pepe one of world's best

Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon is convinced new signing Pepe is "one of the best central defenders in the world".

Real sports chief Pedja Mijatovic's cloak-and-dagger swoop for Pepe all happened in the early hours of yesterday morning. Mijatovic struck personal terms with Pepe's agent, Jorge Mendes, at virtually dawn after agreeing a £20 million fee with Porto. Pepe will earn £2 million-a-year at Real over the next five years.

"He is one of the best central defenders in the world and will form a great partnership with [Christoph] Metzelder. The season that he has had with Porto was perfect, he's played several years at a great level and is only 24 years old," beamed Calderon last night.

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