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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 21 February, 2019

I'm sorry for El Clasico stamp on Messi, says Pepe

“I give my heart and soul, and the thought of hurting a colleague has never enetered my mind.”

Image: Paul White/AP/Press Association Images

REAL MADRID DEFENDER Pepe has apologised for his stamp on Leo Messi, after a massive backlash to his El Clasico antics.

Madrid were beaten 2-1 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final at the Bernabeu, despite going ahead through a first-half Cristiano Ronaldo goal.

The Portugal international insisted the act, which was missed at the time by the referee, was “unintentional”

Afterwards, Jose Mourinho said he hadn't seen the incident but said he would and should be punished if it was found he had deliberately stamped on the three-time Ballon D'Or winner.

"I wish to say yesterday's incident with Leo Messi was unintentional, but I neverteheless want to apologise to him if he was offended because all I do is defend my team and this institution.

"I give my heart and soul, and the thought of hurting a colleague has never enetered my mind," the Portuguese said in a statement on the club website.

Here's video on the incident:

YouTube credit: teo18480

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