Nasty altercation between Pepe, Seydou Keita mars Real-Roma match
It is said that time heals all wounds, but perhaps that proverb needs to be amended.
On Tuesday, an old feud between new Roma signing Seydou Keita and Real Madrid’s Pepe bubbled back to the surface at the International Champions Cup, almost causing a pre-match brawl.
Keita refused to shake Pepe’s hand in the pre-game handshake line, and was later caught by cameras chucking a water bottle at the Portugal defender’s head, missing him by inches. Pepe then allegedly spat on Keita in retaliation.
So much for this being called a pre-season "friendly."
The reason behind Keita’s handshake snub and bottle missile can be traced back to the 2011 Spanish Super Cup. The Mali international, then with Barcelona, alleged that Pepe had called him a "monkey" during the match.
Both players were allowed to begin the match on Tuesday with no further ramifications. After the match, Keita took to Twitter to explain and apologize for his actions:
"One: He calls me a monkey during Madrid-Barca," he wrote.
"Two: I did not shake his hand. Three: He spits on me after I throw a bottle.
"I am sorry for my attitude."