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OFFICIAL: Pepe signs contract extension

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His contract was going to expire next summer and now he will stay until 2017.

Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

It's official: Real Madrid and Pepe have signed a contract extension and the Portuguese will stay with the club until the summer of 2017.

The Portuguese defender has been at the club since the summer of 2007. Furthermore, he has always been a starter and he will have that same role this year unless Benítez decides to start Varane more often. Pepe has always been a controversial figure because of his discipline problems, but he is now the team's third captain and a key defender in Real's system.

While some fans who want to see Varane play more minutes might be disappointed, Pepe deserved this contract extension. The Portuguese will likely rotate more often now that he is older, but he definitely earned this new contract with his good performances over the last three or four seasons.

His battle with Varane will be a very interesting one and Benítez will have to make up his mind because the French is definitely ready to start.