Portugal's Pepe elated to score equaliser in 100th appearance

Portugal defender Pepe said he was thrilled to score a goal in the 1-1 draw against Croatia, his 100th appearance, on Thursday.

Pepe headed home Pizzi's cross for the 32nd-minute equaliser -- his seventh international goal and his second in two games after he scored in the 2-1 defeat to Uruguay in the round of 16 of the World Cup

"I'm very happy," Pepe told O Jogo after the game. "I appreciate the opportunity I have been given to represent Portugal. It means a lot. I try to enjoy every moment."

Pepe, 35, spent 10 years at Real Madrid before moving to Besiktas in July 2017. He made his Portugal debut in the Euro 2008 qualifier against Finland on Nov. 21, 2007, and has since played for his country at every major international tournament.

"For me, representing the national team is always important," he said. "I want to do my best to help the country. The team played well. We have many young players who want to demonstrate their value."