Former Real Madrid defender Pepe described the La Liga club’s fans as unenthusiastic, rubbishing the atmosphere at the Santiago Bernabeu compared to his new home in Turkey.
Besiktas veteran Pepe enjoyed a trophy-laden career in the Spanish capital from 2007 to 2017, helping Madrid to three La Liga titles, three Champions League crows and two Club World Cup medals, among other titles.
Now playing for Turkish giants Besiktas, the 34-year-old said Madrid supporters — who have booed Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema this season — do not compare to fans from the Istanbul-based club.
“Perhaps Real Madrid fans won’t like me saying this but they say Real Madrid fans transmit enthusiasm, but I don’t think they do. That’s not the reality,” the Portugal international told beIN Sports.
“The Besiktas fans are very passionate. When you go out onto the pitch the noise coming from the stands always hits you.”
Pepe added: “The atmosphere at Besiktas is very different to at Real Madrid. In Turkey people really love sport, they only think about football.
“After games, we can hear the noise of the supporters until the early hours of the morning.”
Besiktas are third in the Turkish Super Lig, five points behind leaders Galatasaray, while they are top of their Champions League group.
Spanish and European champions Madrid, meanwhile, are eight points adrift of La Liga pacesetters Barcelona.