By FRANCO PANIZO
Facing media scrutiny and the possibility of disciplinary action, Pepe has issued an apology to Leo Messi.
Well, sort of.
A day after what appeared to be a deliberate step on Messi's hand in Real Madrid's 2-1 loss to Barcelona, Pepe told Real Madrid's website that it was an involuntary act. The Portuguese international, who is no stranger to dirty antics, went on to ask Messi for his forgiveness if the Argentine felt offended. Pepe also said the thought of harming a fellow player never crossed his mind.
Pepe could still be subject to a sanction by his team or the federation prior to next week's return leg against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.
Here are more stories from Thursday:
PETERSON SIGNS WITH SPORTING KANSAS CITY
The rich continue to get richer, as Sporting Kansas City added another option to its stable of forwards by signing Jacob Peterson. The winger/forward should provide some cover in the wide forward spots in Sporting KC's 4-3-3 system.
In his six year career, the 25-year-old has previously spent time with the San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids. Peterson will compete with Teal Bunbury, C.J. Sapong, Kei Kamara, Dom Dwyer and Soony Saad for playing time.
WHITECAPS LAND DAVIDSON
The Vancouver Whitecaps added midfielder Jun Marques Davidson to its roster, pending the receipt of his international transfer certificate and visa. A dual American/Japanese citizen, Davidson lands in Vancouver after spending the 2011 season with J.League Division Two side Tokushima Vortis. The 28-year-old previously spent time playing under Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie when he was in charge of the Carolina RailHawks in 2010.
BLACKBURN ACQUIRES MODESTE ON LOAN
Blackburn is looking to distance itself away from the relegation zone, and it acquired striker Anthony Modeste from Bordeaux on loan until the end of the season with the hopes that he will help them do that. Modeste, 23, joins the Rovers after scoring three goals in 15 games for Bordeaux in the first half of the season. The loan deal does not include an option the buy.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS CLOSE IN ON TAIWO
Mark Hughes looks set to make his first capture as manager of Queens Park Rangers. Hughes is poised to land Taye Taiwo of AC Milan, pending the approval of a work permit. Initial reports suggest the move for Taiwo will be a six-month loan.
What do you think of Pepe's apology? Think Peterson will play a substantial role for Sporting Kansas City this season? How do you see Modeste doing with Blackburn?
Share your thoughts below.