- May 27, 2007
Date of birth 30 August 1983 (age 26)
Place of birth Albano Laziale, Italy
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Winger, Second Forward
Pepe was born in Albano Laziale, not far from Rome. He started his career at A.S. Roma, one of the two major clubs in Rome. He was loaned to Calcio Lecco 1912 in January 2002 and Teramo Calcio in June 2002.
In summer 2003, rising Serie B team Palermo signed Pepe in co-ownership deal for a nominal fees of just €1,000, and he scored one goal in that season, and Palermo finished first in Serie B. He was loaned to Piacenza Calcio in July 2004, because the club thought Pepe has to gain experience before making his debut in Serie A. On 31 August 2004, Roma sold rest of the registration rights to Palermo for undisclosed fees. It was reported that Roma's chairman Franco Sensi reported owe Palermo's chairman Maurizio Zamparini money (who Zamparini acquired Palermo from Sensi in July 2002, after Roma had some inflated player trading with Palermo) and Pepe and Cesare Bovo was sold to Palermo at un-economic price. to settle the debt, but Roma denied, stating the sales is totally a financial decision of the club.
At Piacenza, he scored career high of 12 goals in a season.
In June 2005, he got back to Palermo, because Palermo top-scorer Luca Toni left for Fiorentina. He made 6 league appearances without scoring, before leaving the club again in the winter transfer window.
He joined Udinese Calcio in the mid of 2005-06 season in a co-ownership deal, along with Salvatore Masiello and Nicola Santoni (part of the David Di Michele deal), which the club keen on signing youngsters in recent years, again, he only made 6 goalless appearances. He was loaned out again in July 2006 to Cagliari, because Udinese recalled Gyan Asamoah who shined in 2006 FIFA World Cup. He finally scored his first Serie A goal in 18 November 2006, the 11th games in that season and 23rd Serie A games in his career, against his former club Palermo, a winning goal in last minute.
Although Cagliari bought another half registration rights from Palermo, Udinese bought Cagliari's half by winning the blind bidding between the two club on 22 June 2007, just few days after Udinese also sold their flagship striker Vincenzo Iaquinta to Juventus. In October 2007, Andrea Dossena, Cristian Zapata, Roman Eremenko and Pepe were awarded a new contract until June 2012. After Asamoah Gyan injured and left Udine in summer 2008, he became a regular of the team.
He was selected in U-17, U-19 and U-20 level. Although had a bare first Serie A season, he was selected in the Italian U-21 squad to 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, but did not play. He made his first appearance with Italy national team on 11 October 2008 in the World Cup 2010 qualifier vs. Bulgaria.