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Mourinho won’t punish Pepe for Messi hand stamp

- Associated Press - Saturday, January 21, 2012

MADRID (AP) - Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho will not punish Pepe for stomping on the hand of Barcelona's Lionel Messi, saying that the defender's apology was sufficient.

The Portuguese manager said Saturday "the player has spoken and that is enough" after including Pepe in his squad for Sunday's home game against Athletic Bilbao.

Real Madrid lost 2-1 Wednesday to Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal. Mourinho said after the game if Pepe had stepped on Messi's hand intentionally it would be "punishable."

The following day Pepe issued a statement on Madrid's website saying the stomp was "unintentional."

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