Pepe: We were hated under Mourinho

Portuguese defender Pepe is relieved Jose Mourinho's spell at Real Madrid only last three years as they were a hated club under his reign.

Mourinho joined the Spanish giants after winning two Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia, the Supercoppa Italiana as well as the Champions League with Inter MIlan.

While he brought a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana to the Santiago Bernabeu during his tenure, Mourinho was a divisive figure in Spain, and Pepe has spoken of his renewed happiness at the club since his compatriot's departure.

"Under Mourinho, people hated us when we got out there on the pitch," he told Cadena Ser. "It lasted three years and thank God it went very quick.

"Things changed when Carlo Ancelotti came in, you could see people started treating us different again."

Pepe was one of the players to struggle under Mourinho and is now once again thriving at the club under Zinedine Zidane, who took over from Rafael Benitez in January.

He added: "What happened with Mourinho is in the past now. I was strong and got over it. I maintained my high level at Madrid.

"Mourinho and Zidane are very different, one could say they are opposites. But it's not like one is bad and the other is good.

"Mourinho has a lot of experience as a coach, with great clubs and players. Zidane has only just started in La Liga last year. But he has played at the highest level himself and always knows what's expected on the pitch.

"Zidane has been a player and knows what we think. He had a brilliant career at Madrid, so understands what the pressure is like here."