After starting his career as a centre-forward, Simone Pepe has since carved out a niche for himself on the right side of attack, where his ball-winning abilities have caught the eye as well as an ability to shuttle up and down the flank at speed.
Pepe turned professional in 2001 at the age of 18 but would have to wait four seasons to play his first game in Serie A with Palermo. Co-owned by the Sicilians and Udinese, he finally opted for the northerners in 2007, muscling his way into the starting XI and becoming a cornerstone of the team.
While not noted for his goalscoring prowess, Pepe works unstintingly for his fellow forwards, a trait that helped him progress from the national U-17 side to the U-21s, for whom he made numerous appearances between 2004 and 2006.
An unexpected full international debut came in October 2008, when Marcello Lippi named him in the side for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying match against Bulgaria.