Pepe made his debut for the Azzurri in the draw with Bulgaria and also featured in the 2-1 win over Montenegro last night.
“We wanted this win to cement the work we had done over the last few days,” Pepe explained.
“Every time I wear this shirt I feel a special emotion and against Montenegro perhaps I felt more emotional because we were in Italy.
“We change positions a lot in attack but it’s easy to play alongside a phenomenon like Alberto Gilardino.
“He is a sensational player. Often we are just judged on whether we find the net or not, but he gives the team such a hand.
“I have known Aquilani for a long time as we were in the same youth side at Roma.
“I know his determination and he deserved to score. He has a great ability to grow and he can adapt to situations on the pitch better than almost any other player in Europe.”