Former Brazil international defender Cicinho has opened up on his issues with alcohol and admitted he turned up at Real Madrid training sessions drunk.
The right-back joined Los Blancos in the summer of 2005 and spent two seasons in the Spanish capital – where he made 32 appearances. He joined Italian club Roma in 2007 and spent five years at the Giallorossi, which included loan stints at Sao Paulo and Villarreal.
In 2012, Cicinho revealed he “smoked and got drunk” while dropped from the Roma squad and “I didn’t do drugs because of the anti-doping tests.” He later admitted to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day and claimed that his problems began after joining Madrid.
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Cicinho had joined the Spanish giants as one of South America’s most in-demand players after helping Sao Paulo to winning the Copa Libertadores, Brazilian league title and the Club World Cup. However, despite accumulating over 250 appearances in his senior career – including being capped 15 times by the Brazilian national team – the defender failed to live up to his early expectations.
Now, the right-back has opened up on his struggles off the pitch on the Ressaca program on Brazilian TV channel EPTV. He added that it was too easy for him to become addicted to alcohol and explained how he hid his drinking from his teammates.
Cicinho explained: “If you ask me if I have ever been drunk to train with Real Madrid, I did. I drank coffee to take the smell away from my breath and I doused myself in perfume. In my profession, as a professional footballer, it was easy. I didn’t need money to get a drink, people happily gave it to me in restaurants.”
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The former right-back added that his drinking problem had started in his teenage years: “When I was 13 years old, that’s when I tried alcohol for the first time, and I never stopped. I lived in the country, and on weekends we met with friends and went out to clubs and discos.”
The 41-year-old former player is now rehabilitated and has warned of the impacts alcohol can have: “Alcohol surrounds you with people who like that lifestyle, and people who really love you are left out.
“I have a 15-year-old son and I am always apologising to him. At that time he was two years old and he did not even understand it well, but that is what I remember in my head.”