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22nd Jun 2022

Ex-Real Madrid defender reveals he used to turn up to training drunk

Callum Boyle

‘I drank coffee to remove the smell from my breath and bathed in perfume’

Former Real Madrid full back Cicinho has opened up on his struggles with alcoholism, revealing that he used to turn up to training drunk.

The Brazilian spent two seasons at Los Blancos after joining from Sao Paulo in 2005, making 32 appearances and winning LaLiga with Madrid in 2007.

Real Madrid defender

In a recent interview, the 41-year-old opened up about his battle with alcohol over the past decade, even revealing that he used to turn up to training at Madrid intoxicated.

“If you ask me if I’ve ever been to training drunk at Real: yes. And I drank coffee to remove the smell from my breath and bathed in perfume,” he said on EPTV show Ressaca, via Goal.

“Speaking of my profession, as a former professional football player, it was easy, I didn’t need money to get [drink]. People were happy to give you everything in restaurants.”

Real Madrid training

‘I only stopped drinking at 4 am’

Cicinho left Madrid for Serie A side Roma in the summer of 2007 but the former full back’s issues with drink continued during his time in Italy. Thankfully he was helped by members of staff.

“Started drinking after training. I did the physiotherapy work, came home around 2 p.m., 2.30 p.m. and only stopped drinking at 4 a.m.

“Every time I arrived at Roma drunk, the leaders saw it and that made me fall into disrepute.”

Cicinho’s traced back to where his problems with booze began, citing his teenage years, when he tried alcohol at the age of 13.

“At 13 years old, when I tasted alcohol for the first time, I never stopped,” he explained.

“I lived in the countryside, in Pradopolis, close to Ribeirao Preto, and on weekends we gathered friends and used to go out in the squares, to the clubs.

“There was a bar nearby, because I was a minor, I tried to hide it, I asked whoever was older to buy it and I kept drinking hidden from my parents, the police.”

After his spell at Roma, Cicinho returned to Sao Paulo for a brief loan spell, before short spells at Villarreal, Sport Recife and then a move to Turkish Super Lig side Sivasspor. He eventually retired in 2018.

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