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Soccer Players Who Struggled With Addiction

  • Soccer stars who ruined their lives!
  • Legend's on the field but victims in life!
  • Soccer players who struggled with addiction!
Soccer players who struggled with addiction

If you are good at soccer, it offers incredible opportunities. However, the athletes need to be committed, hardworking, and dedicated. It means taking care of themselves and not getting into scandals. Players come and go, some become world-famous, and we forget many, but there are those pro athletes who we remember despite or for their bad decisions! Gambling, alcohol, drugs: concepts that are difficult to associate with pro athletes. Let’s see the famous soccer players who struggled with addiction!

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Research showed that the majority of football players are depressed because they cannot bear the burdens of their profession. Based on the results, which you can check out at online sportsbook sites in Spain, many players can’t deal with the pressure. One in four active football players is anxious or struggles with addictions. The results are worse for retired players, with one in three suffering from similar symptoms. In addition to burnout, anxiety, and depression, one in three players admitted to being an alcoholic.

The Soccer Legend’s Tragic End

One of the best soccer players of all time, Argentine world champion Diego Maradona, died in 2020. According to Bet365 Sportsbook, the 120 kg star athlete could only walk with the help of his two assistants because his heart functioned at 30% due to his previous cocaine addiction, and he also had alcohol problems. He rarely spoke honestly about his history with drugs and alcohol but made an exception in 1991 and confessed his worst moments.

In his home country, they named a stadium after him when he was alive and one after his death in Naples. He changed soccer clubs twice during his career for record amounts. In 1986, he became world champion with the Argentine national team. At the tournament, he scored one of the most beautiful goals in soccer history shortly after scoring the most controversial goal with his hand. He played in Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, etc. However, Maradona has been struggling with serious health problems for many years.

 In 2020, he was admitted to a private clinic due to depression, where they diagnosed him with anemia and dehydration. They prescribed him a three-day-long hydration treatment but went under surgery due to internal bleeding as well. The doctors didn’t allow him to leave the hospital because he suffered from severe withdrawal symptoms and had problems with his liver, heart, and vascular system. This is how one of the best soccer players who struggled with addiction passed away.

Soccer Players Who Struggled with Addiction – George Best

Despite being considered a genius during his lifetime, George Best could not handle the pressure of success, which is why he became an alcoholic during his active years at Manchester United. According to Bet365 Sportsbook, there can be two reasons for the addiction that develops during a career. One is that there may be other crises in other areas of the athlete’s life, and the other is that they can only deal with the success, fame, pressure, anxiety, or frustration associated with a sports career with alcohol or drugs. 

George Best’s life looked glamorous and enviable from the outside. He was the first playboy of the football world in the modern sense, and he tried to lead a life accordingly. However, as great as he was, he never made it to the European or World Championships with the Northern Irish national team. It could easily be that it was an unprocessable fact for him. In 1982, the Northern Irish national team reached the World Cup in Spain, but Best was no longer in a condition for coach Billy Bingham to take him to the World Cup. 

What Happened?

In the case of George Best, everyone knew that he repeatedly tried to free himself from his destructive addiction. He tried different methods, but according to sources around him, there were times when he celebrated his hard-earned half-year sobriety with binge drinking. Despite being a soccer player who struggled with addiction, people loved his humor. 

One of his famous quotes states that he gave up women and alcohol in 1969, which was the worst 20 minutes of his life! Find more of his wisecracks at online sportsbook sites in Spain! Sadly, George Best couldn’t or didn’t want to give up his addiction and remained addicted to alcohol even after his liver transplant in 2002. He died in 2005 at 59.

Paul Gascoigne also Drank to Escape

Another British star, Paul Gascoigne, also got lost in the vicious circle of alcoholism. Gascoigne had a close relationship with alcohol since his early teens, which is not so surprising given his tragic story. He lost his two best friends as a teenager, one of whom died in a car accident in front of his eyes. His career, from Newcastle United to Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio to Glasgow Rangers, was accompanied by minor and major problems, but at the Scottish club, he had increasing issues with alcohol. 

In one of the matches against Celtic, he imitated playing the flute and booed at the opposing fans. Even the IRA sent him death threats because of this. That’s when his career started going downhill. He returned from Scotland, but one of his friends drank himself to death when he was about to begin his season. It broke him completely, and similar tragedies accompanied him throughout his life.

For instance, his nephew also died in 2016. He tried several times to get rid of his addiction unsuccessfully. He had clashed with the club management, opponents, and the police many times, but the English fans still hold him close to their hearts. In 2019, he was cleared of sexual harassment for kissing a woman on a train drunkenly without her consent. There is no news about his current relationship with alcohol.

He Felt Dead

Ten years ago, he was strapped to the bed, begging and crying to stay alive, vowing never to drink again. The former soccer player who struggled with addiction his whole life attended a rehab facility in Arizona. Several of his organs stopped working, he said he looked like and felt dead. Not surprising since the doctors had never seen an alcoholic react so badly to treatment or have more poison in their system than all their patients combined. He was unconscious for days but waking up was sobering, at least for a while!

Soccer Players Who Struggled with Addiction

Mané Garrincha, the two-time world champion, was one of the best soccer players in the world in his time. However, his lifestyle ruined him, and he died at 49. According to many, he could have become better than Pele if he had not thrown away his talent and life or wasn’t one of the soccer players who struggled with addiction. He partied, drank, and never got the chance to grow old.

Garrincha caused several car accidents, one of which his mother-in-law died. He also left his eight children and his wife of 13 years for a samba dancer and supposedly had more than thirty kids. 

To put it mildly, he loved women and drinking. Nobody believed he would become a professional soccer player because he had so many physical disabilities that he would be a para-athlete today. He had bowlegs, and his left leg was six and a half centimeters shorter, plus he had problems with his spine. That is pretty impressive, considering his fantastic footwork. 

His father’s alcoholism probably set the example for normality in his life. He claimed to lose his virginity at 12 years old in a very bizarre way and had many, many lovers. However, drinking and the bohemian lifestyle completely ruined Garrincha. In 1983, he was taken to the hospital with alcohol poisoning, but the doctors could no longer help him. There is a rumor that he flirted with the nurses, even on his deathbed. After these tragic stories, you can lift your spirits with the fastest football players in the world!

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