Former Real Madrid right-back, Cicinho has revealed he used to turn up for training drunk while suffering from alcoholism.
Cicinho spent two years at the Bernabeu after completing a move from Brazilian side Sao Paulo in 2005, featuring 32 times for Real and collecting a La Liga winners’ medal in 2007.
In an interview with EPTV show Ressaca, via Goal, the ex-Brazil spoke candidly about his struggle with alcoholism over the past decade. He also recalled arriving for training during his time in Madrid while 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.’
‘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.’
He departed for Roma that summer after falling out of favour under new boss Bernd Schuster due to his problems off the pitch. At Roma, his battle with alcoholism continued.
The 41-year-old admits he also attended training with Giallorossi drunk, although club officials quickly noticed this time.
Speaking about his time in Rome, Cicinho said: ‘Started drinking after training. I did the physiotherapy work, came home around 2 p.m., and 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, who spent five years with Roma before later enjoying stints in Turkey and back in Brazil, first started drinking as a teenager and soon found himself on a slippery slope.
‘At 13 years old, when I tasted alcohol for the first time, I never stopped,’ he said.
‘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.’