The ex-Selecao player said he bathed in perfume and drank coffee to cover the smell during his time at the Spanish club
Former Real Madrid defender Cicinho has opened up about his battle with alcoholism, revealing that he used to arrive at training drunk.
The Brazilian joined the Santiago Bernabeu team from Sao Paulo in 2006 and spent parts of two seasons with the club before leaving for Roma.
Cicinho, now 41, says it was easy to get free alcohol because of his status as a football star, which affected his time in the Spanish capital.
What did Cicinho say about his time at Real Madrid?
“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.
“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.”
Cicinho’s drinking habit continued during his time at Roma, especially after he was out for an extended period with a ligament injury.
“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.,” he said.
“Every time I arrived at Roma drunk, the leaders saw it and that made me fall into disrepute.”
Cicinho reflects on struggle with alcoholism
The ex-right-back says he started drinking in his early teenage years and did not stop as he discussed the effect the issue had on his life.
“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.”
He added: “My father and sister took care of my property, and they tried to file a request for intervention of my property. I couldn’t manage what I had.
“Alcohol gets you surrounded by people who like that lifestyle, and people who truly love you are excluded, because when they put you against the wall, saying that your life is not cool, you don’t want to listen.”