Despite our general belief that the athletes are flawless, there are great names titled as drunk footballers of all time. Probably we should change our beliefs. Should we consider them healthy and perfect just because they do sport?
The very first and essential factor of being an athlete is avoiding the dreadful activities, in brief, cut down on drinking and smoking. For ordinary people- just like us- having some dangerous behaviors such as drinking or eating unhealthy foods, is normal. How would you react, if you see well-known footballers who drink alcohol, not for fun but excessively or even worse, use drugs?
In this article, we are going to survey drunk footballers of all time. It is doubtless that the names on our list would shock you so much.
The first person on the list of drunk footballers of all time is:
Is there any football lover that hasn't heard of his name? Manuel Francisco dos Santos known as Garrincha was a man full of surprises. He was the football's most flawed genius. He was born in 1933 in Pau Grande, a district of Magé, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, he was born into Brazil's poor and impoverished community. He was not a normal baby boy.
He was born with his right leg 6 centimeters shorter than his left. Also, his left leg turned outwards and his right turned inwards. Back then his doctor believed that he could not walk for good. Being smaller than other kids, made his sister calls him Garrincha, the north-eastern name for the wren, a very small brown bird. He also couldn't read or write. As a heritage from his alcoholic father, he also became a professional drinker. Like father, like son.
Due to his physical disabilities and lack of interest in football, no one had ever thought that he would become a great footballer. Garrincha in his homeland Brazil often mentioned as the greatest football player ever, before his countryman Pele.
Besides his excellent performance in football- having two world cup with Brazil in 1958 and 1962- he could be judged as a loser in his private life. He was a womanizer and his life was shortened into women and alcohol. He had lots of drunken car crashes and in the end, alcohol terminated his life. He died from liver disease in 1983 while being in an alcoholic coma. He had left behind fourteen children (known).
Who else do you think is on the list of drunk footballers of all time?
In the football world, there a few people who believed that George Best was the most naturally gifted footballer Britain has produced. He was born on 20 May 1946, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. When Manchester United scout Bob Bishop, found this skinny teenager, he told Matt Busby: "Boss, I think I've found you a genius".
Gradually, he pulled himself together so much that due to his fashionable style he became one of the iconic figures of "Swinging London" during the 1960s. This professional football player who played as a winger was named European Footballer of the Year in 1968 and came sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century vote. He was so extraordinary that The Irish Football Association described him as the "greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland."
So far so good. He was one of the drunk soccer players of all time. Best suffered from alcoholism for most of his adulthood. A fatal habit. His addiction to alcohol even made a thief out of him. In 1981, while playing in the United States, Best stole money from the handbag of a woman he did not know to fund a drinking session. For drunk driving, assaulting a police officer, and failing to answer bail he had been sentenced to be imprisoned for three months, so he spent Christmas of 1984 behind bars.
In March 2000 as a result of alcohol, the function of his liver lowered to 20% and he had to have his liver transplanted. Even after liver transplant, he continued drinking. In the early hours of 25 November 2005 at the age of 59, he passed away, as a result of a lung infection and multiple organ failure.
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He was one of the most talented in soccer history. He is that kind of man, who doesn't say no to any sort of addiction. He was born on 27 May 1967 in Gateshead. According to the National Football Museum Gazza-Paul's nickname- is "widely recognized as the most naturally talented English footballer of his generation".
Same as the footballer above, he must be included among the drunk football players of all time. He suffered from some mental problems as well. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In October 2010, Gascoigne was arrested for drunk driving. He consequently declared being more than four times over the limit. One day after being warned he could face a prison sentence for drunk driving, Gascoigne was arrested for possession of cocaine. He even once was taken to the hospital after a drunk fight in some hotel. Fortunately, in 2017 a spokesman for Gascoigne, confirmed that he had entered a rehabilitation center in a serious effort to stay "alcohol-free".
Kubala- one of the great footballers in football history- had also a drinking problem. He was born on 10 June 1927 in Budapest. His parents were low-class, his mother was a factory worker and his father was a bricklayer. In 1949 when Hungary became a socialist state, Kubala fled the country. He left his motherland in the back of a track.
Fortunately, destiny led him to Barcelona. He was supposed to play for Real Madrid, but FC Barcelona authorities grasped him at the airport before their rivals could. His contract with Barcelona was not a normal one. As said earlier, he was supposed to sign a contract with real Madrid. When he sobered up the next day he heard to his surprise that he signed for FC Barcelona.
But in fact, he was the first great player who had changed the history of Barcelona. Kubala brought a golden age to the club.
He is one of the most controversial football players of all time, isn't he?
The great Maradona is also infamous for his cocaine addiction, there was never a proven statement that he is also a drinker. But in his biography, he had confessed that he was a drinker too and he could have had a better performance if he didn't drink a bottle of whiskey every night.
On 30 October 1960, at the Policlínico, he was born to a poor family, just like the other stars of football. At the age of eight, as he was playing in his neighborhood, he had been spotted by a talent scout and so it was the beginning of his professional career.
Maradona began taking cocaine and alcohol in n the mid-1980s and continued until 2004. In 1982 when he was playing for Barcelona, he took drugs and when he moved to Napoli thanks to his Mafia relations, his addiction got worse.
Due to his addiction, he started putting on weight so he had been transferred to a psychiatric clinic specializing in alcohol-related problems. In May 2007, Maradona in Argentina national television confessed that he had quit drinking and had not used drugs in two-and-a-half years.
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He was born on 10 October 1966 and as a soccer player, he played only for Arsenal and England national team. For almost 22 years he played as a center back at Arsenal and at that time he was so popular among the fans. A statue honoring Adams was unveiled at Emirates Stadium on 9 December 2011, along with statues of Thierry Henry and Herbert Chapman.
His addiction to alcohol started in the mid-1980s and gradually there were some reports that he had some alcohol-driven fights in nightclubs. On 6 May 1990, he had a serious car crash, his blood test showed that the level of alcohol in his blood is more than four times the legal drink-drive limit.
In 1990 he got sentenced to four months in prison for drunk driving and six years later he started to help himself and have a better lifestyle. By the arrival of Arsène Wenger –Arsenal manager- the practices and members' diet had changed. Adams's lifestyle was also changed under Wenger reformation.
Tony Admas owned the last years of his career to Wenger and in 2000 as a result of his struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction, Adams established the Sporting Chance Clinic, a place aimed at helping and improving for sportsmen and women suffering from drink, drug or gambling addictions.
Although he is one of the drunk footballers of all time, he made a profit out of it, and by establishing his foundation he tried his best to compensate his background.
Sócrates was born in Belém do Pará in Brazil. In 1974 he started his professional career and spent the majority of his professional life with Corinthians. At the 1982 FIFA World Cup, he captained his national team, and up until his time in Brazil national team, he had scored 22 goals.
He was not only a soccer player, he was a columnist for several newspapers and magazines, writing not only about sports, but also politics and economics. He often performed on Brazilian TV programs as a football pundit. He was also a physician, he took a bachelor's degree in medicine from the Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, the medical school of the University of São Paulo.
Contrary to his academic life, he had confessed that he had a drinking problem but stated that he was not dependent on the drugs. Although he was not addicted to alcohol, this destructive substance had its effect on him and once made him hospitalized because of some problem in his liver and small intestine.
To our surprise, Adriano is also among the drunk footballers of all time.
Adriano Leite Ribeiro, known as Adriano, was born on 17 February 1982. He started his professional career in 1999 on Flamengo's youth squad and earned a promotion to the senior squad one year later. He was a powerful striker and considered one of the best strikers in the world in the mid-2000s. At the age of 18, he became a member of the Brazil national team and was considered the long-term successor to Ronaldo.
But this popular soccer player in an interview with Brazilian magazine R7 via Football-Italia confessed that he had been suffering from depression and alcohol problems. Adriano said:
"Only I know how much I suffered. The death of my father left me with this huge void, I felt very lonely. After his death, everything got worse because I isolated myself. I was alone in Italy, sad and depressed, and then I started drinking. I only felt happy when I was drinking, I'd do it every night. I drank everything I could get my hands on wine, whiskey, vodka, beer. Lots of beer.....I later realized that the problem was the people around me, friends who did nothing but take me to parties with women and alcohol, without thinking about anything."
Isn't it normal for a Russian to be on the list of drunk footballers of all time?
Roman Nikolayevich Shirokov was born on 6 July 1981. He started his career at the CSKA academy but was not considered a good prospect because of his shamefully poor attitude.
He started his professional career by playing for Zenit. Shirokov started his first season for Zenit as central back and continued his football journey in two other football teams. He is not the worst Russian footballer but he indeed is their representative. In Croatia Shirokov was named the main alcoholic modern football. Roman himself admitted that rather than developing his football skills he preferred drinking bouts with his companions. Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti published an article regarding his lifestyle and they quoted from him that:
"At some point, I was in serious trouble, vodka and whiskey almost cost me my life, but I realized that I have problems and I don't want to die young. I was terribly disappointed (after leaving CSKA), and then came to me the other. We went out to drink, and then I spent two months wandering around the country and drank. We did different things, and I don't remember most of them."
He also in an interview with sport-express, had confessed that: "I stole four years of life from myself."
Fortunately, at the age of 26, he pulled himself together and backed on track and became such an important soccer player for his national team-Russia.
Who is the last person on the list of drunk footballers of all time? Be with us.
Artem Volodymyrovych Milevskiy was born on 12 January 1985. He started his pro football life as a striker at youth level for Belarusian club Smena Minsk and soon in August 2006, was elected the best footballer in Ukraine by the vote of journalists.
Besides his popularity for his skill in football, he was also infamous for his numerous drug, racing, and drinking scandals that have been following him since his first years at the Dynamo Kyiv FC.
Due to his bad and nonprofessional attitudes as a footballer, destiny led him to an obscure Turkish club, Gaziantepspor, and later on to an obscure club in Belarus.
Our list of drunk footballers of all time would end up here. The names above teach us some essential lessons. The gifted people are walking on the edge. Fame and popularity can either promote their lives or erase their name from history.