Brazilian full-back Cicinho has revealed that he suffered from chronic alcoholism earlier in his career, in an interview with ESPN Brazil.
The 36-year-old signed for Real Madrid from hometown club São Paulo in 2006, and was a regular for Los Blancos over the course of the 2006/07 season. Having picked up a La Liga winner's medal at the end of the campaign, he moved on to Roma, where he would spend the next five years of his career.
His potential gradually tailed off during his time in Italy, and he was packed off on a couple of loan spells before permanently joining Sport Recife and then Turkish minnows Sivasspor. Now, Cicinho has discussed one of the contributing factors to his professional decline, namely his unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
"I'm a guy who can't sit and have one or two glasses. I have to drink until I fall over," he told ESPN. "They said to me: 'If you keep going with this life, you will die'. Then I had an encounter with Jesus after 18 caipirinhas and 14 beers."
Cicinho admitted that his drinking badly damaged his performances on the pitch. "I smoked two packets of cigarettes a day, how was I going to run around for 90 minutes?" he said.
Having sought help from psychologists at São Paulo regarding his addiction, Cicinho received help in 2010. He is currently without a club, after Sivasspor's relegation at the end of last season.