Cicinho admits to drinking problem

The Brazilian defender states that he had an over-indulgent lifestyle for several years but insists that his girlfriend and his new club have helped him overcome the problem
Former Real Madrid and Roma defender Cicinho has admitted that his career has been marred by a serious drinking problem.

The 32-year-old is currently on the books of newly-promoted Brazilian Serie A side Sport Club do Recife following the expiry of his contract with the Giallorossi, where he played between 2007 and 2012.

Cicinho conceded that his party lifestyle hindered his progress and revealed that it all began while he was still in his homeland of Brazil.

"I got carried away by fame and success," he told Globoesporte. "I was in over my head and I thought I could do anything. I crossed the line.

"I was making R$800 at Botafogo [£251] and I went to Atletico Mineiro to make R$7,800 [£2,450]. I thought that I was rich. I would give my parents R$1,000 [£14] and the rest I would spend partying.

"When I went to Madrid, success got to me even more. I wanted to own everything. For example, I would go to a bar and I would tell the bouncer to open the place because I would drink everything that was there.

"There was one time where I peed in the lobby of the best hotel of my town, at three in the morning, while the receptionist was doing my check-in."

The former Brazil international underlined that his drinking problem is now over and credited his new club and girlfriend, Marri, for his recovery.

"The love she feels for me and that I feel for her has made me love my life again," Cicinho declared.

"That is how I realised that I cannot waste what God has given me, which is the gift to play football.

"I am very happy at Sport, a club located in a wonderful city, and I want to make history here."