A Brazilian footballer has revealed he sold his Club World Cup winners’ medal to pay for a cocaine binge at the height of his addiction.
Flávio Donizete was part of the São Paulo side that beat Liverpool 1-0 in the 2005 Club World Cup final in Japan.
Donizete was only included in the squad as a late entry after an injury to Leandro Bonfim but managed to get his hands on the medal despite not featuring in the triumph over the European champions.
However, two years later the centre-back become embroiled in drugs addiction and offloaded his prized possession so he could embark on a two-day binge where he did not leave the house.
The downwards spiral continued for 13 years until Donizete was able to get clean.
“I sold it to buy drugs. I sold it for 7,000 reais (around GHC7,570),” the 36-year old told Globoesporte, via Goal.
“When I sold it the money came and I blew almost all of it on cocaine. The first delivery was 1,000 reais of cocaine. I used it in two days. The more money I had, the more drugs I wanted.
“After I was acquainted with cocaine, I lost everything else. Because at the start I was a moderate user. Until cocaine became more important in my life, I started to lose everything I had. Any money saved I used to buy drugs. I wouldn’t let myself be without drugs. Morning, afternoon and evening I had to take cocaine.
“Any money in my account, my possessions, I started losing them. I lost everything, except my wife, daughters and family, who are still with me even today.”
Donizete spent time on loan at Portuguesa, America and Nacional before he was released in 2009. He had a couple stints back playing with Taboao da Serra and Portuguesa and now, having been sober for 18 months works as a gardener.
“I started to get fat through the drink, I picked up a knee injury and I couldn’t run. All that as well as the coke. So I said, ‘that’s it’. I gave up football for good.
“My biggest regret is having tried cocaine. It destroyed me.”
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