But did you know that some of the players they bet on also try their luck at casino games? This article covers seven gambling addiction stories from some of the most famous soccer players in the world.
Before we start, it is important to know that gambling is highly addictive and can lead to massive losses. When considering playing casino games, you should at least make informed decisions.
We recommend using a dedicated site like Casinobonusca which will provide you with all the information you need to have a responsible gambling session, including wagering requirements, terms and conditions and RTP. Suppose you know that you are prone to gambling addiction. In that case, you should look for a platform that allows you to set deposit limits that will allow you to control your spending.
Let’s get started without further ado!
⦁ Dominic Matteo
Former Leeds United captain and Liverpool defender Dominic Matteo is a Scottish football star who had a legendary career between 1992 and 2009. Unfortunately, Dominic developed a gambling addiction that resulted in over C $ 1 million in debt and officially filed for bankruptcy.
In addition to losing seven numbers while gambling, he claims to have spent up to C $ 100,000 on a single horse bet. After a long battle with addiction, he finally decided to set out his gambling problem in his biography “In My Defense”.
Dominic’s confession was touching, especially the role in which he mentioned that he was playing his daughter’s legacy. Through his book and gambling awareness interviews, the former athlete aims to help other addicts avoid making the same mistakes as himself.
⦁ Michael Chopra
Former New Castle United, Cardiff City and Sunderland forward Michael Chopra confessed that his gambling addiction began in his early days at New Castle. In an interview for SMH, he stated that his passion for casino games began as a fun game between his clubmates on the bus. You would have huge buy-ins that would go up to $ 53,900 in one session.
He confessed that he lost over C $ 3.59 million during his high roller poker sessions on the bus. His gambling addiction soon began to take hold in his family life. Chopra’s father had to sell the house to pay his son’s debts.
The former striker was later charged with suspicious betting activities by the British Horseracing Authority. After spending some time at the Sporting Chance Recovery facility created by Arsenal’s Tony Adams, Chopra got better and got rid of his addiction before retiring in 2016. He currently works as a sports agent and broker for Only4Starts Players and Match Agency in Amsterdam.
⦁ Eidur Gudjohnsen
The former Chelsea forward has started playing after an injury that left him feeling bored and lonely. In just five months, Gudjohnsen lost over C $ 700,000 at the casino. In an interview for TheStar, the athlete said that gambling gives him the same adrenaline rush as he does when he hits a goal.
He found casino games magical but soon realized that the feeling wasn’t natural. Eidur searched for a quick fix to his boredom, but gambling made things even worse than them and got him to the point where he started chasing after his losses.
His gambling activities continued long after he recovered from the injury. Things got out of hand during his time at Barcelona. Gudjohnsen owed over $ 7 million in debt to various banks across Europe. In 2009, he made a vow that he would never play again after going public with his addiction. Soon after his confession, he started training for the Icelandic U21 soccer team.
⦁ Paul Merson
The former England team midfielder has a long history of addiction. In his early days, Paul Merson struggled to quit drugs and alcohol until he discovered that gambling was more challenging than any substance he had ever used.
Paul lost as much as C $ 53,000 in a single casino session and ended up with a whopping C $ 12 million in debt. In 2008, he had to give up his home for C $ 530,000 after missing the mortgage payments, and it was in that moment that he finally realized he had to go to a rehab center.
Everything seemed fine to Paul Merson, but in a 2019 ITV documentary, he confessed that he had relapsed again and spoke openly about his battle against substance abuse, depression, and casinos. Currently, the 51-year-old is an expert on Sky Sports and strives to maintain a balanced and positive attitude.
⦁ Matthew Etherington
The former West Ham, Tottenham and Stoke winger was an avid poker player and bettor. His gambling addiction resulted in over $ 2.5 million in debt before he finally decided to seek help for his addiction.
With the help of his mother, Matthew Etherington took control of his gambling addiction by partnering with the Professional Footballer’s Association. He later spent some time at the famous Sporting Chance Clinic to fully recover.
Matthew retired from professional football in December 2014 after suffering a back injury. He is currently working on a career in management and still attends anonymous gambler meetings to avoid relapse.
⦁ Dietmar Hamann
The former German midfielder reported that he kept playing throughout his career, especially during his divorce and the moments he spent outside of his children. Instead of facing reality, Dietmar turned to gambling and lost up to C $ 350,000 in one session.
When he retired he was an Anfield Legend and then coached MK Dons, Leicester and Stockport Counties. At the age of 41 he even returned briefly to the football field with the TuS Haltren amateur team. However, his focus is on becoming a seasoned writer of various sports publications.
⦁ Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney is considered to be one of the strongest strikers to have ever played in the English Premier League. He is a legend in the football community. Any Manchester United fan will remember Rooney’s signature goals that have earned him so much recognition throughout his career.
According to Wayne Rooney, he was addicted to gambling when he was young. The athlete bet on football, dogs, and horses, which resulted in nearly C $ 1 million in debt. Fortunately, those days are long gone and he lives happily with his family. His impulsive gambling resulted from being so young and having a lot of money that was difficult to handle.
Gambling addiction is a serious problem and even soccer players are susceptible to it. However, there are many systems and organizations that are responsible for impulsive gaming behavior.
If you ever feel overwhelmed by your addiction, don’t hesitate to contact a responsible gambling organization or limit your gambling activities right from the platform you are betting on. If the world’s most famous soccer player could solve his addiction through rehab, so can you.