Ex-Bolton star Mario Jardel reveals excessive cocaine use kept him awake for SEVEN DAYS just a year before joining the Prem squad
FORMER Bolton striker Mario Jardel has confessed to being awake for SEVEN DAYS on a cocaine binge before joining the Premier League side.
The ex-Brazil international has admitted overdosing on a Class A drug in 2002 while at Sporting Lisbon – just a year before his move to Reebok Stadium.
Three years ago, Jardel admitted to using drugs during the holidays between seasons, saying he got into the drug world out of curiosity.
He insisted in the interview that he is now free from drug addiction and that the cleanup of his act was largely due to his wife.
The 48-year-old, whose decline began before his August 2003 move to Bolton after spells at Porto, Galatasaray and Sporting, made his startling cocaine overdose confession during a famous version of Big Brother at the Portuguese television.
Jardel, who launched a short-lived political career in his native country after retiring from football, shocked viewers and his housemates by admitting: “In 2002, I overdosed and stayed awake for seven days using cocaine.
“For those of you looking at me, this is not an example. I hired women, I thought nothing would happen to me, that everything was fine.
Revealing that he still needs to be vigilant to avoid a relapse, he added: “It’s a daily struggle.
“I am very aware of this problem that I have.”
Jardel, who retired from the game in 2011, was out of action for most of the 2002-03 season before moving to Bolton after injuring his knee in a fall into a swimming pool during the Christmas holidays in Brazil.
During his indifference to the English side, Jardel was loaned out to Italian club Ancona before signing for Argentinian club Newell’s Old Boys.
Continuing his confession on the Portuguese TV show, he added: “I fell and it took me a long time to get up.
“I have no words to thank you for the opportunity you are giving me.
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
“What is important is that I am alive and today I can say ‘no to drugs'”.
The retired footballer, whose prolific goalscoring early in his career led to him being capped by Brazil aged just 19, has also admitted to suffering from depression.
He said: “It’s not easy to fight depression and lack of friends after you stop playing.”
⚽ Read our Transfer News Live blog for the latest rumours, gossip and closed deals