“I had an overdose and was awake for seven days”: the painful confessions of a historic scorer who had a stint at Newell’s

Mario Jardel was a great soccer star in Brazil

the brazilian Mario Jardel he was able to have a much more prominent career in international football. But nevertheless, his addictions and lack of discipline prevented him from having greater continuity and develop their full potential. The former player is aware of these shortcomings and, over the years, has dedicated himself to raising awareness among new generations based on his own experiences. In the last few hours, he made a cruel statement about his worst personal and professional moment.

“In 2002, I overdosed on cocaine and stayed awake for seven days”, confided Jardel recently during his participation in famous big brother, a reality show broadcast in Portugal. In that year, the former striker was part of the Sporting Lisbon squad and that episode marked the beginning of the decline of a career that until now had been brilliant.

The former striker for Vasco da Gama, Gremio de Porto Alegre, Porto de Portugal and Newell’s de Argentina, among many others, continued: “For those of you who see me, is not an example. I hired women, I stayed in that life thinking that nothing was going to happen to me, that everything was fine.

“This is an everyday fight,” the Brazilian admitted to his Big Brother teammates and spoke of the importance of faith in his recovery. In addition, he called on fathers and mothers to be attentive to “the problems of drugs, drinking and other things.”

Far from boasting about that action, the Brazilian has made the decision to make public those adversities that he had to go through in order to give a message of improvement. “I am very aware of this problem that I have, of my daily struggle. What matters is that I am alive and I say here: ‘No to drugs’”, he stressed.

And, in addition, he made reference to the painful moments that he had to go through even after retirement: “It is not easy to deal with depression, lack of friends… After you stop playing no one calls you anymore.”

It is not the first time that Jardel has been moved when talking about his past on Portuguese TV. A few days ago, when passing through the confessional (the room in which the participants speak with Big Brother), he said: “I fell down and it took me a long time to get up. I have no words to thank you for this opportunity that you give me”.

With Ariel Ortega, in a Newell's training session in 2004
With Ariel Ortega, in a Newell’s training session in 2004

Mário Jardel de Almeida Ribeiro, as his identity document states, is remembered by fans for having twice been the top scorer in Europe, top scorer in the Copa Libertadores and the Champions League. He was also nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 2000, was coveted by Barcelona and some say he was Cristiano Ronaldo’s master in the art of the header.

His career began in 1991 in Vasco da Gama. With the cast of Rio de Janeiro he won three Rio de Janeiro championships and was later transferred to Porto Alegre’s Guild, where he was champion and top scorer of the Liberators cup of 1995, with 12 conquests. Then he made the leap to Europe: he arrived at Porto, which in four seasons saw his bet score 130 goals in 125 games.

Jardel today is part of the reality show Big Brother Famous
Jardel today is part of the reality show Big Brother Famous

Until he left Sporting Lisbon in 2003, after passing through Galatasaray in Turkey, he had scored 352 goals in 13 years. Then just 18 in 7, until his ostracized retirement from Saudi Arabia’s Al-Taawon. There were 12 clubs in their times of debacle, in which the excesses, the drugs, the night and the depression dynamited his career. At that time he went through Newell’s, in Argentina, where he did not leave a good memory among the fans since he played only three matches and did not shout goals (although technically he was champion of the 2004 Apertura tournament).

“It was eight to nine years in which I walked in a very cruel world”, accepted some time ago in an interview with Globe Sports the 48-year-old man se dedicated himself to working as an intermediary and that in January 2021 it was news because the humble Serpense Union from Portugal presented him as “training coordinator” of the club’s new structure.

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