Ex-Brazil star Mario Jardel admits to week-long cocaine overdose before Bolton transfer

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Former European Golden Boot winner Mario Jardel has admitted to overdosing on cocaine during a binge that kept him awake for seven days prior to joining Bolton Wanderers.

The former Brazil international has admitted that his drug habit got out of control a year before he moved to the Reebok Stadium in 2003.

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Jardel was the top goalscorer in European football for three years by breaking multiple goalscoring records across his spells in Portugal and Turkey.

The striker won the highly coveted European Golden Boot awards in both the 1998–99 and 2001–02 seasons while he lost out to Kevin Phillips in 1999–2000 despite scoring six goals more than the Sunderland striker that campaign.

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In the six seasons between 1996 and 2002, Jardel scored a remarkable 259 goals – a rate of just over 43 goals per campaign.

Have Your Say! Where does Jardel rank in the great Brazilian strikers this century? Tell us what you think here.

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The first four of those campaigns were at Portuguese giants Porto, where he netted 170 goals in 175 appearances including 56 strikers in the 1999-00 campaign.

That led to a move to Turkish club Galatasaray, where he plundered 34 goals in 43 appearances, before returning to Portugal the following campaign to join Porto’s rivals Sporting Lisbon.

In the Portuguese capital Jardel enjoyed his best goal scoring campaign, bagging a scarcely believable 55 goals in 42 appearances – before his career rapidly began to fell apart.

Jardel’s fitness began to decline and he was heartbreakingly excluded from Brazil’s World Cup squad for the 2002 tournament – in which the nation triumphed.

The striker was limited to just 20 matches the following season, netting 12 times, with a knee injury derailing his career and accelerating his problems with drugs.

He has recalled a time that he stayed awake for seven times after overdosing on cocaine during that campaign.

Jardel explained to the Brazilian TV Show Gran Hermano: Famosos: “In 2002, I overdosed on cocaine and stayed awake for seven days.

“I hired escorts and I stayed in that life thinking that nothing was going to happen to me, that everything was fine with me.

“Being a person in the public eye is not easy. We have a very high salary and, at my level, even more so.”

Then aged 30, Jardel joined Sam Allardyce’s Bolton the following year but never scored a goal in the Premier League, with all three goals coming in the League Cup – when Wanderers reached the showpiece.

The Brazilian netted twice against Walsall and at Anfield against Liverpool but his spell at the club lasted just 11 appearances before he moved to Italian club Ancona, then in Serie A.

The striker played for 11 more clubs in the next seven seasons before retiring and he has admitted that his life has been focused on battling his drug addiction.

He added: “I am very aware of my problem, of my daily struggle. What matters is that I am alive and I say ‘no to drugs’.”

Jardel was capped 10 times by the Brazil national team, scoring once.

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