By Chris Wright
Former Argentina international Matias Almeyda has written an autobiography which is currently being serialised in Gazzetta dello Sport, in which the midfielder – who is currently head coach at River Plate – makes some fairly scandalous claims about the state of the inner machinations of Italian football, including intravenous doping, pandemic match-fixing and mafia intimidation.
Almeyda spent eight years in Italy, wherein he turned out for Lazio, Parma, Brescia and Inter Milan.
In the interest of laziness on our part, here’s the direct copy+paste quote from the passage of ‘Almeyda: Life and Soul’ which features in the lastest issue of La Gazzetta dello Sport, as transcribed by ESPN :
Speaking of his time with Parma, he talks about being given what he now believes were drugs – a story reinforced by television footage of Fabio Cannavaro taking on intravenous fluids the night before a match.
“At Parma we were given an IV drip before games,” he wrote. “They said it was a mixture of vitamins but before entering the field I was able to jump up as high as the ceiling. Players do not ask questions, but then in the following years there are cases of former players dying from heart problems, suffering from muscular issues and more. I think it is the consequence of the things that have been given to them.”
Almeyda also writes openly on his battle with alcohol during his time at Inter Milan, when his career was winding down.
“Once in Azul, my country, I drank five litres of wine, like Coca Cola, and I ended up