Arsenal star Hector Bellerin reveals he turned to booze after being out for nine months injured as way of 'coping'
ARSENAL star Hector Bellerin has revealed how he turned to booze as he struggled to deal with his injury hell.
The 26-year-old defender is much-loved by the Gunners faithful but they hardly got to see him in action over recent years.
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Back in 2019 he ruptured a cruciate ligament and was then blighted by hamstring issues after his return.
Spaniard Bellerin has struggled for regular starts this term under Mikel Arteta as Arsenal missed out on European qualification for the first time in 25 years.
And the full-back has been heavily linked with a return to Barcelona, the club he left for the Emirates a decade ago.
No matter what happens next, Bellerin will surely never go through a period as difficult in his career as he did throughout his injury hell.
And the brave ace has opened up on his struggle with alcohol during an interview on the Timsby YouTube channel while discussing those dark days.
Bellerin said: “It was the first time that I had got injured like that, and I had friends and team-mates that had gone through it before, I had my family next to me, but I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen to me.
“I talk about an experience when I came back and I wasn’t really training, and I started going out a lot, I started drinking and all this stuff and you know for a footballer that’s not what you’re supposed to say but it’s the truth.
“We have our issues, we have our mental health problems. And when football, which is basically your identity gets taken out of you, we find it difficult.
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“Obviously London is a town that offers a lot of distractions and it’s really easy when you don’t feel you have a responsibility – obviously I knew I had to recover, but I didn’t have to train or play – my mind kind of just went elsewhere.”
Thankfully Bellerin had great support to help him on his journey to recovery – something he is extremely grateful for.
He added: “I was lucky enough to have players and coaches who knew what I was doing, and they said ‘look Hector, that’s not the right way to do it’, and I felt so lucky about that.
“But also I’m not ashamed of it, I feel like it’s what happened to me and it’s just the way I was feeling and for me that was the best way of coping with my feelings, which is obviously not the best anyway, you don’t help anything, you just delay it.
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“But that’s how I felt like doing then, and I thought I could get away with it and I learned so much from it.
“Now the last thing I do when I have an injury is drink because I know how bad that is. Sometimes you just don’t care or it’s difficult.”
You can watch the full interview on Timbsy’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un-wqMMASro&t=2682s’
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