Winning the 1970 World Cup didn’t so much go to Paulo Cesar’s head as up his nose. The former Brazil midfielder sold his winners’ medal to buy cocaine, he admitted to Globonews.
“I wasn’t in control emotionally. I should never have negotiated and sold such a precious medal. It’s a huge loss. I’ve never told anyone but now I’m ready to admit it,” the player known as “Caju” said.
Now 65, he was an unused substitute in the win over Italy. He reportedly became addicted while in Marseille in the 1970s. Or is that the plot of the French Connection? Anyway, he struggled with his habit for 17 years, and a doctor in France in the early ‘80s told him he’d die if he didn’t change.
Not that Sir Bobby Moore and friends were selling their prized memorabilia in order to buy crack (one assumes), but players giving up the medal isn’t unusual. According to the Mirror, only three members of England’s 1966 World Cup winning roster still have their medals (one’s pictured, above). That’s not too surprising considering the low wages of the era and the fact that the medals can fetch more than $150,000 at auction; or 1,500 grams, as Cesar might think of it.