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10 Footballers Who Had Gambling Issues

Many footballers over the years have had vices in the form of drugs and alcohol, but here are 10 players who had big gambling issues, including a former Liverpool star who once lost a major bet on the South African cricket team.

Click through the gallery above to see 10 footballers who had problems with gambling, according to various reports.

After going through a divorce, ex-Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann reportedly turned to sports betting, with things coming to a head when he lost £288 400 (R6.1 million) on an international cricket match between Australia and South Africa.

Speaking about his gambling issues in his autobiography, he wrote: "That night, I bought Australia for £2 800 at 340 runs. That meant for every run over 340 you win £2 800, but for every run under you lose the same amount. Australia collapsed for 237. It is a score I remember well. It cost me £288 400.

"Every wicket felt like a stab in the heart. By the end of the night, I felt like I'd been scalped. The next day, when I looked at the mess that was me in the mirror, I said 'Didi, things have got to change.'"

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Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney is also among those who have had a problem with sports betting, once saying that "for an away game with Manchester United, you stay in a hotel – and with England you're in a hotel for seven to 10 days. You get bored and do things to fill the time. At that time, gambling was one of them. It was easy to place bets by phone. It didn't feel like real money. It wasn't like I had to go into a bookies and put bets where there are limits."

Former Chelsea and FC Barcelona forward Eidur Gudjohnsen is believed to have been in £6 million (R128 million) worth of gambling debt in 2009 when he was playing in Spain, while ex-Arsenal star Paul Merson was forced to give up his home after he kept failing to make mortgage payments.

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To see more footballers who struggled with gambling issues, click through the gallery above.

Why do you think so many footballers suffer with addictions involving gambling, alcohol and drugs? Let us know in the comments section below.

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