ROYSTON DRENTHE recalls drinking vodka on the team bus while he was playing in Russia.
The former Real Madrid star partied with the likes of Guti and Wesley Sneijder during his time in Spain, but rapidly saw his career spiral in the opposite direction to those greats.
Drenthe helped Los Blancos win the La Liga title in 2008, but after loan spells at Hercules and Everton found himself surplus to requirements.
Following the expiry of his Madrid contract in 2012, the Dutchman signed for newly promoted Russian side Alania Vladikavkaz.
While the move was a good one financially, Drenthe quickly grew disillusioned with life in Russia.
Located near the Georgian border, Vladikavkaz lacked the kind of amenities that Drenthe was looking for.
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In a 2020 interview with Dutch station RTV, he said: "Vladikavkaz was not the ideal place.
"It is a totally destroyed city. You couldn't do anything fun, despite having a lot of money."
He went on to say that he felt his six months there had "been to forget".
One thing he did recall doing was drinking vodka.
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He explained: "The vodka…. We drank it very often, it was one of the mainstays.
"In that perspective, it was not difficult to get used to. Also, we had vodka on the team bus. In Russia it is like that."
Drenthe's former team-mate Cicinho revealed he drank ten beers a day at Real Madrid and even turned up to training drunk.
Drenthe played just six games for Alania, scoring three goals, before moving back to England with Reading.
The one-cap Dutch international, now of Racing Merida, has fond memories of nights out with his former Madrid pals.
He said: "I have had so many beautiful nights with Guti.
"We often hung out with Wesley Sneijder, Robinho and Gonzalo Higuain.
"Wesley and I were flesh and blood and we could cross the red line from time to time. And there were times when Higuain signed up."
Drenthe was later declared bankrupt after losing his £3.2million fortune and was most recently a healthcare worker in the Netherlands.
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