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“Cigarettes have taken away everything football has given me.”

Alcohol and tobacco are historically mankind’s favorite classics. Alcohol is featured in the records of Mesopotamia, the world’s first civilization, which began in 4000 B.C. In the case of the East, alcohol has been manufactured since the Yellow River civilization, which began in 1900 B.C. Even the legend of Jumong, the founder of Goguryeo, has a story of alcohol.

When we bring up a very old story, we often say, “The days of tiger smoking.” However, unlike alcohol, the history of tobacco is not that long. Tobacco spread to the West with the ‘Great Navigation Era’, which began in the 15th century. Europeans brought cigarettes used by Native Americans for witchcraft ceremonies to their home countries. Later, a Portuguese merchant delivered cigarettes to Japan, and cigarettes entered Joseon during the Imjin War.

In the past, when medicine was not developed, cigarettes were used for medicinal purposes. For more than 300 years after tobacco was introduced to Europe, tobacco was a universal treatment used by doctors. Some medical institutions even treated tobacco as a panacea, saying it could cure more than 65 diseases. In the East, tobacco was also used as a medicinal ingredient for a long time. 스포츠토토

Lung cancer used to be a very rare disease. Such lung cancer surged worldwide at the end of the 19th century, but it was not until the mid-20th century that the link between tobacco and lung cancer was medically proven. However, tobacco companies challenged this evidence and argued for conspiracy theories. They delayed and obstructed research on tobacco, and also engaged in a campaign based on false information.

It was even advertised that smoking helps athletes improve their performance and health. Amid this false information and ignorance, many sports stars enjoyed smoking. Jesse Owens, who became a track legend by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and Chris Chatterway, who set a new 5,000-meter world record in 1954, were also lovers. Although warnings about smoking continued to emerge over time, only about a third of U.S. doctors in the late 1960s reportedly recognized the link between smoking and lung cancer.

Greaves smoked since his first day at Chelsea and enjoyed smoking throughout his career. He revealed that half of the Chelsea, Tottenham, and England players he played for were smokers. Greaves was a 1966 World Cup winner in England. According to him, the meeting room was filled with cigarette smoke when a team meeting was held at the hotel where the team was staying at the time.

Cruyff, who went through AFC Ajax and FC Barcelona, is one of the few people in the soccer world who have achieved great success as a player and manager. At the 1974 West German World Cup, the Netherlands won a complete victory over Argentina and Brazil with “Total Football” centered on Cruyff. Cruyff, who later became Barcelona’s coach, transplanted total football into the club, and based on this, a famous football tactic called “Tikitaka” emerged.

While Pele and Diego Maradona represented the 1960s and 1980s, respectively, the 1970s were Cruyff’s era. However, Cruyff was so severe that he smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. Cruyff, who enjoyed smoking even during the half-time of the 1974 World Cup final, was unfortunately sluggish in the final against West Germany. If Cruyff had stayed away from smoking, would his country have been able to win the World Cup? One thing is certain: Modern soccer has developed greatly compared to soccer during Cruyff’s era. Therefore, a smoker who smokes a lot like Cruyff can never adapt to modern soccer.

Cruyff, who underwent heart surgery in 1991, appeared in a smoke-free ad where he performed stunts with a cigarette pack instead of a soccer ball. Cruyff in the ad had two addictions: tobacco and soccer, and smashed cigarette packs with a sharp shot, saying, “Football has given me everything in this life; Tobacco almost look it all away.” However, even after that, he still could not quit smoking easily. Cruyff eventually passed away in 2016 at the age of 68. The cause of death was lung cancer.

Wenger, the legendary Arsenal manager, fined goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny £20,000 in 2015 after he smoked in the dressing room. Afterwards, Wenger revealed in an interview that he also used to smoke. Growing up among smokers, Wenger once sold cigarettes and was paid a month for it, especially when he was in the military. As a natural smoker, Wenger used to smoke cigarettes during his early years as a football leader due to stress. However, Wenger quit smoking before he became Arsenal manager, and emphasized the importance of quitting smoking for players to maintain a high level of performance.

Dimitar Berbatov, who played for Tottenham and Manchester United, retired and made his screen debut. Berbatov in the picture was compared to actor James Dean, but in fact he is famous for Andy Garcia’s doppelganger in the movie The Godfather III. Berbatov is known as a smoker for this photo, but he is said to have only “imitated smoking to look good.” TNT Sports Twitter

Professional soccer players are obliged to show their best performances in their best condition. Therefore, many fans sympathize with the argument that smoking is no longer an individual’s choice. Nevertheless, some players still enjoy smoking. Let’s find out about it in the next column.

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