Drunk star lost $720k in 90 minutes
Danish football star Nicklas Bendtner revealed he once gambled away $720,000 (AUD) in 90 minutes at a London casino despite being on the brink of bankruptcy.
The incident, which took place in 2011, saw the then-Arsenal striker head into his favourite casino drunk at around 3am, The Sun reports.
But within an hour-and-a-half, he had burned almost $720,000 as his financial woes threatened to collapse into further turmoil.
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Bendtner told The Guardian: "I'm way too drunk to sit at a table. That much I get. But roulette is a different matter. Red, black, red, black. How hard can it be?
"After 90 minutes I've lost $720,000. Money I don't have. My bank account is overdrawn and I'm bankrupt if my luck doesn't turn.
"I stagger into the loos and splash water on my face. Then I find a cashier and get another $90,000 of chips."
Bendtner managed to win back a staggering $685,000 of the money lost by dawn but the experience woke him up to the reality of his struggles.
"When you're more or less broke it makes you think, 'It's got to stop'. I was down $720,000 but ended up winning some of it back, actually," he said.
"It was too risky - even for me. It was the wake-up call that helped break that spell.
"I've never been a guy who cares about money as a way of showing off. At first it was more about the fun and being with people you like.
"When I was injured, and couldn't get the excitement from that absolute living-on-the-edge feeling on the pitch, gambling gave me adrenaline.
"Obviously the higher the risk, the higher the adrenaline. So you go for high stakes."
Bendtner dreamt of being included in Denmark's World Cup squad for the 2018 tournament in Russia.
But the country's record goalscorer was omitted due to injury and "sat on the s****er blubbering" at the pain of missing out.
"I became too fond of the lifestyle that came with the money. I want to go back in time and hit that young lad on the head with a hammer," he said.
"Make him understand what a chance it is. That he has something special - something he has to look after."
The striker joined Arsenal aged 16 and scored 45 goals in 171 first-team appearances - before joining German side Wolfsburg in 2014.
He has since played for Nottingham Forest, Rosenborg and Copenhagen.
This article first appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Drunk star lost $720k in 90 minutes