18 July 2024

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Pre Season Friendly - Newcastle United v Villarreal - St. James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - August 6, 2023 Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe before the match REUTERS/Lee Smith/File Photo

Newcastle united fc flag hi-res stock photography and images - Alamy

The psychiatrist of Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali has made some revelations about the Italian’s condition and how gambling addiction can impact a player and his career.

Tonali is likely to be banned for over an year after he confessed to betting on football matches and he even bet on Milan matches during his time at the club, apart from playing blackjack and poker illegally. Nicolo Fagioli has already been banned but Tonali’s suspension could last for a longer time.

Recently, the midfielder’s psychiatrist Gabriele Sani spoke to Sky Italia and he revealed some key details about Tonali’s situation.

He said: “When he was at the height of his pathological behavior, Sandro bet on everything he could bet, and this is part of those compulsive constraints we talked about. Betting on Milan always winning makes us understand the superstitious nature, that magical thinking, which often accompanies those who suffer from this addiction, of which we also have examples in literature and cinema.

“He bet on Milan winning as if it were a superstitious element from which one could not free oneself. When a person is affected by this disorder the element no longer exists of pleasure, winning or wealth. Just as a person suffering from substance addiction does not drink or smoke for the pleasure of doing so, but does so because he cannot help but do so. Tonali also said that, in the rare cases in which a win arrived, he couldn’t let go until he used up the money from that win. But that’s not the point. The point was to seek therapy for his anguish, in a pathological way.”

Sani also spoke about whether Tonali can recover and how the addiction problem can impact his performances as a footballer.

Speaking of a positive outcome, he stated: “In recent years Tonali has reached very important levels in football, despite the burden of tensions and anxieties that he bore in silence and alone. It is easy to foresee that, once all this emotional tension has been resolved through therapy, not only will he be able to go back to playing as always, but even better. Because he will be freer. He won’t have those disturbing elements with respect to the realization of his profession.”

Tonali’s psychiatrist also revealed that the very first signs of addiction first appeared during his late teenage years.

“With him we reconstructed how the first signs of this compulsion to play, that is, the impossibility of choosing not to do a certain thing, dates back to late adolescence. And over the years it has become structured.”

Tonali will be handed a ban by the Prosecutor soon, but the midfielder will be available for Newcastle United in the upcoming clash against Crystal Palace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *