I’m a former Real Madrid star and party animal, but now I’m giving back to society by caring for people with dementia
ROYSTON DRENTHE has left his bad-boy ways to take care of people with dementia.
The former Real Madrid and Everton star, 35, famously claimed he mistook himself for “God” during his partying days as a player.
The Dutch full-back burst onto the scene at the 2007 European Under-21 Championship – where he was named player of the tournament when Holland beat England in the final – and joined Real in the summer.
But Drenthe admits his love or partying got in the way of his career as he became a journeyman flop.
The Dutchman still harbors footballing ambitions but has set up his own business to help others by caring for people with dementia.
Drenthe told NOS: “My whole family has always been in foster care… Aunt Helen is a nurse. My mother and aunt work in healthcare.
“A few years ago I thought to myself: ‘Why don’t I also do training and courses and see what that does to me?’
“I’ve always been used to the glamor of football… I worried a lot at the end of my career.
“The moment you start something, you ask yourself if it’s really what you want. I think it’s because you can’t quite let go of football yet. It’s a step-by-step process.”
“I see a completely different side of the world. It helps me to become a better person in this society.”
BETTING SPECIAL – THE BEST FOOTBALL BETTING SITES IN THE UK
Drenthe started his new career off the pitch working in a home for people with dementia.
But the former Everton man admits it was difficult at times.
He said: “There was an old lady who scared off the fellow customers. She was a bit aggressive.
“I would help there.”
Despite his new life away from football, Drenthe admits football’s allure may be too great to turn down.
He has worked his way back to full fitness with amateur side the Kozakken Boys and hopes to play for them in the Dutch third division next season.
Drenthe revealed: “I still feel like playing another year.”
Most recently, the one-cap Holland ace played for the Kozakken Boys between 2019 and 2021 before playing for Murcia and Racing Merida in Spain.
He started his career at Feyenoord before coming knocking at Real Madrid in 2007 with his international exploits.
After early success, Drenthe slipped down the pecking order and were loaned to Hercules and Everton.
He admitted: “You have a life as a footballer and a life as a human being – you can mix that up to a point, but I didn’t see the need to change my lifestyle right away.
“Now I’m aware that I didn’t do the right thing, that I made mistakes… I wasn’t ready to go pro yet.
“I thought I was God, loved women and partied too much and that doesn’t mix with football.”
In 2012, Drenthe was finally sold to the Russian team Alania Vladikavkaz.
He returned to England with Reading in 2013 and went through a tough loan at Sheffield on Wednesday.
Drenthe then bounced around Turkey, the Middle East and Europe – even taking a brief hiatus when looking for a more sedentary home.
Drenthe is back in Holland with the Kozakken Boys and hopes his new approach to life can bring him later success on the pitch.
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/10478145/real-madrid-premier-league-party-carer-dementia/ I’m a former Real Madrid star and party animal, but now I’m giving back to society by caring for people with dementia