Matheus Pereira 'trained drunk' and attempted suicide after West Brom exit

West Brom favourite Matheus Pereira has revealed that he fell into a deep depression and tried to commit suicide on a number of occasions after moving to Saudi Arabia in 2021. The former playmaker, who shone in both the Championship and the Premier League during his two years at The Hawthorns, left the club following relegation to join Al-Hilal.

Pereira, who has since returned to his native Brazil with Cruzeiro, has spoken in depth of the mental and emotional struggles he had to overcome while in Saudi, and in Abu Dhabi during a brief loan spell with Al-Wahda, which included drinking so much that he would attend training hungover and contemplating ending his life numerous times.

The Brazilian contributed to 46 goals in his 77 appearances during his time at Albion, which despite being brief included a promotion and a relegation. He was permitted to leave after relegation as Valerien Ismael sought to rebuild the squad and, by Pereira's own admission, it was an 'absurd' offer which came his way, one which would've been too lucrative to refuse.

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"I ended up playing in the second division, but in England," Pereira said of his move to Albion in his Players' Tribune account. "My new club was West Bromwich. Despite yet another change, and I was fed up with them, I jumped at this opportunity. The project was very good — and, in the financial part, equally so.

"There was a clause in the contract that obligated the club to buy me for a lot of money if I played 30 games or if the team moved up to the Premier League. Both things happened. It was my best professional moment. I played well, I felt important to the team, to the fans, and the crazy odds of life were on my side again: a Croatian on the team, [Filip] Krovinovic, who had played for Benfica and spoke Portuguese, helped me a lot.

"The craziest thing of all is that we were competing for the same position. Despite this, at no point did he tease me or stop reaching out to me. In both seasons, I was a standout for West Brom. I performed with a regularity that I had never had before, but that didn't stop the team from returning to the second division. It was the time of the Covid pandemic, and the clubs decided to hold back on investments.

"An absurd proposal came from Al-Hilal, from Saudi Arabia, and I moved once again. I was scared of what this new change would do to my head, but it was very good financially. I talked to my wife and we decided to accept it. It didn't take long for the psychological decline to reappear. There isn't always a specific cause, I think it's more of a lifetime, but living in Riyadh, I missed my church.

"In West Bromwich we participated in a small Christian community and that strengthened me, I was supported. In Saudi Arabia, there was none. I also started to miss my parents and couldn't find a way to get back in touch with them. Then one day I woke up and darkness had settled in my soul."

From there, Pereira divulged the scale of the problems he encountered with himself.

"One night when I was at home, I grabbed the car keys and ran out. I quickly took the elevator down, took the car from the garage and drove like crazy. I didn't care about the destination, as long as it was the end.

"Then my cell phone rings. It was my younger sister. I already answered crying. “I can't take it anymore, I can't take it anymore, I can't take it anymore. Help me, for the love of God! I want to kill myself. I need to kill myself.” She had called me to share with me the happiest news of her life: she was going to be a mother. And I was there ruining everything — everything that was near or far from me.

"The [loan] club was Al-Wahda, which put us up to live in a luxury hotel, in an apartment on the 19th floor. To this day, my wife says that the view from up there was beautiful. I don't remember ever looking at her. For me it was all darkness and despair. I was tired of fighting. I was tired of being tired.

"I wanted to get rid of so much suffering that I didn't even understand where it came from. There were nights when I drank three bottles of wine. I trained drunk several times and spent many more times in the hospital with hypokalemia, taking serum to treat the lack of potassium in my blood, because I wasn't eating, I only drank alcohol."

You can read the full account from Pereira by clicking here.

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