Tonali opens up on gambling issues and shares factory anecdote: “I made a mistake”

By Oliver Fisher -

Sandro Tonali has opened up about the battle with addiction that he faced while at AC Milan and after joining Newcastle United, which he has nearly served his ban for. 

The news broke last year of Tonali’s breaches with regards to betting protocol and it was confirmed last September that his lawyers had accepted a ten-month ban on playing for their client after a plea bargain.

He would also undergo eight months of treatment his gambling addiction after he placed bets on Milan and other games. Milan were not aware of Tonali’s gambling addiction and were not expecting any contact from Newcastle over the case.

A few weeks ago it emerged that Tonali was being charged by the FA for further breaches between August 12, 2023 and October 12, 2023, however this has become a suspended punishment. Now, he seems to be on a path of education and helping others.

Tonali participated in a meeting at the Salvemini school in Bari, organised by the FIGC for recovery from gambling addiction, and his comments were relayed by Radio Rossonera.

“Maybe among you there are some who bet and doesn’t say it, because we often close ourselves off. However, when you play and have a high salary, dealing with gambling is a risk around the corner. I hid and I made a mistake,” he said.

“I was recently in a factory, I was able to reflect on those who work ten hours a day just to bring home a salary. I understood many precious things.

“One above all: if a worker lost his job, his entire family would pay the consequences. Well, this is also why I consider myself lucky. I made a mistake, but I didn’t lose anything.”

Tags AC Milan Sandro Tonali


  1. A mistake is when you do something once. When you something (betting) many, many times over a long period, that’s a habit..

    He knew very well what he was doing, he knew it’s illegal and he did it anyway. Again and again and again..

    1. It’s addiction. It has been ingrained in his nervous system after repetitive acts. It’s a mental health due to brain tendency to keep itself in a “safe” state by sending signal to keep doing the same thing.
      He conciously knew what he’s doing is wrong, but he kept doing it as his brain mechanism took over and sought for comfort.
      Addicts need help from other people.

      1. As an addict myself I’m perfectly aware how this BS works.. he was only 23 when he was busted so that’s good. He can still learn to control his urges and they didn’t f up his life yet. Hope rehab sticks for him. It’s not that hard to stop doing whatever it is one is addicted to, but maintaining that. That’s the real work and it suuuuucks

  2. Once is a mistake, twice while you’re getting treatment is a bad look, missed the previous Euro’s and now missing this one too, Spalletti certainly could’ve used him.

  3. Well I still like this kid and hope that he one day will return to AC Milan if he can at least leave his addiction behind him but every football player really should praise themselves more than lucky and i for one will never feel sorry for top football players and their wages considering that a great deal of them earns astronomical wages compared to the ordinary workers who in the end is the real heroes of society.

    Football players should stop with their greedy demands because in the end its the common man who becomes poorer by the day who has to pay for the party.

    As much as a i like Tonali i definitely think we dodged a bullet and in hindsight selling him was a smart move even if i still miss him at the club.

    1. Gambling addiction have same danger with drugs addiction that can destroy your family if you are poor. Tonali lucky get huge salary from newcastle not like that worker in factory. Yes Martin , ACM are dodge the bullet sell him to newcastle , imagine if he stay ,we wont have tijani,yunus,RLC and will have to play krunic – pobega or krunic – adili as double pivot for almost whole season due to tonali banned and bennacer long injury

      1. Absolutely and I also recognize that its an addiction. I’ll give Tonali the credit that he to my knowledge offered to heavily reduce his salary with Newcastle Utd when he was banned which also shows some integrity towards his new club. Yeah had we kept him we probably would have been a midtable team this year unless we had promoted a lot of youngsters and who magically excelled beyond what could have been expected from them.
        To be fair when he was sold i was extremely angry but in hindsight it was good we did that.

  4. I hope he is truly internalizing his treatment and not doing /saying things for show. As a person that also bets on games albeit for waaaay less money and probably less frequency, I totally understand why ppl get into an addiction from it. These things can destroy people and families. Glad he is getting help though

  5. There are various forms of self-medicating, and gambling is one of them.

    Another form is over-eating. The vast majority of obese people who considerably over-eat are likely doing so to mask mental pain or even PTSD symptoms.

    I utilized that method during most of my pre-teen years, and even later in life after quitting my (ab)use of cannabis and alcohol. [I currently ‘live’ with chronic anxiety and depression that are only partly treatable via medication.]

    It’s an emotionally tumultuous daily existence; a continuous discomforting anticipation of ‘the other shoe dropping’ and simultaneously being scared of how badly I will deal with the upsetting event, which usually never transpires.

    The lasting emotional/psychological pain from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside the head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others.

    It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is treated with some form of self-medicating, which for me is prescription or alcohol [via wine]. Someday I could instead return to over-eating.

  6. Apparently, gambling addicts will intentionally, on a subconscious level, play games of chance until they lose everything.

    This formidable symptom of a gambling addiction can reach an extreme, one example having been aptly demonstrated in the film Owning Mahowny [watch it if you can].

    The movie is a fact-based account of a former compulsive gambler from Toronto who, as a well-positioned senior banker with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, embezzled millions from his employer to feed his formidable personal gambling habit at casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

    The story’s protagonist gambling-addict banker manages to ‘break’ a casino table thus win its entire funding yet could not peel himself away from the casino establishment until he had lost everything he’d won as well as the mega-money with which he came to town.

    Gambling addicts are known for this kind of defeatist behavior in order to subconsciously feel justified in their post-large-monetary-loss self-flogging of their own psyches.

    Thus, I’m left somewhat discouraged by the prevalence of fellow human beings who in contented-conscience procure and retain employment involving the exploitation of gambling addicts.

    1. Nice posts bro. I’ll check out the movie.
      I can’t imagine what access to the level of money these guys have can do to the psyche

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.