Everton player Andy van der Meyde has admitted that money played a large role in his off-field issues during his four-year spell at Goodison Park.

The Dutchman was once regarded as one of the world’s finest wingers after Inter Milan signed him from Ajax, before moving to Merseyside in 2005.

But the former Holland international’s Toffees career was tainted by alcoholism and extramarital affairs, before the club opted to release him aged 29.

Now retired, van der Meyde has told BBC Radio 5 live how he failed to deal with his personal problems, citing too much money as a principal cause.

“It was because of a lot of reasons. I left my family and my kids because they weren’t in England and I fell in love with somebody else.

“I had problems with my ex-girlfriend and my baby was very sick. I had problems with the gaffer David Moyes and that was all my own fault because I made the wrong choices. At the time I was not thinking straight.

“For me it was a way to get out and not think about my problems. I could do what I wanted, I had a lot of money, I could buy what I wanted and I could get girls that I wanted.

“It was very easy. Then you can quickly go off the rails because there is no limit and you could do what you wanted. For me it was going out and drinking, and not thinking of reality.”

Van der Meyde only managed twenty appearances and failed to score for Everton during his four years at Goodison Park.

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