London, Nov.22 (ANI): Chelsea midfielder Deco will return to former club Porto this week still haunted by a drugs slur which threatened to destroy his career.
The 32-year-old was the target of a malicious whispering campaign that claimed he went into a rehab clinic to kick his habit, reports The Sun.
Unfounded rumours spread like "a virus" through Portugal despite his denials - which left Deco feeling hurt and angry by the gossipmongers.
He was taunted on the field by opponents and could not escape the scandal even when he was out at restaurants or in shops.
In his autobiography The Price of Glory, Deco admits the scars remain from the "shameful" episode spread by "sick people" who were trying to destroy him.
Deco said: "My recovery from a muscle injury led to a violent explosion surrounding my name. It was a defamatory explosion - really shameful - spread by sick people without scruples. It's one of the things that have marked me in a negative way." (ANI)