World Cup winner Abby Wambach opens up about her struggles with drink and drug abuse

Wambach talks about her high-profile marriage to fellow footballer Sarah Huffman and pleading guilty to a DUI

Abby Wombach

Image: Associated Press

World Cup winner and US footballer Abby Wambach has opened up about her struggles with drink and drug abuse.

Wambach, who helped her country to World Cup success in Canada last year, was arrested in April for driving under the influence and says the experience acted as a wake-up call.

"I was stubborn and I was in denial," she told the Associated Press.

"That night getting arrested was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Because if I don't get so publicly shamed and publicly humiliated, I don't think I wake up.

"I think I was asleep for a lot of years. Asleep to the pleas from my family and friends, and even myself, to get help. So that night I was humiliated enough to wake up."

Wambach was pulled over after going to dinner with friends and woke up to find her face plastered over national media in the US.

In her new book 'Forward' she reveals how she had abused alcohol and prescription drugs like Vicodin and Adderall for years.

The memoir, released today, also bases chapter names on words used to describe her over the years - addict, lesbian, captain, and tomboy.