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Former Real Madrid player Edwin Congo was arrested on Tuesday by Spanish police investigating a cocaine smuggling ring.

The 43-year-old was detained in Madrid by officers specialising in drug trafficking, and released after questioning.

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Ten other people have also been arrested as part of the ongoing operation.

Congo protested his innocence and told El Chiringuito, a popular late-night television show where he is a regular guest: “I’m calm. It’s not a comfortable situation.

“They asked me a series of questions and after that, I returned home. They showed me photos of people I had been introduced to. The police told me I should stay away from people who aren’t good for me, that I need to do things a different way.

“They asked me if I was connected to cocaine trafficking. I don’t have anything to do with it. I do business with one of the people in the photos, but with emeralds.

“I’ve tried to make a living via this friend, who is the one who has the connection. He was someone who was helping me. I’m calm because I don’t deal cocaine, I don’t have cocaine at home.”

Congo signed for Real Madrid in 1999 from the Colombian side Once Caldas.

The forward never made an appearance for the club, and spent most of his time at the Bernabeu on loan at Real Valladolid, Vitoria Guimaraes of Portugal and Toulouse of France.

In 2002 he left to join Levante, where he enjoyed his most successful spell in Spanish football, before playing for Sporting Gijon and Recreativo Huelva.

Congo made 17 appearances for the Colombia national team, featuring in two Copa America tournaments in 1999 and 2004.

In recent years he has been best known as a regular for Real Madrid’s Legends team, playing in the Corazon Classic Match in June 2019, as well as frequent appearances as a pundit on Spanish television.

Information from ESPN FC’s Rodrigo Fáez was used in this report. 

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