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Richarlison ‘wanted to give up’ after battling depression following World Cup

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Mar 2024

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Brazil and Tottenham forward Richarlison said he was in a “depression” after the 2022 World Cup.

The 26-year-old was his country’s top scorer in Qatar, with three goals in four games as they went out in the last 16, but he struggled mentally after the tournament.

He has admitted he saw a psychologist, who “saved my life”.

“I’d just played in a World Cup, man, at my peak,” Richarlison told ESPN Brasil. “I was reaching my limit, you know? I don’t know, I’m not going to talk about killing myself, but I was in a depression there, and I wanted to give up.

“Even I, who seemed to be mentally strong. After the World Cup it seemed like it all fell apart.

“I think the therapist, like it or not, saved me, saved my life. I only thought rubbish. Even on Google, I only searched for rubbish, I only wanted to see rubbish about death.

“Before I went to training, I wanted to go home, I wanted to go back to my room because, I don’t know what was going through my head. I even went and told my dad I was going to give up.

“It’s kind of sad to talk like that, you know? What I went through after the World Cup, discovering things here at home from people who had lived with me for over seven years. It is crazy.

“To go to my father, who was the guy who chased my dream with me, and say, ‘Dad, I want to give up,’ is crazy.”

Richarlison, who has scored 11 goals in 26 games for Spurs this season, was sceptical of seeking therapy prior to his episode, but now recommends it to anyone struggling.

“Today I can say, look for a psychologist, if you need a psychologist, look for one because it’s nice for you to open up like that, for you to be talking to the person,” he said.

“Today a (psychologist) came to thank me for taking this to the world of football, to the world, outside the pitch too, because it is very important and, whether we like it or not, it saves lives.

“I had this prejudice before, I thought it was nonsense, I thought I was crazy. In my family, there are people who think that anyone who goes to a psychologist thinks they are crazy, they think they are insane.

“But I discovered this and thought it was wonderful. The best thing, really the best discovery I’ve ever had in my life.”

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