Brazil great Ronaldo reveals battle with depression

By Sports Desk October 15, 2022

Ronaldo has revealed he is in therapy following a battle with depression as the Brazil great bemoaned the way mental health problems were "absolutely ignored" during his playing days.

The former PSV, Barcelona, Inter and Real Madrid superstar was widely recognised as one of the finest players of his generation.

Ronaldo went to four World Cups with Brazil and won both the Golden Boot and the Silver Ball in their 2002 success, having played no part in the Selecao's 1994 triumph.

But he remarkably only won two domestic league titles (both in LaLiga with Madrid) as his career was hampered by injuries.

In a new documentary on DAZN, Ronaldo discussed mental health in football with former Madrid and Brazil team-mate Roberto Carlos.

And 'O Fenomeno' was asked further about his own struggles in an interview with Marca, confirming he had suffered from depression.

"Today I am in therapy," Ronaldo said. "I have been in therapy for two and a half years, and I understand myself much better than before.

"But then again, I'm from a generation in which you were thrown into the arena and you had to do your best without the slightest hint of drama.

"I look back, and I see that yes, we were exposed to a very, very big mental strain and without any preparation for it.

"Also because it was the beginning of the internet era, with the speed at which information travels. At that time, there was no concern about the mental health of the players.

"Today players are much better prepared, they are given the medical attention they need to face the day to day, and players are studied more: the profiles of each player, how they react, how they should react.

"In my time, there was none of that, unfortunately, because we have known all our lives that soccer can cause a lot of stress and be very decisive for the rest of our lives."

He added: "The reality is that we didn't even know this kind of problem existed. It was absolutely ignored among our generation.

"Many, obviously, have gone through terrible times, even depression, because of the lack of privacy, the lack of freedom.

"It is true that the problems were very obvious, but the solutions were not very available."

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