in football, a progressive awareness

Adil Rami in La Beaujoire (Nantes), December 5, 2018.
Adil Rami in La Beaujoire (Nantes), December 5, 2018. SEBASTIEN SALOM GOMIS / AFP

Joachim Löw has left flowers. The German coach meditated on 10 November 2019 in a cemetery in Lower Saxony. A decade to the day after the suicide of Robert Enke: a goalkeeper died at the age of 32, after years of depression in silence, two days after a last match with the club of Hanover

"It was not football that pushed him towards this disease"said his widow, Teresa Enke, in an interview with the magazine two months ago Stern. But "Football may have been more difficult to manage than other trades would have been. "

What is the correlation between depression, anxiety disorders and playing high-level football? Cautious response from the medical network of the International Football Federation (FIFA): "The rare studies concerning mental disorders in footballers indicate that these pathologies are at least as frequent among players as in the general population. "

One of them shows the importance of the subject. In 2015, the global players' union surveyed 607 active and 219 retired footballers. Assessment: 38% of some and 35% of others said to FIFPro present a feeling of anxiety or depression.

"One of our priorities"

Robert Enke had a "Great fear, according to his wife: "Losing his place in the goals if he made his illness public or went into therapy. " Football is " a lot of money " and "There is a lot of competition to keep its place", advance Mme Enke, who created a foundation to help people with depression.

These disorders can affect players of varying levels and sometimes much lower than that of the former German international, passed by FC Barcelona. “An increasing number of players are reporting psychological problems and want help, whether during or after their professional football career, specifies today Vincent Gouttebarge, chief medical officer of FIFPro, and himself a former footballer from Auxerre. So, logically, we have made this theme one of our priorities. The suicide of Robert Enke helped break the taboo and encouraged other footballers to speak out about their psychological issues. "

Read also Robert Enke's death in Germany rekindles fear of failure debate

If Adil Rami has chosen to evoke a "Burnout" shortly after his title of world champion with the Blues, in 2018, others preferred to wait until the end of their career to deliver. Cédric Anselin, now in his forties: "Football is a world that I like and don't like. It gave me a lot of pleasure, but also a depression. "


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