Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira has admitted that he wanted to stop playing football altogether, but a psychologist helped him get through some tough times.
The Uruguayan is expected to leave the club this summer, having failed to settle in North London initially.
Torreira had initially hit the ground running, earning numerous plaudits for his performances after joining from Serie A, but that form was short-lived.
He eventually left last summer on a season-long loan to Atletico Madrid, where he returned a La Liga winners medal, although having failed to convince manager Diego Simeone that he was deserving of a regular first-team role, they opted not to make the move permanent. During that spell however, he admits to seeing a psychologist which helped him to deal with certain things, something he believes is ‘very important’ especially for those who do not have their family around them.
“A year ago I had been working with a psychologist in Spain because when in the second year at Arsenal I played very little,” Torreira told the Metro.
“It was hard for me to really assimilate it because my life depends on football and when I don’t play I have a very bad time, I am in a very bad mood and many things happen. That’s why I started with him and he was giving me a hand with that topic.
“Out there many years ago they told you ‘but how are you going to go to a psychologist, are you crazy?’ And today it is very important, especially for us who live a lot of situations being away from the family.”
Earlier in the year he was believed to be keen on a return to South America to play for Boca Juniors, a move that was dreamt up whilst mourning his recently deceased mother, with the intention of being closer to his family at such a tough time, and he has opened up on his thinking around the time.
“And when my mother’s thing happened, I wanted to stop playing soccer, I wanted to stay in Fray Bentos with my family,” he added. “I had very little desire to go back to Spain because I had to stay alone there.
“Luckily one of my brothers left with me, but I wanted to be here, with my father, because he was the one who was suffering the most and the one who was hurt the most by this whole situation.
“He was always with my mother, they went everywhere together and today seeing him alone is a very hard blow that we find difficult to assimilate and we try to be with him, to help him, accompany him and also hold him so that he does not fall because now we have to continue, for us, for him and because the most important reason to continue living is always going to be our mother.”
Should more footballers consider seeing psychologists to deal with loneliness, being dropped and other aspects of life?