Slovenian star praises Declan Rice for his kind gesture after his battle with depression

Slovenia star Josip Ilicic has expressed his gratitude to Declan Rice after the England star spoke to him and admitted he admires the former Atalanta man.

During his time at the Serie A club, Ilicic was one of the best attackers in European football, idolised by many fans.

However, he suffered a severe bout of depression that took him away from the game, leading him to even contemplate retirement.

Eventually, he recovered and was a surprise inclusion in Slovenia’s Euro 2024 squad.

Many players and football fans are aware of his battle with depression and how it almost led him to quit at the height of his career. Rice made sure to encourage him as England and Slovenia prepared for their recent Euro 2024 match, showing respect and support for Ilicic’s journey and resilience.

Ilicic disclosed this in a recent interview, as quoted by the Sun:

 “My story is inspirational. I’m glad to hear that, honestly.

“Even today, entering the pitch there was an England player who complimented me.

“He told me he respects me a lot. It was nice to hear. My story is well known around the world.

“The player who said that? He’s a midfielder for Arsenal, I’m sure you know him, Declan Rice.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Rice is a good player and a classy character and has just shown another great side of him being a human.


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  1. The current team is able to help arsenal win the trophy, but last season it was just a bad luck, hopefully the coming season the boys will fight tirelessly until the last whistle of the last gave. More love for arsenal from Uganda

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