It’s often forgotten that playing football professionally is a job like any other, albeit salaries are inflated and your work is often done to please a crowd of thousands.
Players have to be mentally, as well as physically strong in order to make it right to the very top, and if they’re not made of the right stuff, careers often end up in ruins.
Alvaro Morata was very highly rated when he joined Chelsea from Real Madrid in 2017, however, the Spaniard never quite lived up to his top billing.
Twenty-four goals in 72 appearances was never going to be good enough for the west Londoners, and he was soon loaned out to Los Blancos’ city rivals, Atletico.
Now back in the groove at former club, Juventus, Morata has spoken of being on the verge of depression whilst at Chelsea.
“I don’t believe it is given the importance that it should.
“When your head doesn’t work well, you are your worst enemy. During those times, it doesn’t matter what you do, you are always fighting against yourself.
“Depression is an illness just like breaking your ankle.
“Just as we train in the gym or on the pitch to improve our technique and our tactical abilities, I believe the mind is something you also have to train.
“You have to be ready and that [seeing a psychologist] helps you a lot.
“Even for my generation, in recent years, it wasn’t seen as something normal to see a psychologist – but inevitably, it has to be something normal.
“Today it is more common and there will be a day when it will be compulsory. There are people that go through difficult times.
“Had I had a professional, close to me during my [first season] at Chelsea, I think it would have gone better for me.”
Thankfully, in Morata’s case, he appears to be over what must’ve been a hugely difficult period in his professional life, though his words hint at the inner turmoil that people often suffer which goes unnoticed but permeates through every aspect of their daily business.