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."

Related items

  • Man Utd will make fresh decision on Mason Greenwood future – Sir Jim Ratcliffe Man Utd will make fresh decision on Mason Greenwood future – Sir Jim Ratcliffe

    Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Manchester United will make a fresh decision on the future of forward Mason Greenwood and will “justify it one way or the other”.

    Greenwood, who is on loan at Spanish side Getafe, was suspended by United on January 30, 2022 over allegations relating to a young woman after images and videos were posted online.

    The now 22-year-old faced charges including attempted rape and assault but the Crown Prosecution Service announced in February last year that the case had been discontinued.

    Reports last year that United were planning to retain him following an internal investigation were met by public outcry and Ratcliffe acknowledges that a decision will have to be made when Greenwood returns about what happens next – but insists nothing has been finalised yet.

    “It’s quite clear we have to make a decision. There is no decision that’s been made,” Ratcliffe said at a media briefing to mark the completion of his purchase of a minority stake in United which delegates control of football operations to his company Ineos.

    Asked asked if the Greenwood situation would be a “fresh decision”, Ratcliffe said: “Yeah we will. Absolutely. We will make a decision, and we will justify it one way or the other.”

    Ratcliffe added: “He’s on loan obviously, but he’s not the only one – we’ve got one or two footballers that we have to deal with and we have to make a decision on, so we will do that.

    “The process will be – understand the facts, not the hype, and then try and come to a fair decision on the basis of values, which is basically: is he a good guy or not?

    “Could he play sincerely for Manchester United, (play) well and we’d be comfortable with it and the fans would be comfortable with it.”

    Greenwood is under contract at United until the summer of 2025.

  • I’m not sure he exists – Jim Ratcliffe unsure about takeover rival Sheikh Jassim I’m not sure he exists – Jim Ratcliffe unsure about takeover rival Sheikh Jassim

    Sir Jim Ratcliffe has jokingly questioned whether his Manchester United takeover rival Sheikh Jassim even exists after completing the purchase of a minority stake in the Red Devils.

    Ratcliffe and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim were the two public bidders looking to take full control of United from the Glazer family which has owned the club since 2005, before Ratcliffe’s focus switched to securing a smaller stake.

    His Ineos company now controls football operations as part of a deal which will see him own 28.9 per cent of the club by the year’s end.

    Reflecting on the long road to the completion of the deal, Ratcliffe admitted he did find it strange that there was an apparent lack of interest in buying United in comparison to when Chelsea came onto the market in 2022 and that his main rival for full control was someone who “still nobody has ever seen”.

    “The Glazers never met him. I’m not sure he exists,” he joked.

    “It was extraordinary. That (apparent lack of wider interest) was confounding. There’s no comparison between Chelsea and Manchester United, the scale of Manchester United is incomparable with any of the London clubs to be honest with you.”

    Asked whether he thought he may have been bidding alone rather than against Sheikh Jassim, Ratcliffe said: “They (the Qatari bid) were obviously there and there was a whole host of people on the team, on the squad. I didn’t ever meet them. But it was a very odd affair.”

    Representatives who worked with Sheikh Jassim during the period of his interest in United have been contacted for comment by the PA news agency.

    Ratcliffe was asked about whether he held a long-term ambition to ultimately gain full control of United and whether he was concerned that ‘drag-along’ rights held by the Glazers which could force him to sell his stake in the event they wished to sell.

    “There are all sorts of scenarios. We might get hit by an asteroid,” he said.

    “There have been lots of opportunities for people to come in and buy Manchester United in the last 12 months – why is it all going to change?”

    Asked if taking full control was his ultimate aim, Ratcliffe said: “The ultimate aim is just for Manchester United to play really good football. It’s not about what am I going to do in five years’ time?”

  • Police hope for better treatment of fans as report highlights ‘hostile’ approach Police hope for better treatment of fans as report highlights ‘hostile’ approach

    Police hope a new report detailing recent supporter experiences will lead to better treatment of fans of English clubs playing away in Europe.

    The UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU) has co-ordinated a survey gathering feedback of fan groups from English teams who have played in European competition since the 2020-21 season.

    It comes after the last two Champions League finals, in Paris in 2022 and Istanbul in 2023, saw Liverpool and then Manchester City supporters endure considerable issues.

    The report includes details of problems experienced by Manchester United supporters who travelled for the Champions League group match at Galatasaray this season, and also says “the consistent feedback of fans is that the policing style in Spain is confrontational, frequently aggressive and on occasions violent”.

    The UKFPU will now use the data to work with fans, UEFA and host countries to address the issues raised.

    Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for football policing, said: “Following the events of the 2022 Champions League final in Paris and the mistreatment of Liverpool fans, it was hoped that the reviews and outcry would mark a watershed in the experience of English supporters following their teams in Europe.

    “Subsequent events, in particular the arrangements for Manchester City supporters attending the 2023 Champions League final in Istanbul, suggested this wasn’t the case and that lessons were not being learned.

    “The aim of this survey is to get more detailed evidence of the issues fans are experiencing when travelling to European away matches, and to help find a way to solve these.

    “There has been a lot of positive feedback, but we can see from the data some specific issues which are being experienced at certain clubs and in certain countries.

    “It is hoped we can use these results to work collaboratively and create a safer and more welcoming experience for supporters following their teams.

    “We have the support of UEFA. This has been circulated to all the European police forces, I’ve written to them all saying these are the findings, encouraging them to look at it and where necessary adapt. I’ve also invited feedback from them about how the experience is for fans in England.

    “Then we’re going to ask fans to give us reports on an ongoing basis to either confirm the problem is still there or hopefully recognise that people have listened and there is an improvement.

    “We’re not doing it to knock people or try to fall out with people. We’re being honest, but the aim is that it’s a platform for us to then build and get better treatment for our fans abroad.”

    A comment in the report from United fans on the Galatasaray match in November described it as “one of the worst experiences in years….a shambles…the epitome of a disgrace”.

    The fans comment said there had been a “complete breakdown of access into the stadium with dangerous overcrowding”, some supporters taking two hours to get in and missing the opening 30 minutes, inappropriate seizure of personal items and a hold back of more than 80 minutes, with public transport then closed by the time fans had been released and got back to the city.

    Among the issues in Spain highlighted, policing at Real Madrid was described as “incredibly hostile” by Chelsea fans in relation to last term’s quarter-final – where the overall experience was labelled “a disgrace of the highest order” – and as “confrontational” by City supporters, regarding the 2021-22 semi-final.

    A comment from United fans on playing Villarreal away in 2021-22 said there had been “the most overzealous and aggressive policing I have seen” with “multiple examples of fans being assaulted and struck with batons for no valid reason”.

    While there were also various issues outlined by fans of different clubs making trips to face teams in France and Italy, the report said the overall feedback about event management in Germany was “overwhelmingly positive”.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.