Morata calls for better mental health care in football

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Juventus and Spain forward Alvaro Morata insists the day will come when footballers speak to psychologists about mental health issues as part of their regular training.

Morata has revealed he came close to suffering depression during his first season at Chelsea and has seen a psychologist to help him cope with the day-to-day pressure ever since.

“I’ve never had a depression and I hope I never do but I came close,” Morata told EL Mundo.

“I don’t believe it is given the importance that it has. 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,” he said.

The 28-year-old added that mental health should be addressed in football.

“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,” he said.

“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…”

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By Ofhani Munyai

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