Former Arsenal defender, Emmanuel Eboue, has revealed how he almost committed suicide after his suspension by FIFA.
The former Ivory Coast player revealed this on French television, he also noted that he battled with depression and even considered suicide.
Eboue stated that the mental illness started when he was suspended by FIFA from all football-related activity for one year.
The ban came as a result of his refusal to pay money owed to a former agent which led to the termination of his short-term contract with Sunderland in March 2016.
Without a club to play for and poor financial ground after a bitter divorce case, he admits he had suicidal thoughts.
“Sometimes I would lock myself in my room for three or four days. Just thinking and asking what’s left.”
“Even today, I still take antidepressants to help me because it is still a long road for me.”
“But here I am hoping others would learn from this”
“Being away from a competitive football pitch for a year was heartbreaking I had suicidal thoughts. I had to train by myself, and I was really ashamed because people looked at me differently. Some would say ‘look it’s Eboue, a UEFA Champions League finalist with Arsenal in 2006’, to them it was surprising or shocking.”
“Personally, I prefer to train in the morning, but there were people who were training at that time. They’d come to take a picture and post it all over [social media]. So I left to train at night.”
“As things got worse I began to lie to his family. I couldn’t train during the day and too embarrassed to stay at home. My children always asked me when I was going to return to the field, so whenever I stepped out in the morning, I pretended to go to work.”
“Unbeknown to my children I was staying outside and returning home when they were already in bed. I didn’t want them to ask me why they didn’t see me play on television,” Eboue told RMC Sport’s Le Vestiaire (The Locker Room) in France.”