Espanyol midfielder Sergi Darder candidly opens up about his mental health struggles – Football Espana

Spanish midfield player Sergio Darder has opened up about his struggles with mental health and depression in an interview with ESPN’s Sid Lowe with comments made by Mark.

“In 2020 I realized and accepted that it was not right,” Darder said. “I am not going to use the word depression because there are people who are having a hard time, they are sick, but I needed help. He wanted to be a footballer, have a house, a car, a family, children. He had everything and he was not happy. I had to change.

“I can’t be in a situation where I have everything I’ve ever dreamed of, I’m the luckiest man in the world and I’m not happy. My friends work eight hours a day breaking stone, they have no money and they are happier than me. What’s wrong with me? For a year, my mom, my wife, my agent, told me: ‘you’re not well, don’t lock yourself in your room, go get help.’

“It was difficult to accept, but when I did it I realized that I had no motivation to do anything. He didn’t want to play or train. Everyone was better than me and I felt that I was worth nothing, nothing. I was 26 years old and I said: ‘I have ten years of football left, I want to enjoy them, take advantage of them, not suffer from them’.

“Now I can say that I enjoy football again, something I didn’t do two years ago. The first thing I did was go to a psychologist to put my life in order outside of football, to have a good relationship with my partner and my children.

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“I was always angry and that hurt them a lot. I wanted to recover the joy of living. I had a bad workout and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. They said something to me and I yelled at them. It was wrong; soccer dominated me too much. It devoured me, it overwhelmed me. So I reached out for help.”

Born in Arta in the Balearic Islands, Darder spent time with their youth system before moving to Manacor and then Espanyol. He broke through with Espanyol B in 2011 but failed to make the move to the first team, instead switching to Malaga B and eventually breaking through there.

He spent two seasons in the first team of the Andalusian team before leaving for France to sign for Lyon, where he had a three-year contract with the Ligue 1 club, the last one on loan at Espanyol.

He joined the Catalan club on a permanent deal at the end of that spell, and has since made 189 appearances for them, providing 16 goals and 15 assists.

Espanyol are currently 13th in La Liga and welcome cross-town rivals Barcelona to their corner of the city on Sunday night. The Blaugrana are keen to build on last weekend’s loss to Atletico Madrid and consolidate their hold on fourth place in the table.

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