Andres Iniesta reveals he battled with depression before scoring Spain’s winner in the 2010 World Cup Final and could no longer ‘meet Barcelona’s demands’.
This is not the first time Iniesta has talked about his personal demons, although the former Barcelona midfielder did not give such a candid insight on that occasion as he struggled to deal with a spate of injuries and the death of Espanyol captain Dani Jarque between 2009 and 2010.
“I was at my parents’ house with my wife, who was still my girlfriend at the time,” the Vissel Kobe new boy told Cuatro.
“I told them, ‘I need something. I can’t do this anymore.’ So we went down to the training complex and spoke to the doctor.
“I felt empty inside, but thanks to the people around me and the specialists, everything went well. I came out stronger for it.
“What life teaches us is that when you fall, when things go wrong, that’s when great people emerge. My philosophy is to get back up and fight again.
“Why I left Barca? Because it would be very difficult for me to keep meeting all the demands that this club ask and deserve.
“Leaving was the most honest thing on my part. I’m going to play in a different competition, with different demands. I won’t retire, I’ll continue playing but in another way.
“If I won a Ballon d’Or? I would change it for a place in this season’s Champions League semi-finals with Barcelona.
“Becoming a Coach? It wasn’t for me before, but as time has passed, it’s something that’s got into my head. I hope to have that opportunity at some point.”