Former Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has opened up about suffering from depression earlier in his career.
The 34-year-old is now playing in Japan for Vissel Kobe and spoke of his problems earlier in his career in a wide-ranging interview.
“During that time, I could not wait for the evening so I could take a pill and relax,” Iniesta told Spanish TV channel La Sexta.
“You cannot be yourself when you have depression, you suffer, you find it difficult to take control of aspects of your life.
“It is hard to be motivated because you do not feel like you have something to think about and move towards, you do not think positively.”
The midfielder also blamed former Jose Mourinho for acting as a catalyst towards bad feeling in El Clasico meetings between Real Madrid and Barcelona: “He was key for flaming it.
“It was not just a football rivalry, it was hatred…I could not stand it, and it was very damaging for the Spanish national team because of the division between the clubs.”
“The World Cup? It started badly, Julen Lopetegui spiralled negativity and looking back, it was only going to go one way.
“I was annoyed when I was dropped (against Russia) and told Fernando Hierro that I respected his decision but did not agree with it.”