Andre Gomes, currently on loan at Everton, has described his time at parent club Barcelona as “there were good things and really bad things”
A year ago, the Portuguese midfielder told the Panenka magazine that he was ‘not enjoying’ football and sometimes ‘feels too ashamed to leave the house’.
“Obviously, I didn't want to say everything that I said [during the interview with Panenka],” Gomes told an interview with The Liverpool Echo, when discussing that Panenka interview.
“At that moment I was struggling a lot and sometimes the people you are talking to help you to say what you want to say, and I think that was the case.
“I was struggling and I just said everything naturally…I believe that there are a lot of players who feel the same and sometimes feel like they can give everything but they don't have an explanation.
“It was more about that. I was struggling and I couldn't find a way to go out and enjoy the game, enjoy the fans, and after that I started to understand things a little bit more and enjoy football more."
“One thing football has taught me is how to manage situations and how to enjoy it day by day, every day is a new challenge and every weekend in the Premier League is a new challenge, so I only try to think about the present.
“If I think further ahead than that then I will probably lose my mind in some way, so I am trying to finish the season in the best way possible, giving my best in every training session and in every game.
“We will see in the end, sometimes we don't figure out that the most important thing is to be happy and to enjoy ourselves.
“When we win a title or win a few important games we don't enjoy the moment. Especially after my time at Barcelona – there were good things and really bad things, this year has been really good for me to understand that we have to enjoy [being a professional footballer] because we love football; it is our job, but we have to enjoy it more.
“Some people can may be confused and think that a football player is a weak person [if they speak about their mental battles], but it is nothing about that.
“Everyone in their jobs can sometimes feel when they are struggling. After the interview, I felt from the players that, maybe at some point in their lives, they had also felt [under pressure] and it was normal.
“I kept moving on and working hard and, like I said, I tried to enjoy my football and be happy.
“That is what I tried to do until the end of [last] season and that's what I am trying to do this season.”