“I should have gone to the psychologist but I never went,” he told Jodi Evole in a recent interview. “Why? I don’t know. It’s hard for me to take that step despite knowing that I need to. I’m a person that keeps everything to myself and don’t share it, so I never took that step.”
They ascertain that the woman Messi should have seen but never did was Imma Puig, Barcelona’s psychologist for the past 15 seasons. She treated Andres Iniesta, as well as other Barcelona players, when he entered phases of depression.
Much of Puig’s work is centred around enabling the public to see that footballers are human beings first and foremost, not merely machines that exist to entertain the masses.
“[The footballer] has exactly the same problems as everyone else,” she’s written. “With one difference: they work in a shop window. Everyone has the opportunity to criticise, to know what they earn, to comment on their private life.”
By being transparent, they help remove the stigma, and nothing would be more helpful in this regard than one of the greatest footballers to have ever played the game lending his hand.
Given that psychologists can help break down the image of the superhuman athlete, perhaps it could be a very mutually beneficial relationship.