Paul Pogba has acknowledged that he has struggled with depression during his career, saying it has made him want to isolate himself at times.
The midfielder has faced constant criticism since joining Manchester United, with some pundits going as far as to question his character.
He has joined a growing number of players, including Neymar and Marcus Rashford, to speak out about mental health issues.
What has been said?
“I’ve had depression in my career, but we don’t talk about it,” Pogba told Le Figaro.
“Sometimes you don’t know you are, you just want to isolate yourself, be alone, these are unmistakable signs.”
Besides dealing with persistent media pressure, Pogba was recently burgled while his children were at home.
The incident has also had a negative effect on his well-being.
“I discover my home burglarized after the intrusion of three people who stole my safe,” he said. “There were jewels from my mother, my world champion medal.
“What scared me the most was that my two children were at home with the nanny during this incident. She overheard everything, called my wife and security, then locked herself in with the boys into a room. For several days, she was shocked. The main thing is that my children are well.”
The bigger picture
Pogba, of course, is known for having a huge personality and expressing himself on social media.
Behind the scenes, though, his mental health has taken a hit and it has become difficult to tap into that infectious enthusiasm.
Fortunately for the French star, he appears happy to be back on international duty this week.