It’s sometimes hard for personalities in the public spotlight to talk about having depression, which is often a difficult thing to overcome – and it seems to affect us all – at some point in our lives.
Yohan Cabaye – in French colors last summer
So we think Yohan Cabaye has shown great courage and openness in coming today and saying how he felt depressed after playing for Newcastle in his first season.
Yohan then went straight to the Euros, where he played brilliantly for France, and then joined up with Newcastle’s pre-season, and had to start another tough Premier League season again, with very little rest.
This is what Yohan said in the French Daily L’Equipe today about the problems he had last summer:
“‘Depression? I am not afraid to say that. It was that.” “But I was reassured reading the books of Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal, who both talked about the same thing. They talked about post competition depression and the need to have a break.” “Euro 2012 was the first big international competition I had played.”
“It is completely different than what you could experience in daily life with your club.” “My season was long in a league where the pace is higher than in Le Championnat.” “I started with Newcastle early in July 2011 and finished late in June 2012 and, for the very first time, I didn’t have any winter break.”
“So then to resume in July 2012, it was very difficult.” “Maybe it is difficult to start again after a big competition such as the Euros, but my body didn’t allow me to do what I wanted to do.” “On a morning when I woke up, I could still feel tiredness. I wanted to think about something else rather than football.”
“I am lucky to earn a living with my passion, but it was the right moment for a break. So my groin injury at the end of the year was finally not such a bad thing. Maybe that is why I was back earlier than expected.” ‘I asked myself a lot of questions. As long as you didn’t experience depression you cannot understand.”
“But I was not worried.” ‘My injury allowed me to have some rest, meet my family and friends in Lille. When I was back in Newcastle in December I knew I felt better.”
We are really impressed with the Frenchman for revealing his personal troubles, when most stars would want to keep quiet about it – so Yohan’s gone up in our estimation as a person.
And Yohan will start for France tonight in their crucial World Cup qualifying game in Paris against World Champions Spain – and since he joined Newcastle United, he has become one of France’s top players.
Somehow we don’t think Yohan Cabaye will be too keen to leave Newcastle United anytime soon, in a place where he is loved both as a great player – and also a good man – who reveals his personal problems to the public.
Good for him.
And to think Yohan could become the Newcastle captain this summer too – that cannot be bad either.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org