Featured, Football, Premier League

Brazil and Tottenham star Richarlison says therapy ‘saved my life’

Richarlison, a forward for Tottenham, states that going to therapy “saved my life” and he urges others who struggle with mental health concerns to follow suit.

Richarlison, 26, announced in September that he would seek psychiatric assistance after being seen crying after being substituted during Brazil’s 5-1 victory over Bolivia in the World Cup qualifying round.

After joining Tottenham for £60 million from Everton in 2022, he had only four goals in 40 games. Earlier this season, groyne surgery kept him out of the game.

However, Richarlison has made nine goals in his past 13 games since returning in December, and he has been summoned back into the Brazil team for their forthcoming friendly against Spain and England.

“My words were very important, also for the people here in the national team,” said Richarlison. “When I got there, the psychologist was already there. I don’t think there’s ever been that here before.

“So it was important. And also the affection I received from people because we know the prejudice that arises when people say they are looking for help. I myself had this prejudice, but thank God, I no longer have it.

“As a national team player who has such an active voice, I want to tell people to seek help and I can particularly say that, because it saved my life like that. I even talked to Joao [psychologist] there the day he came to the house, so he saved my life because I was already at rock bottom.

“So it’s very important for the national team to have a psychologist who can only help the athletes. Players know the pressure we suffer not only on the field, but off the field. I myself suffered more off the field than on the field. So it is very important to have a psychologist close to us.”

Asked about his emotional reaction to coming off against Bolivia, Richarlison told Brazilian media in September: “That sad moment wasn’t even because I played poorly, in my opinion. I didn’t put in a bad display.

“It was more of an outburst about the things that were happening off the pitch, which got out of control – not as far as I’m concerned but involving people who were close to me.

“I’m going to go back to England, seek psychological help from a psychologist to work on my mind. That’s what it’s about, coming back stronger.

“It’s about getting into good form at Tottenham. I’m going to sit down and talk to them this week. I need to have a good run, get my match rhythm and get here in good shape.

“I’m a happy team player on the pitch. I try to help as much as possible. Sometimes things don’t go the way we want. I think this part is a bit of the off-field side that ended up getting in my way.

“Even though you want to do things right, it ends up going wrong. I will continue to focus on the club. The storm has passed.

“I went through a turbulent time in the last five months off the pitch. Now things are fine at home. People who only had an eye on my money are no longer close to me.

“Now things will start to flow. I’m sure I’ll get on a good run at Tottenham and make things happen again.”

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