Andres Iniesta has described the depression he suffered after winning the Treble with Barcelona in the 2008-09 season.
Iniesta, now at Vissel Kobe, said he had struggled in the months following their success after his friend Dani Jarque, a former Espanyol captain, died of heart failure during preseason preparations.
In his biography “The Artist: Being Iniesta,” published in 2016, he wrote that in such difficult situations people could do “crazy” things.
Asked by La Sexta TV whether he had meant the possibility of taking his own life, he said: “Yes, you are talking about very extreme situations. Not because I wanted to do it or even thought of doing it, but because you are not yourself.
“I know that when you are very vulnerable it is difficult to control moments and things happen in moments, in seconds, they are decisions that you make because you are not well.
“I was in treatment during some time with [Barca psychologist] Inma [Puig]. I will always remember that I had an appointment at 4 p.m. and I was so desperate for it that I would arrive at 3:45.
“It all started after winning the Treble with Barca that summer. You score the goal against Chelsea [in the Champions League semifinals], you win the Champions League, you win three trophies, an unbelievable year … and then comes the summer and you start feeling down.
“There is something wrong but you don’t know what it is. And you start an internal process, thinking you feel bad but you do not know why. You have some tests and everything is fine, but you don’t feel well and you enter a loop in which you end up feeling very empty. And then [there was] what happened with Dani Jarque.
“I remember that we came back from that preseason and one afternoon I was at home and I felt really bad. I called Dr. Pruna and told him that or we do something or I don’t know what’s going to happen. I was not myself.
“And that same afternoon we went to training ground and I said to him: ‘I need help, I need something … I need something because otherwise I won’t get out of this slump. I wanted it to get to night time so that I could take a pill and sleep.”
Meanwhile, Iniesta accused Jose Mourinho of causing “harm” between Real Madrid and Barcelona players during his time in charge at the Bernabeu.
“You do not have to support Barcelona or Real Madrid to see that this situation was unpleasant and there was a key component in that story which was Mourinho,” he said.
“Anyone who refuses to see it this way goes beyond radicalism. It got to a point where surreal things happened: it caused a lot harm in the national team and among teammates.
“We weren’t seeing the usual rivalry — it was more like hatred. It went way beyond that. He was cultivating an unbearable environment.”
Iniesta stressed that he did not regret leaving Barcelona, adding: “It is a relief knowing that the decision was the right one. The difficulty would be in thinking whether I still wanted to be there.
“I wish I could have played all my life at Barca, but I was not able to give my 100 percent to Barca any more.”
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