Former Ivory Coast and Arsenal defender, Emmanuel Eboue has admitted that his struggles with mental health still continue.
In an emotional interview with French Television, the 36-year-old Eboue opened up about his battle with depression and admitted he had even considered committing suicide.
He further revealed that his problems started when he was suspended by FIFA from all football-related activity for one year for failing to pay money owed to a former agent.
Eboue said the suspension led to the termination of his short-term contract at then Premier League side, Sunderland in March 2016.
Without a professional club and shattered financially after a bitter and acrimonious divorce case, the former Galatasaray of Turkey player admitted that he had suicidal thoughts.
“Sometimes, I would lock myself in my room for three or four days just thinking and asking what’s left. Even today, I still take antidepressants to help me because it is still a long road for me.
“But here I am hoping others would learn from this. Being away from a competitive football pitch for a year was heartbreaking.
“I had to train by myself and I was really ashamed because people looked at me differently. Some would say ‘Look it’s Eboue, a UEFA Champions League finalist with Arsenal in 2006’. To them, it was surprising or shocking.
“Personally, I prefer to train in the morning but there were people who were training at that time. They’d come to take a picture and post it all over. So I left to train at night.
“I couldn’t train during the day and was too embarrassed to stay at home. My children always asked me when I was going to return to the field. So, whenever I stepped out in the morning, I pretended to go to work.
“Unknown to my children, I was staying outside and returning home when they were already in bed. I didn’t want them to ask me why they didn’t see me play on television,” he said.
However, to focus on his recovery, Eboue has recently been more willing to be seen in public as well as his appearance on French TV. He also played for an Arsenal’s Legends side against a Real Madrid Legends team last year.