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Brazil legend Ronaldo reveals he is in therapy as he opens up about mental health journey

13:46 BST 15/10/2022
Ronaldo Nazario 2018
Ronaldo Nazario has admitted he has undergone therapy over the last two years as he tries to understand more about himself.

Former Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter & AC Milan legend Ronaldo has admitted he is currently in therapy as he looks to understand himself better following his playing career.

In a recent interview with Marca before the release of his documentary 'The Phenomenon: the rise, fall and redemption of Ronaldo', Ronaldo said: “Today, I am in therapy. I have been in therapy for two and a half years and I understand myself much better than before.

“I’m from a generation in which you were thrown into the arena and you had to do your best without the slightest hint of drama. I look back and I see that yes, we were exposed to a very, very big mental strain and without any preparation for it.

“Also because it was the beginning of the internet era, with the speed at which information travels. At that time there was no concern about the mental health of the players.”

'The Phenomenon', as he is nicknamed, referenced how players in the modern game are better equipped to deal with mental health issues related to social media. He added: "Today players are much better prepared, they are given the medical attention they need to face the day to day, and players are studied more: the profiles of each player, how they react, how they should react.

“In my time there was none of that, unfortunately, because we have known all our lives that soccer can cause a lot of stress and be very decisive for the rest of our lives.”

Ronaldo endured some tough times as a player, suffering major knee injuries several times in his playing career. Those injuries were physical, and Ronaldo admits the battle with mental health was something he and his teammates didn't think about. He continued: “The reality is that we didn’t even know this kind of problem existed. It was absolutely ignored among our generation.

“Many, obviously, have gone through terrible times, even depression, because of the lack of privacy, the lack of freedom. It is true that the problems were very obvious, but the solutions were not very available.”