Former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has revealed that he ‘came close’ to suffering from depression during his time in west London.
Chelsea had high hopes for Morata when they paid a then club-record £58 million fee to Real Madrid in 2017.
The Spain international made a flying start to life in English football, scoring seven goals in nine appearances in all competitions, but then things took a turn for the worse.
Morata began to sustain injuries and his goals and confidence soon dried up and as a result became the butt of all jokes on social media.
After struggling in west London, the Spaniard returned to his hometown in January, joining Diego Simeone’s side, before joining former club Juventus prior to the current campaign.
"I've never had depression and I hope I never do, but I came close," Morata told Spanish newspaper El Mundo. "I don't believe it is given the importance that it should.
"When your head doesn't work well, you are your worst enemy. During those times, it doesn't matter what you do, you are always fighting against yourself. Depression is an illness just like breaking your ankle."
The 28-year-old even began seeing a psychologist during his second season at Chelsea and feels he should have sought help even sooner.
"Just as we train in the gym or on the pitch to improve our technique and our tactical abilities, I believe the mind is something you also have to train," the 28-year-old said. "You have to be ready and that [seeing a psychologist] helps you a lot.
"Even for my generation, in recent years, it wasn't seen as something normal to see a psychologist - but inevitably, it has to be something normal. Today it is more common and there will be a day when it will be compulsory. There are people that go through difficult times.
"Had I had a professional, close to me during my [first season] at Chelsea, I think it would have gone better for me."
Morata has been in good form since moving to Juventus. He's netted 17 goals and picked up nine assists in all competitions for the Italian giants.