According to the survey conducted by Dr. Vincent GOUTTEBARGE, FIFPro responsible for the medical sector, 38% of year 607 players and 35% of former players interviewed exhibited depressive syndromes Anxiety in the four weeks preceding the survey. “We hope that this study will promote the awareness and commitment of decision makers of football to put in place measures to ensure that those with psychological disorders no longer feel alone,” Dr. GOUTTEBARGE wishes in a statement.

The study also made the connection between serious injury and depression. Players who have thus suffered more than three serious injuries and two to three times more likely to develop these diseases.

A similar study of FIFPro there year concluded that 26% of symptoms among players assets and 39% of retirees. The new study introduces data from Belgium, Chile, France, Finland, Japan, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

55% interviewed players played at the highest level during the majority of their careers and the proportion rises to 64% among former players. The study also shows that a significant proportion of players and former players, respectively 23 and 28% suffer from sleep disorders. Alcohol abuse it implies 9% of assets and 25% of retirees.

For comparison, in 2011, a study by the British Medical Journal on 18 developed and developing revealed that 12% of the population on average showed serious signs of depression in the past year.

Psychological disorders are one of the last taboos in the virile world of sports, where everything appears as a weakness should be hidden, despite some alarming news items, such as the suicide of German goalkeeper Robert Enke in November 2009.

Former New Zealand captain Chris Jackson, who announced last year to fight for a long time with his own demons, assured that it was comforting to not feel alone in this.

“That humbling to know that so many other players at the highest level also face this immense problem happened silent, ensures the former player of 45 years. Most still continue to face this every day elsewhere. ”

In response, the union of professional players from New Zealand and the National Federation recently implemented a program to assess the psychological health of footballers in the country.