Former Inter Milan and Brazil forward Adriano has sent a message of support to four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles.
The 24-year-old US gymnast pulled out of Thursday's all-around Gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics to prioritise her mental health - a decision that has been widely praised.
"After the performance I did, I just didn't want to go on," she explained. "I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now."
Biles added: "We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.
"I don't trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it's getting older. There were a couple of days when everybody tweets you and you feel the weight of the world.
"We're not just athletes. We're people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back."
the outpouring love & support I've received has made me realize I'm more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.- Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) July 29, 2021
Many people in the world of sport have backed Biles' decision, including former Parma, Inter Milan and Roma forward Adriano.
In a Twitter post translated by Football Italia, he wrote: "Simone Biles...I know exactly what you are going through. It's not fair people judge you so harshly, just be happy and take care of yourself.
"I have gone through all this too and I am still asking myself why and what happened. May God forgive these bad people."
Simone Biles... sei exatamente o que está passando e não deixe as pessoas te crucificarem. Seja feliz e cuide da cabeça!- Adriano Imperador (@A10imperador) July 28, 2021
Passei por isso e até hj sou questionado.
Que Deus perdoe essas pessoas ruins pic.twitter.com/ce2SUl4olr
In the past, Adriano has opened up about his mental health following the death of his father.
In an interview with Brazilian magazine R7 via FootballItalia, Adriano said: "Only I know how much I suffered. The death of my father left me with this huge void, I felt very lonely. After his death everything got worse, because I isolated myself.
"I was alone in Italy, sad and depressed, and then I started drinking. I only felt happy when I was drinking, I'd do it every night. I drank everything I could get my hands on: wine, whiskey, vodka, beer. Lots of beer."
The Brazilian admitted that Inter Milan used to cover up when he arrived at training 'completely drunk'.
"I didn't stop drinking and in the end, I had to leave Inter," he continued. "I didn't know how to hide it, I arrived drunk in the morning for training sessions. I always showed up, even if I was completely drunk and the medical staff had to take me to sleep in the infirmary.
"Inter told the press I just had muscular problems. I later realised that the problem was the people around me, friends who did nothing but take me to parties with women and alcohol, without thinking about anything. By going back to Brazil I gave up millions, but I gained happiness."
Adriano's former Inter Milan teammate Javier Zanetti explained just how much the family bereavement affected the striker.
"When he had the phone call about the death of his father, we were in the room," he told Tutto Mercato. "He thumped the phone [back on the hook] and began screaming in a way that one can't imagine. It still shivers me today.
"From that day, Massimo Moratti and I treated him as a younger brother. He continued to play football, scoring and dedicating his goals to his father by pointing to the sky. But after that phone call, nothing was the same as before.
"We weren't able to pull him out of the tunnel of depression.
"That was my biggest defeat, I felt powerless."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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