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Bojan Krkich has opened up about his mental health issues.
The Spanish attacker gave a frank and honest interview with The Guardian, where he spoke on his struggles.
Bojan was tipped to be one of the next brightest stars whilst at Barcelona and was even compared to be an upcoming Lionel Messi.
Now at 27-years-old and playing for Deportivo Alavés on loan from recently relegated Stoke City, following spells at such clubs as Ajax, Roma and Milan, his career hasn't quite gone to plan.
But the clearly gifted player has kept his mental health issues in the dark. Issues which have denied him fulfilling his dream: "There are lots of things that people didn't know. I didn't go to the  European Championship because of anxiety issues but we said I was going on holiday. I was called up for Spain against France, my international debut, and it was said that I had gastroenteritis when I had an anxiety attack. But no one wants to talk about that. Football's not interested," he said.
"Anxiety affects everyone differently. I spoke to someone who felt like their heart was beating 1,000 times a minute. With me, it was a dizziness, feeling sick, constant, 24 hours a day."
"There was a pressure here, powerful, never going away. I was fine when I went into the dressing room for the France game but I started to feel this powerful dizziness, overwhelmed, panicked, and they lay me on the physio's bench"
Panic attacks are a cruel and unforgiving affliction. They can hamper careers and in the worst cases they can take control of your entire life. This is worse in football, a male dominated sport which still lacks an understanding in mental health issues. It's why Bojan has only felt comfortable to come out and tell his tale now.
Bojan had to miss a number of matches and competitions with his national side because of his anxiety. Trouble is, many mistook that as the attacker being lazy and simply not wanting to play.
But now he's talked about his issues, which means that more people will be enoucraged to open up as well. For Bojan, hopefully he can find the support he needs to realise and fulfil his potential as a player. We wish Bojan all the best with the rest of his career.
SPORTbible have their own selection of pieces which tackle issues such as this. Check out our campaign More Than A Game. It tells the stories about football and its power beyond the pitch. Find out more here.
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