Gianluigi Buffon Bravely Reveals Battle With Depression
Gianluigi Buffon has opened about mental health by revealing he suffered from depression during his career.
The Italy legend is deemed to be one of the greatest goalkeepers in history and has a trophy cabinet that is only missing the coveted Champions League prize.
But as we know, mental illness does not discriminate and the 40-year old has recalled the tough time in which he suffered a panic attack right before a game.
"For a few months, everything lost meaning," he told Vanity Fair in a honest interview.
"It seemed like no-one cared about me, just the footballer I represented. It was like everyone was asking about Buffon and nobody about Gigi."
The World Cup winner then went on to explain how he got so low that he felt he could not play in a Serie A game in 2005 and told the Juve goalkeeping coach.
He added: "I went to Ivano Bordon, the goalkeeper coach, and told him: 'Ivano, get [goalkeeper Antonio] Chimenti to warm up and play. I'm not feeling up to it.'
"I had suffered a panic attack and was in no state to play the match."
"If I had not gone through this experience, that cloud and that turmoil with other people, I may have never have got out of it."
Buffon had also previously talked about his panic attack earlier this year and says he played in the aforementioned game, hiding his issues from his teammates.
"Nobody noticed, and in that moment I felt even more alone. I went onto the pitch, but I relied on my pride and my love for my work and I decided not to give up," he is quoted as saying by Calcio Mercato.
"I said to myself: 'If you take the easy way out, if you don't go onto the pitch, then you'll always do that'.
"I stayed on the pitch and after a few minutes I made a save from [Francesco] Cozza. We won the game 1-0 and it was like electroshock therapy for me."
Buffon joins many other high-profile players such as Andres Iniesta and Michael Carrick in discussing their mental health issues. All three should be applauded for sharing their stories.
'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which features a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.
Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.
MIND: 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans: 116 123.
CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.