'I wanted to give up': Tottenham striker Richarlison opens up about mental health struggles

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Tottenham striker Richarlison says he was ready to give up football after battling mental health challenges.

Tottenham striker Richarlison says he told his father he wanted to give up on football at the height of his mental health struggles last year.

The Spurs striker had to seek help earlier in the summer and the results so far have been brilliant with his performances on the pitch taking a massive lift with 10 goals to show for this season. 

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He also has three assists and is one of the key men for Spurs as they chase Champions League football but the Brazilian says he could have given up all that because he wasn't able to see through the woods

He told ESPN in an exclusive interview: "Before I went to training, I wanted to go home, I wanted to go back to my room because I don't know what was going through my head. I even went and told my dad I was going to give up.

"It's kind of sad to talk like that, you know? What I went through after the World Cup, discovering things here at home from people who had lived with me for over seven years ... It is crazy.

"To go to my father, who was the guy who chased my dream with me, and say, 'Dad, I want to give up,' is crazy."

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After his £60million move from Everton to Tottenham the 26-year-old struggled for both club and country and he admitted the months after Brazil crashed out of the tournament was had to handle.

He added: "I'd just played in a World Cup, man, at my peak. I was reaching my limit, you know? I don't know, I'm not going to talk about killing myself, but I was in a depression there, and I wanted to give up.

"Even I, who seemed to be mentally strong. After the World Cup, it seemed like it all fell apart.

"I think the therapist, like it or not, saved me, saved my life. I only thought rubbish ... Even on Google, I only searched for rubbish, I only wanted to see rubbish about death.

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"Today I can say, look for a psychologist, if you need a psychologist, look for one because it's nice for you to open up like that, for you to be talking to the person. Today a [psychologist] came to thank me for taking this to the world of football, to the world, outside the pitch too, because it is very important and, whether we like it or not, it saves lives."

In the past other professionals including former Arsenal and now Crystal Palace defender Rob Holding have opened up about their struggles mentally and shown that getting professional help could make a massive difference.

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