Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed he contemplated suicide while he struggled to deal with the pressure of making it as a professional footballer.
Adebayor, 35, says he was under so much strain when he was trying to make the grade as a player in France he started to plan to end his own life.
Speaking to the Mail, Adebayor said:
“I was 16. All I wanted to do was help my family out but they put huge pressure on me. I could not cope with it.
“When a family is poor, everyone is poor and there is huge solidarity. People will take a bullet for you. But when one makes it, it is like you owe everyone.
“At Metz I was on maybe £3,000 a month. My family asked for a house worth £500,000. The club were tired of me because of my behaviour.
“I remember sitting on my bed one night and thinking ‘What am I doing here? Nobody’s happy with me, so what is the point of living?’ “There was a pharmacy below my apartment, I bought packet after packet of tablets.
“They did not want to sell it to me but I said it was for a charity in Togo. I made the preparations, I drank all the water. I was ready to go.“Then I called my best friend at midnight. He told me not to rush, that I have things to live for.
“‘You have the potential to change Africa. I thought ‘You are a dream-seller and I am not buying any dreams right now.’
“But he took me out of the moment. I thought God must be keeping for something.”
Adebayor went on to enjoy a successful career at club and international level, also enjoying spells with Monaco, Tottenham, Real Madrid and Crystal Palace.