When I saw Queen's Gambit on Netflix I was instantly reminded of Ronaldinho. It's one of the cons of being one of the greats of your field, you usually have some sort of trouble. All those years of thinking of doing things on whim and having it come easy takes a toll. It's crazy people can party all night then walk off and embarass their opponents without even an once of sweat. R10 was enabled and now he's in trouble like many former athletes
Well honestly though, there is a bigger picture a play in all of this: I think football in general, is fairly blind compared to other sports, in adequately addressing and providing players with the mental and psychological support they need at this level. I think it is something sports in general still needs to fully embrace and when you start to consider how gender norms, definitions of masculinity, the warrior-athlete archetype and the celebrity aspect intersect this as well, you can see why it is still lagging in sports.
But even compared to the NFL, NBA and NHL in particular, I do not see think it is as much as a priority for footballers as it is to other athletes playing other sports at a similar level. Compared to nutrition and physiology, which almost every major club sees as a priority and invests in specialists individually for their club, you do not necessarily see the same thing from a Sports Psychology perspective, and this is to the detriment of these players as human beings.
For example, I was shocked when Messi revealed he has never had any sort of psychological support during his career. That is a problem and when you look at Ronaldinho, a lot could have been different in his career and his life now, if he had the therapy and support he should have had while he was a player. It is sad really, my heart breaks for him and I hope someone in his life will positively support him and help him get on a path to recovery.
We really need to get past this perception that only sick or crazy people get mental therapy of some sort. Shaming anyone for getting help or support is just wrong but sadly right now, footballers feel like they cannot do that for more than one reason. Considering the demands and pressures they face, the whole football community would benefit if players started getting better psychological support & awareness and if clubs saw it as more of a priority than it is.
Otherwise, you will continue to see sad stories like these.