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Robert Enke, too human for the world of football

On November 10, 2009, German soccer experienced one of its saddest moments; Robert Enke, then a goalkeeper for the National Team, ended his life


On November 10, 2009, German soccer experienced one of its saddest moments; Robert Enke, then a goalkeeper for the National Team, ended his life by throwing himself on the train tracks in the Neustadt region, Hannover, having previously told his wife that he would return late because he was going to train.

Robert was 32 when he committed suicideThis is due to the depression he suffered after the death of Laura, his 2-year-old daughter. The little girl died on September 17, 2006, due to a heart problem at birth.

Despite medically treating your depression, the German showed no improvement as the problem increased with his constant fear of failure. He never wanted his problem to be publicized, mainly because he feared that his career would be harmed.

Months before his death, in the company of Teresa, his wife, he adopted a girl named Leila, but it was not enough to lift his spirits. Aware of what he was experiencing, Robert Enke left a farewell letter in which he explained the reasons that led him to make such a decision.

Robert Enke is remembered for being “too human a footballer” – Bundesliga.com

His wife revealed that days before the German’s departure, he confessed his feelings about his depression: “If you could get into my head for just half an hour, you would understand why I’m going crazy.”

Joachim Löw, then coach of , guaranteed ownership for the 2010 World Cup in South AfricaBut that promise could not change Enke’s position either. His departure was so painful that the ‘Manschaft’ players were unable to play a friendly against Chile which was scheduled for November 14.

His demise led to the creation of the Robert Enke Foundation, which is dedicated to addressing mental health problems in footballers. And if that was not enough, also takes care of children with heart problems, this at the request of his wife.

Robert Enke and Michael Ballack in a match for the German National Team – Bundesliga.com

Sportingly speaking, Enke was described by his teammates as “a too human footballer”, who did not mind leaving an important team in the middle of the season, as long as he felt comfortable. Proof of this was his departure from Benfica and Barcelona to play for Fenerbahce in Turkey and Tenerife in Spain, all in a span of five years.

In the Bundesliga became a star, even a great penalty taker since saved 14 shots out of 33 he faced. With the German national team debuted on March 28, 2007, becoming the successor to Oliver Khan and Jens Lehmann.

In 2019, on the 10th anniversary of his departure, an event for the prevention of depression was created in Hannover with the motto “Robert Enke – even heroes have depression.” His memory will always be honored 365 days a year, but especially on the International Day for the Prevention of Suicide.

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