A revista inglesa FourFourTwo fez uma pesquisa para saber quais são os maiores problemas dos jogadores de futebol. O resultado é assustador: a depressão e o consumo de drogas atingem em cheio a vida desses profissionais que, invariavelmente, ganham muito acima da média.

Embora a pesquisa tenha sido feita apenas com jogadores ingleses, a revista lembra que, em  2009, a depressão levou o goleiro alemão Robert Enke a cometer suicídio. O atacante Dean Windass, ex-atleta do Hull City, revelou no ano passado que tentou se matar devido a um estado de depressão motivado por problemas financeiros.

Dentre os 100 jogadores ouvidos, 78 disseram que a depressão é um problema grave entre os atletas. Um jogador da terceira divisão inglesa, que não se identificou, deu um depoimento forte. “É um problema que pode afetar qualquer jogador, e sei porque eu estive lá. O caminho mais fácil era desistir de tudo – eu estava em meio às trevas”, disse.

O consumo de drogas também foi citado como uma questão alarmante pelos jogadores. Dos 100 atletas profissionais ouvidos, metade disse que já viu colegas consumindo drogas “recreativas”, especialmente cocaína. “Eles preferem a cocaína porque o corpo elimina a substância rapidamente”, disse um meio-campista do Campeonato Escocês, que também teve o nome mantido em sigilo.

Dentre os jogadores ouvidos, 13 disseram acreditar que há colegas que usam drogas para aumentar a performance; 14 afirmaram que a manipulação de resultados ainda existe e é um problema grave do futebol, enquanto 26 disseram já terem presenciado atos de racismo no futebol.

Os atletas que responderam à pesquisa também mostraram uma tendência de intolerância à abertura do mercado europeu: para 43 deles, há muitos jogadores estrangeiros jogando no continente.

A pesquisa também abordou um tema polêmico no mundo do futebol: a existência de jogadores gays. Para 25 atletas ouvidos, um jogador assumidamente homossexual seria massacrado no mundo do futebol; outros 62 disseram que os colegas não teriam problemas para aceitar um gay como colega de time.

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This months copy of FourFourTwo magazine includes a feature called the player’s poll where secret players from the top leagues in English and Scottish football were asked questions about football and were asked if they agree or disagree.

50% of players agree recreational drugs are used by footballers,

13% agree performance enhancing drugs are used by footballers and

14% know match fixing goes on in football.

13% of players agree performance-enhancing drugs are used in football.

14% know match-fixing goes on in football.

I enjoy being a footballer
Strongly agree: 81
Agree: 19
Neither agree or disagree: 0
Disagree: 0
Strongly disagree: 0

Depression is a problem for footballers
Strongly agree: 23
Agree: 55
Neither agree or disagree: 16
Disagree: 6
Strongly disagree: 0

There are too many foreign players in the English game
Strongly agree: 9
Agree: 34
Neither agree or disagree: 27
Disagree: 24
Strongly disagree: 6

I care what fans think
Strongly agree: 11
Agree: 50
Neither agree or disagree: 20
Disagree: 15
Strongly disagree: 4

Footballers are out of touch with normal people
Strongly agree: 4
Agree: 15
Neither agree or disagree: 14
Disagree: 48
Strongly disagree: 19

Footballers should be banned from Twitter
Strongly agree: 7
Agree: 8
Neither agree or disagree: 15
Disagree: 38
Strongly disagree: 32

Loud support has a positive impact on performances
Strongly agree: 48
Agree: 44
Neither agree or disagree: 4
Disagree: 4
Strongly disagree: 0

Player loyalty is an outdated concept
Strongly agree: 14
Agree: 40
Neither agree or disagree: 25
Disagree: 18
Strongly disagree: 3

The cost of watching football is too high
Strongly agree: 38
Agree: 39
Neither agree or disagree: 17
Disagree: 5
Strongly disagree: 1

Influencing referees is part of the game
Strongly agree: 8
Agree: 65
Neither agree or disagree: 11
Disagree: 15
Strongly disagree: 1

Football needs video technology
Strongly agree: 46
Agree: 28
Neither agree or disagree: 9
Disagree: 11
Strongly disagree: 6

It is OK to dive to win a penalty
Strongly agree: 3
Agree: 18
Neither agree or disagree: 9
Disagree: 42
Strongly disagree: 28

Players can get their manager sacked
Strongly agree: 15
Agree: 48
Neither agree or disagree: 13
Disagree: 18
Strongly disagree: 6

You should always respect your manager

Strongly agree: 30
Agree: 47
Neither agree or disagree: 7
Disagree: 16
Strongly disagree: 0

Footballers have too much power
Strongly agree: 5
Agree: 26
Neither agree or disagree: 25
Disagree: 38
Strongly disagree: 6

Footballers earn too much
Strongly agree: 2
Agree: 19
Neither agree or disagree: 22
Disagree: 38
Strongly disagree: 19

Club football is more important than internationals
Strongly agree: 10
Agree: 41
Neither agree or disagree: 18
Disagree: 20
Strongly disagree: 11

Transfer fees are out of control
Strongly agree: 16
Agree: 46
Neither agree or disagree: 25
Disagree: 11
Strongly disagree: 2

I don’t mind losing if I play well myself

Strongly agree: 2
Agree: 21
Neither agree or disagree: 9
Disagree: 46
Strongly disagree: 22

Big wages make players lazy
Strongly agree: 4
Agree: 24
Neither agree or disagree: 12
Disagree: 48
Strongly disagree: 12

I have used the media to earn a better contract
Strongly agree: 1
Agree: 19
Neither agree or disagree: 15
Disagree: 44
Strongly disagree: 21

Recreational drugs are used by footballers
Strongly agree: 5
Agree: 45
Neither agree or disagree: 14
Disagree: 26
Strongly disagree: 10

Performance enhancing drugs are used in football

Strongly agree: 0
Agree: 13
Neither agree or disagree: 19
Disagree: 47
Strongly disagree: 21

Match fixing goes on in football
Strongly agree: 3
Agree: 11
Neither agree or disagree: 13
Disagree: 43
Strongly disagree: 30

I have witnessed a pro player being racist
Strongly agree: 10
Agree: 16
Neither agree or disagree: 2
Disagree: 47
Strongly disagree: 25

I have used my fame to impress women
Strongly agree: 2
Agree: 23
Neither agree or disagree: 6
Disagree: 42
Strongly disagree: 27

A gay footballer would be an outcast
Strongly agree: 2
Agree: 23
Neither agree or disagree: 13
Disagree: 45

Strongly disagree: 17

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