Ghana international Kevin-Prince Boateng says negative press could have forced him to take his life but for his mental fortitude.
The Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder has never been shy of controversies in his career.
From camp troubles as a German youth star, club woes to challenges as a Ghana Black Star following a change of international allegiance, the 31-year-old has always made the news for one reason or the other.
“If you think about Robert Enke’s suicide, one per cent of that was to do with the press and the whole hubbub,” Boateng told Kicker.
“If we take a look at all the articles which were written about me, who knows what I would do if I was not mentally strong. There have been days where I have said, ‘I can't go any longer’.
“I'm not only criticized because of my performances. It can happen that you play badly. A mark of six [the lowest rating]? OK, I deserved it.
“But when personal things are written to hurt you, that must not be the case. But we footballers are like robots who have to accept everything.”
Boateng discloses he considered quitting the game following his indefinite suspension by Schalke 04 in 2015.
The midfielder, together with German star Sidney Sam, was sent away for“no relationship of trust” following the club’s woeful run of games in the Bundesliga.
Six months later, the Royal Blues terminated his contract, paving way for a switch to AC Milan.
“I thought about quitting. Why not? I've earned a lot of money, I saw everything and I have a wonderful family. What should I do anymore?”
“But I only had these thoughts for two days. My wife said, ‘You can think about the end of your career one day, but tomorrow you’ll get up and go to training’.”
Boateng’s Schalke setback was not the first of its kind in his career.
At the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, the German-born was sent home by Ghana for “vulgar verbal insults targeted at coach Kwesi Appiah during a training session” and has since been on an indefinite suspension from the national set-up.