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'I couldn't sleep' - Former Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan opens up on mental health issues during playing career

12:24 PM EDT 5/11/22
Arda Turan Barcelona
The ex-Blaugrana star has opened up on struggling to sleep during a lengthy and lauded playing career

Former Barcelona player Arda Turan has opened up on his difficulties with his mental health, with the former Turkey international admitting that he has suffered from sleep troubles "for years".

The 35-year-old, back with first club Galatasaray, spent the better part of a decade in La Liga, first with Atletico Madrid and then with the Blaugrana, completing a clean sweep of domestic honours between the two.

But now he has spoken out about his struggles with his mindset, and how his time in Spain helped him cope more than back in his home country.

What has Turan said about his mental health struggles?

"I really made big mistakes," Turan told students in a speech at a university in Istanbul. "But I have been suffering from sleep problems for years, I couldn't sleep comfortably. It would be a confession, but I could not take good care of myself.

"The reason is purely psychological. In some periods in the past, I could not recover my psychology I [would be] on a diet, I [would] break it after 10 days. I [would] start working, then I [would] give up.

"I was taking better care of myself in Spain because I felt free. I felt complete myself in my Spanish adventure. They were good days. I miss it, but it's a beautiful miss."

What has Turan's career to date been?

Initially breaking through into the senior Galatasaray ranks for a debut in 2005, the attacking midfielder spent the next half-decade in his home country before making the switch to Atletico in 2011.

There, he emerged as a key part of Diego Simeone's Rojiblancos revolution, earning Europa League, Copa del Rey and La Liga honours in successive seasons through 2014.

That form ultimately earned him a swap to Barcelona, but he struggled to establish himself as a regular feature at Camp Nou despite another La Liga triumph, and played just 55 games in all before a loan back home to İstanbul Basaksehir in 2018, followed by a full-time return to Galatasaray in 2020.

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