Kevin-Prince Boateng has hit back after being criticised in the media, claiming only a strong mind has kept him from being seriously affected by the negative attention.
The former Ghana international has struggled to fulfil his immense potential, enduring difficult spells at Schalke and AC Milan in recent years prior to hitting form again at Las Palmas last season.
Now at Eintracht Frankfurt, Boateng believes that his feelings have not been given any consideration when criticism has become personal.
"If you think about Robert Enke's suicide, one per cent of that was to do with the press and the whole hubbub," he 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 strong in my mind. There have been days where I have said, 'I can't go any longer'.
"I'm not only criticised because of my performances. It can happen that you play bad. Mark 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 was suspended by Schalke in 2015 – with then-head coach Roberto di Matteo citing a lack of trust - and the midfielder admits he considered retirement.
"I thought about quitting," he added. "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'."
22. September 2017
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