Bayern Munich and France defender Benjamin Pavard reveals depression battle

Benjamin Pavard in action for Bayern Munich.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bayern Munich and France defender Benjamin Pavard has revealed he battled depression during Covid-19 lockdown.

Pavard, a World Cup winner with Les Bleus in 2018, claims he lost his appetite for the game when football paused in February 2020 and resumed without fans in the stadiums in May of that year.

"In my head, things weren’t right, he told Le Parisien. "At the start, you say it’s nothing, that it will pass, but when you see that it persists and then you go to training and you don’t have a smile on your face, you have to react.

"Like everyone else, I’m human, and even if I have a beautiful house with a gym, I needed human contact. I woke up in the mornings, I didn’t have an appetite. I tried to take care of myself, to cook, to watch TV series."

And the former VfB Stuttgart defender, who started for France in their UEFA Nations League clash with Denmark on Sunday, added: "I don’t like the word depression, but it was that.

"I hid it from everyone but today I feel a lot better. I came out of it all a better man. It changed me."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Weekend editor

Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.