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Former Arsenal player Emmanuel Eboue reveals he contemplates suicide as he serves one-year ban

Emmanuel Eboue suicide
Emmanuel Eboue spent seven years at Arsenal
Rohith Nair

Former Arsenal and Galatasaray player Emmanuel Eboue has revealed that he wanted to “kill himself” as he struggles with depression following a FIFA judgment that banned him for one year. The former Ivory Coast international explained what he was going through in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph.

Having played most of his career as a right-back or a right winger, Eboue has been without a club ever since his contract with Premier League side Sunderland was terminated after just 22 days when he was found guilty of failing to pay his agent. The punishment saw him banned from all football-related activity.

His former agent Sebastien Boisseau claimed that Eboue had not paid him a sum of £1 million following his move from Arsenal to Turkish Super Lig side Galatasaray back in August 2011. In his defence, Eboue explained that he had negotiated the move on his own and that the agent was not involved. However, FIFA ruled in favour of Boisseau and handed Eboue a ban.

He now trains in a park in London for two hours every day in a bid to stay fit so he may get a contract with a club once he serves his ban. However, aged 33, Eboue feels he may never play professional football again and the thought of never playing saw him suffer from depression.

“There are times when I stay in my bedroom and don’t come out,” Eboue explains. “One, two days in that room. Alone. I lock the door and am just thinking.

“I spend a lot of my time reading the Bible and will say, ‘Emmanuel, why are you doing that? It’s no good for your family’.”

Explaining my situation to those unaware makes me more depressed: Eboue

Eboue was one of those players who always put a smile on the fans’ faces when he played. Arsenal fans even had a chant that goes “You’ve only come to see Eboue” which rang around the Emirates when he was on the pitch. One of the biggest comedians in the squad known for his theatrics and eccentricities that always managed to get the entire team laughing at his antics, it is hard to see a player who brought so much joy going through such a difficult time.

He is married and has three kids aged between 12 and seven. His youngest, his son Mathis, has been enrolled in Arsenal’s academy.

“My son Mathis is seven and plays for Arsenal’s academy,” he said. “Every time I go there with him people ask me what’s going on and it makes it worse. ‘Emmanuel, have you retired?’ So I have to explain my situation.

“It makes me more depressed. The people who know me, when they see my face, they can tell I’m not happy. This is the lowest I’ve been in my career, it’s a bad time.”

But he credits his wife for the support he has received through these difficult times and also thanked his former international teammates Didier Drogba and Romaric who constantly keep tabs on him.

“Aurélie is very supportive,” Eboué says. “It’s not easy for her. I’ve been hard to live with.”

Here’s hoping that Eboue can get his career back on track next year.


Edited by Staff Editor

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