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Premier League: Mourinho, Beckham discuss footballers' mental health struggles

  • David Beckham visited the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for a chat behind-the-scenes tour of the Premier League outfit.
  • Mourinho and Beckham also shed light on mental health concerns of the current Premier League superstars.
ANALYST
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Modified 13 May 2020, 16:02 IST

Jose Mourinho and David Beckham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. PC: James Drew Turner
Jose Mourinho and David Beckham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. PC: James Drew Turner

Premier League legends Jose Mourinho and David Beckham caught up for an exclusive chat as part of AIA's mental health campaign. Beckham is one of the most renowned footballing personalities of the modern era and is also AIA's global ambassador.

The former Premier League superstar, who enjoyed unwavering success in his time with Manchester United, joined the likes of Son-Heung Min, Jose Mourinho, Lucas Moura and Japhet Tanganga for a behind-the-scenes look at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

They were also joined by Spurs' Acting Head of Medical Geoff Scott, who revealed that club officials work diligently behind the scenes to ensure that players are in the right frame of mind.


"Players can go to sleep at the same time and little thing like this will help with the rhythm. Little things like not using phones half an hour before bed and using mattresses and pillows are important before sleeping. All players have the same mattresses at the training ground as they do at home."

Premier League and mental health campaigns

Jose Mourinho returned to the Premier League after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino
Jose Mourinho returned to the Premier League after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino

When quizzed by Beckham if he knows when a player is ready for the Premier League, Mourinho replied that a young player's biggest challenge is coping with the social pressure.


"I try to know. I think sometimes you have to delay a little bit but when they go, they go absolutely ready. I think it's more difficult to cope with the social pressure than the football pressure. That's the toughest part."

The three-time Premier League winner with Chelsea also revealed that the ones who feel the pressure do not belong in the top-tier, adding that academies these days are focussing on the mental health of players to help ease the burden.

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"If you feel pressure to be here, then you don't belong here. If you feel pressure because you want to be a normal kid 20-25 years old and the world doesn't let you, that's a different thing."

Both of them were in agreement with the fact that the current climate is accepting of players opening about their mental health struggles, which wasn't the case a decade ago. Beckham added,


"We are very lucky to be an era where it's acceptable to talk about struggles and different things. It's not a weakness anymore."

In what was an important initiative from the Premier League outfit, the importance of mental health was underlined and fans were given a sneak peak of the magnificent Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which was been the North London outfit's home since late 2019.

Beckham is one the Premier League
Beckham is one the Premier League's biggest icons

Mourinho's man-management skills in the Premier League have divided over the years. While the likes of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Michael Essien have lavished praise on the Portuguese international, his treatment of Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard and more recently Tanguy Ndombele have been criticized by fans and pundits alike.

Several Premier League superstars past and present have opened up about their struggles with mental health including Danny Rose, who is currently on loan at fellow Premier League outfit Newcastle United.

Tottenham's initiative is much needed in these testing times and with a helping hand from sponsors AIA, the North London club sent their fans an important message regarding mental health.


Published 13 May 2020, 15:35 IST
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