West Ham United’s Michail Antonio says therapy changed his life after he ‘started disliking’ football


West Ham United striker Michail Antonio has opened up on how his mental health affected his passion for football.

Antonio, 34, said he began therapy after he “started disliking the game” as a result of issues in his personal life.

In an interview on the High Performance Podcast, Antonio said he sought professional help after feeling “mentally drained because of everything that was going on outside of my football”.

He said: “I started therapy because I was really struggling. And how I grew up, it was never a thing.

“I thought therapy was for crazy people. But therapy changed my life.”

He added: “I’m a person where I’d never cry. And as I was talking to him, I just burst into tears. It was uncontrollable. That gave me some type of relief. And then my chest felt clear.”

Antonio is West Ham’s club record goalscorer but has struggled for form in 2023/24.

He has scored six goals in 25 Premier League appearances this term having missed 12 games between November and February with a knee injury.

West Ham end their campaign against title-chasing Manchester City on Sunday in David Moyes’ final game as manager.

The Athletic reported earlier this month that the east London club have agreed terms with former Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Julen Lopetegui to become Moyes’ successor.

“Everything that the manager’s achieved so far has been unbelievable,” Antonio said on the BBC’s Footballer’s Football podcast earlier this week.

“I hear fans constantly saying he’s going to be a legend of the club for the rest of his life, because he’s done something that many managers haven’t been able to and that is win a cup.

“Football’s a forever-rotating Ferris wheel. Managers come in, managers go; players come in, players go; even owners come in and owners go. It’s his time and it’s not a bad time to go, because of everything that he’s achieved and everything he’s done.”

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Farewell, David Moyes – you deserved a classier exit from West Ham

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)



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