Deportivo central defender Raúl Albentosa has opened up about a dark spell and how he seems to have recuperated the best version of himself.
Albentosa has been one of the most criticised players this season, so much so he has admitted that over the Christmas period last year, he sought professional psychological help to overcome the overwhelming pressure he was feeling.
Speaking to Galician newspaper La voz de Galicia, he said “Some players have the capacity to switch off after a game. I can’t, I take it home with me because football lives within me. I have been a ball boy, coach, even referee. However one day I just realised it couldn’t be like that, many players suffer the same thing the difference is other players play in lower leagues, it shouldn’t be happening. Last Christmas I sought help to try and change my mind set.”
Albentosa, who played at Derby County from 2015 to 2016, says the pressure he feels during a game isn’t the problem, rather when he is going about his daily life. “When I’m out with my family I’ve had people shout things to me from cars or you get looks from people on the street… I wouldn’t say I’ve stopped going out, but maybe if I used to go out 10 times now I only go out two. I accept constructive criticism, but if it’s just to insult me, I’d rather they do it in the pitch where I’m not with my family.”
Given the circumstances, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he decided to pack his bags and leave, however Albentosa said he would stay even in the likely case Deportivo are relegated to Segunda División. “I have two years left on my contract, I want to continue, and obviously I would prefer to stay in Primera.”
“I think I have matured a lot, I am a better footballer and a better person, even. My personal objective is to make people change their opinions of me.”
Deportivo surprised many when they appointed Clarence Seedorf as manager in February last year, although the results haven’t been going there way, Albentosa says he has found a pillar in which to lean on “when he [Seedorf] arrived, we had a conversation, I told him what I was feeling and he said that whatever the surroundings, you must believe in yourself and always give 100%. He told me he believed in me.”
When asked what he feels Deportivo’s chances are, Albentosa admits that although it is true that they depend on Levante a little bit, he trusts in the team “We need to treat the next three games like a Tour and we need to be Indurain to win the next three stages.”
He finished by saying that he hopes Deportivo can turn this around, he wants to feel proud of himself. “I’m not one to retreat myself in or out of the pitch. I’m no crook, I shouldn’t have to hide.”