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Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard opens up about dealing with depression

Isolation during the height of the COVID pandemic really took its mental toll on Pavard, being alone and away from home.

FC Bayern München v FC Barcelona: Group C - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

There’s been a massive, global rise in mental health illness ever since the coronavirus pandemic showed up and essentially shut down the world as we knew it for an extended period of time — no one was ready for something like this to happen. Not even professional athletes were impervious to feeling the negative mental effects and Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard recently opened up about dealing with depression himself. He lives alone in Munich, while the rest of his family and the majority of his close friends are still back in his native France. The initial phases of the pandemic and the accompanying quarantining and isolating really took its toll of Pavard.

“It was tough. I was alone, in another country. I really wasn’t doing well. In my head, I wasn’t good. At the beginning, you tell yourself it’s nothing, it will pass, but it doesn’t,” Pavard recently told French outlet, Le Parisien (via @iMiaSanMia).

Of course, when matches across Europe were effectively postponed indefinitely, Sabener Strasse was shut down and Bayern, like most other clubs, switched to 100% remote training sessions utilizing video chat software. Unlike some of his other teammates, though, Pavard lives alone and really lacked that social, human-to-human interaction for a long period of time — much longer than he’d otherwise been used to as a professional footballer.

Often times, identifying the presence of mental health issues can be rather difficult, as it can really introduce symptoms that are conducive with physical illnesses. Add to that the nature and landscape with what was going on with the global pandemic, and there’s a recipe for not knowing exactly what might be wrong with you, especially if you don’t have anyone around you to speak with.

“When you go to training and you’re not happy, you have to do something. I’m human — although I have a very nice house with a gym, I need contact with other people. I woke up, I lost appetite,” Pavard explained.

He admitted that he tried to do everything he could to take his mind off of the negative thoughts and depression, but nothing he did seemed to work for him in that sense. Thankfully, by now, he said he’s feeling a lot better. “I tried to distract myself, cook, watch TV series. But I couldn’t watch Netflix for more than two minutes. I don’t like the word depressed, but it was the case. I tried to hide it in front of the others Today I’m feeling much better,” he said.

He’s also enjoyed a bright start to the season for Bayern, having already scored twice from his eight appearances across all competitions. Bayern has gone through a bit of a rut in the Bundesliga in recent weeks, but the French defender has been a bright spot on the main so far this season and will be looking to help Bayern turn their domestic fortunes around after returning from international duty with France.

Eintracht Frankfurt v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

We at BFW would also like to stress the importance in recognizing mental health issues and would like it to be known that we are always here for any of you in our community if there’s ever anything you’d need. Never hesitate to reach out to any of us if there’s anything you’re going through — no one is impervious to mental health problems! MIA SAN MIA

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