Chelsea FC midfielder Christian Pulisic has opened up on battling mental health issues after losing a family member.
Pulisic lost his grandfather, Mate, in December 2020, and according to the player, it affected his mental health and that at first he felt "too tough" to seek help.
After winning the Champions League in May, the 22-year-old got a tattoo in memory of his Croatian-born grandfather, whose name is also Pulisic's middle name. The tattoo on his forearm pays homage to his grandfather teaching him to play chess when he was younger.
"It took me a while to realize that to speak up feels strong. I thought that I was too tough to need help. When it's all on you, it can really feel like a lot. Opening up, it's a hard thing for a lot of people, as it was for me," he told Daily Mail.
"I reached out to a therapist and that's not something that anyone should ever be ashamed of. It was kind of building up, as it was for a lot of people. Not just living alone but everything being closed up.
"Covid times brought a lot of changes and things were happening in my life. I was lucky that people at Chelsea and the national team steered me in the right direction."
The USA international arrived at Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in 2019 and has since made 77 appearances for the Blues so far, scoring 17 goals and providing 14 assists.