Gregory van der Wiel announced on Monday that he has been struggling with panic attacks and anxiety for more than a year.
Partly because of this, the right back has not yet taken action for RKC Waalwijk.
32-year-old Van der Wiel writes in an extensive statement on his site that the panic attacks started more than a year ago when he was still living in Los Angeles.
The right back says he is "to this day" trying to get rid of his mental problems.
“As a professional footballer I always had the pressure to show the best side of myself, however I felt. I always put my emotions aside and that's something that has built up over the years. Frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness I put it all aside and continued with my life and career ", says Van der Wiel.
The 46-time international of the Orange squad signed a contract with FC Toronto in Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2018 after changeable years with Paris Saint-Germain, Fenerbahçe and Cagliari, but he had to leave after a year due to a disagreement with the trainer.
"The biggest emotional blow came when I had to leave Toronto. I had a great first year there, I loved the team, the people and the city. I saw myself playing at Toronto for another five or six years and then I had to leave it. nothing to leave after a professional discussion with a coach that I was very good with. That still hurts a lot. "
'Work hard every day to make my comeback'
Van der Wiel tried to work elsewhere - he even offered to play for clubs in Los Angeles for free - but it didn't work out.
Van der Wiel saw his career in the US slowly come to an end.
"At that time I kept going and didn't realize what it was doing to me emotionally," the fullback now looks back.
"I went from a routine life of training every day and playing matches every week to no goals or routine at all. Six months later my panic attacks started."
Van der Wiel now lives in Amsterdam again and is improving.
The former Ajax player decided to train with RKC in August, but since then there has been a lot of uncertainty about his future prospects in Waalwijk.
"RKC welcomed me with open arms and offered to help me with everything. It was a no-brainer for me to go there. I'm not there yet, but I'm working hard every day to make my comeback. I know not sure if this is going to happen, but time will tell. "