Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye: Jonny Wilkinson helped me through depression
Rugby World Cup-winner Jonny Wilkinson helped Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye to battle depression, the Frenchman has admitted.
Cabaye revealed he turned to Wilkinson’s book for advice as he struggled with depression after Euro 2012.
The 27-year-old said: said: “Depression? I am not afraid to say that. It was that.
“I was reassured reading the books of Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal, who both talked about the same thing.
“They talked about post competition depression and the need to have a break.
“Euro 2012 was the first big international competition I had played. It is completely different than what you could experience in daily life with your club.
“My season was long in a league where the pace is higher than in Le Championnat.
“I started with Newcastle early in July 2011 and finished late in June 2012 and, for the very first time, I didn’t have any winter break so then to resume in July 2012, it was very difficult.
“Maybe it is difficult to start again after a big competition such as the Euros, but my body didn’t allow me to do what I wanted to do.
“On a morning when I woke up, I could still feel tiredness. I wanted to think about something else rather than football.”
Wilkinson has been putting out fires all over the place. The fly-half also had dinner with new Reading manager Nigel Adkins as he plots to keep the Royals in the Premier League.
Adkins said: “I met some rugby coaches, and had dinner with Jonny Wilkinson. I wanted to see the mindset of the top players and it has been really good.
“I’m a massive rugby man. It was great to speak with Andy about the concepts of building a team.”