Cabaye reveals battle with depression and how words from Wilkinson and Nadal helped him bounce back
. It was then depression caught up with him.
Cabaye told L’Equipe: ‘Depression I am not afraid to say that. It was that.
Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now
‘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.
Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012
'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.’
Cabaye believes that rather than a curse, his groin injury at the end of last year helped reignite his time at Newcastle.
‘I am lucky to earn a living with my passion, but it was the right moment for a break. So my groin injury at the end of the year was finally not such a bad thing. Maybe that is why I was back earlier than expected.
Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression
‘I asked myself a lot of questions. As long as you didn’t experience it (depression) you cannot understand. But I was not worried.
‘My injury allowed me to have some rest, meet my family and friends in Lille. When I was back in Newcastle in December I knew I felt better.’