Saturday 21 November 2020
Sebastian Deisler is an outstanding footballer. Even in his youngest years he was considered to be the greatest savior in German football. But Deisler cannot cope with the inhuman expectations of him. 17 years ago today, FC Bayern announced that Deisler was suffering from depression.
Ottmar Hitzfeld tried everything. “I kept asking around here in Lörrach and wrote to him once in a while,” said the successful coach at the beginning of the year about his former protégé Sebastian Deisler. “But there was no answer at all.” Sebastian Deisler, the former super talent of German football, is now 40. As far as can be said, he has not wanted to have anything to do with the merciless business for many years.
On November 21, 2003, Hitzfeld, Bayern Munich’s manager Uli Hoeneß and the physician Florian Holsboer confirmed in a press conference that Deisler was suffering from depression. “I can’t go on. I’m done. I need help,” Deisler told him on the phone, Hoeneß reported. In 2019 he told a panel discussion of the Teresa Enke Foundation about the last days of the national player’s career in January 2007.
Deisler slept curled up in Hoeness’ suite at the training camp in Dubai, and conversations continued until half past four at night. “At some point he said: I want to stop playing soccer. That was amazing.” Sebastian Deisler gave his last interview so far in 2009. “In the end I was empty, I was old, I was tired,” he said, “I waged war against myself until I couldn’t take it anymore.” That’s why he got out.
“I was considered a savior. I was 19!”
Deisler was not up to the superhuman pressure in professional football. “I was seen as the savior of German football. I was 19!” He said. Even when he moved from Borussia Mönchengladbach to Hertha BSC in 1999, he no longer had a private life overnight: “They wanted to make Beckham von der Spree out of me, but I wasn’t.”
In October 2001, Sebastian Deisler was also there as a gullet and traitor. The “Bild” newspaper had revealed that he had already received 20 million marks for the upcoming move to Bayern. “Suddenly I was hated in Berlin. I was insulted when I was sitting with crutches in the stands and couldn’t play,” he said. “I should have stopped then, but I couldn’t let go yet.” He didn’t manage to do that until 2007.