Davy Pröpper stops with professional football immediately because he no longer feels at home in the sport. The contract of the thirty-year-old PSV midfielder has been dissolved. It is remarkable that Pröpper stops abruptly: in the summer he signed a contract until 2023 in the Philips Stadium. In a statement from the club, Pröpper says on Tuesday that he has lost the pleasure of football in recent years. He calls his decision to stop immediately “a relief”.
Pröpper states that he has recently found it difficult “to muster the discipline necessary to perform optimally”. He also had trouble letting his “life be determined by the busy football schedule.” In addition, his choice is partly due to the fact that he was hardly able to see his family and friends during the corona pandemic.
Initially, Pröpper thought that he would find the joy of football again after his return to the Netherlands last summer. It turned out to be a vain hope, because he “doesn’t feel comfortable in football culture”. He says he has adapted and closed himself off for a long time because of that isolated feeling. “I don’t want that anymore and that’s why I’m done with it.” It is unclear what career path Pröpper envisions after his football retirement.
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Mental toughness was a taboo in the football world for a long time, but in recent months more and more players are speaking out in this area. Former international Gregory van der Wiel, FC Utrecht captain Willem Janssen and ADO Den Haag player Ricardo Kishna, among others, spoke openly about their mental condition. In conversation with NRC Some former players denounced the lack of support from the clubs with such problems.
Last summer, FIFA launched a campaign targeting the mental health of professionals. Research previously showed that 23 percent of active players have sleeping problems, about 9 percent had to do with depression and 7 percent with anxiety. Mental problems may be even more common in retired players.
Pröpper is one of the few players who cites the feeling of orphanage as a direct reason for giving up a football career. PSV regrets his choice, but praises his honesty in a response. The club may take sc Heerenveen midfielder Joey Veerman as a replacement. A spokesperson was unable to make any announcements on Tuesday.
The Eindhoven team took Pröpper from the English Brighton & Hove Albion last summer. PSV hoped that he could play as important a role as in his first period in the Philips Stadium: between 2015 and 2017 he became champion as a basic player and the club reached the second round of the Champions League. This season, Pröpper’s contribution was more modest: he often sat on the bench and mainly had to make do with substitutions.