Nacho Novo opens up on struggles with depression

Nacho Novo playing for Morton. Pic: JP
Nacho Novo playing for Morton. Pic: JP
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Nacho Novo has opened up on his battles with depression since leaving Rangers, as he seeks to find a way into football management.

Novo, who has survived both a heart attack and a potentially fatal stroke this year, has described the mental health difficulties he’s faced since exiting the Ibrox club in 2010.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Novo said: “It was difficult to adjust after Rangers. I think that’s when the depression began.

“I’m at my best when I’m around football. I used to wake up and couldn’t wait to get into training and see the lads. After Rangers I felt a little bit lost.”

After leaving Rangers, Novo had spells at the likes of Sportin Gijon and Huesca in Spain, before winding down his career at Northern Irish side, Glentoran, where he retired last summer.

“I played on for a while in America and at Glentoran but it was never the same buzz. It kept me going but when I retired from Glentoran I realised it was getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning.

“You just feel low. It’s like all the energy has gone. There were times when I was struggling before. But as soon as I got to training I was back to myself again.

“After I retired though? I would think to myself, ‘What is the point?’. I was just bored, not happy with myself. Not happy with my life.”

Novo explained that he was placed on anti-depressants to help after recovering from his stroke.

“I knew I needed help because I was wakening up in the morning and not feeling any buzz. There was nothing for me to do, nowhere to go.

“I was ready to give up. I had applied for the manager’s job at Glentoran and got to the final interview. But in the end they gave the job to a guy who ran a pub team instead of me. I think I had reached the point where I couldn’t be bothered trying any more. I was ready to give up. That’s why I needed help from the doctors.”

Novo is now in better condition and admitted that he’s applied for the vacant manager’s job at Raith Rovers, the first club he played for in Scotland.

“Yes, I’ve applied again for the Raith job. To be honest that would be the perfect one for me because it’s kind of like going back to where it all started for me in Scotland. I would be happy for that.”