Some unfortunate news today for one of Newcastle United’s former players, as Spanish left-back Jose Enrique has revealed the painful story that has forced him into early retirement from the game at the age of just 31.
Enrique – who left Real Zaragoza earlier this summer – told Spanish newspaper Marca that he has decided to call time on his career due to a long-term knee injury that he has been unable to overcome, speaking about the constant and ‘desperate’ battle he has faced with it over the past few years:
“I could not play without medication, I did not even train. It was hard, desperate.”
“Sometimes I got dizzy in training on so much medication.”
“After every game my knee swelled like a ball and I was barely able to walk for three days. Something that was supposed to be for three months ended up turning into two years.”
“I saw five doctors in England but they did not get the problem.”
“It hurts me, but so many times they told me that it was a psychological problem that I came to believe it.”
The man once known as ‘The Bull’ – who made 127 appearances for us between 2007 and 2011 – had undergone a potentially career saving operation in his homeland, but admits that even that was not enough to cure him:
“I was never the same, it was frustrating”
“I had been playing for three months with a broken meniscus.”
“I had to escape to Spain because I could not even walk. I could not compete and I had a terrible time.”
“I had an anxiety attack and thought, ‘what the hell is wrong with me?’ I did not understand it.”
You have to feel for Jose here. Many people will feel that footballers deserve little sympathy given the sort of pay packets they receive on a weekly basis throughout their career, but this sounds like hell for Enrique, both physically and mentally and we wish him all the best.
Here he is at his brilliant best for NUFC: