Former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid star, Arda Turan, has opened up on his difficulties with his mental health, admitting that he could not sleep “for years”.

Turan, back with his first club Galatasaray, spent the better part of a decade in the Spanish La Liga, with Atletico Madrid and then with Barcelona, completing a clean sweep of domestic honours between the two.

But the former Turkey international has now spoken out about his struggles with his mindset and how his time in Spain helped him cope more than back in his home country.

Asked what he has to say about his mental health struggles, Turan told students in a speech at a university in Istanbul, “I really made big mistakes.

“But I have been suffering from sleep problems for years, I couldn’t sleep comfortably. It would be a confession, but I could not take good care of myself.

“The reason is purely psychological. In some periods in the past, I could not recover my psychology. I [would be] on a diet, I [would] break it after ten days. I [would] start working, then I [would] give up.

“I was taking better care of myself in Spain because I felt free. I felt complete in my Spanish adventure. They were good days. I miss it, but it’s a beautiful miss.”

I couldn’t sleep – Ex-Barcelona, Atletico Madrid star, Arda Turan opens up on mental health issues