Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic opens up about anxiety as a wonderkid, saying, ‘My body couldn’t handle it.’
Bojan has publicly discussed the toll that fame took on his mental well-being, enduring panic attacks over many years. In a documentary about his football career, he concedes that he found enjoyment in relatively few aspects of his career, acknowledging the grim reality of the situation.
Bojan Krkic said: “He couldn’t go out. He had anxiety and took anti-anxiety pills to alleviate that symptoms. He used to go out with his hood up so people didn’t recognise him.”
“His emergence into the elite was not easy at all. Expectations were very high after being the greatest scorer in the history of cule youth football. He didn’t know how to manage the pressure and any comments he received, he saw the negative not the positive,” tells Ruben Bonastre, a coordinator of the programme at La Masia for 16 years until 2017.
“My body did not tolerate that change of identity at 17 years old. A boy from the village who in a period of a month and a half becomes a public figure. It made me very happy to be able to debut in the first team, but at the same time everything that that generated, my body didn’t accept it,” Krkic added.
Bojan Krkic believes anxiety get the better of him during his time with Barcelona
He also recounted the tale of his departure from Barcelona. The narrative unfolds with Bojan recuperating from an injury, as Pep Guardiola informed him that if he recovered in time, he would have a role in the 2011 Champions League final against Manchester United.
Nevertheless, in the final moments, it was Ibrahim Afellay who was sent on, not Bojan.
“I only asked to play even if it were three minutes. I would have been very happy.”
“I don’t want to create controversy with Guardiola. What happened is already past and the reality is that I didn’t play in the final. I don’t want to speak badly about Pep. When I spoke to Guardiola, the words didn’t come out. I had so much inside that I didn’t know how to get it out.
As a current member of the Barcelona setup, Bojan is tasked with overseeing their loaned players and offering support to young talents in or around the senior team, drawing from his own challenging experiences. He even voiced criticism of Barcelona’s approach to certain young prospects, such as Lamine Yamal.