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Chelsea star Christian Pulisic opens up on mental health struggle after death of beloved grandfather Mate last year


CHRISTIAN PULISIC has discussed overcoming the death of his grandfather with the help of therapy.

After Mate Pulisic, the Chelsea star’s Croatia-born grandfather, died in December, the winger initially felt ‘too tough’ to need to seek help.

Christian Pulisic has kept his grandfather’s love of chess alive with N’Golo Kante[/caption]

But, with the pandemic lockdown also taking its toll while he lived alone in a foreign country, the 22-year-old was able to confront the issue.

United States international Pulisic revealed to the Mail: “It took me a while to realise that to speak up feels strong.

“I thought that I was too tough to need help. When it’s all on you, it can really feel like a lot.

“Opening up, it’s a hard thing for a lot of people, as it was for me. I reached out to a therapist and that’s not something that anyone should ever be ashamed of.

“It was kind of building up, as it was for a lot of people. Not just living alone but everything being closed up.

“Covid times brought a lot of changes and things were happening in my life.

“I was lucky that people at Chelsea and the national team steered me in the right direction.”

After the Champions League final, Pulisic had a new tattoo added to his forearm: a chess piece featuring his grandfather’s name.

Mate is also Pulisic‘s middle name and, having been taught to play chess by his grandfather, he is keeping his love of the game alive by playing Chelsea team-mate N’Golo Kante on away trips.

I was nowhere near my grandfather’s level and I wish we’d played more but I’m glad we shared that.

Christian Pulisic

He recalled: “It was my grandpa who taught me how to play when I was younger.

“I was nowhere near his level and I wish we’d played more but I’m glad we shared that. It’s a memory I hold close to my heart.

“That’s why the tattoo is so special to me.”

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