“I Broke”: USWNT Legend Carli Lloyd Admits She Suffered Mental Breakdowns Before Being Called ‘GOAT’

Published 10/28/2021, 1:20 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Soccer Football – Women – Semifinal – United States v Canada – Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, Ibaraki, Japan – August 2, 2021. Carli Lloyd of the United States looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Henry Romero


With the retirement of Carli Lloyd, International soccer has lost one of its best ever players. The USWNT midfielder is one of the most decorated and most celebrated athletes to play the beautiful game.

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Over the course of her professional career as a player, Lloyd clinched a number of remarkable feats. She won gold at the Olympics twice and also the FIFA World Cup two times with the ‘golden generation’ of the USWNT. However, even the star’s journey wasn’t straightforward.

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Oct 26, 2021; St. Paul, Minnesota, USA; the United States forward Carli Lloyd (10) waves to the crowd after playing her final game for the team during an international friendly soccer match with South Korea at Allianz Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

“Everything became too overwhelming”- Carli Lloyd writes about her emotional journey

Writing in the Player’s Tribunal, Carli opened up about how, at one stage in her career, she didn’t believe that she would make it any further. It still comes as a surprise to the 39-year-old when she sees the love and recognition that she receives, when she sees people labelling her as the GOAT.

“It’s so surreal to me now when people show me all this love. When I see little girls holding up my jersey in the crowd. Or when I see people call me one of the GOATs, one of the legends of this game. A decade ago, I was so far away from that,” wrote Lloyd.

Oct 26, 2021; St. Paul, Minnesota, USA; the United States forward Carli Lloyd (10) chases after South Korea defender Lim Seonjoo (6) for the ball in the first half of an international friendly soccer match at Allianz Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Carli talked about the time when she missed a penalty in the World Cup final in 2011. The final was played between Japan and the USA, and it went to a penalty shoot-out. Japan emerged victorious from the shootout and Carli’s missed spotkick broke her. After being dropped from the team, she feared that her time with the national team was over.

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She said, “Everything became too overwhelming, and I broke. I probably cried for two or three days out in that garage, going through my workouts all alone, feeling like my time was up. The fear of not knowing my future was eating away at my core.”

Of course, we know now that things panned out very differently to what Lloyd imagined. But it shows the nerves and the self-doubt that even the most gifted athletes face. Carli bid her goodbye as one of the greatest to ever do it, and will always be remembered as just that.

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READ ALSO- “I’m Worth More Than Gold Medals”-Simone Biles Reveals The Thought Process Behind Her Withdrawal From Tokyo Olympics 2020 

 

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Divya Chaturvedi

145 articles

Divya Chaturvedi is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing her Undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi. She's also an internationally recognized athlete, specializing in Shot Put and Discus. Representing India at the International Children's Games in Australia has been one of the biggest feats in her endeavor so far.

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