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Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

A personal tribute to Robert Enke

Patrick Andersson is a 96-times capped Swedish international. He was friends with Robert Enke, the German goalkeeper who committed suicide on Tuesday.

Andersson played with Enke at both Borussia Monchengladbach and Barcelona and he gives BBC Sport his reaction to Enke's death.

Patrik Andersson
By Patrick Andersson

"I got the call on Tuesday evening telling me about Robert's death. It's difficult to find words when things like this happen to a friend of yours.

You get a totally different perspective on life when things like this happen. Small problems suddenly don't seem to matter at all.


I could never have imagined anything like this happening and I must say my thoughts are with his wife Theresa and his family.

I met Robert when we played together for Borussia Monchengladbach, it was only for a year before I went to Bayern Munich and he went to Benfica in Portugal, but we met up again at Barcelona in 2002 and had another year of being team-mates.

No-one knew he was going through any problems at Barcelona. It was only later, through the press, we started to understand - when his daughter was having trouble with her heart and then passed away during an operation.

Robert lived under a lot of pressure, as do many footballers. There is big pressure sometimes, and it can be difficult.

Robert Enke at Barcelona
Enke during a rare appearance for Spanish side Barcelona

You can compare what has happened to Sebastian Deisler, the former Germany international midfielder. He was a very promising footballer and I played with him at Monchengladbach too.

But he went to Hertha Berlin and then to Bayern and Sebastian couldn't stand the pressure, so he had to go into hospital and now he doesn't play any more.

I think generally there is enough help for footballers to deal with this kind of pressure, but maybe in this instance there wasn't.

As a person, Robert was a very quiet guy, very polite. He was always someone you could trust and was a great person to have as a team-mate.

As a footballer, he was very professional, always very promising, and I always thought he was destined to reach the top, absolutely no question. For me, right now, he was Germany's number one goalkeeper.

It was the Dutch coach Louis van Gaal who took him to Barcelona, but for some reason he never gave Robert the opportunity to play in Spain.

Van Gaal was then made Bayern manager this summer. But I'm sure that if he hadn't gone there, the club would have signed Robert from Hannover.

As well as that, Robert would have been the Germany goalkeeper at the World Cup in South Africa next year.

It's such a sad day."

Patrick Andersson was speaking to Jonathan Stevenson

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see also
Goalkeeper suicide stuns football
11 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Suicide keeper battled depression
11 Nov 09 |  Internationals
The pressures of professional play
11 Nov 09 |  Health
Barca swoop for Enke
04 Jun 02 |  Europe
Enke in Man Utd no-go
06 Dec 01 |  Man Utd
German Deisler forced to retire
16 Jan 07 |  Europe

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