Josip Ilicic’s journey to Euro 2024 is truly inspiring. The Slovenian striker has faced serious mental health challenges but has managed to make a remarkable comeback. Once considered one of the best strikers in Europe during his time at Atalanta, Ilicic’s career took a turn for the worse in 2020 when he struggled with depression.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the hard-hit city of Bergamo, where Atalanta is based, worsened Ilicic’s mental health issues. Diagnosed with COVID-19, he fell into a deep depression and even contemplated retirement at one point. His former teammate Alejandro Gomez revealed the struggles Ilicic faced during this time, emphasizing the importance of his recovery.

Despite his ongoing challenges, Ilicic managed to return to the pitch in 2022, playing for NK Maribor after parting ways with Atalanta. His perseverance and determination have paid off, with Ilicic rediscovering his form and scoring goals for his new club. This resurgence has earned him a spot in his country’s final squad for Euro 2024, where he will face England in the group stages.

The road to recovery for Ilicic has been filled with ups and downs, but his ability to overcome his mental health struggles and return to the top level of the sport is truly commendable. His story serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and the resilience of the human spirit. Ilicic’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and determination in the face of adversity.