RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil and Juventus forward Douglas Costa says that he has considered quitting football because of his constant struggle with injuries.

The 29-year-old was once considered among the world’s brightest young talents but has failed to live up to his promise amid a long sequence of hamstring, calf and knee problems.

“There are times when I think: ‘Can I still play?'” Costa told The Players’ Tribune. “[That’s] because I go out on the pitch and get injured again.

“Then, when I watch it on TV, I remember this is my passion and that I can still play at a high level. This is what keeps me alive, I know football comes easy to me. It has nothing to do with money or being famous.

“The point is to do what you enjoy and have fun doing it. That’s my objective. I joke with Alex Sandro that I’ve had more scans than I’ve played games.”

Costa, who has been capped 31 times for Brazil’s national team, has made just 43 appearances across all competitions for Juventus over the past two years.

He said he has hired a mental coach to help deal with the psychological effects of the injuries.

“People say, ‘Douglas has the potential to be one of the best in the world, but injuries are holding him back’. That annoys me,” the former Gremio, Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayern Munich player said. “I have the potential to be a top player, but for reasons out of my control I can’t be.

“Every time I get injured, I ask myself: ‘What did I do wrong?’ I wonder why I can’t play consistently. It’s something that hurts me. Therefore, I asked for help. I don’t know if you’ve heard of a mental coach. They’re not a psychologist, but they show you how childhood facts can still affect you.”

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