Robert Enke's death has undoubtedly come as a shock to every football fan around the globe.
Germany's first-choice goalkeeper committed suicide in a train station after suffering from depression.
I cannot deny that I am personally in shock and that the story left me in tears. It's such a sad story to hear. Under the goalkeeper's uniform that he wore, we now get to see the human side of the story of a footballer.
I can't help but think, "How often do we neglect the fact that sportsmen are as human as any of us?"
If we look into the archive of football, we will see that football fans have sometimes been harsh towards some footballers.
All football fans recall Ronaldinho's magical performances a couple of years back in his Barcelona shirt. The Brazilian No. 10 was a magician. He played with a constant smile on his face. He loved what he was doing.
But after the media covered his late nights out, his drinking and dancing, the man lost his smile. We should not always blame the legs, for the psychological state of a sportsman is basically his ticket to success or failure.
Another story is that of Andriy Shevchenko. After the Ukraine striker moved to Chelsea with a reputation of a goal machine, Sheva lost his spark.
Maybe he is the type of man who needs time to settle in a new city. Maybe his English is weak and he found it difficult to communicate with people in London.
The critics rushed to write about his failure, and so they crushed his spirit even more.
Because sports is such an important part of our lives, it gets us on the edge of our seats. We are dazzled and drown in the excitement of watching our team play. We want professionals to be 100 percent professionals.
David Beckham is not allowed to miss a penalty? We get swept away in the moment of the thrill that carries us to limits of excitement beyond our imagination. We get to judge players who are under huge pressure forgetting they are humans.
So let's think for a while before we judge the players of our favorite team for not performing extremely well. Maybe they have problems in their lives, or perhaps they have lost interest in the game for a little while. Can anyone be perfectly "professional"?
So hey, let new fathers miss a game to see their newborn babies! Let players suffering from personal problems take a good break without making drama out of it! Let's just lift the masks off the faces of sportsmen and realize that they too are human.
Enke's tragic death comes to remind us that the sportsmen in uniforms, whom we expect perfection from, are as human as anybody.
My condolences and compassion to Robert Enke's family and friends.