[GERMANY] The suicide of German goalkeeper Robert Enke, who was a teammate of American defender Steve Cherundolo at Hannover 96, has prompted the German soccer federation to cancel its friendly game against Chile on Saturday in Cologne. Enke left an apologetic suicide note before stepping in front of a train moving at 100 mph.
The 32-year-old, who had a chance to be Germany's starting goalkeeper at next summer's World Cup, suffered from depression.
"When he was acutely depressive it was a very difficult
time because he lacked motivation and any hope of improvement," Enke's wife Teresa said at a news conference. "I tried to be there for him. I said soccer is not everything, there are
many beautiful things in life, it is not hopeless."
She said that Enke, who had undergone therapy, tried to keep his depression a secret.
"It is crazy because now it is coming
out anyway," she said. "We thought we could do everything and we could do it with love but you can't always do it."
In September of 2006, Enke's daughter, Lara, died of
a rare heart malfunction at age 2. He and Teresa later adopted a baby girl, Leila, who is 8 months old. "He was scared of losing Leila if his depression came out," said Teresa.
played eight times for the German national team and finally became a first-choice candidate when Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann -- the top two for nearly a decade -
finished their national team careers.
But Enke recenlty suffered two significant setbacks - a finger injury and an intestinal infection. His suicide came within a month of returning to
action for Hannover.
More than 30,000 Hannover fans attended a memorial at the team's AWD-Arena.
German national team manager Oliver Bierhoff broke down in
tears while explaining at a press conference that the team would not be playing its game against Chile on Saturday. A decision made after a meeting of coaches and players.
"It was clear
to everyone that we could not play," said German soccer federation chief Theo Zwanziger. "We need time to process all this."
Enke played for Borussia Moenchengladbach and
had stints abroad with Barcelona, Fenerbahce and Tenerife before returning to the Bundesliga in 2004 to join Hannover 96, for which he played 164 games.
Highlights of Robert Enke's playing