Juventus captain Danilo admits that he wanted to quit football at an early age as he felt depressed during his time at Real Madrid.

The defender made a name for himself in Europe during his impressive spell at Porto, cementing himself as one of the most promising young right-backs in the world.

This prompted a move to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2015, but his time in the Spanish capital didn’t pan out according to plan.

The Brazilian failed to lock himself a starting role with Los Blancos before moving to Manchester City in 2017.

Danilo revealed how he considered retirement after having lost the joy of playing the Beautiful Game.

“The most important thing in football for me is to give everything you can. But it doesn’t always happen,” said the Juventus skipped in a letter he wrote for The Player’s Tribune via Alfredopedulla.com.

“There will be many times when your legs won’t work properly. When you wake up feeling terrible, you think everyone hates you and that you don’t even deserve to wear that shirt.

“At the age of 24, I wrote that I wanted to leave football. Then I also risked a relapse. I’m human, I haven’t always been at my best.

“During my first season at Real Madrid I felt depressed, lost, and useless. On the pitch, I couldn’t make a five-meter pass.

“Off the pitch, I couldn’t move. My passion for football was gone and I didn’t see a way out. I wanted to go back to my home, in Brazil, and not play anymore.”

Nevertheless, Danilo revealed how he picked himself back up.

“I had to remember my roots and the joy of playing not for fame or money, but for fun. If my career was saved at that time, I have to thank my therapists and my children.

“After the pandemic and the exit from the World Cup, I could have had a relapse. I could have said ‘I’ve had a good career. I’ve already reached my maximum. Now I can relax.’

“But I did the opposite. I started challenging myself to become a better leader. And that’s when everything lit up for me.

“When I received the captain’s armband at Juventus it was a great honor. But when I received the one from Brazil, it was something different. An immense, incomparable honor.”

The 33-year-old will be leading the charge for the Selecao at the Copa America held in the United States.

Their campaign begins on Monday night with a clash against Costa Rica, before taking on Paraguay and Colombia in their other two group-stage fixtures.