07 January 2021

Scotland’s Erin Cuthbert ‘hated football’ after heartbreaking end to World Cup campaign

Scotland’s Erin Cuthbert says she ‘hated football’ after her team crashed out of the World Cup in 2019.

Scotland were sent home by Argentina despite being 3-0 up with 21 minutes to go in their final group match with the south Americans grinding out a 3-3 draw.

Cuthbert said on The Players podcast: “That was tough. That was really, really tough and I think the months that followed after the World Cup were the hardest ones I’ve ever had in my life. For me, my career has been quite good. 

"I know a lot of Scotland players have never been to a tournament before so I felt incredibly lucky and I still do feel incredibly lucky. But I think that was the first one where I’ve started to slip off the edge a little bit after the World Cup. It took me a long time to get over.

"As a young player I really, really struggled because Scotland’s my country. It means the bloody world to me to play for my country. To be able to be at those games is amazing and I’ll be completely honest here, there was nothing worse than getting home and watching the games and seeing the other teams there. Seeing Japan, seeing England in our group there, there was nothing worse.

“I actually hated it. I hated football. I actually hated it.  I hated it for how it made me feel. I really did. Football’s such a love/hate sport and I realise now you can’t get too high. You cannot also get too low on the lows, as clichéd as that sounds.”

Cuthbert returned to club football at Chelsea after a holiday and recalls manager Emma Hayes being worried about her.

"I went away and then I came back and I got injured. Emma Hayes said to me the week before: ‘Your head’s not in it, you don’t look right.’ 

"She was like: ‘I’m worried about you.’ And then literally the week after I go and do my ankle quite badly in training, the day before we flew out for a pre-season tour, and I got left behind.

"That was probably the loneliest part because when you’re down in London, you have your team-mates and that’s really it for me. As much as you try and expand your network, it’s just about your team, and when your team weren’t here, I didn’t really have anyone so that was tough.

"But I’m still very grateful for it because I needed the time away from football to appreciate it again and to get my love back because after the World Cup I hated the sport so much.”

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