With news of Robert Enke's death coming late on Tuesday night, Thusday morning is the first chance that the national papers have had the chance to delve deeper into the tragedy that has struck German football.
The decision of the international goalkeeper to take his own life is examined sensitively by German football writer, Rafhael Honigstein, in the Guardian. In 'Robert Enke's death has cast a long shadow over German football', Honigstein examines the impact the sad event may have on Enke's team-mates.
"Enke apologised to his wife for taking his own life in a farewell note. Perhaps she can take a modicum of comfort from the fact that his suffering is finally at an end. For the unsuspecting team-mates and the coaching staff, however, the numbness must be tinged with incredibly dark thoughts of regret. Football encourages a sense of responsibility for your colleagues; some players might feel that Enke's desperate plunge in front of a train on Tuesday amounts to a failure in this regard. There is no easy way to negotiate these awful questions, no right or wrong, only shades of black.
"This is why suicide must be so much harder to take than accidental or natural death: it has loved ones, work-mates and friends wracking their brains, wondering whether they could have somehow prevented the tragedy. I know that one prominent German player always suspected that Enke, a highly intelligent, sensitive man, wasn't quite up to the national job, not ready for the enormous pressure that comes with it. Will he feel guilty for harbouring those innocent thoughts now? Should he?
"'Sometimes, it is just not possible to go back to business as usual,' said [DFB president, Theo] Zwanziger at the Kameha Grand press conference in Bonn. 'Sometimes you need to stop in your tracks and take stock.' The players and coaching staff, he added, had unanimously decided that they couldn't play football on Saturday. 'The friendly against Chile has been cancelled. We all need time to grieve and there's no fixed time-line for such a thing.'
"'Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel' – after the game is before the game. Sepp Herberger's famous quip epitomises post-war Germany's determination to get on with it, its reluctance to dwell on the past. But for once, the show cannot go on."
As a former sportsman himself, Matthew Syed of the Times always offers an interesting perspective on major talking points in sport and, in light of Enke's death, he addresses depression on Thursday morning.
In 'Success and despair often walk hand in hand', Syed explains how a life of sporting excellence does not guard against the mental tribulations that effect a great many people outside of the athletic sphere.
"Why? That is the question that arises whenever we are confronted with the reality of a human being encompassing their own annihilation. From what impulse, what state of despair, could any healthy person wish to extinguish the flame of his own existence?
"It is a question that, for many, is imbued with added urgency when the deceased seemed to have it all: wealth, a loving family, success, the acclaim of his peers and the public. How could any professional sportsman, living a life straight from the pages of Boy’s Own, wish to end it all in a moment of chilling and fearful pain? But this sentiment, while seemingly reasonable, is derived from one of the more pernicious, as well as the more stubborn, contemporary myths.
"It is the idea that sporting success (or any other type) leads inexorably to emotional nirvana. It is the notion that we can avoid the more perilous neuroses of the mind with comic-book prescriptions about what makes us happy or, indeed, sad.
"The reality is that depression is as prevalent among top sportsmen as it is among any other diverse group of people, as is a sense of worthlessness, fear, anxiety and low self-esteem. Professional sport, in many ways, demands neurosis. It makes a virtue of the obsessional pursuit of perfection: just ask Jonny Wilkinson who, even now, after months as a Buddhist, finds it difficult to free his mind from the tiny errors he made in his last practice session."