It was the year 2013 and Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool had a good start to the new Premier League campaign.
Jose Enrique has no doubt about the crucial point that turned his career upside down.
EXCLUSIVELY: Jose Enrique opens his battle for mental health, defeated cancer and had to give up shortly after Liverpool’s close race for the Premier League title
Seven launches and two replacement appearances before the second week of November suggested that the Spaniard was Rodgers’ man, although Aly Cissokho arrived on loan in the dying embers of the transfer window.
Enrique, as Liverpool’s left-back, also played more than just his role.
Three successive 1-0 wins in a row – all secured by goals from Daniel Sturridge – had taken Rodgers’ Reds to the summit in the early stages, which was to develop into a surprising but unforgettable title crack over time.
“After that you could see my career go from so (up) to so (down), and I never recovered from that injury, that’s the reality,” Enrique told Echo.
But as the Merseyside Derby approached at the end of the month, Enrique faced a serious realization at Anfield.
After two months of playing on a torn meniscus that had been kept secret, it was time to accept that surgery would be necessary.
“I always wanted to contribute more to the team, but the reality is that if I could have done a little more, I might have regretted it a little, but I couldn’t. My knee would not have let me play.
“I played one day, took two days off, and so you can’t be a Premier League player, that’s the reality.
“At some point, even with painkillers, they wouldn’t let me play with my knee.
“Of course I needed time to accept that and it was hard to see from the stands, but that’s why I didn’t play and had to accept it.
“Even with the operation it was much worse than we thought. I never recovered after that. I was never the same again.
“So this knee injury definitely ruined my career.”
“That was the end of my Liverpool and football career, because I went to Zaragoza and I had a two-year contract, but I only played the one.
That’s one of the reasons why the retired 34-year-old was so keen to merge with Switch & Co, a wellness company that aims to keep people physically, mentally and socially active.
The former Reds star became an ambassador for the company after building a relationship through social media, and he wants to use them to praise the virtues of exercise and the positive effects on physical and mental health.