Enke took his own life in 2009 and Boateng, who has received his fair share of abuse during his playing career, says that he doesn’t know where he would have ended up if he wasn’t strong mentally.
Boateng as played for the likes of Hertha BSC, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund on loan, Portsmouth, AC Milan, Schalke and Las Palmas, and is currently with Eintracht Frankfurt – while the general consensus is that the 30-year-old failed to live up to his massive potential.
Speaking to Kicker, he said: “If you think about Robert Enke’s suicide, one per cent of that was to do with the press and the whole hubbub.
“If we take a look at all the articles which were written about me, who knows what I would do if I was not strong in my mind. There have been days where I have said, ‘I can’t go any longer’.
“I’m not only criticised because of my performances. It can happen that you play bad. Mark six [the lowest rating]? OK, I deserved it.
“But when personal things are written to hurt you, that must not be the case. But we footballers are like robots who have to accept everything.”
After being suspended by Schalke in 2015, Boateng felt like quitting, but was persuaded to carry on.
“I thought about quitting,” he added. “Why not? I’ve earned a lot of money, I saw everything and I have a wonderful family. What should I do anymore?
“But I only had these thoughts for two days. My wife said, ‘You can think about the end of your career one day, but tomorrow you’ll get up and go to training’.”