Scotland midfielder Erin Cuthbert admitted Scotland’s dramatic exit from last year’s World Cup in France left her out of love with the game.
Shelley Kerr’s side finished bottom of their group after a late collapse against Argentina in their final group game in Paris.
The Scots were leading 3-0 and on course to progress to the knockout stages before conceding three times in the closing 16 minutes to exit the competition after a 3-3 draw.
Speaking on The Players podcast on BBC Sounds, Cuthbert said: “I think the months that followed after the World Cup were the hardest ones I’ve ever had in my life.
“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 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 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 can’t also get too low on the lows, as clichéd as that sounds.
“I went back to the club and all the girls were talking about it, and I didn’t want to talk about it. I really, really didn’t want to talk about it because I was so traumatised by what happened that night in Paris. And I will always have that memory of Paris, I hate that.”
Scotland captain Rachel Corsie admitted the national team’s recent failure to qualify for the European Championships felt similar to the World Cup dejection.
She said: “I had to keep going so I didn’t really grieve (after the World Cup).
“I sort of packaged it up. This time round with the Euros, and the failure that that’s been, has hit me much harder.
“I think it’s bringing up some of the stuff from the World Cup and it’s time to address them. It’s something that will be hard, but you need to go through it.”