Former Bayern Munich, VfB Stuttgart, Lazio Rome and Aston Villa professional footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger made public his homosexuality in an interview with Die ZEIT, in which he says that he is talking about his sexuality because he wants “to further the debate about homosexuality among sports professionals”.

Hitzlsperger’s openness may prove to be a turning point in what has been a shamefully timid debate in football until now.

Hitzlsperger represented Germany 52 times, played in a World Cup and a European Championship and won the Bundesliga with Stuttgart. He retired in September last year, having also played for Lazio in Italy and Wolfsburg. “It’s been a long and difficult process” [of becoming aware of being gay]. Only in the last few years have I realised that I preferred living together with a man,” Hitzlsperger added.


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