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Thomas Hitzlsperger


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Former Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has announced he is gay.

The 31-year-old, who won 52 caps for Germany, made the announcement in magazine Die Zeit. 

High-profile athletes from other sports have openly discussed their sexuality in recent years, with Olympic diver Tom Daley revealing in December he was in a relationship with a man.

But Hitzlsperger is only the fourth footballer to do so publicly.

In February 2013, former United States and Leeds United winger Robbie Rogers said he was gay.

Swedish lower league player Anton Hysen, son of former Liverpool player Glenn Hysen, publicly announced his homosexuality in an interview with a Swedish football magazine in 2011.

More to follow.

Edited by rjw63
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Another (translated) article

Four months ago, Thomas Hitzlsperger moved out of the public life as a professional footballer. Now he turns again to the public. The Munich has decided to go with one in the world of football so far taboo topic on the offensive: "I express myself to my homosexuality," Hitzlsperger says in an interview with appearing on the Thursday edition of TIME, "because I under the discussion of homosexuality seeks to promote professional athletes. " He had the feeling that now, after the end of his career, a good time had come for it.

The awareness of being gay, was "a long and difficult process" in the life of 31-year-old former midfielder, who completed a total of 52 games for the German national team between 2004 and 2010. "Only in recent years dawned on me that I would rather live with a man," says Hitzlsperger. It manifests itself as open as it has done no other German professional before him. Homosexuality would "simply ignored" in football. To date, he do not know a football player himself, who did this to his subject.

Hitzlsperger played in youth for Bayern Munich, in 2000 he moved to the English Premier League club Aston Villa. After that, he was captain of VfB Stuttgart, gained experience at Lazio in Serie A, playing for VfL Wolfsburg in 2012 and returned to the Premier League for Everton back. "In England, Germany or Italy homosexuality is not a serious issue, not in the cabin at any rate," said Hitzlsperger recalls.

Das vollständige Interview mit Thomas Hitzlsperger lesen Sie ab Mittwoch 16 Uhr in der iPad-Ausgabe und ab Donnerstag in der gedruckten Ausgabe der ZEIT.

The full interview with Thomas Hitzlsperger read from wednesday 16 clock in the iPad edition and on Thursday in the print edition of TIME.

He had always resented the contradictions that were set up in the football world in dealing with homosexuality. Professional sport is a competitive sport absolutely hard "struggle, passion and will to win are inextricably linked." The do not fit the stereotype that many people made up by a homosexual, namely: ". Gays are sissies"

Hitzlsperger says: "I've never been ashamed of that so I've been '. Nevertheless, the sayings of the colleagues were not always easy to bear. "Think about it again: There sit twenty young men at the tables and drink, because it lets you grant the majority, as long as the jokes are reasonably funny and the chatter about homosexuals is not massively offensive.."

In the TIME interview Hitzlsperger reported, among others, on the stage of life in which his homosexuality itself was for him on the topic and the reactions of Germany coach Joachim Loew and team manager Oliver Bierhoff, after he had informed them about the issue before the public . go

Hitzlsperger since 2009, a columnist for TIME ONLINE. In the interview series Everything but football he talks regularly about relevant social issues and tries to look at the phenomenon of football from a different perspective. Most recently, he spoke about doping, excessive salaries and also about homosexuality in football .

The full interview with Thomas Hitzlsperger read from wednesday 16 clock in the iPad edition and on Thursday in the print edition of TIME.

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Fair play to him. Very brave to do that in the testosterone-fuelled world of male competitive sport. There have been a few coming out in American sport too so it's possible that it's the start of getting it into the open. I doubt it'll ever be fully transparent though, owing to the importance of image in sport, the privacy of the individual and more worryingly, the medieval views of countries like Russia towards gay people.


yeah it'll probably end up like Hollywood, where some actors are openly gay, but certain scientologists at the mega-star level still wouldn't come out due to perception it would damage career.

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You shouldn't hide who you really are, if people can't accept you for you, then it's their loss..

We're all human at the end of the day.

Easier said than done when you have to play football in front of opposition fans every week.

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Just spotted that on SSN. Funny how these days it makes you react like 'oh, ok then, have we signed anyone yet?'

The benefits of not living in a place like Russia...

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