Wednesday January 8 2014
Hitzlsperger comes out as gay

Former Lazio midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has become the highest profile footballer to come out as gay.

The 31-year-old played at Stadio Olimpico briefly in 2010, but spent the majority of his career in England and Germany with the likes of Aston Villa and Stuttgart.

He is the highest-profile footballer to 'come out' and he follows in the footsteps of the American Robbie Rogers, who revealed his sexuality last year.

“It has been a long and difficult process...only in recent years has it dawned on me that I would prefer to live with another man,” he told Germany’s Time magazine.

"I'm coming out about my homosexuality because I want to move the discussion about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards.

"I've never been ashamed of the way I am.

"Just picture 20 men sat around a table together drinking - you've just got to let the majority be, just as long as the jokes are halfway funny and the talk about homosexuality doesn't get too insulting.

"In England, Germany or Italy, homosexuality is not taken seriously as an issue, at least not in the dressing room."

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