Former international midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has become one of the few high profile sportsmen, and the first well-known German footballer, to publicly reveal that he is gay.<quoted text> Mr gasman is it???? Where are you teenage clowns coming from???None of you are from across the border in fact some of you may be across my street! yeah but one things for certain you are americans.
"I'm making my homosexuality public because I would like to advance the discussion of homosexuality among professional athletes," he told Die Zeit in an interview to be published on Thursday.
The 31-year-old, who retired in September, played 52 times for Germany between 2004 and 2010 and spent his club career at Aston Villa, VfB Stuttgart, Lazio, West Ham United, VfL Wolfsburg and Everton.
"In England, Germany and Italy, homosexuality is not an issue that is discussed in earnest, not in the dressing-room at any rate," he said.
Despite its global popularity, soccer has seen very few gay players come out, especially during their active careers as the fear of a negative reaction from coaches, team mates and fans forces them to keep their sexuality secret.