31year former Aston Villa, Everton, West Ham & German midfielder Thomas  Hitzlsperger has come out as gay. But he waited to retire from football  before revealing his sexual preference.

Hitzlsperger, who retired in September 2013 due to a knee injury yesterday told a German newspaper

“I’m coming out about my homosexuality because I want to move the discussion   about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards. In England, Italy & Germany being a homosexual is no big thing, at   least not in the dressing room”

“The awareness of being gay was a long and   difficult process. Only in recent years has it dawned on   me that I would prefer to live with another man. I’ve never been ashamed of my   sexuality”

The first footballer to come out as gay is US footballer Robbie Rogers who had to leave football after coming out. Hitzlsperger was probably wise to wait to retire before revealing this to the world.