Former German soccer player Thomas Hitzlsperger is gay

Jan. 8, 2014 at 8:26 AM

BERLIN, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Former German soccer player Thomas Hitzlsperger announced he is gay, becoming the first prominent player from the country to come out.

The 31-year-old athlete told Time magazine coming to terms with his sexuality was "a long and difficult process."

Hitzlsperger retired from playing soccer professionally in September after a debilitating knee injury, TheLocal.de said.

He said he felt it was the right time to come out after his retirement, but said he had "never been ashamed" of his homosexuality.

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