Former Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has become the most-high profile football figure to announce he is gay. The 31-year-old made the announcement in German newspaper Die Zeit.
Hitzlsperger retired from football at the end of the 2012-13 English Premier League season, during which he played under current Manchester United manager David Moyes at Everton. Jan Kruger/Getty Images/file
Before moving to Everton, Hitzlsperger played for Wolfsburg in his native Germany. Sadly, as with much of the latter part of his playing career, injury restricted his appearances during the 2011-12 season. Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images/file
Hitzlsperger spent the 2010-11 season with West Ham United but, despite two goals for the London club, injuries prevented him making a telling impact. Paul Gilham/Getty Images/file
Hitzlsperger also enjoyed a successful international career, making 52 appearances for his country including a start for Germany in the final of Euro 2008 against Spain.
Hitzlsperger moved to England as an 18-year-old in August 2000, joining Aston Villa from Bayern Munich's youth set-up. Stu Forster/Getty Image/file
The midfielder returned to Germany in August 2005 when he moved from Stuttgart to Villa. Hitzlsperger won the German Bundesliga title with Stuttgart in the 2006-2007 season. Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images/file
Hitzlsperger spent a season in Italy after leaving Stuttgart but only made six appearances for Lazio. Paolo Bruno/Getty Images/file