Germany striker Mario Gomez has urged gay footballer to come out and support homosexuality in the sport.
Gomez has broken ranks with the German Football Federation and team-mates, who have warned that coming out could destroy a player's career.
However, Gomez, who has not revealed if he is gay, said that being honest about their sexuality would improve gay players' performance.
"They would play as if they had been liberated. Being gay should no longer be a taboo topic," the Guardian quoted Gomez, as saying.
The 25-year-old further said that there were plenty of role models in the rest of German society to give gay players the courage to come out.
"We've got a gay vice-chancellor [Guido Westerwelle], the Berlin mayor [Klaus Wowereit] is gay. So, professional footballers should own up to their preference," Gomez said.
The only German footballer to have come out and accept that he is gay is Marcus Urban, who told his teammates in 1997 and promptly ended his professional career. (ANI)