Toni Kroos has stressed that he is unsure if football is ready to accept players who are openly homosexual.
The midfielder of Real Madrid explained that rival fans can create a hostile environment against those who have discussed their sexual orientation openly.
“My common sense tells me that everyone should live in full freedom, there is no doubt about it,” he told. “That said, I don’t know if I’d advise an active footballer to come out as gay.”
His reasons are as follows: “Certain words are often used in the game and, taking into account the emotions that exist at the stands, I could not guarantee that he would not end up being insulted and belittled.
“This should not be the case and I am sure that a player who decides to take the step would have the support of many.
“But I doubt that this would be the case at an away ground.
“Each player has to decide for himself whether he considers it an advantage or disadvantage, although I think that even nowadays it wouldn’t be full of advantages.”
Kroos did not seem to recognize his own discouragement, albeit practically driven, contributing to the problem.
He then went on to explore the similarities between the German and Spanish cultures he has encountered:
“Spaniards are a bit more relaxed and I think that I have also become a more relaxed person.
“I am also still a fan of absolute punctuality, something that is more marginal here. Arriving 10 minutes late is the usual punctuality here. When I show up three minutes before a team meeting I am usually the first, if I did it in Germany I would be one of the last.
“Spaniards also often hug and kiss everyone, I’m not that kind of person either. Maybe I’m a bit of a German in this case, which doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the other simply because I don’t like that extreme body contact.”
Finally, the Germany international claimed that he was helped by experience and successes to avoid nervousness on the pitch:
“Rarely am I nervous on the pitch. I have experienced too many things and I have found that serenity is a great help on many occasions. Successes also give you some peace of mind and the awareness that things can no longer affect you too much.
“Someone gave me that ability, but I don’t know who. In any case, it wasn’t anyone from my family, since I always find out how nervous everyone is in front of the TV on game days.
“It’s also clear that, outside of the football pitch, there are days when my nerves and emotions can take over. When my children were born, for example. There you cannot influence or help and you have to cross your fingers for everything to go well.
“It is much more unpleasant than being on the pitch.”