The 27-year-old midfielder, Jakub Jankto, who is on loan at Sparta Prague from Spanish club Getafe, said in a video posted on his Twitter page: “I am homosexual and I no longer want to hide myself.”
He follows Josh Cavallo of Adelaide United and Blackpool’s Jake Daniels in coming out publicly as gay in professional men’s football, and becomes the highest-profile current male footballer to come out.
Jankto has made 45 appearances for the Czech Republic, including at the most recent European Championships, and is the first La Liga player in Spain to publicly come out as gay.
“Hi, I’m Jakub Jankto,” he said in a video posted on Twitter. “Like everybody else, I have my strengths, I have my weaknesses; I have a family, I have my friends.”
“I have a job, which I have been doing as best as I can, for years, with seriousness, professionalism and passion. Like everybody else, I also want to live my life in freedom without fear, without prejudice, without violence, but with love. I am homosexual, and I no longer want to hide myself.”
Sparta Prague released a statement in support of Jankto and said the midfielder had “spoken openly about his sexual orientation with the club some time ago”. The club added: “Everything else concerns his personal life. No further comments. No more questions. You have our support. Live your life, Jacob. Nothing else matters.”