Josh Cavallo: Raphael Varane leads praise after Australian footballer comes out as gay

Adelaide United midfielder Josh Cavallo has become the only known current male top-flight professional footballer in the world to come out as gay.

Cavallo posted a video and a statement on social media to make the announcement.

The 21-year-old deserves great credit for showing the courage to come out.

That is something Manchester United defender Raphael Varane acknowledged on Twitter.

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

Cavallo wrote on his Instagram page: “There’s something personal that I need to share with everyone: I’m a footballer, and I am gay.”

“It’s been a journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come out.

“I have been fighting my sexuality for over six years now, and I’m glad I can put that to rest.”

It is a damning indication of where men’s football is in relation to society that Cavallo is the only gay player to feel comfortable enough to come out.

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker also added his admiration for the midfielder, and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has also shown support.

The Premier League has never seen an openly gay player take to the pitch.

United legend Rio Ferdinand last month said he spoke to a gay player who wanted to come out but they were told not to do so by a lawyer.

Hopefully the overwhelmingly positive reaction will in time encourage other players to follow Cavallo’s lead when they feel ready to do so.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.