These talented and brave gay soccer players have paved the way for so many others.
As the World Cup goes on in a country where homosexuality is illegal, many global football fans are having to reckon with the sports' homophobia.
While soccer remains one of the most popular sports around the world, very few players have been able to come out and enjoy a successful career afterwards. Gay players face pressure from teammates, ownership, coaches, and fans over their sexuality.
These are some of the men who have come out, fighting those stereotypes, and paving the way for LGBTQ+ athletes who come after them.
Australian striker Andy Brennan came out as gay in 2019, becoming the first out gay Australian male footballer. He's still playing professional soccer, making him one of the few out current players.
Hysen is a Swedish defender who played professionally from 2010-2015. He came out in 2011, and won the seventh season of Swedish reality show Let's Dance, becoming the first out gay person to win.
When American soccer player Collin Martin came out in 2018 while playing for the Minnesota United of the MLS, he became the only out man in one of the big five American sports leagues and in any top-division pro men's national soccer league.
Testo played professional soccer from 2003 to 2011, and when he came out after his retirement, he became the first male American pro soccer player to come out.
Ferretti was a Brazilian goalkeeper who played professionally from 1991 to 2007, where he was one of the longest consecutive playing goalkeepers in the country. He came out as gay in 2022.
English footballer Jake Daniels plays for EFL Championship club Blackpool. He came out as gay in 2022.
Cavallo is an Australian pro player who plays left back and central midfielder for Adelaide United. He came out in 2021.
Fashanu was an English footballer who played between 1978 and 1997. His early clubs knew he was gay, and he came out during his career, becoming the first pro footballer to do so.
Davis is a semi-pro soccer player from England. In 2014, he became Britain's highest-profile out, gay player, and was the first out, gay male player to play at Wembley.
Hitzlsperger is a former German pro player who played professionally from 2001 to 2013. He also played for the German national team including in the 2006 World Cup. He came out after his retirement.
Urban was a German pro soccer player in the 1980-1990s. He later came out as gay and has since spoken out about the difficulties queer players face.
Pacifici is a former pro American soccer player who played goalkeeper for the Columbus Crew in 2016. He came out as gay in 2019.
Murray is a Scottish player who came out this year while playing for Gala Fairydean. He's the first Scottish senior league player to do so.