Swedish football player Anton Hysén

Professional football’s only openly gay player has urged other gay footballers who are afraid to come out to give him a call.

In an interview published by the Guardian, 20 year old Swedish football player Anton Hysén, who came out earlier this month, said that his sexuality shouldn’t be such a big issue.

When asked if he if feels pressure to be a role model, Hysén replied: “Not at all. There’s nothing to be a role model for – you’re gay, it’s not a big thing. People tell me I’m a celebrity now, and I shouldn’t be.”

He added: “But as long as it helps [others by speaking openly], I’ll do everything I can. If there’s anyone afraid of coming out they should give me a call.”

Hysén also revealed that he is single, likes to go to gay bars and is interested in ‘masculine’ men. “You meet people every day, so no stress. I’m not searching for anything,” he said.

Although the up-and-coming Hysén currently only plays for 4th tier side BK, his coming out has made world headlines because of the lack of openly gay players in the sport.

Critics say that despite efforts to improve matters professional football remains rife with homophobia.

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