Matt Jarvis, winger for the UK's West Ham United team, has become only the 3rd football star (European soccer) to grace the cover of gay glossy Attitude.

The 5-foot-7, 26-year-old Jarvis shows off his muscular upper torso on the cover of the magazine's upcoming February issue.

Jarvis said the time was right for a gay footballer to come out.

“It's everyday life. It's not something that's going to be a shock,” he said. “I'm sure there are many footballers who are gay, but when they decide to actually come out and say it, it is a different story. It's one that I'm sure they've thought about many times. But it's a hard thing for them to do.”

Jarvis follows in the footsteps of David Beckham and Freddie Ljungberg. Beckham appeared on the cover of Attitude in 2002, and Ljungberg in 2006.

Jarvis added that the sport was ready for an openly gay player.

“There'd be support everywhere within the football community, whether it be players, fans or within the PFA [Professional Footballers' Association]. There would definitely be groups of people who would be supportive and help them through it.”

(On the Net: Attitude.)