Thomas Hitzlsperger, who on Wednesday became the biggest name in soccer to come out gay, says he doesn't know any gay footballers.

Hitzlsperger, the first German player to come out, retired from the game four months ago.

He said “the time is right” to begin speaking about his experiences in professional football as a gay player.

Hitzlsperger said he wanted to come out to help young teens struggling with their sexuality and encourage other players to come out.

“I think young players these days, when they're sure about their feelings, they can talk about it. And hopefully by talking about it, the way I do now, it encourages some others, because they see they can still be professional football players, they can play at the highest level and be gay. It's not a contradiction, as I've proved. Hopefully, it gives some encouragement to young players.”

But Hitzlsperger said he didn't know any gay players.

“If you believe me or not, but I don't know a single gay football player, personally. And, just to put this right, we didn't get together every morning to talk about our private lives. We got there to train together, to become better players, to win as a team and not to talk about our private lives all the time.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)