Thomas Hitzlsperger (German pronunciation: [ˈtʰoːmas ˈhɪt͡səlsˌpɛɐ̯ɡɐ]; born 5 April 1982) is a German former footballer who played as a midfielder. He spent the early part of his career playing for Aston Villa in England (accompanied by a short loan spell at Chesterfield), before returning to Germany to play for Stuttgart, where he won the Bundesliga in 2007. In 2010 he signed for Italian side Lazio, before moving back to England to join West Ham United later that year. He then had brief spells with Wolfsburg and Everton.
Hitzlsperger also represented the German national team, earning 52 caps and being selected for the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. Following a series of injuries, he retired from football in September 2013. After his retirement, he came out as gay, the highest-profile footballer to do so.Close