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Ex-Brazil international Richarlyson comes out as bisexual as he hits out at homophobia in football

Ex-Brazilian international Richarlyson comes out as bisexual but lashes out at homophobia in football and in his home country for claiming ‘the world isn’t willing’ to discuss the issue

  • Former Brazil international Richarlyson revealed he is bisexual on a podcast
  • He is the first player to have played on Brazil’s top flight and come out publicly
  • Richarlyson in his interview criticized homophobia in football and back in Brazil
  • He follows Jake Daniels who became the only openly gay pro in the UK

Former Brazil international Richarlyson has come out as bisexual and criticized homophobia in both football and his home country.

The 39-year-old, who played two international matches in 2008, is the first player from a top Brazilian team to come out publicly.

Richarlyson, who spent most of his career in Brazil, started dating both men and women in his appearance on the Nos Armarios dos Vestiarios podcasting.

“All my life I was asked if I was gay or not. I had relationships with men and I also had relationships with women,” Richarlyson said in the podcast broadcast by website Globo Esporte.

‘I am normal, I have wishes and desires. I dated men, I dated women. And then?

“So many people say it’s important that I get up, so I decided to say it today. I’m bisexual.’

Richarlyson, who retired from football last year, also revealed that during his playing days he decided not to come out because he “didn’t want to be excluded because of his sexuality”.

The new one comes after Blackpool player Jake Daniels came out as the only openly gay professional footballer in the UK – and the first since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

Former Brazilian and Sao Paulo star Richarlyson has come out on a podcast as bisexual

Former Brazilian and Sao Paulo star Richarlyson has come out on a podcast as bisexual

The former Sao Paulo star, who was part of the team that defeated Liverpool in the 2005 Club World Cup final, doubts his honesty will lead to positive change in Brazil, where homophobia is rife.

Richarlyson doubts his honesty will have much of an impact or lead to positive change in Brazil, where footballers are idolized but homophobia is rife.

He said: ‘Unfortunately, the world is not willing to have this discussion and deal with it naturally.

Richarlyson didn't come out during his career because he didn't want to be held back by his sexuality

Richarlyson didn’t come out during his career because he didn’t want to be held back by his sexuality

“Do you understand why I don’t think you need to label yourself sometimes?

‘There is a more important problem, people are dying, Brazil is the country that kills the most homosexuals.

“And we’re talking football here, okay, but football is a small business. Ah, but your speech can help. No, it won’t help.

‘Who the hell is Richarlyson?! I am an ordinary citizen, who had a nice history in football, but I will not be able to move mountains to stop these crimes, to stop homophobia in football.’

Richarlyson enjoyed a successful career as a defensive midfielder in Brazil, especially with the giants Sao Paulo and Atletico Mineiro.

Richarlyson (center) criticized homophobia in football and in Brazil, where the problem is widespread

Richarlyson (center) criticized homophobia in football and in Brazil, where the problem is widespread

Jake Daniels from Blackpool recently became the UK's only openly gay professional

Jake Daniels from Blackpool recently became the UK’s only openly gay professional

He won three Serie A titles and the Club World Cup with Sao Paulo before taking Copa Libertadores glory with Mineiro in 2013.

Both clubs took to Twitter after Richarlyson’s came out on the podcast.

Sao Paulo wrote, without referring to the topic of the podcast: ‘Having honored the colors of São Paulo with determination and won important titles, Richarlyson is part of the Caminho dos Ídolos, in Morumbi. He shows that same courage in his life. Maximum respect for your trajectory.’

Atletico Mineiro, meanwhile, commented: “To the Libertadores champion, congratulations on your bravery. Richarlyson, thank you for acknowledging that Galo is the only team you played for where you weren’t biased. De Haan is everyone’s team! May football be a field of respect for all sexual orientations.’

The Sao Paulo-based Corinthians also celebrated his openness on the podcast when they wrote, “Richarlyson was a great player, a great rival on the field and a great sports professional. Now, after saying he’s bisexual, he stays all that, setting himself up as a leading voice of the resistance. We have the utmost respect.’

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