Professional soccer is slowly adding to its small but growing number of out players.
Two months after Czech Republic player Jakub Jankto disclosed he was gay, another European soccer star is sharing his truth to the world.
On Tuesday, Spanish goalkeeper Alberto Lejárraga, who plays for Marbella Fútbol Club, celebrated his team’s promotion to the country’s fourth-tier league by sharing photos kissing his boyfriend.
Instead of making any declarative statements about his orientation or how he identifies, the 28-year-old simply let his love speak volumes.
The collage of photos featured images of Lejárraga with friends and family, including snaps of him kissing and hugging his boyfriend.
Lejárraga endearingly captioned the post in Spanish, which when translated read: “Thank you for always being by my side, during the good and the bad. This time it was our turn to live the beauty of this moment.” He finished by adding “Thank you” and two red heart emojis.
While he didn’t name his man, the boyfriend wore Lejárraga’s team jersey in two of the snaps. He’s a keeper!
Lejárraga’s fans shared their joy for both his personal news and the team’s success.
“Thank you, for being brave and not hiding and being free!!! THANK YOU,” wrote one follower.
“You don’t know how much gratitude you deserve for this gesture… And how much happiness… Enjoy the triumph, in every way… A hug,” added a second.
“Thank you for your bravery, and congratulations on your promotion!” responded a third.
Lejárraga now adds to the much needed visibility and representation in professional sports.
In February, Jankto, who currently plays for Sparta Prague, shared a video on social media announcing he is gay and expressing his desire to live “without fear.”
“Like everyone else, I want to live my life with freedom, without fear, without violence, without prejudice, but with love,” the 27-year-old said in the clip. “I am homosexual and I no longer want to hide myself.”
One week after coming out, Jankto received a hero’s welcome upon entering the field for his first game since his announcement.
Taking into account Lejárraga and Jankto, there are now about a handful of out professional players in soccer.
In 2021, Australian athlete Josh Cavallo became the first active professional soccer player to come out since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
Last year, English player Jake Daniels and Scotland’s Zander Murray both announced they were gay within a few months of each other adding to the ranks of out fútbol stars.
As we welcome Lejárraga to the family, get acquainted with more of his handsomeness via his social media pages:
Wonderful story. The more of these the better!
Bueno, pues bueno, bueno pues, no?
The best lovers are Spanish. Bar none.