Former Brazilian international Richarlyson on Friday became the first footballer to have played in the first division in his country to publicly declare himself bisexual.
“A lot of people say that my positions are important, so I decided to speak today: I am bisexual,” the 39-year-old former midfielder revealed during an interview with the “Os armarios” podcast. dos vestiarios” (The locker rooms).
“I hope it will really contribute” to the debate for more tolerance in football, added the ex-footballer.
Richarlyson played two friendlies with the Seleção in 2008 and had a successful career with big Brazilian clubs, such as Atlético Mineiro and Sao Paulo FC.
“I’m just a normal citizen. I’ve had a great career, but I can’t move mountains to end homophobia in football. Unfortunately, the world is not ready to discuss this subject calmly,” he insisted.
Three times national champion with Sao Paulo FC (2006, 2007 and 2008) and winner of the Copa Libertadores in 2013 with Atlético Mineiro, alongside Ronaldinho, Richarlyson has been the victim of many prejudices throughout his career, in particular because of the clothes he wore.
It was not uncommon to see him sporting pink or sequined t-shirts when he went to practice.
“All my life people have asked me if I’m gay. I have had relationships with both men and women. I have always been myself, I wanted to show that whatever people say about me, I will always do what I want, ”he said.
Having become a consultant for the TV Globo channel after hanging up his cleats in 2021, Richarlyson believes that the situation remains very complicated for homosexual players: “the doors will always close in the clubs”, which according to him are “in the hands of groups of homophobic supporters.
“Footballers need to be more engaged, especially heterosexuals. Wearing a rainbow jersey is not enough, you have to leave the field when you are in the presence of homophobic acts, ”he concluded.