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The 28-year-old believes that the atmosphere in stadiums makes the sport difficult for homosexual players to be open about their sexuality

Germany and Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has admitted that the atmosphere created in football stadiums makes it harder for gay footballers to be open about their sexuality.

The 28-year-old has likened the modern game to the gladiatorial arena due to the philosophy of those on the terraces, and he believes that society is still not ready to accept homosexual players.

"The football stadium is rarely politically correct. Football is like gladiatorial combat. I do not think that society is at the point where it can accept gay professional footballers, as is already possible in other areas," Lahm told

Another issue making waves in the Bundesliga is mental illness, with Ralf Rangnick giving up the Schalke job and Hannover goalkeeper Markus Miller taking time off due to burnout.

"If you look at the facts, burnout and depression are now common diseases," Lahm continued.

"Unfortunately depression and burnout are still too often interpreted as weaknesses, although this perhaps has changed recently."

The 28-year-old also took time to play down rumours of a rift between himself and Michael Ballack, who he replaced as Germany captain in 2010 in controversial circumstances.

"I think our relationship is made worse in public than it actually is," he concluded.