Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann says gay footballers should stay in the closet.

When asked about football players coming out in an interview with Sky in Germany, he said: “Anyone doing that would be nuts.

“You can’t advise anyone to do so, they would no longer have fun playing football.

“Football is a man’s sport.”

The goalkeeper played for Arsenal between 2003-2008, and then again in 2011. He was also on the German national team. He was named Goalkeeper of the Year by UEFA in 2006.

He also said he thought straight people and gay people showering together would cause problems.

When asked what he would have felt if fellow German player Thomas Hitzlsperger had come out while he was still playing, he said: “Strange, I think. You shower together every day, and there are times when it would be difficult.”

“I know for sure that there would have been a few players, be it opponents or others in the dressing room, who would have permanently made jokes.”

Hitzlsperger came out earlier this month in an interview with a German newspaperHe said there was “a long way to go” before a current premiership player could feel comfortable coming out.