The midfielder spent a season at Goodison Park in 2012/13, which proved to be his last in professional football before his retirement.
Thomas Hitzlsperger opened up at Everton at the moment he knew his playing career was over and shared his experiences with the coming-out.
Thomas Hitzlsperger talked about his time and Everton and described his experiences with coming out
Hitzlsperger told the official Everton podcast: “I would say that at the end of my time in West Ham, things in my life have changed and become more difficult. Even as a footballer I knew that I was not at my best, that my peak had passed and that I needed to look for new opportunities.
He admitted that he didn’t know where his future in football lay before joining the blues, but explained how it came to a move to Merseyside.
The former German international is now the managing director of the Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart and looks back on his football career.
“I trained with the [San Jose] Earthquakes for a few weeks and thought I would try again, but when I play I want to play in England.
“I went back to Germany, again I got badly injured and then I was almost done with soccer. I lost interest, had many injuries and thought, ‘What’s the point? You move from one place to another within six or twelve months and you don’t have the same success and joy anymore”.
“So I took some time off and went to the States for three months, I think I had a good time and enjoyed myself. But then my agent called me and asked if I wanted to play again, I said I wasn’t sure, I think I’m done with football.
But the midfielder took time out for his professional football career at the age of 31 after his unique season with Everton.
He asked: “Where do you want to go? There were very few clubs I would like to play for, and one of them was Everton, so I said, ‘If you can get me to Everton, I would like it’, and that’s where I ended up.
Hitzlsperger put all his energy into training with the blues, but he remembers one particular session where he was told that he needed to think about his future.
“When I joined, it was first a test, David Moyes wanted me to come here and see what I got, and I think I trained well then,” the German added.
“But I knew it was difficult because the team played so well this season. Somehow you see yourself and think you’re still good enough, but this team is capable and it’s going to be difficult.
“I got to a point where I realized that I wasn’t the same person anymore and I had to change something about what I was doing. So at the end of the Everton magic, I knew that my time in football was over.
“I tried very hard, but in the end I think the manager made the right choice in the teams he chose at that time. Like all the other clubs I went to in England, there were great people and some of the teammates, staff – you always find friendly people there, which makes things easier.
“We had these runs and I was absolutely hopeless. David Moyes yelled at me and said, “Come on Thomas, I want more from you.
“Then I realized that my head wasn’t in it anymore. That’s when I thought it was clear and obvious that I quit here just to make sure I finish the season well and give my best every day in practice.
“I had a few training sessions that I still remember. We did shuttle runs, and normally I was pretty good at it, the guys had the day off, but I trained that week because I wanted to be fitter than everyone else.