|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Sampdoria FC|
2019 07 30 Retrieve
[Albin Ekdal has slammed homophobia in men’s football and encouraged the game to take cues from their female counterparts on the issue] It is mine, yours and everyone else’s task to make sure that you don’t need to be brave to come out. It should be simple and fun to tell people that you’re in love. I can’t do more than welcoming everyone into the world of football. Neither can you. But if we do it together, in every stand, on every bus trip, on each away game and in every changing room, then soon we won’t have this problem anymore. It should be obvious that gay people should be able to be open with who they are in football. However, there are hardly any [openly] gay people, so we have a problem. And therefore I think it’s about time we change that
Just like in Sweden and in the rest of the world there are some people who are a little bit homophobic. That’s how it is everywhere. It feels so obvious that everyone should be able to love whoever they want, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Most people behaved as they should, but the homophobia was still there. Insults such as ‘f**t’ and other things existed. I’m sure they still exist among boys in changing rooms and classrooms. If I would’ve been gay and heard all of that it would’ve made it much harder to come out. I bet it has stuck around today, so even though you don’t mean to hurt anyone it’s important to think about what you say.
At the end of the day it can lead to many good players quitting. Hopefully there aren’t too many stopping to play because of this, because everyone should obviously be able to play football regardless of who they love. But every person forced to quit is a double loss: primarily for the individual but also for football at large. It is everyone’s right to be able to be in love with whoever they want. That’s nothing one should feel a need to hide or feel ashamed of, it should be fun. I really hope that it will get better when it comes to this. It would be great for society if gay men could play football without having to take any sh*t for it. It would be cool to see it too. That’s extremely few. Either there are many, many more who don’t want to come out, or they’ve already quit. Both options are equally bad. I hope that there can be a domino effect, that one dares, someone comes after and that in a couple of years it’s completely normal. That’s my hope.
2019 12 29 Retrieve
[Former Sweden team-mate Albin Ekdal says Zlatan Ibrahimovic will prove a quality addition at AC Milan and improve the rest of the struggling Serie A side’s players] Ibra at any age will always be at a top club and Milan, even today, is one. I didn’t think he would go to a team with less history and importance like some of the ones mentioned with him recently. Being able to choose, I knew he would say yes to Milan. A champion like him is always good for any team, and Milan have done very well. I think it is a brilliant signing, both for what he will bring and for what he will bring out of others
[Asked whether he thought Ibrahimovic would still make a difference at San Siro] Definitely, for two reasons. One, he is an exemplary professional who always trains to the maximum, so he is always at his peak physically. Two, with him on the pitch, everybody plays better because nobody is brave enough to disappoint him. Nobody wants to disappoint Ibra – anybody who has played with him knows what I mean. He always wants to win, even in training, even when it doesn’t count. If he doesn’t win, he gets p*ssed off, first with himself and then with anybody who hasn’t given everything to make him win. He has a winning mentality that spreads to everyone in the team. He will raise the quality at Milan
2020 02 05 Retrieve
[Sampdoria and Sweden midfielder Albin Ekdal has expressed his frustration that players are still reluctant to come out as homosexual in the modern football world] In an ideal world nobody would feel uncomfortable saying they are homosexual, in their regular life or in football. Unfortunately, in real life it is different. In our sport only eight players have ever come out, an extremely small number. Many would like to but they do not feel free to do so for fear of negative reactions. It is an atmosphere where there is a lot of homophobia and these players are scared of becoming the object of insults and abuse, on and off the pitch. As a result, they feel obliged to run away, hide and live in fear
We have to fight against this problem, using education as a force for good. What kind of society are we if a young boy cannot pursue his dream of becoming a footballer due to his sexual orientation? Every time a kid hangs up his boots and stops playing because he is not accepted by the dressing room, his club and those around him, it is a defeat for the football world. Being gay does not define you as a person, only to whom you are attracted. Each of us is part of the human race and we have a shared passion: we love football and that is most important for all of us
2020 03 13 Retrieve
[Coronavirus: Four more Sampdoria players test positive following Gabbiadini diagnosis] UC Sampdoria announces that, following Manolo Gabbiadini’s positive test for COVID-19, in light of mild symptoms, players Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Antonino La Gumina and Morten Thorsby have received positive results, as has Dr Amedeo Baldari. They are all in good health and at home in Genoa