Germany’s Leon Goretzka praised for making defiant symbol of love after scoring against Hungary
Lukas Barth-Tuttas / POOL/ EPA

Germany’s Leon Goretzka sent a bold message of love and support to the LGBTQ+ community after scoring a crucial goal on Wednesday night in Euro 2020.

The German midfielder scored his side’s second goal in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Hungary in Munich’s Allianz Arena which progressed Germany through to the second round and a big fixture with England on Tuesday.

The build-up to the match was dominated by Uefa’s controversial decision to deny the Munich authorities request to light up the stadium in the Pride rainbow colours in opposition to oppressive new anti-LGBTQ+ laws recently enforced by the Hungarian government. Uefa, who claim to be proud supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, said that Munich’s protest was a ‘political statement’ and therefore denied their application.

However, the German players still found ways to show support for the community. Captain Manuel Neuer wore a rainbow armband during the match but Goretzka, who made a heart symbol towards the Hungarian fans after he scored, was the player on everyone’s lips after the final whistle.

The Bayern Munich star tweeted a picture of his celebration after the game and wrote ‘spread love.’

The 26-year-old has since been widely praised for the simple but powerful gesture.

Before the game started, a spectator ran onto the pitch with a Pride flag during Hungary’s national anthem and was greeted with loud cheers from the stadium.

The football community has been largely supportive of Germany’s attempt to take a stance with many top sides and players in Europe releasing statement and images in solidarity.

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