VfB Stuttgart Brazilian-born striker Cacau has praised Thomas Hitzlsperger’s bravery and courage after the former German international came out of the closet this week, admitting he was homosexual. Cacau, who is in Cape Town for the German side’s pre-season camp, said it was brave of Hitzlsperger to come out. “I applaud him and respect his decision for coming out. I know him personally and know he is an intelligent human being. It was so brave of him to come out in the open and he will always command my respect,” said Cacau this week. Although they had a close relationship, he said he never spoke about personal stuff with his former colleague. Hitzlsperger, who retired in September having made 52 appearances for Germany, is only the fourth professional footballer to come out as gay. Meanwhile, Cacau said he had no doubt that his native country would stage one of the best world cups in June. Although he was born in Brazil, Cacau has never played for the national team and turns out for the German national team. But he believes the South American country will do well on and off the field. “I know we are still behind in terms of preparation but I have no doubt we will make it. Just like South Africans, our people are passionate about the game and they will make it a memorable one,” said Cacau. But the June event is far from Cacau’s mind as he is on a mission to regain his fitness and break back into the Stuttgart team this season after a long lay-off as a result of injury. With his contract coming to an end in June, he said he had not thought of his next move. “My mission is to regain my fitness and help my team do well in the league,” he said. Stuttgart have lined up a few friendly matches against Cape Town teams which include Vasco da Gama and Ajax.