Emotions, surprises and interesting facts about football were guaranteed in the third award ceremony of the initiative German Football Ambassador.
In the presence of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Jürgen Klinsmann (coach of the US team), Thomas Hitzlsperger (former international player) and Mesut Özil (Arsenal FC) were honoured for their athletic and social commitment abroad.
Football can do much more! German coaches and players are active on and off the pitch, contribute to social and athletic development and shape the positive image of Germany in the world. The initiative was founded in 2012 by Roland Bischof to encourage the commitment and to support social projects in the world.
The first prize of the initiative ‘German Football Ambassador 2015’ goes to Jürgen Klinsmann who was elected by a highly qualified jury. Klinsmann has been the national coach of the US team since 2011 and has helped US soccer to reach more reputation. As a player he already performed in the 1990 World Cup in Italy and played in Monaco, England and the United States.
Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier praised the commitment and passion of Jürgen Klinsmann in his speech. Also nominated were Eckhard Krautzun (commissioner of the FIFA) and Michael Nees (technical director Israel) who attended the event and gave extensive insights into their work and the development of football in the world.
Thomas Hitzlsperger was awarded the prize in 2015. Hitzlsperger was active as a player for Aston Villa, Lazio Rome and West Ham United. In addition, the former German national team player was honoured for his commitment against homophobia in sports and for supporting various social projects in Germany and Africa.
Hitzlsperger: "Winning the award of the initiative German Football Ambassador fills me with great pride. It is also an incentive to communicate future ideas and values of German football..."
Mesut Özil receives the Audience Award 2015. In a public and international voting, in which more than 32,000 votes were cast, the player of the Arsenal FC prevailed among the eleven nominees. In 2015 Mesut Özil founded the 'Özil-Foundation' to support children and young people in the world and to sustainably expand his existing commitment. Presenter Peter Limbourg (director of Deutsche Welle) paid tribute to the positive appearance of Özil and the other "German legionnaires" abroad.