FOREIGN MINISTER HEIKO MAAS AND GERMAN FOOTBALL AMBASSADOR E.V. HONOUR FOOTBALL PROFESSIONALS 2018

 

On the  8th  of May 2018, the German Football Ambassador e.V. honoured German football coaches, players and idols at the Federal Foreign Office, who contribute to the positive image of football and Germany through their sporting and social commitment abroad. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and initiator of the German Football Ambassador e.V. Roland Bischof welcomed around 200 guests from different areas such as politics, sport and business.

Football is multicultural.

Roland Bischof, founder of the Association German Football Ambassador, comments: "German football is multicultural. Perhaps this is why German football professionals become cosmopolitan athletes who get socially involved where they work".

                 

The award ceremony took place for the sixth time. In addition to the prize of honour, a jury of experts chose the winner of the main category "Coach", the audience chose the winner in the category "Player" and a referee legend was accepted into the "Hall of Fame". 

Football inspires young Japanese kickers.

Nominated for the main prize "Coach 2018" were Gert Engels, co-trainer of the Japanese FC Vissel Kobe, where Lukas Podolski also plays, Theo Bücker, coach of the El-Nejmeh club in Lebanon and Ernst Middendorp, technical director of True Bangkok United in Thailand. The top-class jury, chaired by Rainer Holzschuh, editor of the popular German football magazine "Kicker", awarded Gert Engels with the main prize, who contributed to German-Japanese football exchange for more than 20 years. In addition to professional sport, he decided on the sustainable "Future Local" project. Its aim is to give children and young people affected by the tsunami disaster a better future through football.

                

"Japan has become my second home. Our countries have a lot in common. I love my job as a coach in professional football, but also with the kids," explains Gert Engels. "Football turns children and young people into "team players" and strengthens their character. Strong children become strong people, even outside of sport."

Football unites people and cultures.

The Audience Award in the "Player 2018" category went to Loris Karius from FC Liverpool. The Biberach goalkeeper prevailed over ten other nominees in the public voting with great support from Liverpool fans. Together with Jürgen Klopp and Emre Can, Karius forms the "German Trio" at the English Premier League Club. Due to the entry into the final of the Champions League he could not be personaly there, but he thanked the guests through a video message. Second and third places went to Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) and Leroy Sáne (Manchester City).

                       

"Winning the Audience Award means a lot to me, as it is a recognition of my performance in England. Football has the strength to bring people and cultures together. I am proud to represent Germany here in the best possible way."

 

Over 50 years active in worldwide football.

The prize is awarded to Otto Pfister, a football globetrotter and one of the longest working football coaches in the world who lives in Switzerland. Football is his religion, his politics, his international understanding. In his laudation, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas praised the 80-year-old national coach of Afghanistan for his many years of commitment to international football.

                

Pfister himself remained modest: "The most important thing is to focus entirely on people and culture, mentality and religion. You have to respect your counterpart, even if he has a completely different environment."

Referee legend cultivates sports relations around the globe.

 The referee legend and sports diplomat Walter Eschweiler was on site and was welcomed  into the "Hall of Fame" of the association, for his many years of commitment to the international sports relations of the Federal Foreign Office among other things.

                     

Numerous previous award winners, nominees and supporters were also present, including Gernot Rohr (national coach Nigeria), Monika Staab (football development expert), Doris Fitschen (manager DFB women's national team) and Eckhard Krautzun (football expert for China).

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Hall of Fame Personalities who contribute to the development of international football

Hall of Fame

Award-Ceremony 2013-2017

Award for German Football coaches and players who are committed to the positive development of football and society abroad.

 

Award-Ceremony 2013-2017

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News

07/12/2018: Coach of the century in Bielefeld, football expert, globetrotter with stations in Ghana, Iran, South Africa, China and Cyprus and currently sports director of True Bangkok United. A perfect example of a German ambassador of football. In an exclusive statement for the German Football Ambassador, Ernst Middendorp reports about his current club, talks about Asian and African football in international comparison and tells us about the sympathy (or participation?) and help of the Thai people in the very tragic rescue operation of the football team, which was enclosed in a cave.

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  • Roland Bischof

    Roland Bischof (Initiator) is the managing majority shareholder of the company presented by... GmbH. He is a charter member and the vice president of the FASPO (the professional association for sponsoring in Germany, Switzerland and Austria) for 12 years.

  • Rainer Holzschuh

    Rainer Holzschuh acted from 1983 to 1988 as the chief press officer for the German Football Association (DFB ) and subsequently, until 2009 editor in chief for the "kicker" sports magazine where he now operates as publisher. He is also president of the European of Sports Magazine (ESM).

  • Dr. Norbert Taubken

    Dr. Norbert Taubken is the chief executive manager of Scholz & Friends Reputation. He mainly works with clients in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.

  • Dr. Guido Kambli

    Dr. Guido Kambli managed to combine his enthusiasm for sport & media with his professional activities. He begun as a journalist and sports reporter, later on continued as managing director of an event agency and since 1993 he is an independent lawyer.

  • Roland Bischof

    Roland Bischof (Initiator) is the managing majority shareholder of the company presented by... GmbH. He is a charter member and the vice president of the FASPO (the professional association for sponsoring in Germany, Switzerland and Austria) for 12 years.

  • Rainer Holzschuh

    Rainer Holzschuh acted from 1983 to 1988 as the chief press officer for the German Football Association (DFB ) and subsequently, until 2009 editor in chief for the "kicker" sports magazine where he now operates as publisher. He is also president of the European of Sports Magazine (ESM).

  • Dr. Norbert Taubken

    Dr. Norbert Taubken is the chief executive manager of Scholz & Friends Reputation. He mainly works with clients in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

  • Rainer Holzschuh

    Rainer Holzschuh acted from 1983 to 1988 as the chief press officer for the German Football Association (DFB ) and subsequently, until 2009 editor in chief for the "kicker" sports magazine where he now operates as publisher. He is also president of the European of Sports Magazine (ESM).

  • Dr. Martin Schaefer

    Dr. Martin Schaefer is the German Ambassador in South Africa. He previosly worked at the German Embassy in South Africa 2010, where he had a look behind the scenes during the World Cup.

  • Doris Fitschen

    Doris Fitschen is a retired German football player and former assistant to the women's national team head coach Silvia Neid. Fitschen has been the manager of the women's national team since 2009.

  • Steffi Jones

    Steffi Jones is a German football manager and former player who last managed the German women's national team.

  • Peter Lohmeyer

    Peter Lohmeyer is a German actor and a passionate football fan. He starred in the film "The Miracle of Bern" , about West Germany's World Cup triumph in 1954.

  • Lutz Pfannenstiel

    Lutz Pfannenstiel is a retired German football goalkeeper who has played on all continents. Currently, he works as a scout for Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim and as an expert on developing countries for the DFB. He also is engaged on climate protection with his Project "Global United FC".