The German Football Ambassador announces the three nominations for the main category "Coaches": Jürgen Klopp, Petra Landers and Michael Weiss are the candidates for the succession of the acting football ambassador Gert Engels.

Jury chairman and kicker publisher Rainer Holzschuh emphasizes: "All three nominees perform outstandingly on completely different levels. Nevertheless, the jury's decision was unanimous." The jury is made up of top-class experts - for the first time the jury will include Horst Hrubesch and Berti Vogts as well as Kathrin Müller-Hohenstein on the advisory board.

The nominations: The best-known coach is probably Jürgen Klopp, who after his successful stops in Mainz and Dortmund was drawn to FC Liverpool on "the island", where he is not only celebrated by the football fans, but his incomparably positive appearance almost declared the "German Messiah".

Petra Landers was more successful than both of her competitors in her active time and celebrated great national and international success as a second nominee. The 1989 European Champion is currently on the road in Sambia at regular intervals in a long-term project, among other things. She was also the only German to participate when in 2017 a selection of international players played together in the crater of Kilimanjaro in Kenya, the highest football match in the world, at 5,729 metres, to promote more equality between girls and women in sport.

The circle is closed by Michael Weiss, who has been nominated for the second time since 2013, something only Jürgen Klinsmann has achieved so far. He is currently coaching Mongolia's national team. He has also been to exotic places as an ambassador for German football, such as the Philippines, Rwanda, China and Japan.

The president of the association, Roland Bischof, will now visit all three nominees in their countries of activity in February/March to present them with the nomination certificates and to gather impressions of their work on and beside the site. The charity projects supported by the nominees with their prize money will also be visited. This year, the Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institute will once again be actively involved in preparing, organising and carrying out the respective trips.

The winner will be chosen in May 2019 in Berlin, where the current Foreign Minister has been present at the Federal Foreign Office for the past five years. Heiko Maas will try to be there again this year.

The previous football ambassadors in this category were called: Holger Obermann (2013, Nepal), Monika Staab (2014, Qatar), Jürgen Klinsmann (2015, USA), Gernot Rohr (2016, Burkina Faso), Horst Kriete (2017, South Africa) and Gert Engels (2018, Japan).


Among them top-class personalities from sports, business and culture 


The German Football Ambassador has restructured its advisory board for 2019 and intends to continue to support the positive dynamics of recent years. The aim of the Advisory Board's activities is to place the national and international activities of the German Football Ambassador e.V. on a broad social basis. Thus, the activities at the interface of sport and social developments are to be consistently expanded in the coming years.

  • Dietmar Hopp - Co-founder of SAP; Sponsor of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
  • Karl-Heinz Rummenige - Chairman of the board FC Bayern Munich AG
  • Katrin Müller-Hohenstein - Sports presenter, ZDF
  • Johannes Ebert - Secretary General of Goethe-Institut
  • Dr. Norbert Taubken - Chairman of the Association, Managing Director of the CSR consultancy Scholz & Friends Reputation
  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Prinz - internationally renowned media law specialist
  • Urs Meier - former FIFA referee and recognised football expert


Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and German Football Ambassador e.V. honour football professionals 


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).

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


Roland Bischof is the driving force behind the idea of the German Football Ambassador


For 7 years now, Roland Bischof has been the driving force behind the good idea of the German Football Ambassador. With great commitment and private financing (the football ambassador has no public funding such as grants or subsidies!) he built up a nationally known and internationally active movement in a very short time.

He brought numerous supporting personalities and companies together, whereby Rainer Holzschuh and Dr. Norbert Taubken in particular, were important companions and close advisors on his way. 

2011 // Idea. 

2012 // first presentation at the award ceremony of the Academy for Football Culture (moderated by Kathrin Müller-Hohenstein; presented with the patron Rudi Gutendorf)

2013 // 1st award ceremony in Nuremberg (Presseclub) 

2014 - 2018 // 2. - 6. award ceremony at the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin (in the presence of the current German Foreign Minister: F.-W. Steinmeier, S. Gabriel, H. Maas).

2016 // Conversion of the initiative into a non-profit association

2017 // 1st International Event: Women's Football in Doha, Qatar (German-Catarian Cultural Year)

2018 // 2nd foreign event: GenKids, social project in Tokyo, Japan (German Festival)...Since 2013 // Support for 25 projects worldwide...The football ambassador family continues to grow and prosper!



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12/21/2018: Berti Vogts will support the German Football Ambassador e.V. and become part of the football ambassador family. After Rummenigge, Hopp, Ebert and Müller-Hohenstein on the advisory board, a new face will now follow in the jury after Hrubesch.

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  • Dr. Norbert Taubken

    Dr. Norbert Taubken Dr. Norbert Taubken is a proven expert in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and has headed Scholz & Friends Reputation in Berlin since 2007. He advises international clients in his field of expertise CSR & Sustainability.

  • Celisa Pereira

    Celisa Pereira has accompanied the football ambassador from the very beginning. Among others, she works for PRESENTED BY... GmbH in the creative sector.

  • 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.

  • Johannes Ebert

    Johannes Ebert Johannes Ebert has worked at the Goethe-Institut since 1991 as a lecturer at various locations and headed the Goethe Institutes in Kiev, Cairo and Moscow. Since 2012 he has been Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut. Johannes Ebert is involved in various crisis regions and supports Syrian refugees with cultural and educational projects.

  • Katrin Müller-Hohenstein

    Katrin Müller-Hohenstein Katrin Müller-Hohenstein began working for a Nuremberg local radio station in 1988 and has been moderating the current sports studio on ZDF since 2006, where she is still active today. She was a studio presenter at the 2010 World Cup with the support of Oliver Kahn. This was followed by numerous other sporting mega-eventsfor the most popular presenter.

  • Dietmar Hopp

    Dietmar Hopp Dietmar Hopp and four partners founded the German company SAP, Europe's largest software producer, in 1972. He retired from the Executive Board in 2005. His foundation supportssports, medical, educational, and social programs. He is also a patron of the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim Bundesliga club.

  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Prinz

    Prof. Dr. Matthias Prinz Prof. Dr. Matthias Prinz has decisively shaped modern press and media law with numerousfundamental lawsuits up to the Federal Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights. He is regarded as one of the most respected lawyers and is internationally active.

  • Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is a former German national player who played for FC Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. He was considered one of the best players in the world in the 80s. The multiple top scorer became European Champion in 1980. Since 2002 he has been Chairman of the Board of FC Bayern Munich and until 2017 was Chairman of the European Club Association, of which he is Honorary Chairman today.

  • Dr. Norbert Taubken

    Dr. Norbert Taubken Dr. Norbert Taubken is a proven expert in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and has headed Scholz & Friends Reputation in Berlin since 2007. He advises international clients in his field of expertise CSR & Sustainability.

  • Urs Meier

    Urs Meier Urs Meier led 883 games in 27 years as a referee. After officially ending his career as a referee in 2004, he is active as a football expert and speaker and supports Kindernothilfe as an ambassador worldwide.

  • 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.

  • Berti Vogts is former regular player at Borussia Mönchengladbach and became European Champion in 1972 and World Champion in 1974 with the German national team. After his active player time he was national coach in Germany, Kuweit, Scotland, Nigeria and Azerbaijan. Since 2018 he has been a member of the jury of the Deutscher Fussball Botschafter e.V.

  • 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".