Review 2013-2018


Awardees 2018

Awards 2015

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). 

Awardees 2016 Gernot Rohr, Emre Can & Karl-Heinz Schnellinger

Awardees 2016

Awards 2015

The award ceremony of the GERMAN FOOTBALL AMBASSADOR held some exciting surprises for the visitors at the Foreign Office in Berlin. Right on time with the upcoming European Championship in France the award "German Football Ambassador 2016" was granted to the France expert Gernot Rohr by the German and French Foreign Ministers Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Jean-Marc Ayrault. The former world-class defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger (honorary award) and the national player Emre Can (audience award) were awarded for their sportsmanship and their social engagement abroad. The presenters were former European championship top scorer Dieter Müller, Germany's honorary captain Uwe Seeler and the general director of ‘Deutsche Welle’ Peter Limbourg.

The non-profit association to honour German coaches and players who contribute to the positive image of Germany in the world by their positive appearance was founded in 2012 by Roland Bischof. These commitments need to be promoted continuously and support social projects worldwide.

Gernot Rohr won the main prize "German Football Ambassador 2016" for working abroad in the football sector for almost forty years. He worked in France and also many years in Africa as the coach of Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso. Rohr: "I’m German living in France and I feel European. The award makes me proud and I was very happy that it was handed out to me by my former teammate Dieter."

Burkhard Pape, who left for Sierra Leone in 1966 working in Africa and Asia for over 40 years and the former DFB chief instructor Erich Rutemöller who coached footballer in Iran, Afghanistan and South Korea received further nominations.

The distinguished jury and the speaker presented the award in 2016. Jury member Uwe Seeler handed the award to Karl-Heinz Schnellinger with who he had played many historical games in the national team, such as the Wembley final or the "match of the century" against Italy in the 1970 World Cup (3:4 a.e.t., Schnellinger scored the 1:1 during the normal time). Schnellinger played four World Cups, won the World Cup, European Cups, national championships and other cups; mostly with AC Milan, where he played from 1965-1974. He was considered one of the world's best defenders. His words during the ceremony: "The price is also for my family and friends who have always supported me". The initiator Roland Bishop added: "He has done so much for the reputation of German football, which unfortunately has received far too little attention in Germany."

Emre Can won the audience award 2016, who’s currently facing his first European Cup final at Liverpool together with Jürgen Klopp. He won against eleven nominees in the public and international voting, in which more than 57,000 votes (2015: 32,000 votes) were cast. Toni Kroos became second, Miroslav Klose third. Corina Schröder, the former Liverpool FC player, finished fourth. That’s what the national players said according to the vote of the football fans: "It's a great honour for me and I would like to thank all my fans

All awards and nominations are linked to the support of social projects in the countries, which are selected by the protagonists. With this year's chosen projects in South Korea, Uganda, Burkina Faso, England and Italy, 19 projects could be supported by the German Football Ambassador Association.

Awardees 2015 Jürgen Klinsmann, Mesut Özil & Thomas Hitzlsperger

Awardees 2015

Awards 2015

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.

Awardees 2014 Monika Staab and André Schürrle

Awardees 2014

The second award ceremony "GERMAN FOOTBALL AMBASSADOR" ​​on 5th of May 2014 at the Foreign Office in Berlin caused many emotions, surprises and was a little warm-up to the  2014 World Cup.

In the presence of Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Monika Staab (women's national coach of Qatar), Andre Schürrle (Chelsea FC) and Rudi Gutendorf, were awarded for their sporting and social engagement abroad as well as for their roles as football ambassadors.

Monika Staab was elected this year's winner by a distinguished jury of the initiative "German Football Ambassador". The women's national coach of Qatar was active in over 60 countries in the name of the FIFA and shaped women's and girls' football especially in Muslim countries.

André Schürrle received the Audience Award 2014. In a public and international voting more than 37,000 votes were cast making the striker of Chelsea FC win among other 11 nominees. André Schürrle: "The award is an honour and an incentive to always be aware as a certain role model."

We would like to congratulate our awardees and also would like to thank all participants and our partners for being part of the event.

Awardees 2013 Sami Khedira, Dettmar Cramer and Holger Obermann

Awardees 2013

Holger Obermann (main award)

Since 1975, Obermann has been an advisor for more than 30 projects organized by the National Olympic Committee, the German Federal Government, the German Football Association and FIFA. He received the German Federal Cross of Merit and a special Medal of Honor awarded by the King of Nepal.

Obermann is a former football journalist who worked in Cameroon, Guinea, Gambia, East Timor, Kuwait and Nepal on behalf of the DFB. Obermann is actively engaged in promoting women´s and youth football and supports various development projects.

Dettmar Kramer (honory award)

1976 international cup winner coached teams among others in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Greece and the USA.

"As long as better is possible, good is not enough"

This motto drove Cramer throughout his whole career and it lead him to amazing accomplishments both in sport and community activities. In Japan he is called the “inventor of modern football” and was awarded its highest cultural order. The award was handed over personally by Emperor Hirohito.