German Football Ambassador e.V. strengthens commitment to women's football
At this year's award ceremony of the German Football Ambassador, FC Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp beat Mongolian national coach Michael Weiß and Petra Landers, who is engaged in Zambia, in the main category. Marc-André ter Stegen from FC Barcelona won the audience award in an exciting finish ahead of Julian Gressel from Atlanta United and Leroy Sané from Manchester City. Several tens of thousands of fans voted for him in an online voting. The "blonde angel" Bernd Schuster received the honorary prize.
"The top-class event at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin was opened this time by Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy responsible for sports promotion and representing Heiko Maas.
The jury, which this year also included Horst Hrubesch and Berti Vogts for the first time, nominated three football personalities for the main prize: the later winner Jürgen Klopp, Petra Landers and Michael Weiß, all of whom contributed in completely different ways to Germany's positive reputation in the world. President of the association Roland Bischof, who visited all three nominees in their countries of operation, explained: "Michael Weiß has been an ambassador for German football in Asia and Africa for twenty years, Petra Landers is involved in an extraordinary manner in Zambia and Jürgen Klopp has literally enchanted Liverpool like Liverpool has not experienced for 40 years. All three deserve the highest recognition". The laudation for Jürgen Klopp was held by the managing director of Borussia Dortmund, Hans-Joachim "Aki" Watzke in the usual relaxed manner.
The Spanish ambassador Ricardo Martinez gave the laudatory speech to Bernd Schuster, who has legendary status in Spain. He was the first of only two players worldwide to play in all three major Spanish clubs (Real, Atletico, Barca) and win numerous titles. Everyone in Spain knows him."
The 1980 European Champion was also active as a coach mainly in Spain, where he once again became the Spanish champion with Real Madrid. Bernd Schuster enjoyed his time in Berlin and was delighted about his award with words of appreciation for the club: "A really great idea".
Marc-André ter Stegen also lives in Spain, where fans voted him the winner of the audience voting. The FC Barcelona goalkeeper has been playing successfully and at the highest level for years. Since the 2015 triple winner is in the final phase of the season, he could only join in via video and thanked from Barcelona. The award will be presented to him afterwards.
As is usual with the German Football Ambassador, all winners and nominees again named charitable organisations for their prize money in order to promote social projects for which they are committed. Vice President and CSR expert Dr. Norbert Taubken enthused: "That's one of the best things about our award! We are already socially active in over 25 countries. Thanks to all involved."
In addition to an entertaining and interesting talk with "Aki" Watzke and DFB vice-president Dr. Reinhard Koch, moderated by kicker publisher Rainer Holzschuh, the German Football Ambassador also had a surprise in store: "We want to become even more involved in women's football in the future!