Berlin, May 16, 2017
For the fifth time, the German Football Ambassador honoured German coaches and players for their sporting and social commitment abroad. During the anniversary event at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Horst Kriete (category “Coaches”), Bastian Schweinsteiger (category “Players”) and Miroslav Klose (prize of honour) were honoured. The three prize winners have contributed in a special way to Germany’s reputation in the world and have had a lasting impact on its image. Founder Roland Bischof: “We are delighted to honour personalities of German football for the fifth time. Football serves as a link and, in addition to sporting aspects, can contribute to strengthening togetherness and exchange – and this is precisely where the German Football Ambassador comes in”.
The jury nominated Bernd Storck, Michael Krüger and Horst Kriete for the main prize in the category “Trainer”. The nomination alone is an award for the great commitment of the three German coaches. At the event, which was moderated by Sylvia Walker (Sky), the chairwoman of the sports committee in the Bundestag, Dagmar Freitag, announced this year’s winner, Horst Kriete. Kriete has been active as a football and development expert for almost 40 years and has shaped the positive development of football, especially in South Africa and China.
This year’s audience award in the “Players” category went to Bastian Schweinsteiger, who beat ten other nominees in a public voting. Currently active in the services of Chicago Fire, Schweinsteiger was not able to participate on site, but sent a greeting message from the USA. “Football reflects a feeling of cohesion both nationally and internationally; football knows only one language: together we are strong as a team. I feel particularly honored to show and live this positive attitude towards football in other nations as well”, said Bastian Schweinsteiger. The laudation for the reigning world champion was held by the former world champion and football expert of Deutsche Welle, Thomas Berthold. In it, he praised the 32-year-old’s charisma and positive fan-orientation.
Foreign Minister Gabriel presented the Honorary Award 2017 to Miroslav Klose, who was honoured for his sporting successes and the values he has represented during his active career. Fair play and sincerity are as much a part of the World Cup record scorer as they are of football, as laudator Gabriel emphasised.
In addition, jury chairman and editor of the kicker sports magazine, Rainer Holzschuh, bid farewell to Uwe Seeler and thanked him for his winning commitment to the jury of the German Football Ambassador. Uwe Seeler was also the first member to be inducted into the newly founded “Hall of Fame”. “It was a great time on the jury and I gained exciting insights into football in other countries. It is an honour for me to be the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame: “The prize winners donate their prize money to social projects in the countries where they work, which was impressively documented at the event by a photo exhibition sponsored by the Goethe-Institut and others. With this year’s selected projects in South Africa, the USA, Sudan and Hungary, more than 20 projects worldwide can be supported by the German Football Ambassador.