Nomination trips lead this time to Great Britain, Zambia and MongoliaThe 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).