Review 2013-2019

Award Winners 2019 Jürgen Klopp, Marc-André ter Stegen & Bernd Schuster honored

Award Winners 2019

The German Football Ambassador 2019 is Jürgen Klopp. The 51-year-old coach of FC Liverpool was awarded the prize by the jury of the "German Football Ambassador Association", chaired by kicker publisher Rainer Holzschuh, and is thus the successor to Gert Engels, who was honoured in Japan in 2018.

"Many thanks for the award. I like being German, I like being European and I like living in England," Klopp, who was unable to attend the award ceremony on Wednesday evening at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin-Mitte in person, transmitted via video message from Liverpool. Klopp emphasized that he felt that, as a result of the award, he "now also feels further obliged" to continue to live his position and act as a good ambassador of his home country and of German football.

"He gives something to every club he is with. The club has more glamour. People love him because he loves the club he is with," said Hans-Joachim Watzke in his laudation of the prizewinner. The managing director of Borussia Dortmund, who calls Klopp "one of my best friends", celebrated two German championships and one cup win with the ex-professional and coach from Mainz 05 at BVB between 2008 and 2015.

    "Football is a door you open. You can change lives." - Petra Landers

Behind Klopp Petra Landers and Michael Weiss took the places. Landers, former German national player and multiple German champion with SSG Bergisch-Gladbach, has been involved for several years, among other things, in a project that supports young female football players in Zambia's capital Lusaka. "When we leave them alone, it's really hard for the women. We have a duty to pass on what we have achieved in Germany," says the 57-year-old, "Football is a door you open. You can change lives." Weiss, who was nominated again after 2013, is currently Mongolia's national coach. Before that, he was active in Japan, Rwanda and the Philippines, among others.

Goalkeeper follows goalkeeper: Ter Stegen follows Karius

The successor to Loris Karius, who was awarded the Public Award in the "Players" category in 2018, is once again a goalkeeper: Marc-André ter Stegen, German national keeper and FC Barcelona No. 1. For Gernot Rohr (65), 2016 German football ambassador and current national coach of Nigeria, who gave the laudatory speech for ter Stegen, the 27-year-old embodies "the modern goalkeeper, he is the model also for my three goalkeepers of the national team of Nigeria. It was also impressive to see how ter Stegen "became a great goalkeeper with a lot of will, but also modesty," said Rohr.

Ter Stegen himself was also unable to attend in person at the Foreign Office because he had to train. After all, FC Barcelona will be facing the last highlight of the season on 25 May: the final of the Copa del Rey in Seville against FC Valencia. His advisor Rene vom Bruch accepted the prize on behalf of the club. In a video message, the honoured person expressed his thanks for his choice. "It is a tribute to all football fans who follow the players abroad," said ter Stegen.

Honorary award to Bernd Schuster

Bernd Schuster's career as a football ambassador has taken him mainly to Spain - and there to all the major clubs: FC Barcelona (1980-88), Real Madrid (1988-90) and Atletico Madrid (1990-93). "Today he is also a Spanish football ambassador," said Ricardo Martinez, Spanish ambassador in Berlin, about Schuster, who received the prize of honour. Schuster has been loved by the Spanish from the very beginning, "because he has always given everything," said Martinez. In Spain, Schuster has long been "our Bernardo. Bernd is 40 percent Spanish."

Schuster accepted the award "mega proud" and Martinez "almost made him cry" with his laudation. Schuster also found an event to make him cry: FC Barcelona's 4-0 defeat in the semi-final second leg at Liverpool FC. "That was a huge disappointment for us," said Schuster, who is now treating Jürgen Klopp to the Champions League title.

Award Winners 2018 Gert Engels, Loris Karius & Otto Pfister

Award Winners 2018

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and German Football Ambassador e.V. honour professional footballers of the heart 2018 for their committed and cosmopolitan appearance abroad

On 8 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 abroad through their sporting and social commitment. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and initiator of the Football Ambassador, Roland Bischof, welcomed some 200 guests from the worlds of politics, sport and business.

Football is multicultural.
Roland Bischof, founder of the Association of German Football Ambassadors, commented: "German football is multicultural from the kids on - whether in Biberach or Berlin. Perhaps this is why German football professionals become cosmopolitan sportsmen and women who are socially committed where they work".
The award ceremony took place for the sixth time. In addition to the prize, a jury of experts chose the winner of the main category "Coach", the audience in the category "Player" and a referee legend was inducted into the "Hall of Fame".

Dürener trains young Japanese kickers and a Cologne striker

Nominated for the main prize "Coach 2018" were Theo Bücker, coach of the club El-Nejmeh in Lebanon, as well as Gert Engels, co-coach of the Japanese FC Vissel Kobe, for whom Lukas Podolski is also striker, and Ernst Middendorp, Technical Director of True Bangkok United in Thailand. The top-class jury of experts, chaired by Kicker publisher Rainer Holzschuh, chose Gert Engels, who has contributed to German-Japanese football exchange for more than 20 years. In addition to professional sports, he decided to support the "Zukunft Lokal" project. Through football, he wants to help and strengthen the children and young people who experienced the tsunami disaster in 2011.

"Japan has become my second home. Our countries have many things 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".

Biberacher takes off in Liverpool
The Public Award in the category "Players" went to Loris Karius of Liverpool FC. The goalkeeper from Biberach prevailed over ten other nominees in the public voting and 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 final entry into the Champions League, he could not be there, but he thanked the guests present via video message. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) and Leroy Sané (Manchester City) took second and third place.
"Winning the Audience Award means a lot to me, as it is a recognition of my performance in England. Football has the power to bring people and cultures together. I am proud to be able to represent Germany here in the best possible way.

Cologne kid is a football globetrotter and an international expert

The award goes to Otto Pfister, football globetrotter and one of the world's longest-working football coaches, 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 fully engage with people and culture, mentality and religion. You have to respect your counterpart, even if he has a completely different environment."

Bonn referee legend and sports diplomat whistled Games without borders
Referee legend and sports diplomat Walter Eschweiler was on site and was inducted into the club's "Hall of Fame", among other things for his long-standing commitment to the international sports relations of the German Foreign Office.
Numerous previous award winners, nominees and supporters were also on site, including Gernot Rohr (national coach Nigeria), Monika Staab (football development expert), Doris Fitschen (manager of the DFB women's national team) and Eckhard Krautzun (football expert for China).

Award Winners 2017 Horst Kriete, Miroslav Klose & Bastian Schweinsteiger awarded

Award Winners 2017

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.

Award Winners 2016 Gernot Rohr, Emre Can & Karl-Heinz Schnellinger

Award Winners 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.

Award Winners 2015 Jürgen Klinsmann, Mesut Özil & Thomas Hitzlsperger

Award Winners 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.

Award Winners 2014 Monika Staab & André Schürrle

Award Winners 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.

Award Winners 2013 Sami Khedira, Dettmar Cramer & Holger Obermann

Award Winners 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.