For 2018, the jury has selected three candidates, Theo Bücker, Gert Engels and Ernst Middendorp, who together can display almost 60 years of international experience and thus stand as potential successor to the 2017 prizewinner, Horst Kriete.
Theo Bücker, Gert Engels und Ernst Middendorp
For the sixth time, German Football Ambassador e.V. nominates three German coaches for their outstanding work abroad. For 2018, the jury has selected three candidates, Theo Bücker, Gert Engels and Ernst Middendorp, who together can display almost 60 years of international experience and thus stand as potential successor to the 2017 prizewinner, Horst Kriete. The three German trainers made a special contribution to the sport and social development in their countries of activity and were thus able to shape the image of Germany in a positive way.
Starting with the first award in 2013, so far 14 coaches and players have been awarded. Among them personalities such as Jürgen Klinsmann, Monika Staab, Mesut Özil, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Miroslav Klose are included. The founder Roland Bischof: » The positive development and recognition shows us that it is the right path to follow and that we are getting more and more recognition/appreciation both nationally and internationally. Outstanding personalities of German football are once again available for election this year. I am looking forward to the award ceremony in May 2018«. The three nominees for 2018 were chosen by a six-member jury chaired by kicker publisher Rainer Holzschuh.
Theo Bücker began his foreign career in 2001 as coach of Lebanon. Since then he has coached various teams in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates at club and association levels. Bücker is currently in Lebanon for AC Tripoli.
A special relationship is maintained with Japan through Gert Engels. The football teacher worked from 1990 to 2008 for Japanese football facilities and clubs. Most recently, from 2011 to 2013, he was the coach of Mozambique. At the moment, Engels is shaping the sport and cultural exchange between Germany and Japan with the Soccer School “Soccer Life”.
Ernst Middendorp known as the century coach of Arminia Bielefeld went firstly to Ghana in 2000 to train the club Asante Kotoko. This was followed by further engagements in South Africa, Iran, China and Cyprus. Middendorp currently works as Technical Director for the Thai clubs Bangkok United and is also active in South African football as a consultant.
The nomination is intended to honor the outstanding work and draw attention to the commitment of German trainers abroad. As part of the nomination, the three coaches will also be visited in their countries of operation and their work will be documented in a videoclip. The award winner will be announced at the award event in May 2018 at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.
The jury judges based on various criteria, for example the reputation and sporting success in the country of activity, the lasting impact, the integration into the cultural and social structures as well as the quality of the promotion of young talent. Jury-Chairman Rainer Holzschuh: »The commitment of German Coaches and other football experts abroad is diverse, in doing so, a positive development is being contributed both on and off the pitch. This year, we were again able to nominate three outstanding coaches and thus honor a piece of their work. «
Members of the Jury
German Football Ambassador e.V.
The German Football Ambassador honors German coaches and players who contribute to the positive image of Germany in the world by their performance abroad – connected with the promotion of socio-social projects in the respective countries of operation. So far over 20 projects have been supported worldwide. Awarded for the first time in 2013, since 2014 the Award has been taking place in Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. The winners in 2017 were Horst Kriete (category »Trainer«), Bastian Schweinsteiger (category »Player«) and Miroslav Klose (Honorary Award).