“Football forges bonds in the Ruhr area (...) just as it does in the suburbs of Johannesburg or the streets of Rio de Janeiro. We want to harness these bonds here in the Federal Foreign Office,” as Minister of State Müntefering underscored as she opened the award ceremony. Within the Federal Foreign Office, she is responsible for promoting sport and also serves as patron for a women's football project in the Gambia.
Jürgen Klopp is the 2019 German Football Ambassador
The prestigious jury appointed Jürgen Klopp as 2019 German Football Ambassador. This award pays tribute to German trainers or players who through their sporting prowess or work in society make a positive contribution to Germany’s good standing abroad. Just like Jürgen Klopp. As one of Germany’s best known coaches, currently training Liverpool FC, he is a true ambassador of Germany abroad.
“I show the English that Germans aren't just punctual but that they can also be fun,” as Jürgen Klopp joked in his acceptance speech.
He was presented with the award having prevailed over the other nominees Petra Landers and Michael Weiss. The prize money is traditionally used for a social project of the winner’s choice in their host country. This year, the money will be used to support the “Hout Bay United Football Community” in South Africa. The project uses football to empower children and young people and improve their skills.
Awards also for Bernd Schuster and Marc-André ter Stegen
Bernd Schuster was presented with the Honorary Award. Following his own extremely successful footballing career, he worked as trainer for high-level clubs such as Real Madrid and Dalian Yifang.
Marc-André ter Stegen won the public vote and received the Audience Award. This award is presented to one of eleven selected German footballers who play abroad and have been highly successful in their sport. After his successful stint at Borussia Mönchengladbach, ter Stegen transferred to FC Barcelona in 2014 for whom he continues to play. He will also use his prize money to support a social project, namely the “Fundació Pare Manel” in Barcelona. The foundation works to help marginalised and disadvantaged children and young people.
Everyone’s a winner
Some 200 guests from the realms of sport, politics and business gathered in the Atrium of the Federal Foreign Office for the award ceremony. They paid tribute to the social impact of football and the top-level figures representing the sport.
Although only three people were presented with awards, the other nominees are also winners, as Petra Landers emphasised. In sport, it is all about team spirit and a sense of community.