German Football Ambassador 2018: Who will succeed Bastian Schweinsteiger? | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 15.03.2018
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German Football Ambassador 2018: Who will succeed Bastian Schweinsteiger?

Last year, Bastian Schweinsteiger was selected as the German Football Ambassador. Who will win this year? Toni Kroos, Per Mertesacker or maybe Dzsenifer Marozsan?

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German Football Ambassador 2018

Leroy Sane, Toni Kroos or Per Mertesacker. When a footballer moves abroad, some things really change for them because they are more than just professional players. Since Germany won the World Cup in 2014, the country's footballers and coaches have been in particularly high demand abroad — in the other top European leagues, much is being made of Germany's talented young players.


Many Germans around the world don't just play, but become actively involved in their communities in the countries in which they live, because football can do more! Since 2013, a club known as the German Football Ambassador has been recognizing German players and coaches who, through their actions abroad, contribute to German football's positive image.

Who will succeed Bastian Schweinsteiger?

Here are the 11 nominees for this year's player award:

  • Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barcelona
  • Toni Kroos, Real Madrid
  • Sami Khedira, Juventus
  • Dzsenifer Marozsan, Olympique Lyon
  • Per Mertesacker, Arsenal
  • Lukas Podolski, Vissel Kobe
  • Leroy Sane, Manchester City
  • Ilkay Gündogan, Manchester City
  • Loris Karius, Liverpool
  • Amin Younes, Ajax
  • Antonio Rüdiger, Chelsea

Bastian Schweinsteiger won it last year, and his predecessors were Emre Can (2016), Mesut Özil (2015), Andre Schürrle (2014) and Sami Khedira (2013).

Voting until April 25

Deutsche Welle is a media partner and will publish a portrait of the winner.

Engels, Bücker and Middendorp nominated

The German Football Ambassador in the coaching category is to be selected by a panel of six experts. This year's nominees are…

  • Gert Engels, former player and Japanese Cup winner with Yokohama Flügels
  • Theo Bücker, former player and former coach of the Lebanese national team
  • Ernst Middendorp, former Arminia Bielefeld coach and currently the technical director of Bangkok United

Additionally, a player or a coach can be honored in the category "honorary prize" for his or her extraordinary commitment.

26 charity projects in five years

The award winners use their status as public figures to promote cultural and social work. They use the fame that they have attend through sports to promote social development in particular. So some of their most important work takes place away from the playing field. The German Football Ambassador award also comes with prize money that the winner then passes on to social projects. Since 2013, 26 charity projects have benefitted from their support. The Peres Center for Peace in Israel is an example, in which frameworks were established, which are designed to help Jewish and Arab children (and adults) to learn how to overcome religious and cultural barriers through football.

Football can do more!

Thomas Hitzlsperger has shown how much football can do to improve the social climate and foster a more cooperative spirit. He won the 2015 honorary prize for his efforts to combat racism, homophobia and right-wing extremist violence.

Last year's honorary prize winner was the man who has scored more goals for Germany than anyone else, Miroslav Klose. The first honorary prize winner was Dettmar Cramer, in 2013, who worked in the United States, Japan and Saudi Arabia. His work was as unique as that of globetrotter Rudi Gutendorf. The man who has coached more national teams than anyone else (18) is the patron of this initiative. Gutendorf remains active at the age of 91.

Honored in Germany's foreign office

Germany's foreign minister, Heiko Maas, is to present the player award, coach award and honorary award for 2018 at a gala to be held at the headquarters of the German Foreign Office in Berlin on May 8.

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