German Football Ambassador 2018

Veröffentlicht in News | 14. March 2018 | Alma

We are proud to support a project like the German Football Ambassador.

On the  8th  of 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 through their sporting and social commitment abroad. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and initiator of the German Football Ambassador e.V. Roland Bischof welcomed around 200 guests from different areas such as politics, sport and business. Football is multicultural.

Roland Bischof, founder of the Association German Football Ambassador, comments: “German football is multicultural. Perhaps this is why German football professionals become cosmopolitan athletes who get socially involved where they work”.

The award ceremony took place for the sixth time. In addition to the prize of honour, a jury of experts chose the winner of the main category “Coach”, the audience chose the winner in the category “Player” and a referee legend was accepted into the “Hall of Fame”.

Football inspires young Japanese kickers.

Nominated for the main prize “Coach 2018” were Gert Engels, co-trainer of the Japanese FC Vissel Kobe, where Lukas Podolski also plays, Theo Bücker, coach of the El-Nejmeh club in Lebanon and Ernst Middendorp, technical director of True Bangkok United in Thailand. The top-class jury, chaired by Rainer Holzschuh, editor of the popular German football magazine “Kicker”, awarded Gert Engels with the main prize, who contributed to German-Japanese football exchange for more than 20 years. In addition to professional sport, he decided on the sustainable “Future Local” project. Its aim is to give children and young people affected by the tsunami disaster a better future through football.

“Japan has become my second home. Our countries have a lot 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.

The Audience Award in the “Player 2018” category went to Loris Karius from FC Liverpool. The Biberach goalkeeper prevailed over ten other nominees in the public voting 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 entry into the final of the Champions League he could not be personaly there, but he thanked the guests through a video message. Second and third places went to Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) and Leroy Sáne (Manchester City).

The prize is awarded to Otto Pfister, a football globetrotter and one of the longest working football coaches in the world 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 focus entirely on people and culture, mentality and religion. You have to respect your counterpart, even if he has a completely different environment.”

Thank you for your feedback

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Erion Veliaj

»I am very delighted that athletes are being honored for their great achievements and are Ambassadors of Albania outside the protocol.«

Erion Veliaj
Mayor of Tirana, Albania
Igli Tare

»A very special event and something that should have its continuity.«

Igli Tare
Winner of the Career Award 2018
Former footballer & current Sport Director of the Italian Serie A Club Lazio Rome
Torsten Frings, football, 79 caps for Germany, Vice World Champion

»I have been working together with Roland Bischof since the summer fairy tale of 2006 in a trusting and professional manner - this has meanwhile turned into a friendly relationship.«

Torsten Frings
Football, 79 caps for Germany, Vice World Champion
Luan Krasniqi

»It's a great idea to honor Albanian athletes for their outstanding performance and I hope this wonderful event will take place every year.«

Luan Krasniqi
Winner of the Audience Award 2018
Retired professional boxer & European Heavyweight Champion
Rainer Holzschuh, publisher of Kicker and President of ESM

»Presented by with Roland Bischof at the top has always proved to be a creative, reliable partner in many years of close cooperation with the "German Football Ambassador", without whom this fantastic action would not have taken such a speedy upswing.«

Rainer Holzschuh
Publisher of Kicker and President of ESM
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Roland Bischof is one of the most renowned experts on the market for sponsoring, marketing and testimonials. As a German entrepreneur, he is also a speaker, author, founder of the Initiative Deutscher Fußball Botschafter (German Football Ambassador Initiative) and Vice President of the FASPO (Association for Sponsoring in Germany, Austria and Switzerland) as well as a member of the jury for the Kulturmarken Award. He started out in 1986 as one of the pioneers in the sponsoring sector and over the past 30 years has managed around 500 national as well as international projects focusing on sport. He is a bestselling author with over 15,000 books sold in the fields of sponsoring and event marketing plus 20 years of national and international speaking experience.


At the start of his self-employment in 1986, sponsoring hardly existed in any noteworthy form. Until the EXPO ´92 in Seville, where he headed the VIP area of the German Pavilion, he concentrated mainly on national sponsoring, marketing and the organisation of sports and music projects. This was followed by several international engagements, which to this day allow him to draw on a wealth of experience from almost a hundred countries.

As CEO of Presented By GmbH, a sports business agency with offices in Berlin and Monaco, he accompanies companies, clubs and investor groups in their search for the right brands and markets. Step by step he also built up an international testimonial pool of celebrities from sports, film, music and art.

He has also been consulting athletes for over twenty years. His first client was the incumbent European football champion Thomas Helmer, who still trusts him today. In addition to numerous football greats, he now also looks after leading athletes of other sports such as the NHL superstar Leon Draisaitl.


Roland Bischof is one of the most renowned speakers in the field of sponsoring and marketing. With his passion for sport, especially football, his personal closeness to sports celebrities and his wide international wealth of experience, he has been inspiring audiences for 20 years. In his keynotes and impulse speeches he combines relevant topics with inspiring entertainment. His authentic, positive and credible mentality takes the audience on a journey into the world of brands, marketing, sports and business.


Sponsoring, sport business, marketing and communication


German, English


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