In May 2020, the German Football Ambassador Award of the non-profit association of the same name will be awarded for the eighth time. Who will succeed the current title holder Jürgen Klopp, who was named German Football Ambassador 2019 before he started his impressive title collection as UEFA Champions League winner, world coach and FIFA Club World Champion?
The jury nominated three candidates for their outstanding work abroad, who made a particular contribution to the sporting and social development in their countries of activity and were thus committed to the positive image of Germany in the world: Anja Zivkovic (née Palusevic), Uwe Rösler, and Robert Jaspert.
Founder Roland Bischof said, “All three nominees made a big contribution during their long-term work abroad. We want to appreciate that and thank the jury for the interesting selection.”
The jury consists of Doris Fitschen, Rainer Holzschuh (chair), Horst Hrubesch, Lutz Pfannenstiel, Dr. Martin Schäfer and Berti Vogts.
Anja Zivkovic started her international career in 2008 while she was still active (1987 to 2011 junior national team and player in the 2nd women’s league). She has been working for the DFB since 2009 and for FIFA and UEFA since 2011 as an instructor, coach and analyst for women’s football and has traveled the world many times. In recent years, Anja Zivkovic has been doing project-related worked in India, Jordan, Tonga, Azerbaijan, Lithuania and has now traveled to more than 50 countries.
Uwe Rösler has a special relationship with England, Norway and Sweden. The football teacher played for Manchester City, now coached by Pep Guardiola, from 1994 and has even made it into the Hall of Fame as a crowd favorite. After further stops in England and Norway, cancer suddenly stopped his active career. After surviving the illness, Uwe Rösler, then as a trainer, remained active abroad, e.g. for Lillestrøm SK, Viking Stavanger, Molde FK, Leeds United, Wigan Athletic or Fleetwood Town. Rösler celebrated great successes with the then third division club FC Brentford, as well as with its last station, the Swedish first division club Malmö FF.
The third nominee, the current coach of the Lebanese first division club Safa Beirut SC, Robert Jaspert said on his nomination, “I find this a special pleasure and honour.” The molecular biologist (formerly at the Robert Koch Institute) has been coaching clubs abroad for more than a decade again and again. It had all started under FIFA World Cup winner Pierre Littbarski at MSV Duisburg, Jaspert was thereafter drawn into the world of football coaching.
He was assistant coach for the South Korean national team under Jo Bonfrere in 2004, who defeated the German national team 3-1 in a friendly. Stations followed in Lebanon, Iran, Liechtenstein and Bahrain. League operations in Lebanon are currently interrupted due to the political situation in the country – this also shows the conditions under which the ambassadors of German football sometimes operate.
With the nomination, the commitment of the three trainers is to be recognised. All nominations are already linked to the support of social projects.