Germany's ambassadors Fritz, Kretzschmar, Brand, Hens and Klein. Photo: Max Menning
16. Jul. 2018 09:49

Germany’s ambassadors for the 2019 World Championship

Germany’s ambassadors for the venues Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich of the 2019 World Championship are famous and familiar faces in the handball world.

The 2007 World Champions Pascal Hens and Henning Fritz are the ambassadors for Hamburg whereas former national team coach Heiner Brand is Cologne’s ambassador. Dominik Klein, also World Champion from 2007, represents Munich. Besides, Stefan Kretzschmar, one of the most prolific German handball players ever, and the Berlin based football stars Andreas Neuendorf and Torsten Mattuschka will promote the World Championship matches in the German capital, where joint host Germany will start their mission in the preliminary round, starting with the opening match on 10 January 2019 against Korea.

45 years old Kretzschmar, who played 218 caps for Germany and who was silver medallist at the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2002 EHF EURO and Champions League winner in 2002, started his highly successful career in Berlin. “It is a huge honour to be the ambassador of Berlin for the World Championship,” he said.

Dominik Klein, a well-known face of the German handball and three times Champions League winner, is ambassador for Munich – and very enthusiastic about his new role: “The German fan’s euphoria was a powerful factor for our victory of the 2007 World Championship. So, let’s have a great, international handball party in Munich!” Munich will be venue for the preliminary round of Group B.

Former left back Pascal Hens, who had played for HSV Hamburg, is proud to be one of the ambassadors of Hamburg, where the semi-finals will take place: “This arena was the stage for most of my handball career. Therefore I am pleased to be the ambassador for the semi-final venue. The event in 2019 will be a wonderful chance. Latest since 2007, everybody knows the energy, which is produced, when playing on home ground.” His former team colleague and goalkeeper Henning Fritz shares this anticipation for his new role: “When playing the World Championship on home ground in 2007 we experienced what it means to host an event like this. As one of the ambassadors I want to light this fire again and want to excite the people for handball.”

Cologne’s ambassador, Heiner Brand, who is the only male in handball to become world champion as a player and as a coach beside Russian Vladimir Maximov and French Didiert Dinart, remembers winning the 2007 World Championship in Cologne when thinking of his new role: “We had magic and everlasting moments here. It makes me very proud to take over this role as ambassador for this arena, as I live nearby Cologne and have a very special relationship to the city and the arena.” The LANXESS arena is the biggest multi-purpose arena all over Germany and will host the main round group of the German part of the event.