International Indoor Football Cup of
VfB Friedrichshafen

Dalibor Buspanovic, Head of Football at VfB Friedrichshafen

Dear Football Fans,

I wish to extend everyone joining us for this weekend of high-caliber youth football a very warm welcome to the 17th International Under-15s MTU Indoor Football Cup. This year again, we've succeeded in attracting Europe's top clubs to Lake Constance.

This year's event sees five newcomers trying to win the popular 2019 MTU Indoor Football Cup on our all-weather turf. Fortuna Düsseldorf joins us from Germany's Rhineland, and Olimpija Ljubljana has traveled from the capital of Slovenia to be here. We are delighted to welcome three junior teams from clubs that are currently competing in the Champions League. Jürgen Klopp's club, 2019 Champions League winner Liverpool joins us from England. Other high-caliber newcomers are top Spanish teams Atlético Madrid and FC Valencia. This Cup is the highlight of the year for many teams, offering an opportunity to compete at the highest level. Many describe it as the indoor champions league for under-fifteens.

However, the MTU Indoor Football Cup is not just a tournament for the top teams in Europe, but also a very special event for our lads from Friedrichshafen and surrounding area. As a footballer, the opportunity to play against teams like Bayern Munich or Barcelona is a memory that stays with you for life. Especially if one is able to savor the joy of making life difficult for one of the big teams. Last year, only one goal stopped local powerhouse MTU Youth Football Center of Excellence Friedrichshafen from reaching the second round. Maybe this year will see one of our local teams coming away again with a big achievement. Thanks to a surfeit of fully-qualified youth football coaches, the youth sections of our Friedrichshafen clubs are riding the crest of a wave. Added to this, the crème de la crème are being trained and nurtured week after week at the MTU Youth Football Center of Excellence. I therefore want to express my great appreciation to those who have made this possible.

My heartfelt thanks also go to those responsible at Friedrichshafen Municipal Authority – and especially Mayor Andreas Brand – who have been assisting us very actively at a number of levels.

Such an event would not be conceivable without countless helping hands, many of whom remain anonymous. I want to say a very big thank-you to all volunteer helpers, parents, coaches, players and also the veterans' team at VfB Friedrichshafen.

Special thanks go to the many sponsors and patrons of this tournament. It is thanks to their support that this unique event is able to be staged in Friedrichshafen in the first place. My thanks go in particular to the sponsor from whom the event takes its name – our main sponsor MTU Friedrichshafen – which has shown for many years now just what a big heart it has for the young people of our town.

On behalf of the Football Section Committee, I wish you a great tournament – one that's exciting, fair and free of injury.

Sportingly yours
Dalibor Buspanovic

Welcome speech by DFB President, Fritz Keller

Dear Football Fans,

On behalf of the German Football Association (DFB), I want to welcome you to the International Under-15s MTU Indoor Football Cup in Friedrichshafen by the shores of Lake Constance. I am impressed by the evergreen nature of this event at the ZF Arena. The tournament is being held for the 17th time in a row. Respect! This is an achievement you can rightly be proud of. We at the German FA certainly are, that's for sure. It's this kind of commitment that German football thrives on. We are well aware that organizing a tournament of this size requires many, many hours of hard graft. Putting together a tournament featuring 100 players and top teams from all over Europe is a huge organizational challenge. Rising to this challenge, every year, are Klaus Segelbacher and his team, the officials at VfB Friedrichshafen and scores of volunteer helpers. In their spare time. Gratis and for free. Thank you so much for this valiant team effort. To thrive, football depends on people's willingness to volunteer – as trainers, supervisors, board members, cashiers, secretaries and a host of other roles. That's why one of the key issues I'm pursuing is to improve the lot of our volunteers. This is incumbent, first and foremost, on our political decision-makers, but volunteers can rest assured that we at the German FA will do our utmost to help and support you. It is clear to me that we must remove obstacles and create incentives.

The MTU Indoor Football Cup is without doubt a highlight in the tournament diary of junior teams. A glance at its history – and also at this year's line-up – shows that people are not wrong when they talk of it as the “Under-15s Champions League”. One particularly remarkable aspect is that Barcelona makes its way to Friedrichshafen every year without fail. In fact, Barca has now won the Cup three times in a row. Is it going to make it four this time? The others will be all-out to stop them, and the competition is top-class. I'll name our foreign visitors first: Manchester United are here, as are Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Ajax Amsterdam and Altinordu FK from Turkey. And from Germany we have pretty much a Who's Who of the football world: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, Eintracht Frankfurt and Fortuna Düsseldorf. That's a line-up without equal.

For the teams from the local area, it's going to be a real highlight to compete with top names like these. In fact, the MTU Indoor Football Cup is a great example of the unity of football in Germany. Here we have a tournament organized by an amateur club where young teams from professional clubs are invited to take part, benefitting everyone involved in German football, including – ultimately – the national team. To name but a few, the careers of national players like Julian Draxler, Marc André ter Stegen, Emre Can and Luca Waldschmidt took them through Friedrichshafen.

I hope the spectators will enjoy exciting games, good entertainment and a host of great goals, and I wish the players and organizers good luck and every success.

Fritz Keller

Welcome speech by Mayor Andreas Brand

Dear Fans, Players and Guests,

Finally it's time for the 17th MTU Indoor Football Cup, the Champions League for Under-15s, in the ZF Arena. For spectators and players, this weekend once again sees everyone go football-crazy at what is the footballing highlight for the best junior teams in Europe. It's my pleasure to welcome all teams, fans and guests to this prestigious tournament.

First-class performance requires first-class organization – and that has spurred Klaus Segelbacher and his team on during the many months of effort invested into making this – the 17th annual tournament – yet another superb event. I am sure they've done everything in their power again this year to live up to the high expectations they make of themselves. Their achievements allow players, coaches and helpers to concentrate fully on their game and feel very much at home here. The organizers go to great lengths to preserve the traditional character of this tournament and want to see visitors really getting into the great sporting atmosphere here in the ZF Arena.

An event like the MTU Indoor Football Cup can only be successfully organized with the support of many people. My very special thanks therefore go to the volunteers and sponsors of this cup.

I hope all the teams enjoy successes on the field, and that interested visitors from near and far will get to see top-class football and a host of goals, good entertainment and a weekend in Friedrichshafen that will live long in our memories.

Andreas Brand

Welcome speech by Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls Royce Power Systems AG and President of MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH

Dear Friends of Football,

Whether you're here today as a fan, a player, a mentor, a helper or a guest, it's great to see you at our MTU Indoor Football Cup.

Over the years, this football tournament for the under-fifteens has become something of an institution in the lead-up to Christmas. Now famed throughout Europe, it's being held here today for the 17th time.

I'm delighted to see such an illustrious line-up, including title defender Barcelona and Bayern-Munich with other big names such as Liverpool, Atlético Madrid and Valencia, who are here for the first time. At this event, our young players from the MTU LZ football academy and seven teams in the region get a fantastic opportunity to pit their strength against upcoming talents from Europe's top clubs.

Young people need challenges. Ensuring that they have a framework for developing confidence in their abilities and growing personally is our responsibility. Here at the MTU Indoor Football Cup, we see young people putting their sporting abilities to the test at the very highest level. For many of them I'm sure, the chance to do so is a challenge as well as a distinction.

That's the spirit we strive for in our company job training program. A whole century has passed since our predecessor company Maybach first began offering vocational training. Since then, by providing exactly the right mix of support and challenge, we have enabled some 8000 young people to complete apprenticeships and dual study degree courses at our company. For us, it's an investment in the future that pays off. Like the many young footballing talents who go on from this tournament to make it big professionally, even at national level, so do the skilled and qualified young people we turn out have excellent career prospects within the company and wider region.

Let's remember as well that the MTU Indoor Football Cup also owes its prestige to the efforts of VfB Friedrichshafen, to whom I'd like to extend a very warm thank-you! For months now, the association and its numerous volunteers, headed by Klaus Segelbacher, has been working indefatigably to ensure that this year's event can again lay claim to being Europe's top indoor football tournament for the under-fifteens.

Friends of football – I wish you two memorable days at the MTU Indoor Football Cup with nail-biting encounters, breathtaking goals and of course no end of fun!

Andreas Schell