Kaizer Chiefs were paid a visit on Friday morning by former German international and Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthäus. He was joined by a delegation from the German Bundesliga, including a representative from Bundesliga outfit TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
The aim of the visit was to build a working relationship between Chiefs and the Bundesliga and continue the good working relations Amakhosi have with the Bundesliga, given that the club has played two friendlies in the recent past against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen.
Germany’s captain when they won a third FIFA World Cup at Italia90, Matthäus was in South Africa promoting the Bundesliga. He was impressed by Chiefs training facilities in Naturena and the overall club structure and set up.
“I am really surprised to see how beautiful it is here,” he enthused. “The comfort level for the players. It’s a highly professional set up – the infrastructure, the quality of the fields and quality of the facilities is like that of a top Bundesliga club. Chiefs players have everything to prepare for each game in the best way.”
Matthäus who won the German top-flight title with Bayern Munich on seven occasions has been keeping an eye on the Bundesliga with his former team leading the league and on the Absa Premiership, which has Chiefs leading the pack. “Both teams are in pole position. Bayern Munich in Germany and Chiefs in South Africa have to keep the position and then they will be the champions in May,” he added.
Chiefs Executive Chairman Kaizer Motaung handed over a commemorative Chiefs 50th anniversary jersey to the former Bayern Munich captain. He lauded Matthäus for his achievements during a legendary football career. ‘Chincha Guluva’, as Chiefs chairman is known, was pleased to host him in Naturena.
“It is a great-great honour for us as a club to host a legend of this magnitude,” said Motaung. He is one player who has won many accolades in his career, both collective ones with his teams and individual ones. He is a great ambassador for German football given his achievements at club and national level. It was great honour for us to host him and his entourage.”
Along with Matthäus visiting the Chiefs village was also Daniel Donaldson, Senior Manager International Marketing for the Bundesliga. He hopes that Chiefs and the Bundesliga as well as its various clubs can build a good working relationship going forward.
He said: “Our job is to connect the dots and connect German football with South African football. We hope to build a good relationship with the Kaizer Chiefs family. We feel very welcome here. We are building a lot of relationships here. We will also ask our teams to do more exchanges not just with the first team, but with legends matches and youth development. It’s just about learning from each other and taking soccer to the next level.”
Chiefs will be looking to extend a hand of friendship to the Bundesliga and its teams and work with them in various spheres in relation to football, media, fan and sponsor engagement in the future, as well as developing ties with the teams in the Bundesliga.