Greetings 2018

Dalibor Buspanovic, Head of Football at VfB Friedrichshafen

Dear Football Fans, 

I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to everyone joining us for a weekend of high-caliber football at this, the 16th International U-15 MTU Indoor Football Championship.

This year again, we've succeeded in attracting Europe's top clubs to Lake Constance. And for the first time, upcoming young talents from Augsburg FC will be joining the contest – so a very warm welcome to them too. For many of these top European sides, this tournament represents one of the exciting moments of the year when its under-fifteen players get the chance to measure themselves at Champions League standard, just like their under-nineteen counterparts in the UEFA Youth League.

However, the MTU Indoor Football Championship is not just a tournament for the top teams in Europe, but also a 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 when your local team ends up playing one of the top teams, as happened three years ago, when the team from soccer academy powerhouse MTU Leistungszentrum left Juventus trailing in its wake. I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of our local teams were to do something like that again this year. Thanks to a surfeit of fully-qualified youth soccer 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-Leistungszentrum soccer academy powerhouse. I therefore want to express my great appreciation to those responsible.

My heartfelt thanks also go to those responsible at the Friedrichshafen Municipal Authority who have been assisting us very actively on a number of levels, including in particular Mayor Andreas Brand.

Such an event would not be conceivable without innumerable 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 Soccer 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, Reinhard Grindel

Dear Soccer Fans,

On behalf of the German Football Association, I would like to welcome you to the 2018 MTU Cup. I wish the organizers every success, and I hope the participants have lots of fun and some great winning moments. I wish the guests from abroad an enjoyable time with us here in Germany.

On September 27, my colleagues in the UEFA Executive Committee chose Germany to host EURO 2024. This decision has great implications for soccer here, for German clubs, and for the people of our country – indeed also for the people of Europe. We are going to be great hosts, we are going to live out the values of football, and we are going to make a stand for diversity, openness and tolerance in the heart of Europe with the power of football and with fans from all corners of the continent.

This clear vote by UEFA has also been a reward for our hard work. And yet the work is really only now beginning. The decision in favor of Germany fills me with pride and joy, and at the same time I feel a great responsibility. We must use the opportunities offered by the EURO 2024, especially for our amateur clubs. We know that such a big tournament can generate enthusiasm among children and young people. We now have a duty to reinforce this effect and ensure that as many children as possible find their way into our clubs during the 2024 festival of football. It is our task to ensure that a club like VfB Friedrichshafen becomes a winner of EURO24.

We know that the success of German football at the top is founded on outstanding youth work. Tournaments such as the MTU Cup are one facet of this, and this event definitely really flies the flag for the sport. Looking at the clubs taking part, it becomes clear why the tournament is considered the Champions League for the Under-15's. FC Barcelona is represented, as are Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, AC Milan, Ajax Amsterdam, Benfica, Dinamo Zagreb and Altinordu FK Izmir – it would be hard to find more prominent names even if we tried. The same goes for the young talent from Germany. Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, Eintracht Frankfurt, VfB Stuttgart, and FC Augsburg – we have half the Bundesliga lining up here. When I look at the MTU Cup's Hall of Fame and the many current national players who have competed in Friedrichshafen in the past, it's not unlikely that we'll see players in Friedrichshafen on December 1 and 2 who will – literally – be playing in a different league in six years' time.

I can't wait to see who will win the event this year. Of course, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for our German teams! I would be especially pleased if VfB Friedrichshafen were to put up a good show against this strong line-up.


Reinhard Grindel 

Welcome speech by Mayor Andreas Brand

Dear Friends of Football,

Football fever is set to grip Friedrichshafen again on the 1 and 2 December. The MTU Indoor Football Championship – the 'champion's league' of the under-fifteens – is being held for the 16th time. It will show us which side has the best young players on its squad.

I'm delighted to welcome all of you – footballers, fans, guests and volunteers – to this very special contest.

No sport fascinates young and old alike quite like football. As a team sport, it promotes team spirit, fairness and solidarity. Those are values that carry a special significance today. And at the MTU Indoor Football Championship in particular, we see youth football at its best, with proof of the maxim 'United We are Strong'. Because, despite the emphasis on performance and the will to win, getting together to play football is great fun.

Sport makes a big contribution to our physical and mental fitness. It's an excellent medicine for mind and body. Winning at sport increases self-confidence, and for the young footballers here today being able to test the limits of their ability is an important experience. Let's not forget that sport has a social dimension too. Training and playing sport brings a healthy balance to everyday life.

I'm delighted to see how Klaus Segelbacher and his team at VfB Friedrichshafen have managed to raise the standard of the MTU Indoor Football Championship from one year to the next. Right from the beginning, many of the young players who took part in this event went on to become professionals, playing in the Bundesliga and on national teams. Three even carried off victory at the World Cup. That is firm proof that the MTU Indoor Football Championship offers first-class football and can launch a young player's national or international career. And for the youngsters in our local teams, this event provides a unique opportunity for them to pit their strength against a top European side.

Many months of work go into the preparation of this extraordinary tournament. And many sacrifice their time to make it an unforgettable experience, both for players and fans. So I'd like to extend my thanks to the organizers at VfB Friedrichshafen and their many dedicated volunteers. Without them, the MTU Indoor Football Championship would not be what it is today.

I wish you all great footballing moments, plenty of goals, and a memorable two days in Friedrichshafen.


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 a fan, player, mentor or helper, it's my pleasure to welcome you to the 16th MTU Indoor Football Championship.

This year again, event organizer VfB Friedrichshafen has arranged a formidable line-up of international competitors. Top European teams will be kicking off – from FC Barcelona, Ajax Amsterdam and S.L. Benfica to Manchester United and the two London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea. With eight local teams testing their strength against them, we're hoping for some great encounters.

Preparing optimally, getting the team line-up right, benchmarking yourself against the competition – these are challenges that apply as much to business as they do to football.

At Rolls-Royce Power Systems and MTU Friedrichshafen, we are also players in an international arena, striving for a place among the best. We respond to new situations in a flexible, agile way. And increasingly, we advance on the goal in short, fast, but tactically considered steps. We don't lose time, as we perhaps did in the past, on trying to make each combination absolutely perfect.

Here you find another parallel with football. 'Street footballers', as we call them, are in vogue. These are young upcoming players who stand out from the rest with their swift, agile, unpredictable play. Because what counts is not so much the perfectly choreographed set-up – no guarantee for a goal anyway – but the ability to adapt quickly to a situation.

Great agility has also been shown, by the way, by the many volunteers and helpers who worked tirelessly to make this tournament happen. From me a big thank-you to you all.

Dear fans, I wish you two days of exciting football, great sportsmanship, and memorable goals during this year's MTU Indoor Football Championship.
Andreas Schell