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Riedle relishing ambassadorial role

Former Borussia Dortmund and Germany striker Karl-Heinz Riedle spoke of his "great honour" to serve as the 2015 UEFA Champions League final ambassador during the group stage draw.

Karl-Heinz Riedle brandishes the UEFA Champions League trophy
Karl-Heinz Riedle brandishes the UEFA Champions League trophy ©UEFA

A UEFA Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund in 1996/97, Karl-Heinz Riedle kicked off his role as the official 2015 UEFA Champions League final ambassador with a leading hand in the group stage draw in Monaco – a major milestone on the road to the Berlin showpiece next May.

The 48-year-old former striker retains special memories of the UEFA Champions League from his goal-strewn playing days, with the clear highlight his pair of strikes against Juventus in the 1997 final as Dortmund prevailed 3-1. Riedle spent four years with BVB after joining from SS Lazio, in a successful career that also featured spells with FC Augsburg, SV Blau-Weiss 1890 Berlin, Werder Bremen, Liverpool FC and Fulham FC.

"It was a great honour to be nominated as the ambassador, and to be the successor to Luís Figo, who was in charge for Lisbon," said Riedle. "I am certainly very excited and happy to do it. The Champions League has always been for me the biggest event there is – as a player, too – and to be the ambassador for it is just wonderful."

Berlin has never previously staged a UEFA Champions League or European Champion Clubs' Cup final, but Riedle feels sure the city – and its Olympiastadion venue – will live up to the task in style. Riedle lost a pair of German Cup deciders at the stadium with Bremen, but is relishing the prospect of a return to the ground that also hosted the 2006 FIFA World Cup showpiece.

''Berlin will do really well because they're really experienced," said the Swabian forward, who scored 16 times in 42 appearances for Germany and was a member of the squad that won the 1990 World Cup. "It will be a very good choice."