Soccer Great Wynton Rufer on the Asian Game
Former soccer star New Zealander Wynton Rufer, 54, now works, among other things, as a FIFA ambassador. Sports trade fair organisation, Internationale Fachmesse für Sportartikel und Sportmode (ISPO) talked with Rufer at ISPO Shanghai 2017 about the significance of soccer in China, how the arms race is being stemmed in the Chinese Super League, and what the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) has planned in Asia.
For six years, Rufer was employed by SV Werder Bremen and, with eight goals in twelve face-offs against FC Bayern München, he knows his way around the German Bundesliga. He also spent two years in Japan with JEF United Ichihara. “Kiwi” Rufer currently makes appearances as a FIFA ambassador and cooperation partner of the DFL in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The Bundesliga wants to expand its name recognition abroad, and I’m one of the ambassadors to represent the DFL for this purpose in the Asia-Pacific region,” Wellington-born Rufer explains. “China is a major market and immensely important, especially considering the soccer cooperation agreement closed between Germany and the People’s Republic of China in November 2016. One part of this cooperation is also the incorporation of the Chinese U20 national team into the German Southwest regional league.
“A World Cup in China would be an important boost for the sport.”
Between 1989 and 1995, Rufer achieved his greatest success at Werder Bremen, where he won a total of four major titles. He was also a member of the New Zealand national team in its first FIFA World Cup appearance in 1982.
Original article by Florian Pertsch, ISPO, July 24, 2017.