Borussia Dortmund Star Hopes for Bundesliga's First Indonesian Player
Jakarta. Former Borussia Dortmund’s goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller said he would look forward to seeing an Indonesian play for the German football league Bundesliga one day, as the Common Ground pitch revamp initiative made its way to Indonesia, a country highly passionate about the sport.
The Bundesliga has just finished renovating a local football pitch at the RPTRA Bhinneka park in Jakarta. The pitch revamp is part of the Bundesliga’s Common Ground project in which the German league is refurbishing local pitches across the globe to enable youngsters to play and enjoy football.
“I’m looking forward to playing with these kids later on the Common Ground pitch. Of course, these children have the opportunity to come to Europe, to the Bundesliga. To join us at the Bundesliga, you have to be very disciplined, work hard, and believe in yourself,” Weidenfeller said when opening the revamped pitch at RPTRA Bhinneka over the weekend.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the first Indonesian join us at the Bundesliga, and be a professional football player in Germany,” Weidenfeller said.
Indonesia became the first Asian country that the Bundesliga picked for its Common Ground project. The reason? Indonesia is undoubtedly one of the countries in Asia that is most passionate about football, according to Kevin Sim, head of Asia-Pacific for the Bundesliga. Despite its great enthusiasm for the sport, Indonesia still lacks a safe and proper environment for children to play football.
“When I travel here, I see lots of kids playing on the streets, and roads with very basic things such as stones and shoes used as goalposts. That is an opportunity for us to create a safe environment, a hub for children to be able to play, week in, week out, day in, day out,” Sim said.
Anyone can also play at the freshly renovated pitch without spending a dime.
“Part of the reason why I’m excited about the Common Ground project is because at the end of the day, we are creating more opportunities for these talents to rise up to play and hopefully play with the Bundesliga. That is really my dream because I believe that there is talent in Indonesia,” Sim said.