Sane, Gundogan & Kroos in contention for 2018 German Football Ambassador award

The final 11 nominees, which include Juventus' Sami Khedira and Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, have been selected and can now be voted for online

Real Madrid, Manchester City and Liverpool stars are among 11 footballers in contention to be 2018's German Football Ambassador.

Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane , of newly-crowned English champions Man City, are joined on the shortlist by fellow Premier League players  Per Mertesacker (Arsenal),  Loris Karius (Liverpool), and  Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea).

Veteran Germany midfielders Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) and  Sami Khedira (Juventus) are up against World Cup 2014-winning icon Lukas Podolski (Vissel Kobe) and current Germany No.1 Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona).

Less recognisable global names are 24-year-old winger Amin Younes (Ajax) and female Germany international Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon), who make up the 11 selected for the prestigious award.

"Football reflects a sense of solidarity both nationally and internationally," said Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who won the accolade in 2017.

"Football knows only one language: together we are strong in the team. I am particularly honoured to show and live this positive attitude to football in other nations as well."

For the sixth time, the winner will be chosen by the fans and will follow in the footsteps of past winners Khedira (2013), Andre Schurrle (2014), Mesut Ozil (2015), Emre Can (2016) and MLS star Schweinsteiger (2017).

The voting is open until April 26, 2018 and is done via the website and the German Football Ambassador social platforms.

The 11 players are nominated for their professionalism on and off the pitch, with the award having funded more than 20 football projects in 16 countries worldwide.

Roland Bischof, founder of the German Football Ambassador says: "It is unique to see the radiance emanating from German players abroad. Both on and off the seat, our nominees take on an exemplary role". 

The award ceremony for the winning player will take place on Tuesday May 8 in Berlin.