Jakarta. German football legend Karl-Heinz Riedle is part of a Bundesliga delegation currently in Jakarta to engage with Indonesian fans through a series of events.
The former Borussia Dortmund player, who attended a meet-and-greet event on Sunday (08/10), described their reception by Indonesians as incredible.
"This is the first time I came to Indonesia and I had an emotional feeling with the fans," said Riedle, who later participated in a five-a-side friendly game with fans in Palmerah, West Jakarta.
"I saw some good skills; I do believe there must be at least 11 top footballers in this multi-million-population country," he said.
Riedle's visit is not without purpose.
"Indonesia is an important market for us; a key market to which we want better reach. And Dortmund is one of the clubs we're collaborating with this time," Maurice Gorges, Bundesliga marketing and sales manager for Asia Pacific, told the Jakarta Globe during a press briefing in Jakarta on Tuesday.
"Indonesia is a football-crazy country and it's unfortunate that in the past it had some political tensions within the football association, but I think now it's been resolved," he added.
Bundesliga superpower Bayern Munich visited Jakarta in 2008 to play an exhibition match against the Indonesian national team, following a visit by Dortmund a year earlier. Another German club, Werder Bremen, was scheduled to play a friendly match against the national side in 2015, but this was canceled after the sport's world governing body, FIFA, suspended the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) over government interference.