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Funkel: "Padel will be noticed even more"

Friedhelm Funel with tournament director Dominik Beier; picture: German Padel Open / Sascha Feuster

Among the numerous spectators in the CASTELLO were again one or the other familiar face from outside the padel scene. Among them, for example, soccer coach Friedhelm Funkel, who followed the games enthusiastically.

"My first impression of the event is outstanding. Seeing these world-class players here in Düsseldorf is impressive. You can't get enough of it," said Funkel, adding with a wink: "But the top stars also show me that I still have a lot to learn in order to play padel properly." Funkel, himself a passionate tennis player, has "found great pleasure in padel in recent months."

Funkel is also optimistic about the growth potential for padel in Germany. He says, "Padel is a very attractive and spectator-friendly sport. I'm sure that padel will be even more noticed and accepted in Germany in the future, especially with events like this."

Funkel worked in his active career as a soccer coach for Eintracht Frankfurt, Hertha BSC and for years for Fortuna Düsseldorf, among others. Funkel has not been completely unknown to the court in the glass cage for quite some time. During his time at 1. FC Köln, the 69-year-old moved a training session with his professionals to the padel hall as early as 2021.

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