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bundesliga

Bundesliga's Common Ground arrives in Zabrze, Poland

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As part of its Common Ground project, the Bundesliga is refurbishing football pitches all over the world, from the heart of Mexico City to the streets of Jakarta, from the favelas in Rio de Janeiro to the high-risers of New York City.

The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga launched its Bundesliga Common Ground project in association with local partners and communities, renovating and revitalising football pitches around the world to offer more young people the opportunity to play and enjoy football.

In the latest episode at the top of the page, Common Ground joins up with Bundesliga Legend Lukas Podolski as he visits his hometown of Zabrze in Poland. "With ‘Bundesliga Common Ground’, we want to get young people excited about playing sport," explained Peer Naubert, Chief Marketing Officer of Bundesliga International.

"The renovated football pitches provide spaces to get children and young people playing football and to promote values such as team spirit and fair play via organised tournaments."

Watch: Common Ground goes Klassiker

In episode one, Bundesliga Legends Network representative Ze Roberto visited the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to examine the impact of the Common Ground initiative.

"The ball is the greatest love of my life; the ball led me down the right path. I don’t think I would be here today if I hadn’t picked the ball."

Now, as a coach in the suburb of Vidigal, and with the aid of the Bundesliga’s Common Ground campaign, which has renovated a playing surface, he is convincing countless other kids to take the same option. Rather than kicking a ball around a street, or pot-holed cement parks, they now have a shiny new smooth surface to play on to their heart’s content.

"I’m very happy to be part of this project," enthused Ze Roberto. "The transformation’s a real opportunity to keep them off the streets. It can help children and encourage them to chase their dreams."

Watch: Common Ground - Brazil

In the second episode, Pavel Pardo, a 2006/07 Bundesliga winner with VfB Stuttgart and member of the Bundesliga Legends Network, reveals how Common Ground is providing children with invaluable opportunities in his native Mexico.

"We shouldn't forget the community, and that's something the Bundesliga knows very well," Pardo said from Mexico City.

"In the Common Ground project, you see the important things for every footballer. This is where we all start, this is where we all grow up."

Watch: Common Ground - Mexico City

In this edition, Borussia Mönchengladbach and USMNT star Joe Scally goes back to New York City to find out how Common Ground is changing the lives of people in the diverse communities of the Big Apple.

"Street soccer in New York, it brings all people together," explained the former New York City FC defender. "It brings all nationalities together. It doesn't matter what race you are, what ethnicity you are, it brings all people together. So with the Common Ground project to start football pitches in New York, it's a great idea."

Watch: Common Ground - New York City

In the next episode, Common Ground touches down in Indonesia and its capital Jakarta as a football-mad nation of 270 million people looks to finally produce a top-level football player.

Watch: Common Ground - Jakarta