Pavel Pardo becomes a Super Fan
© LOC

Pavel Pardo made 71 Bundesliga appearances for Stuttgart between 2006 and 2008, playing a part in the club celebrating a German title win in 2007. On Wednesday, 9 March 2011, the well-respected Mexican international was among OC President Steffi Jones' guests of honour at the official FIFA Women's World Cup 2011™ Welcome Event in Mexico City.

Around 100 media representatives and 100 other invited guests made for a splendid atmosphere at 'Club Banqueros', the venue for the ninth stop on the FIFA/OC Welcome Tour. Fittingly it was the exact same location former OC President Franz Beckenbauer had welcomed the Mexican men's national team to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ five years earlier.

"A few years ago I wouldn't have thought it was possible for a women's football event to receive such a great response in Latin America. I'm really amazed at how relevant the Women's World Cup is in Mexico," said Jones.

The fact that Mexico will stage the FIFA U-17 World Cup (18 June - 10 July) almost simultaneously to the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany poses no problems according to the OC President: "Women's football has it's own following in Mexico. Furthermore, the Mexicans will have the chance to follow their women's national team live on television."

Mexican FA President Justino Compean agreed: "Our matches at the U-20 Women's World Cup generated plenty of interest among fans here and our senior women's team stirred up even more enthusiasm by beating the USA in front of 12,000 fans in Cancun. We're looking forward to seeing them compete at a Women's World Cup for the second time."

Also present at the Welcome Event was German ambassador to Mexico Dr. Edmund Duckwitz. The Mexican women' national team, currently taking part in the Cyprus Cup, greeted OC President Jones via video conference.

Pardo, the Club America midfielder who is second only to Claudio Suarez in terms of appearances for the Mexican men's national team with 148 caps, was appointed a Super Fan by Jones at the event. He also received a Germany women's national team jersey from official Germany 2011 mascot Karla Kick.

"Women's football enjoys an excellent standing in Germany, where football is generally the most popular sport. Me and my colleagues still talk about the amazing atmosphere we experienced throughout the 2006 World Cup and the Confederations Cup in 2005. I was able to feel the passion of the German fans during my time with Stuttgart and I'm sure our women's national team will enjoy a similarly great reception," said Pardo.

As with every stop on the Welcome Tour, OC President Jones had various other functions to attend during her time in Mexico, including a meeting with Mexico's presidential couple at Los Pinos Palace, a visit to the social aid projects at the Egidius Braun Foundation and the 'Sternsinger' children's relief organisation in Centro Los Laureles, as well as the German School in Mexico City