Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher has contributed to the initiative to finance the transfer of German national team player Lukas Podolski.
Cologne-based 1. FC Köln, one of Germany’s most popular clubs, is currently selling individual pixels on its website to pay for the nine million pound transfer of 23-year-old striker Podolski.
The Bundesliga side has asked fans to buy tiny sections of an online portrait of the fan favourite who left the club in 2006 to join star-studded Bayern Munich, where he failed to make an impact. Fans who spend more than 20 pounds can leave a message for the player at http://pixel.fc-koeln.de.
Now seven-time F1 champ Michael Schumacher, a big fan of the club, has contributed as well. The 40-year-old contributed 770 pounds and left a message saying: "Well, boy, you followed your heart – that’s always good. Nothing can replace real team spirit. I know what I’m talking about. For me, it was always the team that mattered the most."
"Schumi" added: "Now you can show what’s inside you and let all FC fans celebrate. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. See you soon."
Club marketing head Lars Nierfeld said: "This is a blessing for our page. Schumi has had this idea for a while, but he first had to recover from his motorcycle accident."
Some 40,000 pixels are for sale. If 1. FC Köln manages to sell them all, the club would make 85,000 pounds.