Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughEverything you need to know about FC Schalke 04 - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Everything you need to know about FC Schalke 04 - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Everything you need to know about FC Schalke 04

Manchester United’s semi-final opponents Schalke 04 may be this season’s surprise team in the champions league, but the German outfit undoubtedly deserve to be where they are in the competition and should not be underestimated by Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

Despite no major recent domestic success,  Schalke 04 are still one of the most renowned clubs in Germany and boast one of the biggest fan bases in the country. Based in Gelsenkirchen, Schalke 04 have had fairly recent European football success; the German side won the UEFA cup in 1997, defeating Inter Milan in the final. The victory which was won through penalty kicks, was a major scalp for the club considering the strength of Inter Milan and the fact that the final was played at Inter’s home ground the San Siro.

The current Schalke squad has strength and depth throughout, and the players have certainly earned their right to be in the semi-final of the biggest club European competition in football. Domestically, the club have not had too much to shout about this season and are currently sitting in a modest 10th place in the Bundesliga. Finishing second in the Bundesliga last season, the club were able to attract Real Madrid legend Raul to the club, and the Spaniard has been influential in Schalke’s uprising in the champion’s league this term. Raul was also joined by promising dutch striker Klaas- Jan Huntelaar who joined the club last summer, with the club boasting a strong strike force for the season.

Sporting household names throughout the squad like Raul, Huntelaar and renowned footballers like Edu, Jefferson Farfan and Christoph Metzelder there was no surprise when the club comprehensively beat Inter Milan in the Quarterfinal over two legs to reach this stage of the competition. Ralf Rangnick’s side have recently been hit by the news that goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer will be leaving the club at the end of the season.  The highly rated 25-year old announced his decision to leave the club through social networking website Twitter, and has been widely tipped to join Bayern Munich in the summer.

 Whether Schalke 04 have what it takes to overcome powerhouses Manchester United and reach the final of the champions league for the first time remains to be seen, but Ralf Rangnick’s side will approach both legs with nothing to lose, and an optimism within their football that  cannot be underestimated.


Jamie Hopkins

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