FC Schalke 04

Schalke 04 are a Bundesliga club based in the city of Gelsenkirchen in North-Rhine Westphalia. Established in 1904, Schalke is one of the most popular football clubs in Germany, having won seven German championships (before the formation of the Bundesliga), five German Cups, and one UEFA Cup/Europa League.

Schalke’s heyday was in the 1930s and 1940s, when they won a slew of national titles. Following the institution of the Bundesliga in 1963, Schalke struggled at the bottom end of the table for a few years, before finishing second in 1971-72, and also winning the DFB-Pokal. The club were inconsistent in the next few years, with another second-place finish in 1976-77 followed by relegation in 1982.

They became a yo-yo club for the next few years, but following their promotion in the 1991-92 season, have been in the Bundesliga ever since. Schalke famously won the UEFA Cup in 1997, beating Inter Milan in the final on penalties. This was a remarkable win, as the side were coached by the virtually unknown Huub Stevens at the time, and the Inter side they beat had the likes of Ivan Zamorano, Youri Djorkaeff, Paul Ince and Giuseppe Bergomi. The club has done well since the new millenium, winning consecutive DFB-Pokals in 2001 and 2002, and finishing second in the league in 2000-01, 2004-05, and 2006-07.

More recently, Schalke reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League during the 2010-11 season, while they finished second in the league as recently as the 2017-18 season.

Schalke play their games at the Veltins Arena, also known as the ArenaAufSchalke. It was opened in 2001, and has a capacity of over 62,000, having hosted matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Schalke’s colours are blue and white, and can be seen on the club crest and the home kit. They have a fierce rivalry with Borussia Dortmund, and matches between the two sides are known as the Revierderby. There is also a minor rivalry with Bayern Munich.

The first-team squad is currently managed by David Wagner, who was appointed at the start of this season. Wagner was previously manager of Huddersfield Town in England, while he gained managerial experience as manager of Borussia Dortmund’s reserve side. The team captain is currently Omar Mascarell, a Spanish midfielder who joined the club in 2018.

This season, Schalke were in sixth place, occupying a Europa League playoff spot, when the league was suspended. While they were ten points behind Bayer Leverkusen in fifth place, they were only one point ahead of Wolfsburg and Freiburg.