Schalke 04 Sold XI
Many will consider Manuel Neuer as the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment when he is fit. But many people are not aware that before he moved to Bayern that Manuel Neuer used to play his football at FC Schalke 04. In typical Manuel Neuer sweeper keeper fashion, Neuer was victim to the 50 yard goal that Dejan Stankovic scored for Inter Milan against Schalke in the Champions League. As we have seen that Neuer learned huge amounts during his time at Schalke which has turned Neuer into the world class goalkeeper that he is today.
Rafinha was signed for Bayern Munich from Genoa back in 2011. But did you know that before that Rafinha had enjoyed many successful years at Schalke? From 2005 to 2011 Rafinha played in Gelsenkirchen. It was here that Rafinha’s time in Europe began having transferred from Brazillian side Coritiba. Rafinha managed to make just under 200 appearances for Schalke and scored 11 goals and registered 25 assists for Schalke 04.
Now playing his football at Liverpool, you may remember that Joel Matip made his switch from Gelsenkirchen to Liverpool on a free transfer in 2016. Joel Matip has been a great asset for Liverpool which has seen them reach the champions league final last season. But prior to this Matip had been an excellent centre back for Schalke 04 where he won the DFB Pokal in 2011. Scoring 17 times and assisting teammates 12 times for Schalke in 194 Bundesliga games from the centre back position which is a very impressive return for the Cameroonian defender.
Now at Hamburg, Kyriakos Papadopoulos was once at Schalke during the early stages of his career. A DFB Pokal winner with Schalke, Papadopulous has been at numerous Bundesliga clubs in his career. These include Bayer Leverkusen, RB Leipzig, and Hamburg. Many thought that Papadopoulos had huge potential to really become a star of the game but unfortunately, it never quite worked out for him. However, he has still been a very good player for the clubs that he’s played for.
Now playing for Arsenal, Sead Kolasinac was a key member of the Schalke squad until his free transfer to the Gunners. Kolasinac made 123 appearances for Schalke and in that time scored 4 goals and provided 13 assists for his teammates from the left wing back position. The thing that is most notable of Kolasinac is just how good going forwards in attack and how his crossing can cause the defenders nightmares, whilst remaining a solid defensive option when at the back too.
Leon Goreztka caused a massive stir this season when he announced that he would be leaving Schalke to sign for Bayern Munich on a free transfer in the summer. Goretzka has been the best player in their midfield in the last few years and it just goes to show how good the youth recruitment is at Schalke as they continuously produce high quality players that find themselves on the biggest stages in football and at the biggest clubs in the world.
Ivan Rakitic started to gain traction when he was performing very well in his time at Sevilla but many people forget that before the big move to Barcelona that Rakitic was actually a part of Schalke’s squad. Rakitic scored 16 and registered 29 assists from the central midfielder position and was also a part of their Pokal winning squad with Joel Matip, despite making his transfer in January to Sevilla he did still receive a winners medal from actively being a key part of the team to help them progress to the final.
Manchester City’s electrifying winger has seen Leroy Sané establish himself both in Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City squad as well as one of the Premier League’s best wingers. During Sané’s time at Schalke, he scored 13 goals and provided 8 assists in 53 games for the royal blues. With his pace and dribbling, Leroy Sané has definitely been one of the best players that Schalke have produced in recent years. Many will hope that Leroy Sané will be the long term future of German football and it definitely seems like the sky is the limit for him right now.
Now Mesut Özil has been at numerous other clubs since his breakthrough at Schalke. Since impressing at the 2010 World Cup for Germany, Mesut Özil left Werder Bremen to make his move to the heights of Real Madrid before he made his move to his current club Arsenal. Özil’s record in the Bundesliga is 13 goals and 37 assists in 101 games, and as a new emerging player on the scene Özil really kicked on at Schalke and Werder Bremen which meant that he caught the eyes of many top European clubs heading into the major tournament in South Africa.
Julian Draxler has been one of the most high profile Bundesliga exports in recent years. He now plays for PSG in France but before this was often links with a move to big clubs in England such as Arsenal and Liverpool. It’s easy to see why as well as Draxler has been lighting up the Bundesliga for a numerous amount of years, even when he burst onto the scene from 18 years of age. With 30 goals and 29 assists in 170 games for Schalke and 8 goals and 1o assists for Wolfsburg in 45 games, Draxler is a quality who certainly has the eye for a final pass and the goal.
Despite leaving Schalke last year, Huntelaar has been at the German club for 7 years. In that time he managed to bag a whopping 126 goals and 35 assists in 240 for the Royal blues which is a pretty decent return for a striker that many people considered past it during the latter stages of his time at Schalke.