All you need to know about Gelsenkirchen giants FC Schalke 04.

Fun facts

  • Second only to Bayern in terms of official members, Schalke are one of the Bundesliga’s biggest and best-supported clubs.
  • While the club is usually referred to as 'Die Königsblauen', or 'the Royal Blues', Schalke are sometimes called 'Die Knappen', or ‘the miners’, in homage to their roots in the working-class, industrial Ruhr district.
  • Schalke’s academy, often referred to as the 'Knappenschmiede', is renowned as one of Europe’s finest: Julian Draxler, Max Meyer and Leroy Sane are well-known recent graduates.

Max Meyer (l.) and Leroy Sane (r.) are two high-profile products of Schalke's renowned youth academy. © imago / Eibner


Schalke hail from the working-class Ruhrpott, Germany’s industrial heartland, with the club’s state-of-the-art VELTINS Arena always packed to the rafters with passionate locals urging their team to greater heights. Not having finished outside of the top six since 2011, the Royal Blues have developed into a regular feature in continental club competition and, as Real Madrid CF, FC Internazionale Milano and Arsenal FC among others can testify, they should never be underestimated.

Schalke won the UEFA Cup under Huub Stevens in 1997, but they will never forget the disappointment in missing out on the Bundesliga title by a matter of seconds in 2001.

On the domestic front, however, it has been harder going, and despite being crowned German champions seven times in the pre-Bundesliga era, the club have never lifted the famous Meisterschale, missing out agonisingly in the final seconds of the final day in May 2001.


DFB Cup Winners: 1936/37, 1971/72, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2010/11

UEFA Cup Winners: 1996/97

German Supercup Winners: 2010/11

Stadium: VELTINS Arena

Capacity: 61,973