Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04's festive mood has improved no end with the news that star striker has signed a new contract with the club until the summer of 2015.
The 29-year-old Dutch international's previous deal was due to run out next summer, but he has now signed on for an extra two years at the club he joined in 2010.
Huntelaar explained his decision simply by stating his attachment to the Veltins Arena outfit. "I have thought long and hard about it, but in the end I decided to do what I felt was best. I've always enjoyed playing for Schalke, for the club and for these fans. I believe in this team. We can achieve a lot in the second half of the campaign and we are still in with a good shout in the last 16 of the Champions League as well. I wanted to send out a positive message [to the club]."
Sporting director Horst Held was understandably delighted at Huntelaar's decision to prolong his stay in Gelsenkirchen. "Our intention was to enter into negotiations with Klaas-Jan in the coming month, and that was always the case. In that sense, then, it's even more pleasing that he has set such a marker for the entire club for the second half of the season," explained the 43-year-old.
Continuing the journey
Huntelaar joined the Royal Blues from Italian giants AC Milan two and a half seasons ago. He scored eight league goals in 24 appearances in his first Bundesliga campaign and another two in the 5-0 DFB Cup final victory against MSV Duisburg.
It was last season that he really came into his own, however. He scored 48 competitive goals for club and country and finished top scorer in the Bundesliga with 29, as Schalke finished 3rd to qualify for the UEFA Champions League again. This term he has five goals in 17 league appearances.