Cologne - It was a balmy Friday evening in Gelsenkirchen on Matchday 30 of the 2013/14 campaign, and Max Meyer had given the Royal Blues the lead against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Long and agonising wait
With 85 minutes on the clock, on came for Julian Draxler, the Peruvian duly netting his ninth goal of the season to secure the points, with a 2-0 victory at SC Freiburg three weeks later sealing UEFA Champions League football for Schalke. Following that goal against Frankfurt, however, Farfan was not seen on a football field again for the rest of the campaign.
Almost a year on, the 30-year-old made finally his long-awaited comeback from a serious knee injury in the 1-0 defeat to Bayer 04 Leverkusen last Saturday. "I was a little nervous," Farfan told schalke04.de. "I don't think that's anything extraordinary after such a long break. The noise the fans made when I came on was breathtaking. I'm just delighted to be back in action again."
A damaged cartilage in his right knee confined Farfan to a spectator's role for what feels like an eternity to any footballer, but the winger is now chomping at the bit to help his side claw back the six-point deficit to fourth-place Leverkusen. "It was a difficult time," he admitted. "But I always believed in myself and I wanted to get back onto the field with the lads, with my friends. I'm delighted to have been able to do that now."
Champions League boost?
Farfan had 13 touches of the ball and completed all six of his attempted passes in Saturday's twelve-minute cameo, but defeat to die Werkself has left Schalke's Champions League hopes dangling by a very thin thread indeed - hardly the dream return the former PSV Eindhoven star had hoped for.
"It's frustrating that we couldn't get the points against Leverkusen," Farfan said. "They would have been very important. Now we've got to do all we can to win in Augsburg next time out." Cometh the hour, cometh Farfan - the man who helped Schalke into the Champions League a year ago and is now looking to do the same again this season.