He may currently be sidelined by injury but Benedikt Höwedes has given FC Schalke 04 a huge boost by signing a new contract at the club until 2020.

The 27-year-old’s previous deal was due to expire in 2017, but the Royal Blues skipper has pledged his future to the club by signing on for another three years.

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'My heart was racing!'

"My heart was racing when I signed the contract," said FIFA World Cup winner Höwedes. "Schalke are a great club with amazing fans and I have a lot to be grateful to them for. We have a young team with a lot of potential to develop and I'd like to carry on shaping the club’s future."

Höwedes joined Schalke in 2001 and made his Bundesliga debut at the age of 19 in October 2007. He was part of the side that won the DFB Cup in 2011 and took over as captain for the 2011/12 campaign.

He has made a total of 206 top-flight appearances for the club, scoring 11 goals, and has won 32 caps for his country.