Holger Badstuber during his presentation as a Schalke player. - © © imago / Pakusch
Holger Badstuber during his presentation as a Schalke player. - © © imago / Pakusch
Bundesliga

Holger Badstuber raring to go after swapping Bayern for Schalke

Holger Badstuber has made no secret of his reasons for joining FC Schalke 04 on loan from FC Bayern München: the centre-back wants to play as much football as he possibly can.

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A litany of injuries (from a ruptured knee ligament, to a torn thigh muscle, to a broken ankle) has prevented Badstuber's career from ever really getting going. Although now 27, it often feels that the defender is yet to even come close to realising the potential he showed as a 19-year-old when announcing himself on the Bundesliga and European stage in 2009/10.

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As a result, he has arrived in Gelsenkirchen with two aims: the first is to re-invent himself as a footballer; the second is to help Schalke succeed. If he manages to achieve the first aim, then his new club will be in a fine place to be successful.

"Looking back irritates me," said Badstuber, understandably, at his official unveiling as a Schalke player at the VELTINS Arena on Friday. "For me, the past doesn't really matter. I've changed as a person and changed mentally. I'm older and more mature, but my body also feels very, very good. I don't want to be the old Holger Badstuber any more. I'd like to be a new Holger Badstuber."

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- © imago / Pakusch

If the Bavarian can show signs of the player who helped Bayern reach the UEFA Champions League final in 2010, then the Royal Blues will be well set for their own assault on Europe (Schalke face PAOK FC in the UEFA Europa League last 32) and the Bundesliga's European places.

Badstuber is determined to make that happen. "Europe is definitely going to play a role," he said, when discussing his new club's aims for the second half of the season. "Schalke have real ambition. With the quality – and the potential – here, then you have to have [high] expectations."

With lofty aims, there will be no bedding-in period for Badstuber, which, one suspects, is just how he likes it.

- © FC Schalke 04