Founded in 1904, Schalke has won seven German championships, five DFB-Pokals, one DFL-Supercup and one UEFA Cup. The “04” in the club’s name derives from its formation in 1904.
Schalke has long been one of the most popular professional football teams and multi-sports club in Germany. Many great players have played for the club over the years. In this article, let us have a look at some of the greatest Schalke players ever.
Here are the top 10 greatest Schalke players ever –
[nextpage title=”1″ ]
10. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
FC Schalke’s record goalscorer in the UEFA competitions, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar joined the Royal Blues after having pretty average spells with Real Madrid and AC Milan.
Huntelaar played 175 league games for the club and scored 82 goals. He was Bundesliga’s top scorers for the 2011-12 season with 29 goals and managed to reach the double figures for goals for five seasons during his seven-year stay at the club. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest Schalke players ever.
9. Hermann Eppenhoff
Hermann Eppenhoff was a member of FC Schalke 04 squad, which won the German Championship in the years 1939, 1940 and 1942. He scored 146 goals for the club in 277 matches.
Eppenhoff also won three caps with the German national team. He was later included in Schalke 04 Hall of Fame (“Ehrenkabine”).
8. Ernst Kalwitzki
Ernst Kalwitzki was a right winger who played from 1933 until 1943 for FC Schalke 04. He won six German championships and one national cup with the club. In the 1939 German championship final, he scored five goals in Schalke’s 9–0 victory over Admira Vienna.
He is also a member of Schalke 04 Hall of Fame and is vividly remembered as one of the greatest Schalke players ever.
7. Ingo Anderbrugge
Anderbrügge started playing professionally with Borussia Dortmund, making his Bundesliga debut in 1984.
In 1988, he moved to FC Schalke 04, then in the second division, where he stayed until 1999. He was a part of their 1997 UEFA winning team. He was voted into Schalke 04 Team of the Century. A part of Schalke 04 Hall of Fame, Anderbrugge played 355 games for the club and scored 88 goals in all competitions.
[nextpage title=”2″ ]
6. Olaf Thon
Olaf Thon started his career with Schalke 04 in 1983. He moved to Bayern Munich in 1988, where he stayed until 1994. He returned to Schalke 04. He was a part of the team that won the UEFA Cup in 1997.
Thon was capped 52 times for both West Germany and Germany. He won the World Cup in 1990, starting in the game against England in the semifinal. He also went to the Euro 1988 and the World Cup Finals in both 1986 and 1998.
5. Norbert Nigbur
Nigbur joined FC Schalke 04, from tiny SV Gelsenkirchen 06 in 1966, playing 456 matches in the Bundesliga for Schalke and Hertha BSC in between 1966 and 1983.
His biggest success on club level was the DFB-Pokal trophy with hometown side Schalke 04 in 1972. In the 1980s, Nigbur played for teams as VfB Hüls, Rot-Weiss Essen and FC Luthenberg outside the top two German divisions.
Nigbur, one of the greatest Schalke players ever, played 455 matches for Schalke in all competitions. He was capped on six occasions by West Germany, and was a member of the West German squad at the 1974 FIFA World Cup.
4. Klaus Fitchel
Not quite a one-club man, but Fichtel no doubt gave the best years — and more — of his career to Schalke. Aged 20 when he joined, he was 43-and-a-half when he pulled on their shirt for the last time in May 1988, making him the oldest player ever to have featured in the Bundesliga.
The full-back — nicknamed ‘The Fir’ — returned to his first love after a four-year spell at Werder Bremen left him pining for a swansong in Gelsenkirchen where he played the last of his 552 Bundesliga matches, putting him currently fourth on the top-flight’s all-time appearances chart.
He was a part of the West German squad at the 1970 FIFA World Cup, playing in five matches during the tournament.
[nextpage title=”3″ ]
3. Klaus Fischer
Fischer made 535 Bundesliga appearances for TSV 1860 München, FC Schalke 04, 1. FC Köln and VfL Bochum. He is Schalke’s top scorer in Bundesliga with 182 goals in 295 gmaes.
With Schalke 04, he won the German Cup in 1972. Capped 45 times for West Germany. He also scored a famous bicycle kick goal in extra time in the 1982 World Cup semi-finals against France.
2. Fritz Szepan
Szepan is among Germany’s greatest midfielder and greatest Schalke players ever. He played in both 1934 and 1938 World Cup Finals.
In 1938, Szepan was named captain of the “Unified Germany” team shortly after the Anschluss at the 1936 World Cup Finals. He was also the captain of the 1934 team.
He played his entire career with Schalke 04 from 1925 and 1950. He was voted as the club’s greatest ever player. He formed a famous a partnership with Ernst Kuzorra at the club.
1. Ernst Kuzorra
During his entire career, Ernst Kuzorra played for Schalke 04, whom he led to six national championships and one national cup between 1923 to 1950.
He is commonly regarded as the greatest Schalke player of all time alongside his brother-in-law Fritz Szepan. He was one of the main axes of what became known as the “Schalker Kreisel”.
A highly athletic, technical and prolific forward, Kuzorra is also commonly regarded as one of the greatest German forwards before the War.
Checkout : 10 Greatest Bundesliga Players Ever