Danny Latza: I am grateful for every moment

Schalke’s captain during the 2021/22 promotion season received the armband one last time in the last few minutes of the game against Hansa Rostock. Simon Terodde handed the armband over to Danny Latza as he made his way off the pitch having been substituted. “That was really special. I’m really grateful to the coach for giving me the opportunity to get on the pitch one more time,” said Latza describing the moment shortly before the end of his final home game at the VELTINS-Arena against Hansa Rostock on Saturday (11/5).

Playing in his first ever home game against Karlsruher SC in 2009 was a dream come true for the Gelsenkirchen-born midfielder. “Since I joined the team at nine years old, I always dreamed of one day being able to play in this stadium. I am very thankful to have achieved that.”

After his first spell with the ‘Knappen’ (1998 until 2010), Latza rejoined the Royal Blues in 2021 and played a key part in a successful rebuild following relegation. At the end of his first season back at the club Latza was able to lift the Meisterschale as 2. Bundesliga champion. “These have been three eventful years with lots of lovely moments and a few bumps in the road. I am grateful for every moment because they have brought us all together,”said Latza, who has one wish for the future: “I hope that the togetherness that we have shown above all in the difficult periods recently continues to exist and is deepened even more.”

I am proud to have been able to run out once more for the club I support on Saturday. I will hold fond memories of this time.

Danny Latza

The midfielder, whose contract expires on 30th June has not always managed to avoid injuries and sporting low points over the course of these three years. “I am able to reflect well on the last three years and I know that I haven’t always been able to put in my best performance,” said Latza, “But I have never lost my faith in the team and am proud to have been able to run out once more for the club I support on Saturday. I will hold fond memories of this time.”

It was particularly special for the 34-year-old that he received a send-off before the game against Hansa Rostock together with Simon Terodde. “Simon and I have experienced plenty together and have know each other for a long time. We feel and live football in a similar way. Especially in the difficult periods, we thought a lot and had a few sleepless nights. It’s good to have someone like Simon at your side, who also has the experience and the sensitivity to deal with a situation like that. Simon was always an important person to talk to for me.”

Still no decision about his future

In comparison to his teammate Terodde, who has announced his retirement, Latza doesn’t want to decide just yet if we will continue his career or not. “I will travel to see my family first now and will organise my thoughts. I’m leaving everything open to myself, and then you all will hear from me.” The connection to S04 and the fans, who loudly cheered for one of their own out of the ‘Knappenschmiede’ before and after the game will definitely remain.

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