Roughly 2000 fans give the team and our new signings a warm welcome

For many Royal Blues, the World Cup in Russia has been a nice change for the summer. But for most of them, that’s not been the case. What they care about is the best football club in the world: FC Schalke 04, who held a public training session to open the 2018/19 season on Sunday morning.

Suat Serdar scores the first goal

Following a quick talk from Domenico Tedesco, the team got straight to it. Naldo and Co. began with a few laps of the pitch, greeted by loud applause from the spectators. A few stretches, sprint exercises and passing games followed, before the players eventually rounded the morning off with a practice match, in which Suat Serdar scored the opening goal.

After 90 minutes or so, the work on the pitch was complete, but Ralf Fährmann and Co. were not finished for the day: The captain and his teammates willingly fulfilled their duty to the fans, posing for pictures and handing out autographs.

Selfies with the newbies

The new signings were of course the centre of attention: Steven Skrzybski, our new attacking force, Schalke supporter for as long as he can remember, was in his element. “I really enjoyed the first training session. It’s nice to feel all that support from the outside – I can hardly wait to play in the VELTINS-Arena for the first time,” said the 25-year-old.

The absentees included the three World Cup participants, Salif Sané, Amine Harit and Breel Embolo, plus Guido Burgstaller and Alessandro Schöpf, who, after their international friendlies in June, will only be joining the squad in China later in the week, along with Matija Nastasic after his injury. Bastian Oczipka was also absent through injury, while returning loanee Benedikt Höwedes would like to take a week or two to consider his future. The S04 board has agreed to this.

Knappen fly to China on Monday

On Monday, the Royal Blues fly to China. Under the motto “The spirit of miners. The soul of Football.”, FC Schalke 04 will spend 11 days in China as well as some days in Kunshan and Peking.

During their trip, Schalke will take part in two friendlies. The first opponent is on Thursday in Kunshan against Southampton (KO: 14:05 CEST). A week on Wednesday, Schalke will play their second friendly against Hebei China Fortune FC kicking off at 13:30 CEST.

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