The S04 year: April, May and June
A disappointing end to the season, a tearful goodbye to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, a Eurofighter Party in the Veltins-Arena and a managerial change. In the second part of our end-of-year review, schalke04.de looks back on the most significant events of April, May and June.
April: Europa League exit
Schalke’s Europa League campaign came to an end against Ajax. After losing 2-0 to Ajax in the Netherlands, the Royal Blues left themselves with a lot to do in the second-leg. Schalke managed to score two, and even go 3-0 up in extra time, but it was Ajax who were celebrating at the end. Ajax scored twice in extra time to win 4-3 on aggregate and secure their place in the semi-finals of the competition.
The Royal Blues also had ups and downs in the Bundesliga in April, winning 4-1 against VfL Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen but losing away at both Darmstadt and Bremen. Schalke managed to pick up a point against RB Leipzig, who eventually finished in second place in the Bundesliga.
May: Disappointing end to the season
The Royal Blues had a difficult start in May away against a strong SC Freiburg side. Despite losing 2-0, Schalke still had high hopes of qualifying for the Europa League, however their hopes were destroyed when they drew 1-1 against Hamburger SV in their last home game of the season.
At the final whistle, several Schalke players were in tears. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar said goodbye to more than 60,000 Royal Blue fans after seven years in a Royal Blue shirt. Dennis Aogo, Sead Kolasinac and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting also bid farewell to the fans and the Veltins-Arena ahead of their moves in the summer. Schalke drew away to FC Ingolstadt on the final day of the Bundesliga season to finish 10th in the table.
On 21st May 2017, players from the squad who won the UEFA Cup 20 years ago came back to the Veltins-Arena to play again in front of 31,000 spectators. The match against a selection of players from the 1996/97 season was also an opportunity to say goodbye to former coach Huub Stevens.
June: Schalke relieve Weinzierl of his duties
In June, FC Schalke 04 parted company with head coach Markus Weinzierl. Christian Heidel brought in 31-year old manager Domenico Tedesco to the club on 9th June.
The new coach was introduced to more than 7,000 Schalke fans at the club’s general assembly on 25th June, leaving a very good first impression. The new coach did not hold back and immediately made his first new signing as manager, bringing in the Spaniard Pablo Insua on a four-year deal.