The tractor, the petrol station and the police

For a young Ralf Fährmann, having his own tractor was always the big dream, while Benjamin Stambouli longed for a remote controlled car. Daniel Caligiuri dreamed of something that he couldn’t even properly pronounce. These three players, as well as Naldo, Sascha Riether and Omar Mascarell share memories of their favourite childhood Christmas gifts.

A present never let out of sight

“As a child I once received a small kid’s tractor with a seat that allowed me to rotate,” recalls Ralf Fährmann. “I remember how, for the next few years, I would never let that tractor out of my sight. It really was my one and only. If I went shopping with my mum, that tractor had to be with me. There was no other way.” But on one occasion Ralf’s tractor caused quite some panic in the Fährmann household. “My parents rang the police because I had taken off with my tractor and gone missing,” the Royal Blues captain share. “I had only gone to the washing machine at the petrol station to wash my tractor. I had saved my pocket money especially for this.”

Tears of joy for remote controlled car

Benjamin Stambouli remembers fondly of being a young child walking through the city in the build-up to Christmas, frequently staring through the glass of the same shop window. “Every time, I was fascinated by this new remote controlled car. I begged my parents to buy it for me, but they always said no,” the Frenchmen tells. “Then came Christmas and this exact car was sat under the tree. I cried tears of joy.”

The happy moment caught on camera

Daniel Caligiuri had an Amiga computer as a young child, but one thing missing was a joystick. Lo and behold young Daniel found one under the Christmas tree. “My parents were filming as I opened the present and went completely nuts,” he recounts, adding with a laugh that he couldn’t quite pronounce the word ‘joystick’ as a young child. “I said that it was a really great sch…thing!”

A very first bicycle

30 years ago in Brazil, a bicycle was enough to make a child’s eyes light up. “My father gave me one as a present. I was so happy because it was my first bicycle,” Naldo remembers.”I wanted it so badly and hopped straight on for a few laps. I definitely covered a few kilometres during the Christmas break.”

Car racing all night long

In the Riether household, a young Sascha’s dreams came true when he received a Carrera race track. “I had wished for one so badly and then it was there under the tree. My brother and I played with it for so long on Christmas Eve until our eyes nearly popped out,” the right back tells. “And as soon as we woke up the next morning we started the next race.”

A first football

Omar Mascarell believes he can remember each and every Christmas present. “I haven’t forgotten anything,” the Spaniard insists. But one round present from his early childhood stands out in particular. “I guessed what it was and when I tore the wrapping paper and saw that it really was a football, I was the happiest child in the world.”

Share page

You may also be interested in


Jonjoe Kenny: I want to develop myself further as a person and a footballer

Jonjoe Kenny will strengthen FC Schalke 04 for the forthcoming season. The 22-year-old has signed on loan for the Royal Blues from Everton for a year. “I’m delighted. I could hardly believe it when I first heard that Schalke were interested in me,” said the right-back to Schalke TV.


Training camp in Mittersill, three friendlies in Ruhr Valley

Schalke will start with a clean slate on 1st July. David Wagner will take charge of his first training session as head coach of FC Schalke 04 (time TBA).

Weston McKennie trifft Kick It-Sieger

Lucky Kick It competitors win trip of a lifetime

Five lucky Under-18 players from Georgia Storm Soccer Academy in Carrollton, just outside of Atlanta, won the VIP trip of a lifetime after competing in December’s Kick It 3v3 Tournament in Atlanta. Their experience brought them to Germany for the first time to support the Royal Blues in the final match of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season against Stuttgart at the VELTINS-Arena.


Huub Stevens: Because of my friendship with Rudi and my love for the club

Huub Stevens‘ third spell as FC Schalke 04 head coach has been over now for a couple of days – and it was definitely his last. “It had to end sometime and now it finally has,” said the Dutchman in an interview with Schalke TV. Stevens also spoke about the tiring past few months, his meeting with David Wagner and his personal aims for the future.