Schalker International: Sebastian Hard
In our latest edition of our series ‘Schalker International’, where we’ll meet Schalke fans all over the globe and find out about how they came to love FC Schalke 04, we spoke to Sebastian Hard from Sweden.
Why did you become a Schalke fan?
I remember when I started playing football aged 6 and my friends and I supported Real Madrid or Barcelona (like every kid did). I loved Raul, so when he moved to Schalke in 2010, I started to follow this amazing club through all the ups and downs.
What’s supporting Schalke like in Sweden? Are we popular there?
I wouldn’t really say that Schalke is popular in Sweden, but neither is the Bundesliga sadly. But by talking so much about Schalke with my friends, they have actually started to learn more about the world of Schalke. Sadly, I don’t have a Swedish friend that also supports Schalke, but growing up I had a friend who supported Dortmund, so our discussions and arguments were always fun.
Have you ever seen Schalke play?
I’ve sadly not seen Schalke play live yet. I was supposed to see us play against Werder Bremen in 2020, but the world had different plans at that point. I’m really glad though that there’s a Nordic streaming company that shows all Bundesliga and the majority of 2.Bundesliga matches, so I watch pretty much every game I can.
Who is your favourite Schalke player and why?
My favourite player right now is Malick Thiaw. He was born just a month before me and is as tall as me, we also play in the same position so I see a lot of similarities between him and myself. I was so happy when he made his debut because I had seen how good he was for the youth teams and I see him as a future legend and captain just like Höwedes. If we are talking all time, obviously Raúl is at the top, but also legends like Huntelaar and Farfan.
I was supposed to see us play against Werder Bremen in 2020, but the world had different plans at that point.
What’s your favourite memory as a Schalke fan?
There are two moments which really stand out for me. During the winter break in the 2015/2016 season, I was in Florida with my family and I didn’t know that Schalke were going to play there a few days after we were going to leave, so it caught me by surprise when I walked into a store and they sold Schalke kits. I decided to buy the training jacket that I still have to this day. The other moment is the Revierderby in 2017, the amazing 4-4 match. I still remember how much I screamed when Naldo headed it in in the dying moments of the match.
What makes Schalke special?
Schalke is so special because there’s so much emotion in this team and the fans. The Twitter account is really informative and funny, and let us fans from all over the world tell our story. My goal right now in life is to save up money so I can travel and finally see us play live in the most amazing stadium in the world. Hopefully by then we will be back in the Bundesliga and fighting like I know we can.
Finally, why would you recommend supporting Schalke?
I would recommend Schalke to people because it can be a home for everyone. For my friends here, it’s not too far away to see a match live and you can stream games too. To see the fans in the stadium sing and dance all match long shows the passion that they, me and every fan who sadly can’t be there have. I really don’t think there is another club out there that has this level of passion and love.