Starting the New Year in top conditions

One day after travelling to their training camp in Benidorm, Schalke have got the ball rolling for the year 2018 and began their work on Tuesday, 2 January.

The Royal Blues can look forward to training in superb conditions for the remainder of the week until Sunday, 7 January. “There are a lot of criteria that go into the planning for a training camp. It is particularly important to be close to the training ground and that the pitch is of good quality. Both of those are excellent here,” explained sporting director Axel Schuster. It is for that reason that the board decided to send the team back to Costa Blanca after their good experiences there from the previous year.

Max Meyer and co. proved that they are extremely excited to be back playing football, arriving at the pitch ahead of the first training session in temperatures of 18 degrees and blue skies 15 minutes early. This was simply to kick a few balls around to play a few short games. The next hour and a half was spent working on passing and the team’s shape.

Pablo Insua was also one of the members of the group. The Spaniard returned after an inflammation of the heart sack to complete some light training and will increase the intensity of his programme step by step. “But we won’t jump the gun. We have addressed that with Pablo. He lost a lot of weight and therefore also muscle mass whilst he was unable to exercise. That needs to be built up again cautiously,” insisted Schuster. “The health of the player for us is the absolute priority, the medical department will monitor him very closely.” Schuster emphasised that the defender will not take part in first-team training for the next few weeks. “We need to be patient,” said the sporting director.

Things are looking better for Nabil Bentaleb, who had recently been nursing an inflammation of the pubic bone joint, was back in full training as normal. Leon Goretzka, who was forced out with a stress fracture in his lower leg, continues to follow an individual programme. The plan is for the Germany internationals to join in first-team training in the coming days.