Node broken at Rabbi Matondo in Belgium

Many well-known faces from German football now play abroad, largely unnoticed by the media. Today in the spotlight: two former professionals from FC Schalke 04 who suddenly work in Belgium.

In the spring of 2019, quite a few at FC Schalke 04 dreamed of their Jadon Sancho fairy tale when the miners lured Rabbi Matondo, a largely unknown talent, from top English club Manchester City to the Bundesliga. However, Matondo’s ideas in the German football upper house had little in common with the meteoric rise of the then BVB youngster.

The winger from Wales was on the pitch 32 times for the FC Schalke 04 pros, but they didn’t score more than two meager goals.

In January 2021, a loan to the English second division club Stoke City should inspire Matondo, but after six months Matondo returned to Gelsenkirchen sobered. In terms of his state of mind, the offensive player was actually a perfect match for the just relegated miners, who had no use for the youngster in the Bone Mill 2nd Bundesliga.

When an offer from the Belgian first division club Cercle Brügge fluttered into the house, everyone involved quickly agreed, according to S04 information, that saying goodbye again was “the best solution, a purchase option and knee problems in the luggage, Matondo moved on.

Bad prospects for a second attempt at FC Schalke 04

Nothing changed in Flanders at first – then it clicked! Matondo scored his first goal in his tenth appearance and his fourth goal in his 13th. “The knot should have burst now,” rejoiced Cercle coach Dominik Thalhammer and was right.

In the 2-2 win against KRC Genk last Saturday, nine goals of the season followed, as well as a shack in the cup and an assist. Matondo is undoubtedly one of the top performers, but whether that is enough for a future in Bruges must be questioned. According to “Bild”, Schalke would have to transfer three million euros for the 21-year-old’s services. A sum that could become a problem for Bruges.

One way or another, Schalke will be following the development with great pleasure: After the performance of the last few months, Matondo should easily find a more financially strong buyer. A new start at S04 could also be tempting, that the dream of their own Sancho will come true for Schalke fans, but given the contract term until 2023, it is not very likely.

Farewell to FC Schalke or end of career

Benito Raman also knows how it feels not to be able to meet the expectations of FC Schalke 04.

The Royal Blues got rid of the Belgians in 2019 after tough negotiations for a whopping ten million euros from Fortuna Düsseldorf. Raman only repaid his allegedly lavish salary during an outstanding phase between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 (8 league games / 8 goal contributions) with performance.

After relegation in 2021, the separation followed, Raman moved to RSC Anderlecht. A step that the Belgian shortly afterwards presented to “Het Nieuwsblad” as being without alternative. “If I had stayed at Schalke for another six months, I would have stopped playing football. I was fed up with what was happening there,” the attacker calculated with S04. Above all, the striker complained about the many changes of coach.

Things are going much better with his employer, but there is still a big downer. Despite the good tally of twelve goals and six assists in 36 competitive games in 2021/22, Raman rarely gets beyond the status of joker in Anderlecht.

This also applies to last weekend, when Raman scored 3-0 against KV Oostende coming off the bench. With now seven joker goals, Raman is currently the most successful joker in Europe, but this title can probably not replace a regular place.

Marc Affeldt



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