Champions League: Schalke meets true Schalke

Champions League: Schalke meets true Schalke


By Philipp Selldorf, Gelsenkirchen

The Uefa has no reason to be suspicious if on Wednesday evening in the Moscow RZD Arena scenes of brotherly proximity between the two adversaries should take place. Although the match between Lokomotiv Moscow and Schalke 04 in the Champions League brings faith brothers together, a comparison with the suspicious Betriebsderby RB (Leipzig) against RB (Salzburg) but does not come off. Real Schalke meet true Schalke, that's the motto of the evening in the Russian capital, and Lokomotive may have more real Schalke to offer than the original from Gelsenkirchen.

The manager of the Moscow club was even offered by the Schalke the proposal for a name change: Lokomotive Schalke.

The manager did not think the idea was bad, because he is closer to the royal blue family than his royal blue colleague Christian Heidel. The latter came in the summer of 2016 as a development worker from Mainz to the Ruhr. Erik Stoffelshaus but, 48, from Mülheim an der Ruhr and acting sports director of Lok Moscow, has worked for eleven years on Schalke, most recently as assistant to the manager Andreas Müller. When this had to go in 2009, also left Stoffelshaus the club and made other useful. First as a sports teacher in a school in Oberhausen, then as Technical Director of the Canadian Football Association in Toronto. Until he was called by a Russian gentleman whom he had met in the days of the Schalke (keyword: Gazprom), this gentleman is now President of Lokomotiv Moscow.

Höwedes holds on – a sign of progress

At Stoffelshaus there is no way around, if you look for explanations, why Benedikt Höwedes landed after his year at the noble Signora Juventus Turin just the club of railwaymen, who in the summer surprisingly Russian champion, but still only the number three of the capital clubs is. On Sunday, Höwedes played with Lokomotive in front of 10 083 spectators against Achmat Grozny and had two reasons to celebrate: his team won 2-0 and he held out until the final whistle. A sign of progress.

In Turin, whenever he was ready to go again, he was thrown back by another injury, so Juve gave Höwedes, who was on loan, little money back to Schalke in the summer. Both sides, players and club, agreed to go their separate ways again, but the transfer market sent few signals to the world champion. His physical stamina was in doubt throughout Europe. Höwedes would have liked to go to England, but only clubs from Istanbul – and Stoffelshaus, who knew Höwedes from the time when he was on Schalke U12 coach showed only vague interest. Little Benni was his pupil at the time. In the summer they met in Höwedes' hometown Haltern: "He asked a lot of questions, and he probably liked the right answers," Stoffelshaus told the kicker,

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