FC Schalke 04
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Schalke’s Rodrigo Zalazar cheers with fans about the rise. © David Indian song / dpa

What drama, what mood! FC Schalke is back in the football league after the furious 3-2 win over St. Pauli. This breathes new life into the recently shaken traditional club.

Gelsenkirchen – goalscorer Simon Terodde sank onto the lawn and cried tears of joy. Sports director Rouven Schröder wore a T-shirt with the inscription “Glück Auf Steiger”.

And the fans of FC Schalke, thousands of whom stormed the pitch to the chagrin of the security forces, secured pieces of the pitch and the goal nets for themselves, initially euphoric about their club’s return to the Bundesliga. Right from the start of the long royal blue night of partying, things were emotional and exuberant.

Changeable season and happy ending

The happy ending in the 3:2 (0:2) rise thriller over FC St. Pauli put everyone involved in euphoria. “We will still be talking about this evening, about this dramaturgy, in a decade or two. I’m happy for this club, which has suffered a lot in recent years,” enthused the visibly moved football coach Mike Büskens. Sports director Schröder chose similarly pathetic words: “Schalke 04 is alive again.”

The course of the game matched the changeable course of the season of the Revierclub, which seemed hopelessly beaten in December as the bottom of the table. After the early brace from Hamburg’s Igor Matanovic (9th/17th), the leaders were 2-0 down, but kept their nerve and scored after goals from Simon Terodde (47th/foulelfmeter/71st) and the former St. Pauli -Professionals Rodrigo Zalazar (78th) completed the fourth promotion to the Bundesliga ahead of schedule. “It had to be exactly the way it happened today for the Schalke soul. It’s unbelievable what happened here, galactic,” commented Schröder.

The Schalke metamorphosis began at the latest with the change of coach from Dimitrios Grammozis to the interim solution Büskens at the beginning of March. Seven wins in eight games under the direction of the former professional paved the way back to the football upper house. Even the separation from long-term main sponsor Gazprom did not throw the club, which was plagued by financial problems, off course. “It has been an incredible journey to date. We have developed a sensational spirit,” said Büskens.

Not only in the stadium was celebrated. The streets of the Revierstadt were also buzzing after the victory. The pros celebrated just as exuberantly as the fans. “Tonight we turn night into day. It doesn’t give a damn today, we’re going uphill without end,” announced midfielder Danny Latza on the way out of the dressing room. dpa

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