FC Schalke 04 is a professional German football and multi-sports club based in the Schalke district of Gelsenkirchen. The “04” in the club’s name refers to its foundation in 1904. Even though the club’s heyday was in the 1930s and 1940s, Schalke has remained one of Germany’s most popular professional football teams. Schalke has been a member of the Bundesliga, Germany’s top football league, since 2021, after being promoted from the 2. Bundesliga in 2021-22. The club has 160,000 members as of 2022, making it the second-largest football club in Germany and the fourth-largest club in the world. Schalke has received seven German championships, five DFB-Pokals, one DFL-Supercup, and one UEFA Cup to their credit. Schalke became the first German club to win the double in 1937. Let’s discuss here the top 10 greatest goalkeepers of Schalke 04.
1. Manuel Neuer
Manuel Neuer was born on 27 March 1986. He is a German football player who plays as a goalkeeper and captains both Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Germany national team. He is one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the sport. Neuer has been dubbed a “sweeper-keeper” due to his quickness when rushing off his line to anticipate opponents and moving out of the goalkeeper box. IFFHS named him the best goalkeeper of the decade from 2011 to 2020.
Neuer began his career with Schalke 04, where he won both the DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Ligapokal. Further, he joined Bayern Munich in 2011 and has since received 27 trophies, including ten Bundesliga titles and two UEFA Champions League titles, both as part of trebles, in 2013 and 2020. In 2014, Neuer ranked third in the FIFA Ballon d’Or voting. He was UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year five times and IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper five times. Neuer was famous as Germany’s number one goalkeeper for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Further, he won the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Germany, as well as the Golden Glove award for the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
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2. Harald Schumacher
Harald Schumacher was born on 6 March 1954. He is a former football goalkeeper from Germany. With 1. FC Koln, he won a Bundesliga title and three DFB-Pokal titles. He represented West Germany at the international level. Schumacher won the European Championship in 1980. In 1984 and 1986, Schumacher was German Footballer of the Year. He has been the vice president of 1. FC Koln since April 2012. He played for Schalke 04 from 1987 to 1988.
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3. Oliver Reck
Oliver Reck was born on 27 February 1965. He is a former football goalkeeper from Germany. SSV Jeddeloh is managed by him. During his 20-year professional career, he was best known for his time with Werder Bremen and Schalke 04, for whom he appeared in over 500 official games, 471 of which were in the Bundesliga. He joined SV Werder Bremen in 1985 and was the team’s undisputed starter for 11 of his 13 seasons. Further, he moved to FC Schalke 04 in 1998, after playing 112 league games. He is the most effective goalkeeper, not conceding a goal in 173 of 471 games.
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4. Ralf Fahrmann
Ralf Fahrmann was born on 27 September 1988. He is a German professional football goalkeeper for the Bundesliga club Schalke 04. On September 13, 2008, Fährmann made his professional debut for Schalke 04 in a 3-3 draw away to Borussia Dortmund. On September 16, 2008, he made his international debut against APOEL in a UEFA Cup tie. He left Schalke at the end of the 2008-09 season and joined Eintracht Frankfurt on a free transfer, signing a contract until 30 June 2012.
In 2011, Fahrmann returned to Schalke. He was Man of the Match in the 2011 DFL Supercup. Fahrmann saved two penalty kicks, giving Schalke the Supercup trophy for the first time in the club’s history. He was the second-choice goalkeeper behind Timo Hildebrand at the start of the 2013-14 season. Later, he was promoted to the first-choice goalkeeper, and his outstanding performances kept him there for the rest of the season. on May 4, 2014, his contract with Schalke was extended until June 30, 2019, on May 4, 2014. Fahrmann made his 200th appearance for Schalke 04 in all competitions on April 18, 2018, against Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFB-Pokal.
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5. Alexander Nubel
Alexander Nubel was born on 30 September 1996. He is a German football player who is on loan from Bayern Munich to Ligue 1 club Monaco. Nubel joined Schalke 04, where he played for the second team in the Regionalliga West. He started playing for Bundesliga against TSG Hoffenheim on May 14, 2016. Initially, he began the season as a backup goalkeeper for Schalke. He also made his Champions League debut for Schalke on October 24, 2018, against Galatasaray.
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6. Jens Lehmann
Jens Lehmann was born on 10 November 1969. He is a former football goalkeeper from Germany. Lehmann was a key member of Arsenal’s “Invincibles,” appearing in every game of their title-winning season. He holds the record for the most consecutive clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League, not conceding a single goal in eight consecutive full matches while playing for Arsenal. Lehmann was named UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year in 1996-97 and 2005-06, and he was a member of three World Cup squads.
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7. Timo Hildebrand
Timo Hildebrand was born on 5 April 1979. He is a former football goalkeeper from Germany. Hildebrand holds the Bundesliga record for the most consecutive minutes (884 minutes) with a clean sheet, which he set during the 2003-04 season. Hildebrand joined Schalke 04 in the midst of the 2011-12 Bundesliga season.
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8. Frank Rost
Frank Rost was born on 30 June 1973. He is a former football goalkeeper from Germany. Rost began his career in the third German division with 1. FC Markkleeberg. Rost joined Schalke 04 in July of 2002. He was a regular first-choice keeper at Schalke until the starting position was taken by youngster Manuel Neuer in late 2006.
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9. Timon Wellenreuther
Timon Wellenreuther was born on 3 December 1995. He is a footballer from Germany who plays goalkeeper for Anderlecht. Wellenreuther was a member of several youth teams. In March 2013, it was announced that he had joined Schalke 04 from Karlsruher SC. In July 2013, he was assigned to Schalke 04 II after joining the club. Wellenreuther made his Schalke 04 II debut in the season opener, keeping a clean sheet in a 5-0 win over VfL Theesen U19.
Wellenreuther began to establish himself as a first-team choice goalkeeper for Schalke 04 II in the 2014-15 season. He appeared in sixteen games in the first half of the season. On 3 February 2015, he made his Bundesliga debut against Bayern Munich. He made his Bundesliga debut on February 6, 2015, and kept a clean sheet in a 3-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
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10. Lars Unnerstall
Lars Unnerstall was born on 20 July 1990. He is a German professional football goalkeeper for the Dutch club FC Twente. Unnerstall completed his development at FC Schalke 04, where he joined at the age of 18. He signed a professional contract till 2012 in April 2010, after appearing regularly for the B team. Coach Ralf Rangnick named Unnerstall second-choice behind Ralf Fahrmann for the 2011-12 season. On July 31, 2011, he made his professional debut in an 11-1 away win against FC Teningen in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. He agreed to an extension until June 2013 in October.
Unnerstall made his Bundesliga debut on October 15, 2011. Before the 2012-13 season began, he agreed to a new contract extension until 2015. He continued to compete with Hildebrand for starting duties. Further, he was the team’s first choice during their run in the UEFA Champions League.
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