Captain Benedikt Höwedes commits future to Schalke

Benedikt Höwedes laid down a marker for the future of the Royal Blues on Wednesday, with the skipper extending his contract at FC Schalke 04 by three years. The new deal means that the centre back, who is currently in his 15th season in Gelsenkirchen, will remain at the club until 30th June 2020.

“We’re delighted that Benedikt has taken this step, as it is a sign of real commitment to Schalke 04 from a leading player,” explained sporting director Horst Heldt. “It shows that he has faith in our plans, in which he plays an important role as team captain and defensive stalwart.”

“My heart was thumping when I put pen to paper.”

Benedikt Höwedes

It was an emotional decision for Höwedes. “My heart was thumping when I put pen to paper,” he revealed. “Schalke 04 is a great club with amazing fans, a club I am thankful to for developing me as a youth player in the Knappenschmiede academy, giving me the opportunity to make my breakthrough in the Bundesliga as a youngster and handing me the role of captain early on. We have a young team full of potential and ambition. I want to continue shaping its future.”

This is the fourth time that the Schalke man has extended his contract at the club. He has played with the Royal Blues since 2001. Bene started out at his home club TuS Haltern and then SG Herten-Langenbochumm, before joining Schalke and rising through the ranks of the youth system. He then made his Bundesliga debut in October 2007.

Benedikt Höwedes won the DFB Cup with the Royal Blues in 2011, and the following year, took over the role of team captain for the 2011/2012 season. He has now been in that role for more than four and a half years. He has made 206 Bundesliga appearances, scoring eleven goals, while also featuring in 23 DFB Cup and 55 European matches, scoring five goals in each competition. He has made the record number of appearances in Europe for Schalke.

He wrote club history in 2014 when he went to Brazil with the Germany squad for the World Cup. Not only did he play every minute of all seven games for the national team at left back, but he was the first ever Schalke player to start in a World Cup final and the first ever S04 player to win the World Cup. Höwedes is now seen as the Royal Blues’ first 'real' world champion.

In total, Höwedes has played in 32 games with the national side, notching two goals. He went to the European Championship in 2012 and won the European U21 Championship with Germany in 2009.