Ni hao China: S04 leave for Asia

Schalke 04 left for China on Sunday evening (16/07). The team are flying from Frankfurt to Shanghai, with a short stop in Peking on the way.

The Royal Blues are being led on their trip to Asia by captain and World Cup winner Benedikt Höwedes, although the 29-year-old still hasn't fully recovered from a hernia operation and isn't yet fit enough to resume training. Alessandro Schöpf, the second injured member of the Schalke squad, isn't travelling to China. The Austria international, who injured his cruciate ligament in Leverkusen in April, will stay at home and carry out a rehabilitation programme. 

New signing Bastian Oczipka getting to know new teammates

Confed-Cup winner Leon Goretzka as well as U21 European champions Thilo KehrerMax Meyer and Felix Platte will also not be going on the China trip. The quartet have been granted extra holiday time because of their exertions this summer. The four players are due to take part in the training camp in Mittersill (25th July - 1st August).

Ralph Fährmann and his teammates are looking forward to their trip to China. Copyright: Karsten Rabas Ralph Fährmann and his teammates are looking forward to their trip to China. Copyright: Karsten Rabas

Bastian Oczipka will be in China. The left-back signed a three year contract on Saturday (15/07) and will be able to use the time in the far east. The new signing watched Schalke's 1-0 win over Paderborn from the stands. 21-year-old goalkeeper Denis Wieszolek is also going with the squad to China and will get a taste of life with first team squad. He last appeared between the posts for FC-Astoria Walldorf.

Squad for the tour

Goalkeepers: Ralf Fährmann, Alexander Nübel, Denis Wieszolek
Defenders: Pablo Insua, Benedikt Höwedes, Atsuto Uchida, Coke, Bastian Oczipka, Naldo, Matija Nastasic
Midfielders: Weston McKennie, Johannes Geis, Nabil Bentaleb, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Benjamin Stambouli, Daniel Caligiuri, Luke Hemmerich, Amine Harit, Sidney Sam
Attackers: Franco Di Santo, Fabian Reese, Guido Burgstaller, Haji Wright, Bernard Tekpetey, Donis Avdijaj, Breel Embolo

Friendlies against Besiktas and Inter Milan

Domenico Tedesco's men will play two friendly matches in China against some top opposition. On Wednesday (19/7, 13:50 CEST), Schalke will face Turkish champions Besiktas. Then on Friday (21/07, 13:00 CEST), the Royal Blues will test themselves against Inter Milan in Changzhou. 

Along with the friendlies, the Schalke squad will also train and put on autograph signing sessions, meet and greets as well as other PR activities as part of the tour. All of which fits in nicely with the tour motto, 'Ni hao China'.