FC Schalke 04 presses “the reset button” after a total crash

Schalke 04 has been promoted back to the Bundesliga. A year after the crash, the old master has found himself again.

At the top of the video cube, Mike Büskens spoke of Schalke’s resurrection from the rubble as thousands smashed the pitch in royal blue cheers below. The cheering fans tore up the turf and hauled the battens and posts away. In the middle of it all, the hero of the rise, Simon Terodde, with a blue and white scarf around his neck and a beer bottle in his hand, roared.

“We’ll still be talking about that in a decade or two, about this evening with this dramaturgy,” said Büskens in a hoarse voice and beer-soaked hair: “It was an incredible journey.”

The original Schalke player, who won the UEFA Cup 25 years ago and had stepped in as interim coach for the past two months, recalled the brutal total crash after the decisive 3-2 (0-2) win against FC St. Pauli a year ago: “That was really cruel. What has happened in the twelve and a half months since then is simply sensational.”

The contrasts could not have been more stark: On the night of April 20, 2021, angry fans chased the players around the Veltins Arena after the 0-1 draw in Bielefeld and the fourth descent.

382 days later they roared the old champion back into the Bundesliga after being 2-0 down, stormed the pitch, danced and sang together with the team led by record goalscorer Terodde, who first howled like a bulldog and then roared like he was at Ballermann.

The change of mood, which was extreme even for Schalke 04, was Büskens’ greatest success. “We found our values ​​again by pressing the reset button,” emphasized the 54-year-old, “that’s why the motto for the future is that we remain humble and don’t start being crazy again.”

Terodde saves (once again) FC Schalke 04

One hour after the final whistle, those responsible for Schalke broadcast the press conference on the video cube in order to calm down the exuberant party in the stands and on the pitch a little. Because she threatened to get out of control.

In the crowd in the north curve and when trying to get onto the field via the ditch, several fans were injured, who, according to the police, had to be given first aid and taken to hospital. During the game, the stadium announcer warned again and again that the game would be abandoned when pyrotechnics were burning.

Schalke had once again saved Terodde. With his 28th and 29th goals of the season, the second division record scorer made up for the quick deficit and set the stage for substitute Rodrigo Zalazar’s spectacular winner.

His third promotion to the Bundesliga – after 2017 with VfB Stuttgart and 2019 with 1. FC Köln – particularly upset the 34-year-old. He cried uncontrollably for minutes. “Those are the tears that just have to come out because it’s so beautiful,” said sporting director Rouven Schröder.

This did not only apply to Terodde. “Everyone is drinking, some are crying,” reported team manager Gerald Asamoah from the dressing room, “that’s part of it.” It was just the beginning of a long night of partying.

Also for promotion coach Büskens, who knew shortly after the final whistle how it would end. “I hope my buddy Martin is listening,” he called into the Sky microphone, “he’s celebrating his birthday today, so I’ll come back for a nightcap…”

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