Holger Badstuber is eager for the second half of the 2016-17 season to begin to get back on the playing field following his loan move from Bayern Munich to Schalke 04 earlier this week.
The 27-year-old has been plagued with injuries throughout this career – from a ruptured knee ligament to a torn thigh muscle and a broken ankle. Badstuber held so much promise after being part of Joachim Löw’s 2010 World Cup squad after only breaking into the Bayern Munich first-team that season as a 19-year-old.
Badstuber was a first-team regular for the Bavarians for three season and was also part of the Germany squad that reached the semi-finals at Euro 2012. Since then it has been one injury after another.
The 6’3″ defender has been limited to only one full game in the UEFA Champions League, one substitute appearance totalling 28 minutes in the Bundesliga and a further substitute appearance in the DFB Pokal.
As a result, Badstuber has moved to Gelsenkirchen for the remainder of the season, with two aims. One is find his feet as a professional footballer again and the other is to help Schalke succeed.
Badstuber is quoted as saying:
“Looking back irritates me. For me, the past doesn’t really matter. I’ve changed as a person and changed mentally. I’m older and more mature, but my body also feels very, very good. I don’t want to be the old Holger Badstuber any more. I’d like to be a new Holger Badstuber.”
The 31-time German international spoke to former-Schalke and current Bayern Munich members, Manuel Neuer and assistant coach Hermann Gerland before agreeing to move on loan:
“I spoke to Manuel. He knows the club inside out and can give me some tips. He told me that he’ll always be ready to answer any questions. Hermann just told me that it’s a great part of the world!”
If Holger Badstuber can find the form he showed in his late teens and early 20s it would be a huge acquisition for Schalke as they look to qualify for next season’s Champions League, either via the league standings or winning the Europa League.
The defender revealed Schalke’s ambition:
“Europe is definitely going to play a role. Schalke have real ambition. With the quality – and the potential – here, then you have to have [high] expectations.
“I’ve been training fully for the last four months. I’m used to pressure, I grew up with it. This is definitely an important time for me. I’m coming from a club where the mentality is that winning is normal. I want to bring that mentality to Schalke. It’s a hungry team with a lot of young players and a coach who I rate very highly. These are all things that make for a challenge, and I always like taking on challenges.”