The captain of FC Schalke 04, Benedikt Höwedes is an up-and-coming central defender who will be eager for a piece of the action at UEFA EURO 2012. He played a prominent role in Germany's European Under-21 success in 2009 and also starred in Schalke's run to the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
• Höwedes joined Schalke at the age of 13 and made his debut on 3 October 2007 in a UEFA Champions League game at Rosenborg BK; reached the semi-finals with Germany at the 2007 UEFA European Under-19 Championship in Austria.
• Developed into a regular at the heart of the Schalke defence during the 2008/09 season and took Germany to the UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals with a last-minute winning goal in the second leg of the play-off against France.
• Starred at the U21 finals in Sweden, starting all five games and scoring his team's first goal of the tournament − in a 2-0 win against Finland.
• Missed just one Bundesliga game in 2009/10 as Schalke finished runners-up to FC Bayern München; scored three goals, including one in a Ruhr derby victory at home against Borussia Dortmund.
• Scored goals in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League against SL Benfica, on matchday six, and at home to FC Internazionale Milano in the quarter-final second leg as the Gelsenkirchen side reached the last four.
UEFA European Under-21 Championship: winner 2009
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