Höwedes extends Schalke commitment

"Schalke is a crazy club in a positive kind of way," said captain Benedikt Höwedes as he confirmed that he had agreed a new deal, binding him to FC Schalke 04 until June 2017.

Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04)
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Captain Benedikt Höwedes has extended his contract with FC Schalke 04 by three years until June 2017, celebrating his new deal by leading the Royal Blues to a 2-1 win against Borussia Dortmund in the 142nd Ruhr derby.

Sporting director Horst Heldt said: "Benedikt has been with this club since he was a youngster and he is an absolute key performer." The 25-year-old defender added: "Schalke is a crazy club in a positive kind of way and I feel very, very comfortable here. I know everyone here and I really appreciate my interactions with our fans."

Having made his way through the club's youth ranks, Höwedes made his first-team breakthrough on 3 October 2007, making his professional debut in a UEFA Champions League match against Rosenborg BK three days before his first Bundesliga appearance against Karlsruher SC. A member of the triumphant Germany side at the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, he won the 2010/11 German Cup with Schalke.

Schalke will look to book a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals when they play host to Galatasaray AŞ on Tuesday.