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DOHA: Bundesliga club Schalke 04 will take confidence from their winter training camp in Doha, says head coach Jens Keller.
The German club who arrived in Doha on January 2 has been training at Aspire Academy during the Bundesliga winter break.
It is the second consecutive year that Schalke, have trained in Doha.
During a press conference at Torch Hotel yesterday, Keller said: “Everything is great here in Doha. The great weather, great places and we’ve had a good couple of days of training. I am sure this training camp will benefit and be very helpful for us. This will be good test.”
As part of their training camp, Schalke 04 will play a friendly match against Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich, who are also in Doha at Al Sadd Stadium today.
The friendly match is a clash that Keller wants to win.
“Of course we want to win the game against Bayern tomorrow (today). We want to see how fruitful the training sessions have been,” said Keller, who took over as Schalke 04 coach in December.
Klass-Jan Huntelaar, who has scored 42 goals in 73 appearances, since joining Schalke 04 from Italian giants AC Milan in 2010, said the players have been training hard.
“We’ve been working very hard. We’re all feeling the exertions of the last few days,” said the Dutch striker.
The 29-year-old recently extended his contract with the German club stating that Schalke 04, who are currently seventh in the Bundesliga are a ‘super club’.
“Schalke is simply a super club,’’ he told German journalists recently.
“The stadium is always full, the fans are great. This club is alive always, in good times and bad. I want to be where the fire burns. There is always something happening here, it’s never boring. I need it,’’ said the Schalke 04 striker.
Prior to signing a new contract that would see him play at the Veltins Arena until 2015, Huntelaar had been linked with a move to the English Premier League. Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool were reportedly interested in signing the 29-year-old, who finished the 2011-2012 season as the Bundesliga’s top goal-scorer with 29 goals.
When asked whether he would like to end his career at the German club, the 6ft 1 inch star, who has previously played for PSV Eindhoven, Heerenveen, Ajax and Real Madrid, replied: “When my contract is done, I’ll be almost 32 and I still want to play from some more years. But I will have to see at the time.”
Schalke 04, who will face Turkish club Galatasaray in the last-16 stage of the Champions League next month, will play their first Bundesliga match on January 18.The Peninsula