Christian Gross has been appointed the new first team head coach of Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04. The Swiss signed a contract until the end of the season on Sunday (27.12.20). The coaching staff will be rounded out by incumbent coaches Onur Cinel, Naldo, Matthias Kreutzer and goalkeeping coach Simon Henzler.
“For Schalke 04, the next five months will be all about managing to stay in the Bundesliga. Christian Gross has shown in both Germany and England that he can successfully take on challenges like this,” said Jochen Schneider, Head of Sport and Communication. “Christian Gross will give the team clear instructions and will set us on the right path with his unwavering expectations. We are sure of that.”
Gross himself has a clear idea of how the club can achieve survival this season: “We have to be goal-oriented and work towards results. I want to feel the players’ enthusiasm at all times. We need to have a good atmosphere in and around the team to be successful again. I will give everything so that we can accomplish our goals together.”
The 66-year-old is no stranger in Germany. The football coach took over 15th-place VfB Stuttgart in December 2009 and led them to a sixth-place finish. He also enjoyed success at English club Tottenham Hotspur, where he was able to save the club from relegation in 1997/98 thanks to a strong second half of the season. Gross has also coached at Swiss clubs FC Wil, Grasshopper Club Zürich, FC Basel and BSC Young Boys, winning the league six times and the cup five times.
The Royal Blues’ new head coach has also had success outside of Europe: Gross has won the league title with al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia, where he was last employed and where he has had three spells, as well as two national cups. He has also taken charge of Egyptian side Zamalek SC, situated in Cairo, where he won the CAF Confederation Cup two seasons ago – Africa’s equivalent of the Europa League.
Gross played for several clubs in his home country between 1972 and 1988. He also played in Germany – and not far away from Gelsenkirchen – in 1980/81. The midfielder made 29 Bundesliga appearances for VfL Bochum, scoring four goals.
(FC Schalke 04)