Hoppe springs eternal: American hat-trick hero saves Schalke’s losing record blushes

January 11 – Schalke 04 have avoided great embarrassment. On Saturday, the club from Gelsenkirchen finally picked up three points after 30 Bundesliga games without a win, leaving the all-time German winless record in the hands of Tasmania Berlin.

The Ruhr club dispatched Hoffenheim 4-0 with Matthew Hoppe in a star role. He became the first-ever American player to score a hattrick in the Bundesliga. Armine Harit assisted all three of Hoppe’s goals before completing the comfortable win with a strike of his own.

It was Schalke’s 04 first win since a 2-0 result over local rivals Borussia Monchengladbach on January 17, 2020. The barren spell lasted 358 days and the club’s victory at the weekend ensured that Tasmania Berlin can keep boasting with some degree of pride about their unenviable record. After Schalke’s win, the Berlin club simply wrote on its Facebook page: “How cool is that?”

Tasmania established the record of 31 games without a win during the 1965-66 season, the only time the club has played in the German topflight.

“The relief is big, huge even,” said Schalke’s head of sport Jochen Schneider. “Now we have to move on. I hope we keep fighting.”

Schalke are no longer the Bundesliga’s red lantern. They were replaced by Mainz 05 at the bottom of the table after the 05 club went down 2-0 against Eintracht Frankfurt. Schalke however face an uphill battle to remain in the Bundesliga. They have had four coaches already this season following Christian Gross’ appointment in December. The club also labours under a debt of €200 million.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1610879131labto1610879131ofdlr1610879131owedi1610879131sni@o1610879131fni1610879131