Schalke 04 is a German football club located in the city of Gelsenkirchen. The team was formed on 24 February 1904 and play in the Bundesliga, the top tier of German football. They are one of the most successful clubs in Germany, having won 12 national championships and seven DFB-Pokals (German Cup). The team colours are blue and white.
Schalke 04 play their home games at the Veltins-Arena, which has a capacity of 54,454 spectators. The club’s most successful period was from the 1960s to the 1980s, when they won four Bundesliga titles and two DFB-Pokals. After a period of decline, Schalke 04 recovered to win the 2006–07 Bundesliga championship, their first league title in over two decades. They also reached the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final, which they lost to Barcelona, and the 2007 DFB-Pokals Final, which they lost to Borussia Dortmund. In 2012, they reached the final of the DFB-Pokals for the second time in three years, but lost to Bayern Munich. Schalke 04 has a strong rivalry with Borussia Dortmund, with their matches known as the Revierderby.
The club was founded on 24 February 1904, in the southern city of Gelsenkirchen. Originally, the club played association football, but in 1906 they joined the newly formed German Football Association. The club enjoyed early success, winning the Westphalia district championship in 1908 and 1909. In 1916, Schalke 04 joined the newly formed Gauliga Nordrhein, one of the top regional leagues in Nazi Germany. After World War II, the club played in the Oberliga West, the post-war West German second division. In 1963, Schalke 04 were promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time.
Schalke 04 had their first successful season in the Bundesliga in 1964–65, finishing in fourth place. They earned promotion to the Bundesliga for the second time in 1970–71, and finished in second place behind TVB Hanover. Schalke 04 became German champions for the first time in 1972–73, and won the Bundesliga title in 1974–75. The 1974–75 season was their last in the Bundesliga, as they were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga the following year.
Schalke 04 were promoted back to the Bundesliga in 1979–80, and finished in first place. After finishing in fourth place in the Bundesliga in 1982–83, Schalke 04 were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga once again. They returned to the Bundesliga in 1984–85, and finished in second place behind Borussia Mönchengladbach. In the 1990–91 season, Schalke 04 finished in third place in the Bundesliga. They were relegated again in 1992–93, but returned to the Bundesliga the following season.