“Wanted to stop playing football”: Benito Raman explains Schalke nightmare

“Wanted to stop playing football”
Benito Raman explains Schalke nightmare

Benito Raman comes to FC Schalke 04 with high hopes in 2019. But in his two Bundesliga seasons in Gelsenkirchen, he gets to know the dark side of the business. In the end, the Belgian applies for police protection, thinks about the end of his career and just wants to leave.

The former Schalke professional Benito Raman has spoken out in his Belgian homeland about the catastrophic relegation season of the Royal Blues and confessed that he was about to end his career as a professional footballer. “I wanted to quit football,” said the Belgian in an interview with “Les Sports”.

In the turbulent 2020/21 season with five coaches and only three wins, the relegation in the dressing room, which was becoming apparent at an early stage, was rarely an issue. “We never had the feeling that we would be relegated,” said the 26-year-old: “Until the moment when we were really relegated.” The relegation after a 0-1 defeat at Arminia Bielefeld on matchday 30 hit the club with full force. When they returned to the Schalke stadium, the professionals were greeted by an angry mob. Even if Raman was not in the squad due to an injury, the stories of his teammates were enough for him to make his decision.

“A player was followed home by eleven Albanians. He had to flee his house and go to sleep in a hotel. Yes, I was scared too. We were entitled to police protection and I applied for it. Patrolled for two or three weeks a private protection company in front of my house. Especially when we had to stay in quarantine at the club for eleven days. I didn’t want anything to happen to my wife or son, “said Raman, who then only wanted to choose one path: the one Gelsenkirchen back to Belgium.

“If I had to stay at Schalke for half a season, I would have stopped playing football. I was fed up,” said the current RSC Anderlecht player and coach Vincent Kompany, who is more likely not to make the mistakes Raman Christian Gross, one of the five Schalke coaches last season, attributes.

“He didn’t even know our name, we had no tactical training,” said Raman, recalling an incident before the 4-0 defeat at the start of the second half against Bayern Munich. “The day before the game against Bayern we played on mini soccer goals and didn’t prepare tactically. He once asked a player who had been injured for a long time: ‘Ah, are you injured?'”