Berlin - Schalke 04 bid farewell to the Champions League
following a comprehensive 9-2 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid but they hope
their absence will be short-lived with the Ruhr valley club eyeing a top-three
finish in the Bundesliga.
Their round of 16 tie was essentially settled when they were
thrashed 6-1 at home in the first leg with Real also easing to a 3-1 victory
over the Germans on Tuesday to book a last eight berth.
"The Champions League chapter is now unfortunately
closed," said Schalke's Tim Hoogland, who scored their only goal in
"But we have no reason to leave the competition with
our heads hanging low. What is important now is to carve out a chance in the
final league sprint so that we are back in the top European competition next
The top three German teams advance to the Champions League
group stage with the fourth-placed team entering the qualifying rounds.
Schalke's inconsistent season indicated they would struggle
on the tougher European stage but they have climbed up the Bundesliga table in
recent weeks, moving into third past rivals Bayer Leverkusen thanks to last
week's second straight win.
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