Stevens replaces fatigue-hit Rangnick at Schalke

Berlin: Schalke 04 on Tuesday revealed they have appointed popular Dutchman Huub Stevens as the replacement coach for Ralf Rangnick, who quit his post last week after complaining of fatigue.

Stevens coached Schalke between 1996-2002, steering the club to their greatest-ever achievement -- victory in the UEFA Cup final, now the Europa League, against Inter Milan in 1997.

The 57-year-old will take over the Bundesliga club immediately after signing a contract that expires in June 2013.

"I`ve worked here for six years, it`s not just any club," said Stevens on Tuesday in a press conference.

"Once Schalke, always Schalke - I am happy to be back here."

Stevens, who had been in line for the vacant Hamburg job, has signed a two-year contract with the Royal Blues and will make his return to the Schalke bench on Thursday in the Europa League match against Maccabi Haifa.

Loved by the Schalke fans and with a proven record in Gelsenkirchen, there was obvious relief from the club`s bosses at managing to lure the Dutchman back.

"We said, during these difficult times, let`s bring Huub Stevens back home," said club manager Horst Heldt in front of two dozen TV crews.

"I have noticed the fire is still burning in him.

"He can tell you much more about Schalke than I know myself."

After leaving Schalke in 2002, Stevens had spells in charge of several clubs including Hertha Berlin, Cologne, Roda JC, Hamburg, PSV Eindhoven and Red Bull Salzburg, whom he led to the Austrian league title in 2010.

Rangnick had shocked Schalke bosses last week when he revealed he was suffering from burn-out sydrome and said: "After long and careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I need a break.

"I found it incredibly hard to make a decision like this, but my current energy levels are not high enough to succeed and in particular to advance the team and the club."

Bureau Report

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