Der Halbfeldflanke & Friends Adventskalender 2020 zu unseren Lieblings-Schalkern. Heute mit Kevin Kurányi von Richard Kharman.

Anmerkung: Richard ist US-Amerikaner und seine Deutsch-Kenntnisse reichen meist nicht zum lesen von Halbfeldflanke Analysen. Trotzdem liest er sie häufig, mit Hilfe von Online Übersetzern.
Über seinen Lieblings-Schalker Kevin Kurányi schreibt er hier auf Englisch. Wenn ihr den Text, wie er sonst immer, automatisch übersetzt lesen möchtet, klickt hier: Google Translate Version.

I have been a fan of Schalke ever since I can recall GolTV broadcasting it in the States. In my fifteen years plus of following the club, I have seen a lot of great players come and go. When you fall for a club, it’s natural to look up the past and read up on all the great players as well. Schalke has a long history and the number of great players that have put on the Royal Blue kit is just as long.

For me though, one player stood out to me. A player who reminded me of, well, me. Minus the football talent of course. Growing up I had always played the striker position. Goals would come easy to me at every level and I enjoyed celebrating goals just as equally.

I remember watching my first Bundesliga match. It was February 11, 2006. I knew nothing about either club. It was Schalke at home to Bayer Levekusen. I only knew of them from European competitions. But as I sat there watching pre-game, I was amazed at the home crowd so tightly packed and waving big and small flags. Nothing like I have ever seen before. At that moment, I knew I had to support this Schalke team.

As I watched the match unfold, I could not believe the goals going in left and right. But above all else, one player stood out to me above them all. This lanky striker wearing the #22 kept my attention, with his flair, well groomed facial hair and passion for the game. This was long before you could pick up a cell phone and Google it. Heck, the term “Google it” wasn’t even invented yet! I kept watching until I heard the name. Kevin Kuranyi. He would go on to score a goal in that epic 7-4 win for Schalke.

Not only was I hooked on Schalke, but also this striker Kevin Kuranyi. I continued to tune in each week to see what amazing goal he would score next. As I learned more about him, the more I was intrigued. We both played striker. We both came from mixed heritage, he was a German-Brazilian-Hungarian-Panamanian. And I thought I was mixed!

Not the only coincidence. As a polyglot, someone who speaks multiple languages, I was amazed to find out Kuranyi also spoke many languages, six to be in fact! Heck, I even made a poor attempt to shave my goatee like Kevin Kuranyi. I am sure it is lurking somewhere on Facebook. When I find it, I will burn it. Hahaha. 😉

It wasn’t until one goal in particular that I knew he was my favorite player. Another date I will not forget, February 20, 2009. It was Revierderby day auf Schalke. It’s always a big match, but both clubs were very close in the standings. There were several players I liked on Schalke but one topped them all for me and it spoke to me in the 20th minute.

Halil Altintop chased the ball down near the far corner flag and with Felipe Santana thinking the ball was going out, the Koenigsblauen player put a cross over, Neven Subotic was supposed to be marking his man but had given the Schalke striker too much room and out of nowhere Kevin Kuranyi produced a bicycle kick finish to boom the ball past Roman Weidenfeller.

This was a sensational strike. Let alone in a huge moment, but in a big game like the Revierderby. To quote the commentator on the world feed, “Oh what a goal! What a magnificent, absolutely stupendous strike from Kevin Kuranyi!” Kuranyi celebrated it and I screamed enthusiastically.

At that moment, I knew this was my favorite player. He has had magical moments before and after that day but to stick a marvelous goal like that against our bitter rivals was the pièce de résistance. After that moment, no matter what he did, I would never speak ill of him.

To this very date, Kuranyi continues to be an ambassador to the club and hopefully he can instill some of his passion in the strikers of our future. Gluck auf!

Adventskalender 2020:
Lieblings-Schalker von Halbfeldflanke & Friends.

Written by Richard Kharman

Richard is a Washington, DC native and a passionate football fan. He hosts two podcasts: SchalkeMerica about Schalke 04 (Twitter, Youtube) and SerieASitdown about the Italian Serie A (Twitter, Youtube). Follow him on Twitter (@R_Kharman) and Instagram (@R_Kharman).

Halbfeldflanke is proud of its international friendships and always thinking of writing more texts in English.

Der Halbfeldflanke & Friends Adventskalender 2020: Lieblings-Schalker