A breeze of optimism swept through Gelsenkirchen on Thursday after Schalke 04 rescued their otherwise mediocre season with a surprise spot in the quarterfinals following a 3-1 win over Valencia. Farfan fired a brace.
Leading up to their qualification for the last eight for only the second time, Schalke had to endure months of sharp criticism following a lacklustre Bundesliga season.
Only days ago the future looked bleak with the team struggling just five points off the relegation playoff spot in the Bundesliga and hopes of international football quickly fading as fans directed their anger against coach Felix Magath.
Hours before the game against Valencia media reported Schalke had decided to terminate Magath's contract at the end of the season, two years early with the coach saying he knew nothing about it.
Their 4-2 aggregate win over Valencia after Wednesday's victory in front of a surprisingly supportive home crowd and a 1-0 win over holders Bayern Munich last week that sent them through to the German Cup final seem to have turned