Schalke won their fifth DFB-Pokal title today with a 5-0 reverse of second-flight Duisburg.
Manuel Neuer captained Die Königsblauen to victory on what may be his last appearance for the club. The 25-year-old has told his employers he will not stay in Gelsenkirchen past June 2012, and Bayern Munich are reportedly prepared to pay €25m for him before next season. The Bavarian heavyweights are in talks with Schalke about signing the Germany goalkeeper and it seems to be a case of when, not if, Neuer will go to Munich.
His side dominated the final and he was rarely troubled in goal. Teenage midfielder Julian Draxler got the first and striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored either side of half-time, while goals from midfielder Jose Jurado and defender Benedikt Hoewedes completed the rout. After Borussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga title, Schalke have now completed a Ruhr Valley double.
Having beaten top-tier teams Kaiserslautern and Cologne on their way to the final, Duisburg were deperately outplayed and lacked the firepower to trouble the UEFA Champions League semi-finalists.
The underdogs, who were hit with a host of injuries last week, trailed 3-0 at the break as Peru winger Jefferson Farfan set up all three goals. Draxler, 17, put Schalke ahead when he volleyed home a superb shot from 16 metres on 18 minutes, and Ralf Rangnick's men strengthened their grip on the cup with a second four minutes later. Farfan beat two defenders on the edge of the area and Huntelaar fired home on 22 minutes for the first of his double.
The match was effectively ended as a contest when Farfan fired in a corner, and Duisburg were punished for unwisely leaving Schalke defender Hoewedes unmarked to smash home his close-range header on 42 minutes.
It was 3-0 at the break, but Schalke began the second half with a hiss and a roar and after Huntelaar's pass split the increasingly-porous Duisburg defence, Spanish midfielder Jose Jurado buried his shot into the bottom right of the net.
Huntelaar compounded David Yelldell's miserable night, as the Duisburg goalkeeper could only watch in dismay as the Dutchman's shot rolled over the line on 70 minutes to complete the minnows' misery.