Fußballclub Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 e. V., commonly known as FC Schalke 04 (German: [ʔɛf t͡seː ˈʃalkə nʊl fiːɐ̯]) or simply abbreviated as S04 (German: [ˈʔɛs nʊl fiːɐ̯]), is a professional German association-football club and multi-sports club originally from the Schalke district of Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The “04” in the club’s name derives from its formation in 1904. Schalke has long been one of the most popular professional football teams and multi-sports club in Germany, even though major successes have been rare since the club’s heyday in the 1930s and early 1940s.
Schalke play in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system. As of December 2015, the club has 140,000 members, making it the second-largest sports club in Germany and the sixth-largest sports club in the world in terms of membership.
Other activities offered by the club include athletics (track and field), basketball, handball, table tennis and winter sports.