Stephan Markus Cabizares Schröck (born 21 August 1986) is a Filipino professional footballer who captains both Philippines Football League (PFL) club Ceres–Negros and the Philippines national team. He plays mainly as a midfielder, though earlier in his career he played mostly as a full-back and has also been deployed as a winger.
Born in Germany to a German father and Filipino mother, Schröck was a youth international for Germany, but switched to the Philippines at the senior level. He began his professional career in Germany with Greuther Fürth and was part of the squad that won the 2011–12 2. Bundesliga. He then played in the Bundesliga with 1899 Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt before returning to Greuther Fürth in 2014. He joined Filipino club Ceres (later Ceres–Negros) on loan in 2016, with a permanent transfer taking place the following season. Schröck helped Ceres–Negros win three consecutive PFL titles from 2017 to 2019, and received the Golden Ball award in 2019.
Schröck started at SpVgg Greuther Fürth in 2001, going through the junior teams and made the leap into the professional squad in the 2004–05 season. In April 2008, Schröck signed a two-year contract extension with Greuther Fürth. Two years later, in March 2010, Schröck again extended his contract for another two years. Although he revealed that he could have gone to five other clubs with better financial benefits, he chose to stay to repay the backing that the club has always shown him. He also wanted to reach the Bundesliga with the club and believed it would be an achievable target before his contract expired. In the 2011–12 season, his final year at the club, he helped the team win the league title and gain promotion to the Bundesliga.
In late March 2012, Schröck signed a three-year deal with Bundesliga side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. He made his debut in a 4–0 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt but was sent off after 74 minutes. Schröck started and put up a great performance against league leaders Bayern Munich on 3 March 2013. He came as close as anyone to scoring for Hoffenheim with a lovely shot which Starke saved well.
On 27 June 2013, Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt announced that they had signed Schröck on a two-year deal. He made his debut against champions FC Bayern Munich and was charged with marking Franck Ribéry. Schröck scored his first goal for Frankfurt in a Europa League match against APOEL Nicosia.
Return to Greuther Fürth
After only a season with Frankfurt, Schröck returned to Greuther Fürth. However, in January 2016, it is reported that Fürth has allowed Schröck to look for a new club excusing him from two weeks of training. He is set to leave the club and prematurely end his contract. Schröck wanted to play as an attacking midfielder instead of a right back, however the position is contested among other players of the club such as Sebastian Freis.
On 15 April 2017, Greuther Fürth and Schröck reported having mutually agreed to release Schröck, as confirmed by an official post by the club on its website and Schröck himself through a Facebook post.
Loan to Ceres
On 13 January 2016, United Football League side, Ceres F.C. announced that they have signed Schröck to play for the club on a loan basis at least until August. Ceres' rival, Global F.C. reportedly tried to get Schröck to play for them.
Schröck made his UFL debut for Ceres at the 2016 UFL Cup in a 2–1 win over Loyola Meralco Sparks F.C.. Schröck was played as a winger in the front but did not score a single goal despite his numerous attempts. Prior to his Ceres stint, he is often played as a midfielder or defender while playing in Germany. Ceres coach Ali Go remarked that the club is still exploring what position is the best for Schröck adding that with a few more games, the footballer would get used to the Philippine and Asian-style of play.
Schröck's loan agreement to Ceres which was originally to be ended in August was extended until January 2017.
On 27 April 2017, it was confirmed on Ceres' Twitter account, that Filipino-German fan favorite, Schröck, would be returning to the team.
Schröck was born to a German father and a Filipino mother, making him eligible to represent Germany or the Philippines at international level. He initially chose Germany, as he has represented the country at U-18, U-19 and U-20 levels.
Under previous FIFA statutes, Schröck could have switched to the Philippines until his 21st birthday but he didn't take that option, neither was he called up during this time. In early October 2008, the Philippine Football Federation wanted to get him to play for the Philippines in 2008 AFF Championship qualification tournament. However, he was not able to as he was already over the age of 21. FIFA eventually removed the age limit on players switching nations in early June 2009, making him eligible again to switch to the Philippines. In July 2010, Schröck announced his intention to play for the Philippines in the 2010 AFF Championship qualification tournament in Laos, but was ultimately left out of the squad as his documents had not been processed in time.
2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers
It was only in March 2011 where he went to the Philippines to finalize his documents and was tipped to be ready for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification first round. He eventually made his full international debut for the Philippines in the first leg of the first round of the World Cup qualifiers on 29 June 2011 against Sri Lanka, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–1 draw and also receiving a yellow card. In the second leg on 3 July 2011, he again played the full 90 minutes in a 4–0 win. However, he received another yellow card and was suspended along with team captain Alexander Borromeo for the first-leg of the second round qualifiers against Kuwait. The Philippine Football Federation appealed to FIFA to rescind his suspension, but was unsuccessful.
Without Schröck, the Philippines lost 3–0 to Kuwait in the first-leg. Believing the deficit could be overturned, he came back for the second leg against the wishes of his club. He would score the opening goal from 25 yards deep into the first half injury time, but was not enough to help the Philippines make a comeback as they eventually lost 2–1.
2014 AFC Challenge Cup
Schröck scored his second international goal less than a minute into the second half of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifier against Cambodia. The Philippines would go on to win 8–0. Two days later, he was awarded by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as the MVP in the 1–0 win over Turkmenistan, helping the Philippines qualify for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup.
On 4 August 2014, Schröck announced he was "resigning" from the Philippines national team, effectively announcing his international retirement to "pursue new challenges". He then revealed that he resigned as a protest against coach Thomas Dooley and was effectively giving an ultimatum, saying he would no longer play for the country while Dooley remained coach. Schröck went on to criticize the team management, claiming there were internal problems in the Philippine Football Federation and labelled the team a "chicken farm", a German expression meaning highly disorganized, before saying he felt the veteran players were not being respected.
The dispute seemed to have been finally settled on 10 March 2015, when reports indicated that Schröck had apologized to Dooley. This was later confirmed by the player on his official Facebook page.
On 12 November 2015, he played his first game for the team as captain against Yemen. Schröck's relationship with Dooley worsened after the 2016 AFF Championship and he never received a call up to the national team for the rest of Dooley's tenure as coach which lasted until 2018.
2019 AFC Asian Cup
Schröck received a call up to the Philippine national team for a training camp in Bahrain under new head coach, Scott Cooper and was part of the squad that played in the 2018 AFF Championship where the Philippines mentored by Sven-Göran Eriksson finished as semifinalists for the fourth time.
He also played in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup as captain of the team. The Philippines lost all three of their matches. The Philippines' lone goal at the tournament was scored by Schröck in the last match against Kyrgyzstan. It was scored from a far away free kick; the ball was meant to be head butted in but no player reached it- and to the goalie's surprise- it bounced and made it into the back of the net.
After the AFC Asian Cup, Schröck expressed his intention to retire from the national team citing his age and plans to focus with his family and club career.
2019 Southeast Asian Games
In late November 2019, Schröck was subsequently one of the two over-age players to be included in Philippines U-22 squad for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held in Philippines.
- Scores and results list the Philippines' goal tally first.
|1.||28 July 2011||Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila||Kuwait||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2.||24 March 2013||Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila||Cambodia||2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualification|
|3.||15 October 2013||Panaad Stadium, Bacolod||Pakistan||2013 Philippine Peace Cup|
|4.||8 September 2015||Philippine Sports Stadium, Bocaue||Uzbekistan||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|5.||16 January 2019||Rashid Stadium, Dubai||Kyrgyzstan||2019 AFC Asian Cup|
|6.||10 September 2019||GFA National Training Center, Dededo||Guam||2022 FIFA World Cup qualification|
Schröck's mother is from Parang, Maguindanao but grew up in Cebu while his father is German. Schröck's parents separated by the time he was 10, staying with his mother. On 28 May 2011 in Germany, Schröck married Pina, whom he knew since childhood.
- Greuther Fürth
- 2. Bundesliga: 2011–12
- Philippines Football League: 2017, 2018, 2019
- Copa Paulino Alcantara: 2019
- United Football League Cup runner-up: 2016
- Philippine Sportswriters Association Footballer of the Year (Mr. Football Award): 2013, 2019
- Philippines Football League Golden Ball: 2019
- ASEAN Football Federation Best XI: 2019