Russian president Vladmir Putin has praised Schalke for the summer signing of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies told Sport Bild.
Tonnies met Putin to discuss the Winter Olympics, being held in the Russian city of Sochi next year. Schalke have ties to Putin through their main sponsor, the Russian energy company Gazprom.
"We discussed matters regarding the Olympic Games in Sochi, as well as Schalke," he explained.
"Vladimir Putin explicitly praised us for the Boateng transfer. That shows that Kevin-Prince has, from day one, become another face of the club, another figurehead.
"He gives his team-mates security -- he leads. He shows them where it's at and how it's done.
Boateng, 26, returned to the Bundesliga in late August when he left AC Milan to sign for Schalke.
The Berlin-born Ghana international moved for €12 million and has made an immediate impact, scoring twice from central midfield in four appearances.