(CNN) -- Real Madrid's Germany international defender Christoph Metzelder is returning to the Bundesliga after signing a three-year contract with title-chasing Schalke, the German club's official Web site has confirmed.
The 29-year-old -- who has endured an injury-ravaged three seasons in Spain -- will be contracted to Felix Magath's side until June 2013.
Metzelder, who spent some time at Schalke as a junior, made his name at the Blues' bitter rivals Borussia Dormund -- winning the Bundesliga title in 2002 and featuring in the Germany side that lost to Brazil in that year's World Cup final.
He also played a crucial role in helping his country to third place on home soil in the 2006 World Cup finals, as well as featuring in the final of Euro 2008, where Garmany lost to Spain 1-0.
Metzelder has won 47 international caps, but a succession of injuries since joining Madrid from Dortmund in 2007 means that he is unlikely to feature in the Germany squad for the South Africa 2010 finals.
Magath revealed he had tried to sign Metzelder when he has in charge of Wolfsburg, telling the Kicker Web site: "At that time I got to know him and came to value him and I am ecstatic that he has chosen us.
"He is not only a former Schalke youth player, but also a player with a real sense of responsibility, a leader."
Schalke are level on points with Bayern munich at the top of the Bundesliga with just two matches left and guaranteed a place in the Champions League next season.