Marc Rzatkowski: I’m making progress every day

Mark Rzatkowski is FC Schalke 04’s new number 18 after the recently out-of-contract midfielder joined the squad a week ago and even played his first minutes in a Schalke shirt for our U23s. The 31-year-old spoke to schalke04.de on his first impressions, his fitness levels, his time without a club and his aims.

Marc Rzatkowski

Mark Rzatkowski on…

…his first impressions:
It’s great to be a part of the team, the lads have really made me feel welcome.

…his fitness levels:
Having been here at Schalke for a week, I can safely say I’ve made progress every day. I got some match practice with the U23s last weekend, playing one half of the game against SV Straelen, and that did me a world of good. I’ve been training a lot recently, but training on your own when you don’t have a club, team training and then playing in a real game are all completely different things. Of course, I’d love to play in the first team as soon possible, and I’ll be ready whenever the coach wants to select me for a matchday squad. I think Dimitrios Grammozis has a good sense for when it will be the right time to do this. I also wouldn’t mind playing for the U23s again, who face Wuppertal. My only wish at this time is simply to play football.

…what it’s like to train when not signed to a club:
I hired a personal trainer to keep fit, and I trained frequently with goalkeeper Marvin Weusthoff of TuS Ennepetal, which meant I’ve been able to work on my finishing. I did really well on my endurance tests recently, and without that, I’m not sure I would have been signed by Schalke.

In a few years, I’d like to look back on my time here and be able to say that I’ve been part of an amazing team.

Marc Rzatkowski

… other offers in the last few weeks and months:
I have been offered some other opportunities recently, but they were not suitable for me. I do look back and consider whether I should have maybe accepted one of these offers, but none of them were the right move for me, and in other instances the clubs themselves have even decided against signing me. I always listened to my gut instinct, and I’m very proud to have become a part of such a big club like FC Schalke 04, I’m really looking forward to it.

… his aims:
Every sportsman wants to achieve as much as possible. Although I’m 31 years old, no one ever stops learning, especially when you’re a footballer. I’m sure I can still develop as a player and that I’ve still got a good few years ahead of me. I’ve already seen and experienced a lot in my career, after playing in Germany I’ve had spells in Salzburg and New York, where I really learnt a lot. Now I want to crack on with the next exciting and hopefully successful chapter of my career. In a few years, I’d like to look back on my time here and be able to say that I’ve been part of an amazing team which helped steer this club back in the right direction.

… his preferred position:
I’m an attacking-minded central midfielder, but I also have no problems with tracking back, I really enjoy that too.

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