Rodrigo Zalazar brimming with self confidence as he fires Schalke to glory

It was the moment that caused the VELTINS-Arena to erupt. With exactly 77 minutes and twelve seconds on the clock, Rodrigo Zalazar slammed the ball off the under-side of the crossbar and into the back of the net. The goal completed Schalke’s thrilling comeback over St. Pauli, which sealed their promotion to the Bundesliga.

Rodrigo Zalazar

Danny Latza won the ball in midfield and after a slick move between Darko Churlinov and Simon Terodde, the ball came to Marius Bütler. The striker charged forwards, with four St. Pauli players for company, but kept his composure and found Rodrigo Zalazar in the penalty area. The midfielder smashed the ball past Dennis Smarsch from ten yards out and sent the home fans wild. “In my opinion, self-confidence is what matters the most. That is something that Mike Büskens gives us. He supports us all the way,” said Zalazar, who was visibly brimming with self confidence when he came on as a substitute in the 67th minute.

In my opinion, self-confidence is what matters the most. That is something that Mike Büskens gives us. He supports us all the way.

Rodrigo Zalazar

The 22-year-old, who scored against St. Pauli earlier in the season, got what proved to be the decisive goal against his former club. Zalazar believes that his success is partly down to the time he spent with The Kriezkickers last season: “That club played a big part in me being able to experience this tonight.” The youngster got six goals and six assists for St. Pauli last season and has been equally consistent this campaign, with five goals and seven assists for Schalke. He also grabbed a goal in the DFB-Pokal.

Attention now turns to ending the season as champions

Zalazar and his teammates made their dreams a reality on Saturday night. The players and fans alike celebrated the success into the early hours of Sunday morning. Despite all the excitement, the season is not over and there is still the small matter of the title to play for. “We still have a game ahead of us next week,” said the Uruguayan, ahead of Sunday’s clash with Nürnberg (15:30 CEST). Training for this game will begin on Wednesday and there is one goal in mind: to end the season as champions of the 2. Bundesliga.

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