Kerim Calhanoglu: My teammates took the pressure off me

Left-back Kerim Calhanoglu made his first-team debut for FC Schalke 04 during Friday’s goalless draw at home to 1. FSV Mainz 05 (5/3). The 18-year-old, who had only featured for the U19s so far, put in a good performance. “I had butterflies in my stomach when I heard I was going to start the game,” he said after the game.

Kerim Calhanoglu

Calhanoglu told his family the news straight after finding out. “They were really proud of me,” said Calhanoglu, who joined S04 from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in summer 2020 and signed his first professional contract in September. The youngster also had a lot of support from his teammates both before and during the game. “They took the pressure off me and said I should keep going even if I make mistakes. That lifted a burden from my shoulders. I just simply tried to put in a solid performance and help the team out,” commented Calhanoglu.

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