Naldo: I know what each individual is capable of

Naldo played a total of 163 competitive games for VfL Wolfsburg between 2012 and 2016, winning the DFB-Pokal in 2015. “I had a great time with the Wolves. I look back on it fondly,” says the Brazilian, who still stays in contact with his old teammates like Marcel Schäfer, who is now sporting director at the club, Josuha Guilavogui and Maximilian Arnold. The friendships will have to be put on hold on Saturday (21/11) though, says Schalke’s assistant coach.

Naldo

“We’ll definitely chat after the final whistle,” says Naldo. “But in the week before the game, all of my attention is reserved for the upcoming task. We put in a much better performance last time out in Mainz, and now we want to take the next step and finally get some rewards.”

Full of confidence against his ex-club

The 38-year-old, who has been part of the Royal Blues’ coaching set-up for less than two months, thinks the side is going in the right direction. “The team is alive and kicking. The boys are performing as a group and give 100% in training,” says Naldo. That’s why he’s going into the game against his ex-club full of confidence. “We’re ready to give it everything for 90 minutes.”

My new job is very exciting.

Naldo

He is giving his all in his new role. “My new job is very exciting. I learn something new every day and spend a lot of time in and around the club both before and after training,” reports Naldo. “Manuel Baum and I work well together and stay in constant contact. He’s a great person who gives everything for the success of the team and thinks a lot about improving the team every day. I do my best to support him in this and also try to bring in my past experience as a footballer.

Naldo also speaks to the players a lot, a number of whom played alongside him for Schalke before he retired. “I’m always trying to give them positive feedback to create a good atmosphere, because I know what each individual is capable of,” he says. And it’s that potential that the team will show out on the pitch against Wolfsburg at the weekend, Naldo believes.

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