Ozan Kabak: I’m getting stronger with every match
Ozan Kabak returns from international duty with Turkey in a rich vein of form. Senol Günes and his side were able to seal their qualification to the European Championships with a 0-0 draw against Iceland. Just a few days later Kabak, along with Ahmed Kutucu, celebrated his first ever appearance for his national team in a 2-0 win against Andorra.
“I’m delighted that I’ve made my debut for my country and that we’ve qualified for EURO 2020,” said the centre back after a solid performance in the heart of the defence against Andorra. He is now hoping that his team will go far in next summer’s competition.
Kabak believes that making his international debut has given him even more momentum, “It’s given me even more match practice and I’m getting stronger with every match I play.” The 19-year-old is determined to develop both at club level, and at international level.
International debuts for Kutucu and Kabak
Kabak emphasises how special it was to make his debut at the same time as his teammate Ahmed Kutucu, “It’s a great story; Ahmed was called up to the first team from the U21s and was given his debut straight away.” “We get on really well and support each other, both on and off the pitch,” Kabak continues.
Kabak has now established himself as a key player at Schalke. “It wasn’t easy to break into the starting XI because the team was playing really well,” explains the defender who missed the start of the season due to a foot injury. “I was over the moon when I got my first opportunity, and even more so when I scored my first goal,” Kabak adds. He is now the only proper centre back available for David Wagner after injuries to Benjamin Stambouli, Salif Sané and Matja Nastasić.
I was over the moon when I got my first opportunity, and even more so when I scored my first goal.
Nastasić finally made his return to team training this week, to the delight of Kabak, “Matja is a very good and experienced defender. I hope that his experience can benefit me even further.”
Going to Bremen with confidence
Kabak is very pleased with how the team is developing. Their goal is to continue winning as many games as possible, and to try to keep up with the teams at the top of the table. He describes their upcoming opponents, Werder Bremen, as “physically strong” but he is also confident “that we will take the three points back to Gelsenkirchen.” Werder are currently on a winless run of seven Bundesliga matches, however the Turkey international doesn’t believe that to be of any advantage, “They will start the game with a high intensity. We need to play as well as we can to win the game.”