Rabbi Matondo: Everyone is desperate to start

Last Saturday was a great day at the office for Rabbi Matondo as the 19-year-old celebrated a 3-1 victory at league leaders RB Leipzig in a game which also saw him score his first Bundesliga goal in his first start this season.

“It was fantastic to get such a convincing win against such a top team,” said the Wales international. The performance of the fans in the stands was just as convincing as that of the players on the pitch as the supporters made what was an away fixture, feel like a home game. “The support was immense,” recalled Matondo, “I just hope we can continue to make the fans happy.”

Matondo scores his first Bundesliga goal

After goals from Salif Sané and Amine Harit, it was the pacey attacking player, who scored in the 59th minute to make it 3-0. After a pass from Suat Serdar, Amine Harit turned on the afterburners, drove the ball forward and waited until just the right moment to pick out Matondo, who put the ball beautifully past Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi into the net. It was a first Bundesliga goal for Matondo, who has finally arrived at Schalke. “It wasn’t easy for me in the beginning, because we weren’t playing well,” said the youngster, who put the small setback behind him and is now flourishing at Schalke.

I think I'm more of a winger, but I know how to play as a striker.

Rabbi Matondo

He wanted to help the team in particular with his speed and his dribbling. “And hopefully with more goals,” said the smiling Welshman, who was played as a striker by head coach David Wagner in Leipzig instead of on the wing. “I’ve played as a striker already during my time at Cardiff City,” revealed the 19-year-old. After a long injury break, he was then put on the wing by his former coach. “I think I’m more of a winger, but I know how to play as a striker,” said Matondo.

With hard work comes success

He also emphasises that the Royal Blues are not a team that focus solely on countering, but that these rapid counter-attacks have become quite a strength. In general, the style of play implemented by David Wagner fits very well with the team, Matondo said. The current success of the Welshman leads back to the performance of the team. “We have a lot of good players in the team, everyone feels good, everyone is fit,” said the attacker and added that: “Everyone gives everything in training for a place in the starting lineup.” Physically, the team is at a very high level, Therefore, he was convinced, “that we can put in similar performances in the coming games. We are moving forward with passion and determination.”

The Knappen will meet 1. FC Cologne next Saturday (5/10/19, 18,30 CEST) – a game that wll require a different mindset than the one in Leipzig, as Matondo well knows. “It’s going to be difficult, but if we play how the coach wants us to, we’ll win again!”

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