Rodrigo Zalazar: We need to keep climbing up the table!

There was huge applause for Rodrigo Zalazar from the travelling support when he was substituted in the final minute of regular time of FC Schalke 04’s 2-0 victory over local rivals VfL Bochum on Saturday (4/3). The midfielder directly contributed to both goals, providing the cross which led to Manuel Riemann’s own goal, and then taking the corner which was put away but Marius Bülter to double the Royal Blues’ advantage.

 “I saw the gap and said to myself: now is the time!” revealed the 23-year-old, who had been working on the corner-kick routine in the week leading up to the game at Castroper Straße. The thought made Zalazar chuckle, as “it hadn’t worked so well in training, but fortunately we were able to execute it very well in the game.” 

I saw the gap and said to myself: now is the time!

Rodrigo Zalazar

The set-piece move was also effective due to the fact that Bochum didn’t know what Schalke had planned. “Bülti took it brilliantly,” Zalazar praised his teammate, who scored Schalke’s second in the 79th minute to put the local derby to bed. “I’m really happy we were able to give something back to the fans. They’ve always stuck by us, in good and bad times. It’s simply amazing,” commented Zalazar. 

Passion, determination, and team spirit

The three points saw Schalke climb up one place in the league standings, and they are currently level on points with 15th place, something which has left the Uruguayan very satisfied following the derby win. However, he was also quick to emphasise that that is by no means the end of the journey. “We need to keep climbing up the table. I believe in our team and am convinced we can stay up. We need to keep playing with this passion, this determination and this team spirit. If we do, anything is possible!”

Anything is also possible during next Saturday’s Revierderby (11/3). “It’s certainly going to be a special game. I’m really looking forward to the fixture at the VELTINS-Arena,” admitted Zalazar, who certainly has great respect for the recent results of S04’s next opponents. “They’re in a good vein of form – but so are we. Our six-game unbeaten run will only further build our self-confidence. Together with the fans, we can also claim an immensely positive result in the derby!” 

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