Nabil Bentaleb: I sense plenty of positive development
Nabil Bentaleb has no secrets to hide regarding his disappointment at Schalke’s five Bundesliga defeats to start the season. “That got to me a bit,” said the midfielder. Despite the losing the streak, the team continued to believe in itself and worked hard. They have been rewarded for this effort in recent weeks. “I sense plenty of positive development at the club,” said the Algerian.
Every successful result gives the team more self-confidence. It is therefore no surprise to hear Bentaleb say “the 5-2 win over Nürnberg felt very good!” However, the victory over ‘Der Club’ is not the only reason for the Algerian to be feeling good. “I feel we have performed well in recent weeks, additionally in the Champions League.” The Royal-Blues are still unbeaten in this competition.
Bentaleb believes this unbeaten record will remain intact after the top-of-the-table showdown with FC Porto on Wednesday (21:00 CET). “We will give everything,” said the 24 year old, who will face Algerian teammate Yacine Brahimi in the Estadio do Dragao. “He is a close friend of mine. However, the friendship will be muted for 90 minutes. My sole aim is to defeat Yacine,” said the midfielder.
The high intensity of matches isn’t bad. We are all professional footballers and love to have the opportunity to prove ourselves
Just as he did a fortnight ago, Bentaleb hopes to start against the Portuguese champions and doesn’t mind if he is deployed in a defensive or attacking role. “I simply want to help my team. The coach will play me in a position where I can best showcase my strengths,” explains Bentaleb. It is also important for coach Domenico Tedesco to speak with him regarding the tasks at hand. Bentaleb believes “this gives me a good feeling.”
Bentaleb knows that Schalke still have seven matches to play before Christmas and this run will require a lot of mental strength. However, he also admits: “the high intensity of matches isn’t bad. We are all professional footballers and love to have the opportunity to prove ourselves. We worked hard in pre-season to seize our opportunity in the Champions League. Playing in these matches is a reward for any footballer.”