Ahmed Kutucu: Just an unbelievable feeling
The Schalke players could hardly hide their joy after beating Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-1 and advancing to the quarter-final of the DFB-Pokal. Domenico Tedesco and Friedhelm Funkel also paid tribute to Rudi Assauer, who passed away on Wednesday.
We’re very happy that we’ve advanced through to the quarter-final. It was a well-deserved victory, but we also had periods where we were a bit hesitant. Even at 3-0, we lost our grip on the game and just sat back. As a result of that, we conceded a goal. The substitutions did us good, and we got over the line and won 4-1. The news that Rudi Assauer had passed away definitely had an impact on us. We heard on our way into the dressing room. The players then spoke about it and we did too. Ralf Fährmann is the only one in the team who knew him personally, but all of us know what he meant to this club. The news affected us. It’s nice that we were able to provide a little positive news with the win today.
Schalke were brutally effective and took advantage of our mistakes. We shouldn’t have conceded the goals in the way we did. The players were asleep when we went 1-0 down from the throw-in. We then conceded two goals from set-pieces, which we’ve been defending well this season. We weren’t ready to go up against Schalke’s physical strength. We didn’t bring what we’d been working on onto the pitch, so we deserved to lose. I received the news of Rudi Assauer’s passing as I arrived at the stadium. I was upset because I knew him for many decades. We got on, but we also argued on the touchline. He did things in his own way, but he was always straight with you. He achieved a lot here at Schalke, including the building of the VELTINS-Arena. It’s sad when someone who you’re connected with passes away.
It was a really nice week. I became a father and I scored two goals today. If we put in a good performance against Bayern, it’s the perfect week. It was also good to win this game to clear our heads a little bit ahead of the game in Munich. Our goal is to reach the final, that’s the dream that we have.
I gave my best today and took my goal well. The whole team worked for the win, it was a superb team performance today! It was a different feeling scoring today compared to my goal in Stuttgart. I had a couple of tears in my eyes when the fans went crazy like they did, it was an unbelievable feeling. It was always my goal to play in the VELTINS-Arena and score a goal here.