Rodrigo Zalazar: I loved celebrating with the fans

With his goal threat, his desire to attack and get on the ball and his team spirit, Rodrigo Zalazar gave a great example of his ability during his Schalke debut on Sunday in the DFB-Pokal game against FC Villingen 08. He proved exactly why sporting director Rouven Schröder and head coach Dimitrios Grammozis wanted to bring him on board. The Uruguayan was thrilled with his debut: “I am delighted to have scored in my first game. I really enjoyed the match.”

Rodrigo Zalazar

In the 49th minute, Simon Terodde laid the ball off to Zalazar from a Thomas Ouwejan corner, and he didn’t hesitate to slam the ball into the back of the net to give Schalke a 2-1 lead, sparking celebrations as the midfielder immediately ran over to the travelling fans. “This goal means a lot to me. It was an unbelievable feeling when the ball hit the net. I was so happy to celebrate with the fans. I hope for many more moments like this in future,” said the 21 year old.

I hope for many more moments like this in future.

Rodrigo Zalazar

Zalazar is now very much looking forward to his first match at the VELTINS-Arena. “I can hardly wait,” explained the central midfielder, who hopes to start in the upcoming 2. Bundesliga fixture against FC Erzgebirge Aue on Friday, 13th August – the day after his 22nd birthday. “I cannot wait to play in front of our fans, give them something to cheer about, and celebrate success with the team,” said the right-footer, who knows this league well having spent last season on loan at FC St. Pauli from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Zalazar has fond memories of Aue

He played 34 games for the northern club, scoring six goals and getting six assists, with two of those goal contributions coming against Aue. During a 3-1 win against them on matchday 28 last season, Zalazar set up teammate Luca Zander from a free-kick to give FC St. Pauli the lead just seconds into the game. Shortly after half time, he got on the scoresheet himself to double St. Pauli’s advantage.

The Uruguayan wants to play a key role at Schalke. Zalazar has enjoyed his first few days in Gelsenkirchen. “The team have been great, I was made to feel welcome right away,” commented the Royal Blues’ new number 10. He went on to stress the importance of team spirit for the season ahead: “2. Bundesliga games are very tough, and it’s vital that everyone is on the same page and is working towards a common goal.”

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