Naldo: Everyone knows what Schalke means to me!
On Wednesday (30 Sept), a familiar smiling face entered the press conference room at Schalke, greeting the journalists who had tuned in virtually with a friendly "Glück auf". The 38-year-old Brazilian, who has returned to the club as part of Manuel Baum’s coaching staff, was visibly pleased to back with his beloved Schalke.
“I’m over the moon to be back here,” said Naldo, who played for the Knappen from July 2016 until January 2019, finishing second in the 2017/18 Bundesliga season. “I am sure I’ll be able to help the team. Not on the pitch this time, but from the sidelines,” said the former pro, who quickly became a fans’ favourite auf Schalke in his playing days.
Naldo spoke about how fired up he was to take on the job offered to him by sporting director Jochen Schneider. “Everyone knows what Schalke means to me – I enjoyed every single day here as a player,” he said.
Instil the confidence
One of his new tasks is to instil confidence players again, so that they can start performing at the level they’re capable of. “I know a lot of the players in the squad and I know what they’ve got in their locker,” said Naldo, well aware that the club is going through a real rough patch. “You always have to be positive, though,” said the former Schalke centre back, displaying his optimism.
Every player in the team needs to take responsibility.
Naldo himself is also happy to be reunited with the players he still knows from his playing days in Royal Blue, taking them under his wing at the same time. “Every player in the team needs to take responsibility, whether young or old,” he underlined. “The team has to give their all every day, not just at the weekend, and try to push themselves to their limits.” To him, the most important thing is “that the fans are happy again!” Something he too will do everything to achieve.