Hamza Mendyl: I like getting the fans excited
New Royal Blue Hamza Mendyl has been training with his new teammates since Monday. The 20-year-old spoke to Schalke 04 about his move from Lille, his relationship with Amine Harit and what has impressed him most in his first few days.
Hamza, welcome to Schalke! What impressions have you made of the Royal Blues thus far?
Thanks! I am delighted to be here. The first few days have gone well. Schalke is a big club in Germany and I already had a positive outlook and this was all just backed up after my arrival. What fascinates me the most is how many fans turn up every day to watch us train.
Were the fans an important factor in your decision to move here?
I know how much of an important role they play in the club and I like that a lot. I’m interested in the project here at Schalke a lot too. The coach gives the young players a chance. He knows how he has to handle them to improve them. I hope I can make the same progress.
I know how much of an important role the fans play in the club and I like that a lot.
One of the Schalke players you already know very well…
Amine Harit and have already played together for Morocco. It always helps to have a familiar face in the team. He told me about the club beforehand. He said what a great club it is and how good the coach was. He has also helped to me to settle in. He is like a brother to me.
How is communication with other team members going?
Very good. It helps me that there are already so many other French-speaking players in the squad. But I want to learn German as quickly as possible.
It’s never easy to move to a foreign country as a young player – from a sporting perspective too.
I know the football here is a little bit quicker than in France. The Bundesliga is up there with the best leagues in Europe. But I want to fit into that as soon as possible The team has welcomed me in. Privately it will not take me long to fit in here. My parents came with me to Germany and I will soon be moving in with my girlfriend Maroua, and we are getting married in December.
As well as Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal football the Royal Blues are also in the Champions League.
Not a lot of players my age have a chance to play in this competition. I would never have thought I would get this chance so early. I want to use the chance and help the team advance.
What goals have you given yourself?
I just want to keep getting better as far as personal goals are concerned and get the best out of myself. I have a lot of self confidence in myself and I want make sure I am on the pitch. I will give everything for the Royal Blues out there.
Where do you see your best position on the pitch, and what can Schalke fans expect from you?
I play on the left side and have an offensive mindset. I like getting the fans exciting and getting them involved in the game. Otherwise I don’t always like speaking about myself. You will have to wait to see me in action and then you will know my qualities.
Have you got any idols who you love watching?
Big role models I don’t have, no. I watch a lot of football and am always trying to learn. But I want to stay as myself and forge my own path.
The coach gives the young players a chance. He knows how he has to handle them to improve them.
You will have the number 3 shirt. Why did you take this number?
I like this number and am delighted that I can wear it here. I have no got a specific reason for it, so it does not have a great meaning for me.
Saturday sees Schalke open their Bundesliga account against Wolfburg. Do you think it’s possible you could make your debut in that game?
I would definitely like that. I have been training since Monday and have been giving it my all. But the final decision will be that of the coach.