Marko Pjaca: Strong team, outstanding coach
Medical complete, contract signed, new teammates met and first interview behind him. It was a busy first day for Marko Pjaca in the Royal Blue of Schalke. The Croatia international spoke to schalke04.de about the move, his position, good talks with Domenico Tedesco and advice from Benedikt Höwedes.
Marko, welcome to our club! Lots of clubs were interested in you and you decided to come to Schalke. Why is that?
It was just the best option for me. I like the club and its ambition. The team have had a great season so far and they have an outstanding manager in Domenico Tedesco. In my opinion, Schalke are not second in the table by coincidence, but as a result of excellent work in the last few months.
What aims have you set out for yourself for your time at Schalke?
I want to help out; so that the team, the staff and the fans can all look back on a successful year. It’s tight in the Bundesliga table; a lot of teams are close to one another. It will be tense, but from what I’ve seen in recent weeks, observing from afar, the team appears to be very ambitious.
Benedikt Höwedes had only good things to say about Schalke.
What’s your favourite position to play in?
Left wing, attacking. I can play further back as well, though, the same on the right. I feel comfortable playing in the middle as well. I’m versatile and will play wherever the manager puts me.
Domenico Tedesco holds your abilities in very high regard…
That’s nice to hear. The talks I had with the manager were very important to me. He told me what his plans were, which I liked. This was a big factor in my decision.
Did you get any advice from Benedikt Höwedes about our club as well?
Of course, I was always going to. Bene and I were neighbours in Turin. He only had good things to say about Schalke and assured me that I couldn’t go wrong moving there.
In March you sustained a cruciate ligament rupture. Is the injury still causing you problems?
No, that’s completely behind me now. I am pain-free and fit. I can go straight into training with the team here and I look forward to my first session.