Matija Nastasic: 100 Bundesliga appearances for Schalke means a lot to me

Matija Nastasic was inducted into the ‘100 club’ against SC Paderborn 07 at the weekend. The centre half speaks about reaching this milestone, the upcoming game against Mainz and why he’s looking forward to facing Bayern Munich in the next round of the DFB Pokal.

Matija Nastasic

Matija, you made your 100th Bundesliga appearance for Schalke against Paderborn. How much does this mean to you?
I’m very proud to have even been given the chance to play for Schalke in the first place. It means a lot to me to have made 100 Bundesliga appearances for this club. I hope that there’s still many more to come.

You’ve been at Schalke for over five years now. How closely do you hold the club to your heart?
This club has become a second family to me over the course of the last five years. I feel really at home here and every single day that I come to the training ground, and work with everyone involved in the club, makes me really happy.  

You’ve played in a number of different defensive partnerships so far this season due to injuries. Is it difficult for a defender to play next to someone you’ve never played with before?
As a centre back you always have to adapt when you line up next to someone new. Unfortunately we’ve had to rotate a lot due to our injury problems. We have lots of centre halves so it doesn’t really make a difference who plays. The more you know someone, and the more times you play together with them, the better your communication on the pitch becomes.

This club has become a second family to me.

Matija Nastasic

Recently, you’ve played with Ozan Kabak and Jean-Clair Todibo, who are both nineteen and twenty respectively. What makes them so special and how good can they become?
Everyone can see that they both have huge potential and an enormous amount of quality. There’s no doubt in my mind that they both have big futures ahead of them. They will continue to prove that they are very talented centre backs, and will hopefully go on to celebrate a lot of success here.

You only managed to pick up a point against Paderborn, with Mainz next on the agenda. In what areas do you need to improve?
It was a difficult game for us against Paderborn, having played the full 120 minutes against Hertha BSC in the cup just a few days before. Every game is a battle in the Bundesliga, and SC Paderborn are no different as they are fighting to stay in the division. They also play really good football, which they proved at the weekend. We should have put the game to bed after we went 1-0 up but unfortunately we couldn’t find the second goal. Now we need to concentrate on the next game in Mainz as that will be just as difficult. We’re preparing ourselves for a tough battle, and we need to ensure that we play to our strengths.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Ozan and Jean-Clair have big futures ahead of them.

Matija Nastasic

Your visit to Mainz last season didn’t go so well. Does that give you even more motivation as a player to go and do better this time around?
You’re motivated before every game, but even more so when you have last season’s defeat in the back of your mind. We need to stay focused and perform as well as we can. We’ve struggled there a lot over the years, not just last season. We know what we’re up against and we’ll be ready for it.

You have been drawn against FC Bayern for the quarter final of the DFB-Pokal in March. Your last time out against the record champions ended in a 5-0 defeat. Why is a result still possible this time around at the VELTINS-ARENA?
It’s good for us that we have another opportunity to play against Bayern again this season. In Munich we were far from our best, and now we have the chance to prove that we can hold our own against Bayern. Also, why not? The DFB-Pokal is a completely different competition, and anything is possible.

Anzeige
Anzeige
Anzeige

Share page

You may also be interested in

200916_stambouli

Benjamin Stambouli: It was a magical moment!

After almost eleven months without an appearance in the Bundesliga, Benjamin Stambouli could make his return to competitive action on Friday (18/9). The Frenchman discusses an unusual weekend in the DFB-Pokal, starting the season in Munich and a fan chant in an interview with schalke04.de.

200909_bentaleb_1

Nabil Bentaleb: An open and honest discussion with the coach

After six months at Newcastle United, Nabil Bentaleb returned to Gelsenkirchen a few weeks ago. The midfielder has made a good impression during the pre-season friendlies and training sessions so far. In an interview with schalke04.de, the Algeria international spoke about a fresh start with the Royal Blues, an honest discussion with David Wagner and his goals for the upcoming weeks and months.

200826_taitague_1

Nick Taitague: The club have shown that they believe in me

With the number 29 on his back, Nick Taitague has been a member of the first-team squad since the beginning of pre-season. The USA youth international spoke to schalke04.de about his first few years in Germany and the jump from the youth team to first-team level. He also explains how to pronounce his surname…

200823_thiaw_1

Malick Thiaw: Making the most of every training session

5th July 2020 was a special day in the life of Malick Thiaw – it was the day that the academy graduate signed his first professional contract that will keep him at Schalke until 30th July 2024. In an interview with schalke04.de, the 19-year-old discusses his hopes, aims, and his versatility on the pitch.