Matija Nastasic: Looking forward to a home game and seeing old faces
For the first time since renewing his contract, Matija Nastasic will be back playing in the VELTINS-Arena, with the opponents his former side, ACF Fiorentina (Saturday August 11th). In an interview with schalke04.de, the Serbian international discussed this special encounter, his old teammates and the reasons for extending his contract until 2022.
Matija, the game against Fiorentina is very important for the team as it’s the last friendly before the season starts. It is also somewhat special for you as well, isn’t it?
Yes exactly. I played for them during the 2011/12 season, making 26 appearances in Serie A. They were my first club outside of Serbia as well. I was very young and I am still very grateful for the chance I was given in Florence. Looking back, I had a very good time there.
Will you be seeing any familiar faces from your time there?
In the past few years there have been a lot of changes to the squad, although this isn’t anything out of the ordinary. The backroom staff has barely changed at all though. I look forward to seeing the coaching staff, kitmen and all of the other people that I still recognize. I’m sure a few nice memories will come flooding back to me.
I have always said that I feel completely content here at Schalke.
It has been almost three months since you have played at the VELTINS-Arena. Have you missed our royal-blue home?
Absolutely! It’s always fantastic to be able to play in such an amazing stadium. Friends often tell me how stunning our arena is. When 60,000 fans are getting behind you and driving you on, it is an indescribable feeling, especially when you win and can then celebrate with the fans afterwards.
After extending your contract till 2022, the fans will most likely give you a warm reception. How come you decided to extend your deal?
I have always said that I feel completely content here at Schalke. It makes me happy to know that I will be carrying on wearing the blue and white Schalke shirt. Even though we were very successful last season, I know we can still develop further. Our team is still young and hungry and everyone has fun here. Domenico Tedesco is also a coach who improves us more day by day.
The day after the Fiorentina game you will be attending “Schalke day”
Going by the previous few years, it will be another massive celebration. In previous years, 1,000 fans have turned up, which just shows how big of a club Schalke really is.