Naldo: We can’t underestimate Bremen

It’s all going smoothly for Naldo this season. With five goals to his name, he’s the Royal Blues’ second highest goalscorer and has worked his way back in contention for a World Cup spot. The defender spoke to schalke04.de about the coming clash with Werder Bremen.

Naldo, do you have plans this summer?
(smiles) No, I don’t have any plans this summer as of yet. I’m concentrating solely on my football and want to put in good performances. Planning for summer can wait.

Maybe it’ll be arranged for you. Recently the Brazilian national team head coach said he’s considering you for the World Cup…
I read that too and of course it made me very happy! However, I’m currently just giving my all for Schalke and want to put in the best performances I can. If I go to the World Cup, it’d be a dream fulfilled. If not, I’ll just keep working as hard as before.

This season everything has been going well. What’s the difference to last season?
It’s to do with the whole team developing and learning from last season’s shortcomings. We have a very strong spirit and everyone fights for everyone else. We have to stay grounded though whether it’s going well or not. We know that we must keep giving our all and we still have lots to learn.

With five goals so far, only Guido Burgstaller has more goals for Schalke this season. Are we going to see you up front soon?
No, I’m just putting a little pressure on the lads up front (smiles). Jokes aside, when I go forward, I want to help the team in attack. However, defence is my priority. I’m glad to keep a clean sheet in Stuttgart. Scoring from a set-piece makes the whole day even better. Everyone, including the strikers, is working hard to help the defence. They never stop running and that helps us out a lot.

At the weekend, your former club Werder Bremen head to the VELTINS Arena. Is it always special playing Bremen?
Absolutely! I’m always grateful for what Werder have done for me. They were my first club in Germany. I had seven great years in Bremen and always have my fingers crossed for them. On Saturday though, I simply want to put in a good performance against my former club and get three points. Then, I can hope Werder win once again.

Do you still know people there?
I still stay in touch with many people at Bremen such as Max Kruse, Frank Baumann and Tim Borowski. I’m looking forward to seeing some familiar faces on Saturday.

How do you think Bremen’s season has gone so far?
From Bremen’s view, the table doesn’t look great. However, their position doesn’t reflect their performances of late. Werder played very well against Bayern Munich and were unlucky against Hertha BSC where they were clearly the better team.

What kind of an opponent should we expect?
We can’t underestimate Bremen. They can be compact and hit you on the break. We have to prove ourselves and play to our abilities. Then, I’m confident.

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