Nassim Boujellab: I want to win the derby!

It’s derby day in the Bundesliga Home Challenge. With Nassim Boujellab fully motivated and set to represent the Royal Blues against Dortmund on the PS4 this Saturday (18/04), the 20-year-old looks back at real life derbies from the past in an interview with, speaking also about his talent on the console, a message from his teammates and his anticipation ahead of the virtual Revierderby.

Nassim Boujellab

Nassim, there’s a very special game coming up in the Bundesliga Home Challenge: the derby! What was your first thought when the fixture was announced?
It’s obviously very different from standing on the actual pitch against those black and yellow kits, but even on the console this is something special for me. I’m highly motivated ahead of this Home Challenge derby and I’m looking forward to representing Schalke against our rivals on the PS4.

Will your teammates be following Saturday’s derby live on Twitch?
A few of the lads have told me they wouldn’t miss it, and the message from them was clear: I need to win the derby!

Your Bundesliga Home Challenge record is impeccable so far: three games, three wins. And you’ve been able to score several goals as yourself as well. How does it feel to play as yourself on the console?
It feels good scoring the odd goal with myself here and there. But just like in real life, I’m a team player on the PS4 as well. If my teammate is in a better position to score, I’ll pass it to him.

It feels good scoring the odd goal with myself here and there.

Nassim Boujellab

The other Schalke man taking on the challenge is eSports pro Tim Latka. Have the two of you spoken much recently?
Obviously I’ve been given a few tips by him – he’s really good. I’ve known Tim for a while now, we’ve often crossed paths at Schalke, but we’ve actually never played against each other at FIFA before.

Are there any players in the team you do regularly play FIFA against online?
I’ve played a lot of games against Salif Sané.

And how did they go?
He had no chance (laughs).

You wore the Schalke colours as a youngster so you’ve already played several derbies in the past. Do you have any particularly special memories of them?
I scored a free kick in a derby with the U17s once and we won the game. I also scored the winning goal in the Westfalenpokal in the same year. I scored another goal in an U16s derby, which we won 4-1. I also have fond memories of my time in the U19s, we usually looked very good against Dortmund in those games

I am really looking forward to the day that Bundesliga football returns.

Nassim Boujellab

The actual derby was cancelled around a month ago due to the Corona pandemic and is to be played at a later date. How much are you looking forward to the moment you can play against other teams not on the console?
It’s just completely different being out on the pitch. I am really looking forward to the day that Bundesliga football returns and I can go back on the hunt for points with my teammates.

Our final question is another on the virtual derby: What headline do you wish to read on after the FIFA game against Borussia Dortmund?
‘Boujellab scores derby winner with Boujellab’, sounds alright doesn’t it? The most important part of that is ‘derby winner’, as long as that features, I’ll be happy. If we win it won’t matter who scored, just like in real football!

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