Omar Mascarell: I felt right away that it was the right move
Omar Mascarell is the new number 6 at Schalke. The defensive midfielder has moved from Eintracht Frankfurt to the Revier and already knows that you greet everyone with ‘Glück auf’ at the Knappen. The 25-year-old spoke to us about his excitement for the tasks ahead, his goals and the best experience he’s had as a footballer as it’s one he’d like to repeat.
Omar, Welcome to the greatest club in the world! For the last two seasons, you’ve played for Eintracht Frankfurt and know the Bundesliga well. How is your German?
Glück auf! That’s what we say round here right? (smirks) I can say and understand a considerable amount. I don’t think communicating with the head coach and my teammates will be an issue.
Before joining, you spoke with Domenico Tedesco…
It was a very relaxed conversation. I felt right away that it made sense, that the trainer believed in me and rated my qualities. I’m very happy that we’ll be able to work with one another in the future.
Other clubs were interested in you. What made you choose Schalke?
There were offers, a lot of it was up in the air recently. When I heard from my manager that there was an offer from Schalke, I didn’t think about it much longer. I’m delighted to join such a big club: The significance of this club, the fans and the chance to play in this stadium is something else. I’m delighted to be here.
I’m very happy to be here. It’s exactly what I wanted
Did you speak with Raul before your transfer? You’ve both played for Real Madrid…
I heard those rumours too. But no, that didn’t happen. I know Raul but I didn’t speak to him about it. I didn’t need to. I knew exactly what to do.
Before your time in Frankfurt, you were often loaned out while at Real Madrid. Are you happy to get a four-year-deal at Schalke and have a settled long-term future?
I was in England, then back in Spain, then in Frankfurt. I’m looking forward to what is to come. It’s the right time for me as well. I’m 25 and feel ready for a new challenge. The contract gives me stability.
What goals do you have for the team and yourself on a personal level next season?
I want to keep growing – on and off the pitch. I managed to do that in Frankfurt. Schalke deserved to finish runners-up. I want to build on those performances and play a role in our Champions League campaign. I’m excited for European nights in the VELTINS Arena already.
There’s also another competition you know very well – the DFB-Pokal!
Winning the DFB-Pokal was the greatest experience of my career to date, especially as hardly anyone expected us to beat Bayern in the final. I’d like to have that experience every year. It’d be incredible if we could win the trophy with Schalke.
Which position do you most like playing in?
I feel most comfortable in holding midfield. I’ve mainly played there in my career to date. If the coach decides I should play further forwards, I’m capable of doing that.
Schalke deserved to finish runners-up. I want to build on those performances and play a role in our Champions League campaign.
At the end of last season, you put in some very strong performances after coming back from a long-term injury. What condition are you in now?
I had problems with my Achilles’ tendon. Therefore, I couldn’t play for seven months. That was tough for me. Sometimes I just felt it would never get better. Fortunately, the operation went well and so did the rehabilitation. I don’t have any issues anymore –I’m fit any ready to give 100%.
Had you ever had such a long break from football?
No. It was the first serious one in my career. I hope it’s the last one. Before then, I was out for at most a month.
Are you following the World Cup?
Of course! I’ve not yet missed a Spain game. I’m confident that they can win the tournament – even if they haven’t won all the games they’ve played but the most important games are still to come…
Do you have the aim of playing for the Spain team yourself one day?
Of course, I hope so. I’m still young and have time. At youth team level, I played for the U19s and U20s. If I play well at Schalke, that will help me achieve that dream.