Omar Mascarell: I’m proud of the team and the club

After suffering a bad adductor injury, Omar Mascarell is working his way back to full fitness. Schalke’s captain was undergoing rehabilitation back in his home country, before recently returning to Germany. The Spaniard spoke to about the time he spent back home due to the coronavirus, his German language skills and a decision the team made that made him proud.

Omar Mascarell

Omar, you were in Tenerife a few days ago, before recently coming back to Germany. Are you and your family well?
Yeah, I was in Tenerife for two weeks, trained there and carried on my recovery from injury. I spent the time with my family. Things are quite tense in Spain right now due to the crisis. I came back to Germany earlier than I’d planned so that I could work on my recovery further.

In Spain there is a nationwide curfew to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. How has your day-to-day life changed as a result?
The situation is quite serious in Spain for everyone. I spent all day at home with my mother and brother, as you’re only allowed to leave the house for certain things, like going to the supermarket or the chemist.

You are someone who places great importance on family and friendship: How difficult is it for you now that you are unable to see many of them, despite being in Tenerife?
My family is the most important thing in my life. It’s difficult to not be able to see most of them.

My family is the most important thing in my life. It’s difficult to not be able to see most of them.

Omar Mascarell

Your teammates have been training individually over the last two weeks. The same is true for you, but you’ve had a different programme due to your injury. How is your recovery going? Are you noticing a daily improvement?
I’m getting better by the day – which is a good sign. I’m happy and optimistic.

How are you keeping in contact with FC Schalke 04’s medical department?
I speak to them almost every day. Along with my rehabilitation coach, they designed a detailed training plan for me.

As of now, individual training will be conducted as Cyber-training. That means you and all the other players can see each other during the sessions at home. What do you make of this? Is it important to stay in touch with your teammates, not just on WhatsApp?
I think it was a good decision by the coaching team to introduce this. We need to stick to the guidelines because of how dangerous this situation is, but we miss being with each other, so it’s good that we can stay in contact this way.

You and your teammates have decided to take a pay cut in the coming weeks in order to support the club and its 600 employees. Do you think the club will pull together even more in these difficult times?
The gesture has made me extremely proud to be part of this amazing team and club. Everybody in the club understood the severity of the situation immediately and was ready to help out. I’m certain that it’ll bring us closer together – if that’s even possible – and that we’ll come out the other side even stronger.

As captain, did you have to try and convince some of the players to waive their salaries?
No, all the players understood the gravity of the situation. We quickly came to a mutual decision. I’m proud of the lads.

You’ve been improving your German more and more in recent months. You’ve even had a few interviews in German. Are you still trying to get better now?
Yeah, I started learning German as well as I could last year. I had some language classes and spoke it a lot. I’ve been able to understand almost everything for a while now, but it’s a lot harder to speak it. I made a big mistake during my time in Frankfurt, as I didn’t bother trying to learn German. That’s not been the case auf Schalke: I’ve learnt a lot and my goal is to speak very fluent German. I play for this amazing club Schalke 04 in Germany and I want to be here in the coming years too.

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