Rabbi Matondo: Always try to stay positive

Even during these unprecedented times, Rabbi Matondo won’t lose his sense of humour. The 19-year-old spoke to schalke04.de about what he currently misses the most, his funniest teammates and his goals for the re-start of the season at the weekend.

Rabbi Matondo

Rabbi, how are you and your family back at home?
I’m very well, thanks. My family at home are also well. The most important thing in the current situation is to stick together and follow the rules.

What do you currently miss the most?
Currently I’m mostly missing my family and friends, who I’m not able to see. That’s very difficult for me at the moment.

Have you learnt any new skills recently, such as cooking?
I already had to learn how to cook when I moved to Germany. But I would say that I’ve become a better cook during this time. I’m also learning a few languages, particularly German, which is obviously the most important language for me at the moment. I’m also trying to improve both my Welsh and my French.

You recently represented Wales in a FIFA tournament. How did it go?
It started well; I won the first game. But after that I lost quite badly; I’d rather not say what the score was (laughs). Overall I’d say that it was a good experience to play against other players and to see how good they are.

Have you played against Nassim yet?
No, I haven’t played FIFA against Nassim yet, and I will try to avoid it for as long as I can (laughs). My form on FIFA hasn’t been great recently. I’ve heard that Nassim is really good on the console at the moment. If I get a chance to train a bit over the next few weeks then maybe I will challenge him.

I try to always stay positive and enjoy life.

Rabbi Matondo

You always seem to be in a good mood. What has to happen to put you in a bad mood?
I try to always stay positive and lift up those around me. It’s fun to do that with a few of the guys. That’s just how I am and I try to get others to be like that as well. The people that know me really well will be able to tell straight away when I’m in a bad mood. But most of the time I try to stay positive and enjoy life. If my friends and family were in a bad mood then that would dampen my mood as well, but luckily that’s not the case at the moment.

You recently posted a picture of yourself posing as a surfer in a funny outfit. What was that about?
It comes from the film, “The Incredibles.” Frozone is one of the characters in the film. It was for Bastian Oczipka and Daniel Caligiuri’s birthday in January. We all had to dress up. It was from a long time ago, I only recently decided to post this photo in order to share something funny in this unusual time.

Rabbi Matondo

Your teammates have already told us that, when the team weren’t able to see each other, you all spoke a lot on the team WhatsApp group. Who in the team makes everyone laugh the most in the chat?
Benito Raman und Salif Sané! They’re very funny, I have to admit. But Amine Harit and Daniel Caligiuri also make me laugh a lot as well.

I want to play more minutes and help the team win games.

Rabbi Matondo

You’ve done a lot of work on your strength and fitness at home. Are you particularly happy that you’re able to train on the pitch and with the ball again? Or do you possibly enjoy working on your strength and fitness?
I prefer playing with the ball to fitness sessions, but I know that I still need to improve physically so it hasn’t been bad that I’ve had to do a lot of work in this area recently. However, I’m delighted that we can now train with the ball again after such a long time without it.

The European Championships had to be moved back by a year, which you qualified for with Wales. Are you annoyed by the postponement or do you perhaps see it as a chance to establish yourself even more within the national team next year?
To qualify for the European Championships with Wales was an unbelievable performance. We had been really looking forward to the tournament, so it’s a shame that it had to be delayed. However, for young players like myself, it also gives us the opportunity to establish ourselves even more within our clubs and the national team.

What are your personal goals for the rest of the season with Schalke?
I would like to play more minutes and help the team to win games. In order to achieve this I would also like to contribute with a few goals and assists.

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