Rabbi Matondo: Schalke is a club which I have admired for a long time
FC Schalke 04 have secured the signing of young prospect Rabbi Matondo. The Welsh international is excited to join the Royal-Blues and spoke to schalke04.de about the reasons he chose to join Schalke as well as his ambitious aims for himself and his new club.
Rabbi, welcome to Schalke! How are you feeling?
Very excited. I’m very happy to be here and I’m just looking forward to getting started with the team and the manager.
Some other clubs were interested in signing you. Why did you decide to sign for the Royal Blues?
I knew already how big the club was and obviously watching previous players play for Schalke like Mesut Özil, Ivan Rakitić and Leroy Sané. I’ve always known that they’re a big club and that they produce great players, and I like the way they’ve played and passed and obviously speaking to the manager and speaking to some of the players at Schalke, I was happy enough to decide to come to Schalke.
Did you speak to any of the players about the club?
I spoke to Weston McKennie about the club. We just spoke about training and how the guys are and what the club’s like. He only had positive things to say about the club and the people around the club, the staff, the coach, everything. So it pushed me even more to want to come here.
You are still very young, at just eighteen years old. What convinced you to make the move into the Bundesliga?
I’ve seen several matches involving Bundesliga teams in the Champions League. When I heard that Schalke were interested in signing me, I was excited as they are a club who I have admired for a long time and have followed regularly in the Champions League.
Is this transfer a big adventure for you?
Yes definitely! However, it is also very exciting to see what the club has planned for the future. I’m very excited to play a part in the future of this club. The Bundesliga is a great league which has developed exceptional talents and I’m now playing for a super club.
What targets do you have? Both on a personal level and with your new team.
Well hopefully we can just climb up the table and get some wins, because I’m a winner and I always want to win. I like new challenges; this is a good challenge for me. I feel like this is the next step in my career to move abroad and play in such a good league like the Bundesliga and learn a lot from the manager, from the players that I’ll be playing with, from the opposition I’ll be playing against and I feel like it’ll just help me continue to progress in my future.
Can you describe your strengths?
Some would say ‘oh he’s just quick’, but I think I’m quick and I’ve got a lot more to offer. I’d say I like to dribble. I like to play with the ball, link up, one-two, but I like to dribble, yeah. I’d say I get my shots off; I like to shoot a lot and dribble. I’d say I’m an exciting player to watch.
What’s your favourite position?
Left wing is my favourite position. I just like the left wing and the way that I feel free when I’m on the left wing. Obviously watching players like Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo when he was in the Premier League, growing up and obviously what he’s done in his career playing left wing, I’ve always admired that position and the top players they’ve produced there.
What do you expect here at Schalke?
I’ve known since I was eleven years old that Schalke is a huge club with fantastic fans and an incredible stadium. Every match is a challenge. I would like to make all of the Schalke fans and everyone associated with the club happy. I hope we play well throughout the rest of the season. From a footballing perspective, it wasn’t a difficult decision for me to come here. I am excited to work with the coach and the other players and to be a part of the team.