Shkodran Mustafi: I will take on responsibility both on and off the pitch
Defender Shkodran Mustafi has been at FC Schalke 04 since 1st February 2021 and wants to play his part in keeping the club in the Bundesliga. He spoke to schalke04.de about why he chose to move to S04, the role Sead Kolasinac played in the transfer and what type of a player he is.
Shkodran, welcome to Schalke! Why did you decide to join S04?
Thanks! I’m really pleased to be here. Schalke isn’t any old club, because of the tradition, stadium and the fans. As soon as I heard about Schalke’s interest in me, I knew right away that I was up for this challenge.
One player you know particularly well is Sead Kolasinac from your time together at Arsenal. Did he play a role in your decision to move?
He was actually the first person to ring me up and try to convince me to come to S04. We are good friends and his involvement certainly helped.
What did Seo tell you about Schalke?
That the team and the whole club haven’t given up. Everyone is fully focused on staying up and they all believe that it is possible too. He also said that the team has found some stability over the last few games. We can build on that to get the points we need.
How were the conversations with Head of Sport Jochen Schneider and head coach Christian Gross?
Brief, but good. We didn’t have much time – the whole thing was right before the deadline!
You have picked up a lot international experience, playing in Italy, Spain and England during your career. How can you help out the team during the current predicament?
My experiences from the past few years will help me to stay cool in high-pressure situations and allow me to take on responsibility on the pitch.
I’m a fighter. I will always give my all for the win!
What are your strengths on and off the pitch?
On the pitch I’d say that I’m a strong tackler and I’m also good on the ball, plus I have a strong mindset. I hate losing and I will always give 100%. Aside from that, I will always try and take on responsibility both on and off the pitch. I’ve also become a good cook since lockdown!
What type of player are you?
A fighter. I will always give my all for the win!
You moved abroad when you were just 17 back in 2009, signing for Everton. How did this shape you as a footballer and a person?
It meant that I grew up quicker. I had to rely on and do everything for myself and just be independent. It expanded my comfort zone and helped me in other situations and phases in my life.
The here and now is what matters as a professional. Past successes can’t help you anymore.
You won the 2014 World Cup alongside Benedikt Höwedes, Manuel Neuer, Julian Draxler and Mesut Özil. Where does this triumph rank in your career achievements?
It was alright! No, I’m only joking. It was obviously the biggest success of my career, however I don’t live in the past. The here and now is what matters as a professional. Past successes can’t help you anymore. I’m fully concentrating on S04 and our bid for survival and I’m going to give everything I’ve got.
As a 28-year-old, who has played 20 times for Germany, you have never played in the Bundesliga. Did you ever think you would eventually feature in the German top flight?
Yeah, I did. A goal of mine was always to play in the Bundesliga. It’s still one of the best leagues in the world and I’m looking forward to playing in it!
Have you followed FC Schalke 04 much over the past few weeks and months and what do you already know about our club?
Sead & I used to speak a lot about Schalke while he was still at Arsenal. I’ve watched the games since he joined too, so I know the team quite well.