It's been a memorable week for Schalke 04 midfielder Roman Neustädter...
It's been a memorable week for Schalke 04 midfielder Roman Neustädter...

Neustädter: "I was shocked"

Gelsenkirchen - There's only one name on the lips of the Gelsenkirchen natives and that's 'Roman Neustädter'. The German hot-shot played his part as Schalke came from 2-0 down to register a point against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League, before getting the call from national team coach Joachim Löw for the first time.

To cap it all off, the 24-year-old netted the equaliser on Saturday, setting his side up for a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen. After the game and such an emotional week, the in-demand midfielder caught up with

Question: Roman Neustädter, congratulations on the win, your goal and your call-up to the national team. Firstly, the national team - how did you take the news from Joachim Löw?

Roman Neustädter: At first I was a bit shocked because I really didn't expect it. Then I spoke to my parents and girlfriend on the phone and, two hours later, realised what had happened. Of course I was over the moon and can't find the words to explain it.

Question: How did the Germany coach make contact?

Neustädter: To start with, our manager Horst Heldt called to say the Germany coach was going to name me in his squad [for the friendly against the Netherlands] and then get in touch, which he did later in the evening.

Question: How did you react when Horst Heldt broke the news?

Neustädter: At first I thought I must have done something because the manager was calling, but it turned out to be great news. I was shocked, but really pleased at the same time.

Question: What do you mean "done something"?

Neustädter: My mistake against Arsenal...

Question: Did Horst also ring you about that?

Neustädter: No (laughs).

Question: What reasons did the Germany coach give for your call-up?

Neustädter: He said I'd earned it through my performances and is looking forward to getting to know me on Monday.

Question: What do you plan to do during your time with the national team?

Neustädter: I already know some of the guys from the youth team, some I know very well like Marco Reus, Julian Draxler and Benedikt Höwedes. I hope that will make things easier for me. It's a new and positive experience for me and I will try to give it my best.

Question: When you left Mönchengladbach for Schalke, Horst Heldt was impressed by your composure and levelheadedness. Are you generally reserved when dealing with new experiences?

Neustädter: I always hold back a bit. Once I see everything is going well and I get on with the guys, then we can have a good laugh together. I think it's appropriate to keep your head down when you join a new team and let your performances do the talking. That's the way I've been brought up and that's the way I'll keep going.

Question: So today's game. In the end it was hard work, wouldn't you agree?

Neustädter: Probably because we didn't score a third. We didn't play well in transition and Bremen had [Aaron] Hunt and [Kevin] de Bruyne ready to pick us off on their own counter-attacks, so it was pretty tiring to keep chopping and changing. In the end we did a good job to stop them and we put in a good battling performance. Everyone knows we have the quality going forward, from set pieces and open play. I think the victory was just about the right result.

Question: How important was the win?

Neustädter: Every win is important. We played well against Arsenal and then won today. That's great for our confidence. We'll take that with us to Leverkusen next Saturday.

Question: At Gladbach you only scored once. In a short time at Schalke, you already have three. How do you explain that?

Neustädter: On three occasions from set plays, I've been in the right place at the right time. Of course it's a great feeling. The more goals you score, the more you get the feel for where you should be for set pieces. If it works out during the game, you feel more assured in front of goal, but in the end it doesn't matter to me if I score or not, as long as we take the points

Interview by Markus Hoffmann