Gelsenkirchen - Nothing quite epitomised the true meaning of Schalke's Revierderby win over Borussia Dortmund like the ear-to-ear smile strewn across the face of after the game.
The victory, not to mention the opening goal, meant everything to the 19-year-old, who's now hoping to make good use of the Royal Blues' adrenalin spike in the UEFA Champions League...
bundesliga.com: Julian Draxler, what was it like when your goal went in after 12 minutes?
Julian Draxler: The adrenalin was really flowing. I didn't know how to handle my emotions - I think you could see that. Everything really came together: my 100th appearance for Schalke, my first derby win and a derby goal to boot. It doesn't get much better for a Schalke player than that.
bundesliga.com: And you're getting more and more among the goals these days...
Draxler:(laughs) I want to score goals. I said that a few weeks ago. I could still do with another 15, but I'm really pleased to have scored three in the last two games. Now I've got seven this season and would really like to make it into double figures. I've always said I carry more of a goal threat playing as a No10 rather than on the left, but I don't just measure myself by goals. At the end of the day, it's about Schalke finishing the season in the European places.
bundesliga.com: Schalke dominated the first half of the derby. Were you really that good or were Dortmund uncharacteristically bad?
Draxler: I think we were really, really good in the first 45 minutes. We didn't give Dortmund room to breathe. They didn't get to grips with our game in the first half.
bundesliga.com: Schalke rode their luck at times in the second half, though...
Draxler: You have to say Dortmund had the upper hand in the second half, but were threw ourselves into every challenge and defended our lead gallantly. We were worthy of the win.
bundesliga.com: In the end, you had Timo Hildebrand to thank for his fine save from Robert Lewandowski.
Draxler: For sure. Timo had another great game, and I'm not just talking about that particular save - laughs - but he's in goal to keep the ball out. No, seriously, we know what he means to us, but to single out individual players after the derby wouldn't be fair. The whole team gave it absolutely everything.
bundesliga.com: Schalke are now up to fourth in the table. That could all change very quickly, but it's certainly a sign that things are going in the right direction...
Draxler: You could say that. You only have to look at the table to see our return to form, but we mustn't stop there. We've still got lots of work ahead of us this season. Of course we want to finish in the European places and if possible qualify for the Champions League. The win against BVB is another important step in the right direction, but we're still a long way from our goal.
bundesliga.com: Can you explain your run of form?
Draxler: It's definitely a matter of growing self-belief. After the first few good results, you could sense the positive mood in the camp. We've taken that with us from game to game. The last few games and results prove we're back on the up.
bundesliga.com: How much self confidence and strength does the derby win give you ahead of the return leg against Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday?
Draxler: It's important that we take the same level of belief into the game. If we play like we did against BVB, we've got a good chance to make the next round of the Champions League. I'm sure we can swing it in our favour.
bundesliga.com: One final question unrelated to the game: Schalke captain Benedikt Höwedes extended his contract at the club until 2017. What does that mean to you?
Draxler: It's a great sign for the team and the club as a whole. You can only congratulate Schalke for tying a great player like 'Benni' down to a long-term deal. On a personal level, I'm also really pleased because we're good freinds. He's not just a top-class player, he's also a great guy to have in the team.
Interview by Dietmar Nolte