Gelsenkirchen - Midfield maestro Nuri Sahin was on top of the world after Borussia Dortmund beat Ruhr rivals FC Schalke 04 3-1, with Sahin ending his own personal goalscoring drought with a magnificent strike.
It could hardly get any better for the Turkish international, who spoke after the final whistle about how much this successful week meant to him and the team, as well as the secret to Dortmund’s imposing style and the situation at the top of the table.
Question:Nuri Sahin, just recently you said that it was about time you scored again. Now you’ve done it, against Schalke of all sides...
Nuri Sahin: People had already started looking at the statistics since I last scored. That gave me additional motivation. I often made the wrong choice and the ball would go just wide. This time it worked out at last, and in the derby too. Of course that makes it even more pleasing. We played well overall. It’s even nicer to have been able to contribute a goal like that.
Question: Were you satisfied with the game as a whole?
Sahin: The whole team played well apart from the phase just after our first two goals. We sat back a bit then and allowed Schalke into the game, and that was totally unnecessary.
Question: It was also a convincing BVB performance in terms of how you battled...
Sahin: Battling is always part of a derby and we were quite surprised before the game to see how defensive the Schalke formation was. They had three left full-backs on the field. We knew straight away that it was going to be a real battle, but we rose to the challenge and defended ourselves. We knew that our quality would shine through if we battled and put the yards in.
Question: You've now played in every single game this season, playing exceptionally both on Tuesday in London and now against Schalke. Where do you find the strength?
Sahin: I worked well in pre-season and we’re not overdoing it with training either, but rather finding enough time to recharge our batteries. I also have a great family who help me to relax. My wife and my son make me happy and I love working at BVB. To be honest, we footballers have a very nice life and every single one of us has a duty to live professionally and recover well. Otherwise, you can’t keep up with the tempo.
Question: First Arsenal, now Schalke – was that a perfect week for BVB?
Sahin: You could say that. It was an important win above all in the Champions League. Before the Arsenal game, nobody gave us a chance, yet we played really impressively. Then to build on that with a performance like this in the derby is really great. This really does you good.
Question: Was it also a signal for the team that you can beat the bigger clubs after what seemed like a relatively easy start to the season?
Sahin: Of course, even if the Bundesliga is now so even and difficult, but on paper our opponents this week were of a different calibre. We’ve won both games away and that says something.
Question: Does the league table have some value to it after ten games of the season?
Sahin: You can definitely say that the top teams have opened up a bit of a gap. That shows a tendency and I think it’s going to be an open battle between the top three. I’m also a big fan of Leverkusen, who always tend to be underrated a bit. They really do have a lot of quality. And we don’t really need to say much about Bayern.
Transcribed by Dietmar Nolte / Translated by Ben Gladwell
Would Nuri Sahin's goal on Saturday make a top ten of Turkish goals in the Bundesliga? Check out this clip on the official Bundesliga YouTube channel and make your mind up: