Dortmund - Borussia Dortmund barely had time to raise a glass to their season-ending win over Hertha Berlin before left-back Marcel Schmelzer was already talking up next Saturday's DFB Cup final against FC Bayern München.
Fighting fit and with both eyes firmly fixed on the prize, the spoke about the coming weeks with a great sense of optimism following an injury-hit campaign...
Question: Marcel Schmelzer, congratulations on the 4-0 win and successful warm-up for the DFB Cup final. Borussia are on form, right?
Marcel Schmelzer: Yeah, that's right. It was really important to keep our focus for the entire game. You could see it was pretty difficult early on on the dry playing surface, but we came through it and with the right ideas we started to create chances.
Question:Robert Lewandowski was given a good send-off in his last home game for the club last weekend, and today he won the Torjägerkanone. Do you think it's a deserved way to bow out after four years at the club?
Schmelzer: Of course. For us, he's always been one of those players that guarantees success and he scored a lot of important goals. On the one hand, it's a shame we're losing such a world-class player, but on the other hand we want to wish him all the best because he's given us so many enjoyable moments as a team.
Question: Did you know he was so good at taking free kicks?
Schmelzer: (laughs) No. He's given them a bash in training, but I've never seen him take one like today. It surprised me, but of course I'm delighted for him. It was a nice way to go, even though, as things turned out, the Torjägerkanone was already wrapped up.
Question: You're back here to face Bayern in the DFB Cup final next weekend. How different will it be to the Hertha game?
Schmelzer: It's a final that both teams want to win, which is why it'll be a completely different game. Of course, we're really looking forward to it, too!
Question: Bayern made hard work of their 1-0 win over Stuttgart, whereas Dortmund were really convincing here in Berlin. Is the momentum on your side?
Schmelzer: In these kind of finals you have a 50-50 chance. In that respect, it doesn't matter who's on their game. The 90, or even 120, minutes are all that matter.
Question: Is it an advantage to have something to play for right up until the end of the season?
Schmelzer: It's no different to the last few years, so it's nothing new for us. We wanted to make sure we used the game against Hertha to maintain our rhythm. From my own point of view, it was really important to get another 90 minutes under my belt.
Question: How excited are you all ahead of the Cup final?
Schmelzer: We're so happy for the fans. We know what can happen here. In the last two years, in the finals, the fans were phenomenal. Hopefully we'll beat Bayern and win the Cup again this time.
Question: You, Erik Durm and Kevin Großkreutz make up three Dortmund full-backs to have been called up to Germany's provisional World Cup squad. That's not something you'd have expected at the start of the season...
Schmelzer: That's right, even if Kevin is probably being considered for the right-hand side. Still, it's great that we have six representatives altogether. Ilkay Gündogan und Sven Bender only missed out because of their injury problems. It's obviously a shame for them, but the six of us are delighted and we hope we'll be going to Brazil.
Andre Anchuelo reporting form Berlin
Check out Lewandowski's brace against Hertha to secure the top scorer's honour, courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: