Bellarabi: 'It was a perfect strike'

Leverkusen - Two games, two wins, and two goals from Karim Bellarabi. Bayer 04 Leverkusen are sitting pretty atop the Bundesliga, thanks in no small part to their 24-year-old winger.

Check out Karim Bellarabi's stunning volley against Hertha Berlin on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel:

Such has Bellarabi's instant impact been that it is easy to forget he isn't a new signing, but a loan returnee who enjoyed a fruitful spell in a relegated Eintracht Braunschweig side in 2013/14. This season, however, relegation certainly won't be on the cards for the man who followed up the fastest goal in Bundesliga history on Matchday 1 with a stunning volley in Leverkusen's 4-2 win over Hertha Berlin.

bundesliga.com heard what the man of the moment had to say after another impressive display...

Question: Karim Bellarabi, you and your team are turning in one excellent performance after the other at the moment. What would you attribute this to?

Karim Bellarabi: We're just really clicking as a team. When you're being given such trust and confidence from the coach [Roger Schmidt], it gives you so much self-belief on the pitch.

Question: So was your superb goal to make it 4-2 merely down to your growing self-confidence?

Bellarabi: Well, Hakan Calhanoglu's cross was absolutely perfect. But yeah, when you've got this growing sense of self-confidence, you back yourself to take on the shot. Obviously, sometimes a shot like that can fly over the bar, but thankfully in this case it just nestled in the corner. It was a perfect strike.

Question: Can you tell us why it's all going so well for you in the early part of this season?

Bellarabi: I've taken it upon myself to seize every opportunity I get with both hands. You can't keep getting second chances in life, so this season I wanted to assert myself right from the start. That was always my aim.

Question: You know what the other side of the coin is like, though, don't you? You were out injured for almost a year two seasons ago.

Bellarabi: Yeah, there have certainly been hard times. It wasn't easy but my family helped pick me up. I'm just happy to be fit again.

Question: Watching today, you got the sense that Hertha didn't really know how to play against you. They didn't press enough and allowed you too much space. Was it your best game yet?

Bellarabi: I'm doing well at the moment. As I've already said though, I've got to thank the coach for that. I'm very happy at the moment.

Question: Why did Leverkusen have so many problems before half-time?

Bellarabi: We've had five games in 16 days, which hasn't been easy. We noticed it ourselves in the first half, but we pulled ourselves together and got on with it. We didn't quite execute our system as well as we'd have liked in the first period, and the coach pointed this out to us at the break. We had to get our focus back on how we were trying to play, which we managed to do in the second half.

Question: What, then, makes this system so different?

Bellarabi: We believe in this system and know what we have to do. We know that in order to be successful, we have to give 100 per cent, and that everyone has to contribute. That was shown again today.

Question: In the last few games, Leverkusen have almost always gone in front really early, but that wasn't the case against Hertha, where you were behind twice. Your equaliser to make it 2-2 came from a free-kick, and last week you also scored from a set-piece. Is that another string to your bow when the game finely poised?

Bellarabi: Well, we've got Hakan Calhanoglu, who's one of the best at a set-pieces in the whole of Germany. That's his special weapon, so we can always introduce that if we need to. We're happy to have such a good player in the squad.

Question: You haven't yet played an international match and would be eligible to represent either Morocco or Germany. Which country would you choose?

Bellarabi: I love Morocco as much as I love Germany. I count both as home. My mother is German, my father Moroccan. It's not something I'm thinking about yet, though. I'll see what happens in the future, but at the moment my focus is wholly on Leverkusen and everything else will sort itself out.

Interview transcripted by Tobias Gonscherowski