Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar set FC Schalke 04 on the way to victory over VfL Wolfsburg with a fine opening goal. In doing so, he moved to second place in the Royal-Blues' all-time scoring chart, a feat he only realised he had accomplished during the course of an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com…
bundesliga.com: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, it seemed you really enjoyed the game against Wolfsburg…
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: We were in top form right from the start and played very aggressively. We were all prepared to do a lot of running - as we have done all season, but that was particularly evident this time out. You could see that we really wanted this victory. And a 3-0 victory over a direct rival for a Champions League spot makes for a superb day.
'I just hit it'
bundesliga.com: You found yourself in a lot of space for your goal. Did that surprise you?
Huntelaar: Wolfsburg’s defender Robin Knoche saw that Leroy Sane was unmarked. I initially wanted to play a one-two with him but because Knoche cut that option out I had to find a different solution. No other teammate was available and Naldo was standing off me a little so I just ended up having a go.
bundesliga.com: Do you know how many goals you have now scored for Schalke?
Huntelaar: No, not a clue. Why?
bundesliga.com: It was your 74th goal and that takes you up to second on Schalke’s all-time scoring chart, behind Klaus Fischer.
Huntelaar: OK, that’s nice to know. But I always just try to make the best of every situation. I wasn’t aware of that particular target though.
'You need to make the right decisions'
bundesliga.com: You’re not likely to overtake Schalke legend Klaus Fischer, however. He scored 182 goals.
Huntelaar: (laughs) Oh, you shouldn’t underestimate me…
bundesliga.com: All three Schalke goals came from long-range efforts for the first time this season. Have you been practicing them?
Huntelaar: Quite simply, we often found ourselves in positions further away from the opponent’s goal. There aren’t any tactical instructions on how to deal with that, it just happens during the match and you need to make the right decisions. As a general rule, you won’t score if you don’t shoot. But we haven’t been practicing that. We always train hard and extensively all week - but we don’t usually practice shooting from 50 meters out.
bundesliga.com: . Will you still be there at the end of the season?
Huntelaar: It’s a nice situation at the moment for us and the fans, but no more than that. What’s important is that we reproduce the strong performance against Wolfsburg in the next few matches as well, week-in, week-out. We need to keep creating chances then we’ll be on the right track.