Schalke star Weston McKennie has said it’s his job to dislike local rivals Borussia Dortmund – and that his friendship with fellow American Christian Pulisic gets put on hold whenever the pair meet at club level.
McKennie, 20, has yet to taste defeat against Dortmund, and he will be out to extend that run when his side take on the unbeaten league leaders in Gelsenkirchen this Saturday.
“The fans really, really, really do not like BVB, and, you know, I don’t either,” the USMNT international told bundesliga.com.
“It’s my job, it’s my duty – I don’t either. So I think that’s why it’s electrifying. Everyone goes out there to compete and tackles. I like that type of game, going out and tackling… and it has a lot of history.”
Watch: See what McKennie makes of Schalke's rivalry with Dortmund
The Schalke midfielder and Dortmund attacker Pulisic represent the future of the US national team, and are good friends off the field. But with the Royal Blues 12th in the table and Dortmund 19 points better off, no quarter will be given when the two come face-to-face in this weekend’s Revierderby.
“We were just playing Fortnite yesterday together,” McKennie said. “Whenever we get here to Schalke stadium, friendship is broken.”
Runners-up in the Bundesliga last season, Schalke had a slow start to the 2018/19 campaign. However, they have already booked their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage – thanks in part to a winning goal from McKennie against Lokomotiv Moscow - and started December with a hard-fought draw at Hoffenheim.
McKennie, who has played 10 league games this season, will hope they can continue their climb towards the top half of the table by securing another home win against Dortmund.
The Texan came on as a substitute in the Royal Blues’ 2-0 success at the VELTINS Arena in April, while he also featured in their incredible comeback from four goals down in last season’s other game between the sides in November 2017.
“I hope it continues this weekend,” McKennie said, laughing when discussing his results against Schalke’s biggest rivals.
“Hopefully I get to go through my Schalke career and say I haven’t been beaten by Dortmund. That would be a pretty good feeling to have because nobody wants to lose a derby.”
McKennie got on the scoresheet for the first time in the Bundesliga in the 2-0 win at Fortuna Düsseldorf in October. But he admits that he has no idea what he would do if he gets a decisive goal against Dortmund.
“I would probably do circles around the stadium,” he joked. “I’d probably knock off another extra two kilometres on my running distance just from celebrating.”