The matchwinner: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's 61st-minute strike secured FC Schalke 04 a 2-1 victory over 1. FSV Mainz 05 in Sunday's Matchday 4 curtain-closer - © © imago
The matchwinner: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's 61st-minute strike secured FC Schalke 04 a 2-1 victory over 1. FSV Mainz 05 in Sunday's Matchday 4 curtain-closer - © © imago
Bundesliga

Huntelaar: 'We played with a lot of heart and passion'

Gelsenkirchen - He missed a penalty, scored the winning goal and broke a corner flag. It was a strange recipe for success, but one that worked for FC Schalke 04 striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the 2-1 win over 1. FSV Mainz 05.

However, talking to the assembled press in the catacombs of the Veltins Arena after the victory, the Dutch veteran preferred to draw attention to the performance of the entire team and had words of praise for a side that boasted an average age of just over 25.

Question: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, you broke the corner flag with your celebration - is there anything else you want to take as a souvenir to remember this game by?

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: (Laughing.) Of course, I’ll be taking that [the corner flag] home with me to use it as a toothpick! In all seriousness, I will be taking it back but unfortunately it didn't survive this time - usually the flag just bounces back up when you bash into it! In this case, however, I landed right on top of it, so it just ended up broken lying on the floor.

- © imago

'I never give up'

'Everything went well'

Question: Straight after missing the penalty, you changed your shirt. Did that change of shirt bring a change of luck?

Huntelaar: (Laughing.) No no, it wasn't that - I had to change my shirt as it was ripped.

Question: For long periods against Mainz, Schalke were very forward-thinking. There was lots of attacking thrust and lots of football played out wide, did you enjoy that?

Huntelaar: It was really good fun, everything went well. We intended to play in an attacking style and put lots of pressure on from the word go. We played with a lot of heart and passion and the fans recognised that with their songs and their applause. It's great that we managed to win again because we certainly didn’t want to draw our second game running at home.

Question: Did you miss Julian Draxler?

Huntelaar: Jule [Julian Draxler] is a fantastic player, but it’s not just about one player on the field – we have 11 when out there and seven more on the bench. We have a big squad, but of course you're going to miss a player like Jule: he has such potential. He decided to leave, though, which we have to accept and move on.

- © imago

'We know we can go far'