Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 prepared for their upcoming UEFA Champions League tie at home to Chelsea FC in perfect fashion with a 3-2 win at Eintracht Braunschweig on Matchday 9. Now they're up against the 2012 champions of Europe, who count among their ranks a familiar face to Bundesliga fans.

Andre Schürrle starred in the Bundesliga with 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, before switching to Stamford Bridge in the summer. Now the Germany international, who recently helped die Nationalmannschaft for next summer's FIFA World Cup in Brazil, returns to Germany with his new club, and admits that Schalke are a "dangerous team", as well as revealing exclusively to the increasing appreciation for the German football from his new team-mates. André Schürrle, in the summer you made the bold move to join Chelsea FC from Bayer 04 Leverkusen. How difficult was it settling in?

Andre Schürrle: I've settled down quickly in London and got to know many people that have already been here a while. Michael Ballack even showed me a few things. I've fallen in love with the city. The team also made it pretty easy for me. Mesut Özil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski are under contract at city rivals Arsenal. Do you have much contact with your international team-mates?

Schürrle: I live in the west and the guys live in the north of the city, which is a fair way away. We haven't met up yet, but I'm sure we will go out for some food or something soon. Your coach Jose Mourinho is considered to be 'the Special One' of the coaching world. What are your experiences of him?

Schürrle: He is undoubtedly one of the best coaches. He's won so much. For me, it's a great honour to be able to train under him. He gives so much and you really feel his unbelievable experience. I know he trusts me and backs my game. Mourinho is known to play a quick transition game. What do you make of this tactic?

Schürrle: That's exactly what I'm about: breaking quickly and quickly rounding it off. It really suits me. A new coach and new team full of well-known stars: that's risky for a young player. Did you not worry that you might find yourself warming the bench and missing out on the World Cup in Brazil?

Schürrle: That didn't cross my mind. I was 100 per cent sure it was the right move. Every day in training, I'm under pressure to perform against top players. That's a benefit to me. In the long run, it will also have a positive effect for me in the national team. You've started four games and been involved as a substitute in three. How do you see your place within the team?

Schürrle: It's great. We've got plenty of players in attacking positions and the coach likes to rotate a lot, but it's going well. I feel the players trust me, especially the older ones who have already been in the team for a long time. You've got three months' Premier League experience under your belt. How different is England's top division to the Bundesliga?

Schürrle: In my first games, I noticed it's a bit more robust. It's more about using physical strength. You have to be more assertive because you come up against plenty of tough players. You still depend on your speed and dribbling...

Schürrle: It's good for me because this way I can only improve. I do a lot of physical training. It's an advantage as a nimble player to come up against such robust opponents. Familiar faces lie in wait on Tuesday when Chelsea face Schalke. What will it feel like returning to a Bundesliga stadium?

Schürrle: Of course it's nice to be going back to Germany. Against Schalke, in this stadium, with such fantastic fans. I'll be coming up against one of my best friends in football, , too. It will be a special game for me. Of course it means a lot to us as a team in sporting terms. What do you make of Schalke so far this season? Which players will you and your team have to pay particular attention to?

Schürrle: Schalke are a very good team with strong individuals. In they’ve brought in a top player who’s given the whole club a lift. But we also have an outstanding team with a lot of quality, meaning we’ll go into the game believing we can win it. Are you expecting that Schalke will defend deep and look to hit you on the break?

Schürrle: We’re a big team, so for them, playing at home, they’ll want to make it difficult for us. There were two victories for German clubs in the Champions League, and on Matchday 2, every Bundesliga club celebrated a win. How do you assess the strength of the German clubs in the Champions League?

Schürrle: The quality of Bundesliga teams has increased enormously, so that explains why they all won their games. We saw the trend of German clubs getting stronger last year. Many young German players are now being signed by top European clubs, such as you yourself. Have your team-mates or coaches asked you about the improvements made in the Bundesliga in recent years?

Schürrle: The English are really interested in it, and I spoke to John Terry about it, for example. They ask about our youth systems because they see how many great young players are playing in the Bundesliga and the German national team. I think the English envy us in that respect.

Interview by Andreas Messmer

Check out what helped convince Chelsea of Schürrle's potential with his top five goals in the German top flight, courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: