FC Schalke 04’s first opponents of the Knockout Stage were FC Barcelona, facing off in Quarterfinal 1. After concluding the Regular Season in 6th place, they beat the odds and created an aggregate score of 1-4, advancing themselves to the Semifinals. Team captain MeroMen spoke with Harry Channon about their first matchup.
MeroMen analyzed the competition: “We’re very happy. The first game was perfect, we played so well. In the box our passing was good. The second game was difficult, we had a 3-0 lead and Barcelona had to bring the pressure, and they did, so it was difficult for us. We did great, and now we want the title.”
Looking towards their upcoming opponents, Juventus, Channon asked MeroMen how his team was feeling about the Semifinal. The club captain responded confidently: “It has been hard to play against us this season, we’ve done very well defensively and Juventus knows it. We beat Barça already, why not Juventus? We want to beat them and go to the Final, that’s our goal.”
After a closely fought competition and a forced third game due to a tied aggregate score, FC Schalke 04 lost to Regular Season first placing Juventus in the Semifinals, as the outcome was sealed with a goal of ETTORITO97’s in minute 90+6’. MeroMen expressed his disappointment: “We played so well today. I think in the first game it’s because we didn’t get the equalizing goal. We lost, but came back in the second. To leave the tournament like this, it’s difficult.”
He then took a moment to thank Schalke fans: “I’m glad we could play nice football for Schalke this season, after such a bad one last year. Thanks to everyone all over the world who have supported us every time. For them, we’ll win 3rd place.”
Schalke’s final opponent of the day was AS Roma in the single game that would determine which club would earn the 3rd and 4th place titles. Due to latency issues experienced by the teams, the game was replayed following the first attempt, and the German squad emerged victorious 2-1. In the unofficial game, they received the same score which is referred to in the interview. MeroMen reflected on the gameplay: “Everyone knows how difficult it is to beat Roma just one time, and we beat them twice. It was difficult, they’re a great team with RoksaCzv22 as their captain. They’re great guys. I’m very proud of my team, with EL_Matador’s experience and Urma’s talent. I’m proud of third place. We had a nice season and I hope we’ll be back for the next.”
For his final question of the day for Schalke, Channon asked if they anticipated the success they ended up experiencing throughout the 2020-21 season. MeroMen mentioned some of the factors that helped his club: “Not only the roster change, but this Schalke squad is better in-game than last season, there are more players and an opportunity to play good football. I’m proud we showed everyone how we can play throughout this season.”
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