Ahead of Saturday’s tea-time kick-off against Schalke, we sat down with Raffael to talk about his time in Gelsenkirchen, Schalke’s strengths and Borussia’s season so far.
Raffael, on Saturday you will face FC Schalke 04, where you played for six months. Are you still in touch with anyone at the club and how do you look back on your time there?
Raffael: I’m not in touch with anyone anymore; it’s been a while since I played there. Almost all the players I played with aren’t there anymore. I had a great time at Schalke though, even if it was only half a year. I learnt a lot during my time there, played alongside lots of experienced players.
What do you make of Schalke’s season so far?
Raffael: They’re having a good season; they deserve to be in third place. They’re very compact and play with confidence under the new manager. They play as a unit, so it won’t be an easy game for us on Saturday.
How will you have to confront Schalke’s game in order to be successful?
Raffael: In games like this it all comes down to keeping it simple, clear and playing with conviction. Obviously efficiency in front of goal will be important as well. If we play our own way, I’m confident we can get something out of the game on Saturday.
You scored two goals against one of your former clubs a few weeks ago. You’ve also scored a Borussia goal against Schalke. Will we see another Raffael goal on Saturday?
Raffael: I always give my all, no matter who I’m up against, I always try to help the team on the pitch. Of course, this is a special game for me, because it’s against a former club of mine. I will obviously be trying to score again on Saturday, but the important thing is that we win as a team.
We’re now into the final phase of pre-winter-break fixtures. What is your verdict on Borussia’s situation?
Raffael: We’re fourth in the league, that’s good. We could be showing more consistency in our performances though. We will try to collect points in the pre-winter-break run-in and progress in the DFB-Pokal.