Felix Platte: How did Schalke play?

After spending one and a half years on loan at Darmstadt and winning the U21 European Championship, Felix Platte is back in Gelsenkirchen. The striker speaks in an interview with about his return, the tournament in Poland a question he wants to stop being asked as soon as possible.

Felix Platte, first of all congratulations on your European title once again. Have you recovered from the party after your final win over Spain?

It took some time to but yes (grins). We certainly celebrated in style. I also really enjoyed the days after our win. The whole tournament was a fantastic experience for the team.

The team would not have made it to the final without you. You were one of the stars against England after you scored the equaliser to make it 2-2 just after you had been brought on. How many messages did you have on your phone after you scored that goal?

I stopped counting after a while as there were so many. My social media accounts were also overloaded. I was really pleased about every message congratulating me.

Could you get to sleep at all on the night you made it to the final?

No. I literally did not close my eyes for one moment.

Does this title give you more confidence and motivation fir when you start at Schalke?

I am always motivated and want to pursue the goals I have set. That is my expectation of myself. I want to achieve more at Schalke and will work hard for that. 

You have been at SV Darmstadt 98 for the last one and a half years. What did your time at the Lilies teach you?

All in all I had a great time there. I gained a lot of match practice and that has done me good. Unfortunately I spent some time on the sidelines due to a hip injury. Otherwise I would have played more. 

How tough was your injury lay-off for you?

My girlfriend and family were always there for me, as were my best friends. I would definitely not have managed to get back on the pitch without all of these people. This period showed me once again that you should never give up.

Were you in contact with any of the players of Schalke whilst you were on loan?

I was in touch with Thilo Kehrer, Donis Avdijaj, Max Meyer and Alexander Nübel on a regular basis. I was at the Schalke school with some of these guys so we obviously developed friendships there.

How much did you follow Schalke’s progress while you were at Darmstadt?

I watched some matches live at the VELTINS-Arena and when Darmstadt and Schalke played each other, I asked how things were going as soon as the referee blew the final whistle. But throughout the 90 minutes my focus was completely on Darmstadt. 

How was your first encounter with Domenico Tedesco?

We spoke on the phone during the European Championship. That was a very nice conversation. He is a young coach and knows what makes players of my age tick.

What targets have you set yourself?

I obviously want to play as much as possible. I know that competition up top is high but I will work hard every day and give it my best. 

One more question. Every Schalke fan will remember your shot that hit the bar against Real Madrid in the Champions League. When will the fans be talking about your first goal for the Royal Blues?

Hopefully as soon as possible since I am starting to get sick of hearing that question (laughs). After all, it was an accidental shot. The ball hit the woodwork, not the back of the net. I want to do better in that situation next time.