Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos believes Die Königsblauen can win the UEFA Europa League after last night's victory over Steaua Bucharest saw them qualify for the knockout stages with a match to spare. Papadopoulos opened the scoring for the hosts before Raul Rusescu equalised for Steaua, but former Real Madrid striker Raul popped up for Schalke's winner with just over half an hour remaining.
Schalke have a good European pedigree, having reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season, and Papadopoulos feels the silverware is very much there for the taking this time around.
"We gave it 100 per cent effort and we deserved to go in front," he said of last night's victory. "We showed that we deserved to win the group and qualify for the knockout stages. We have every chance of winning this competition this season."
Raul's strike was his first Europa League goal to add to his haul of 71 in the Champions League, and Schalke's director of sport Horst Heldt wants even more from the veteran Spaniard. "I was delighted for him," he said. "Particularly since the goal was not in a 4-1 or 5-1 win, but it was a decisive goal for victory. I would hope that he can carry on like this in our next Europa League games."