Europe is one small step for Mainz
Mainz's general manager Christian Heidel likened his side's achievement in qualifying for the Europa League to Neil Armstrong's moon walk after a 3-1 win at Schalke secured fifth place in the Bundesliga.
The win at the Arena AufSchalke capped an incredible season for a side many thought would be relegated in only their second season in the top flight and Heidel said it was an historic moment in the club's history. "For Mainz, this is the equivalent of landing on the moon," he said. "What the lads have achieved this season is sensational."
The joy was not so evident on the face of Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel, but he said the achievement has not yet sunk in.
"Maybe the time has come today, after this performance and what this team has shown week in week out, for me to pay the team a huge compliment," he said. "I am sure you will be able to see my joy in a few days."
There was no such joy for Schalke, though, as they fell to their fifth consecutive defeat. "For some reason, the players are currently unable to show their best performances," said their director of sport Horst Heldt, who is rather worried about his club's form a fortnight before the DFB-Pokal final against Duisburg.
"We wanted to win our last Bundesliga games to build up self confidence for the cup final in Berlin, but winning does not mean that we will also beat Duisburg. We now need to move up a gear to reach our goal, which is cup victory."