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Klaas-Jan Huntelaar heaped praise on his FC Schalke 04 team-mates after his hat-trick, completed in extra time, sealed his side's progress to the UEFA Europa League round of 16. The Dutch international took his seasonal tally to 33 goals in 34 outings to set up a tie with FC Twente and end FC Viktoria Plzeň's European campaign. Huntelaar's "big-time" instincts even drew praise from his opponents as the Czech team reflected on a memorable adventure in UEFA competition.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Schalke forward
The main thing is that we play as a team and play well. If we do that then we'll score goals. It was a tough game but we didn't take our chances in the 90 minutes. We didn't want penalties because we were on top in extra time. We wanted to end it and, thankfully, we managed to do that.
I'm glad it's FC Twente in the next round as they are a team I know very well. They're a good side and they can play good football. We have to be aware of that. We want to go as far as we can in this tournament – I'm excited about it.
Benedikt Höwedes, Schalke defender
I think we did very well to maintain our control. It was extremely frustrating when Plzeň scored that late goal because we were pretty comfortable at that point. The main thing is we came through in the end and can now prepare properly for the next round, and look forward to another tough game in Munich on Sunday.
Daniel Kolář, Plzeň forward
After it went to 1-1, I really hoped and believed we could take it to penalties. But, in Huntelaar, Schalke have a really big-time player. He stepped up like top players do. It was great to see so many of our fans here. It's a seven-hour drive from our home town but they were incredible.
David Limberský, Plzeň defender
We are really disappointed but we're very proud of these performances. Our game against FC København to reach the Champions League was fantastic, then to go and play the likes of Barcelona and Schalke was incredible. It's been a great season for us and now we have to make sure we do well enough in our league to ensure we play in Europe again next time.
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