Di Matteo joyful after Schalke's success

Coach Roberto Di Matteo said "I haven't been happy like this for a long time" after FC Schalke 04's qualification via their victory against an NK Maribor side proud in defeat.

Roberto Di Matteo celebrates Schalke's success at Maribor on Wednesday
Roberto Di Matteo celebrates Schalke's success at Maribor on Wednesday ©Getty Images

Schalke make last 16 after 1-0 win at Maribor, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar praising defence
Schalke coach Roberto Di Matteo: "I haven't been happy like this for a long time"
Coach Ante Šimundža describes Maribor's campaign as "a great achievement"
Round of 16 draw takes place in Nyon at 12.00CET on 15 December

Roberto Di Matteo, Schalke coach
Of course we are happy with the result and with our qualification for the knockout stage. We deserved this win, we were the better side. Maribor played well in the first half, but in the second there were some vital moments where we pressed hard and scored. Max Meyer was a bit disappointed because he didn't start the match, but as you have seen he was the most important man in the end. His future at the club is really bright.

This is a very important result for Schalke. Qualification for the knockout stage is a big success and responsibility. I'm also happy that Chelsea won and they helped us to qualify. I was sure Chelsea would win but I was not so sure for us. I haven't been happy like tonight for a long time.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Schalke forward
It was a pretty tough match. I think we defended well in the first half. We let them play and we wanted to create more space behind the defence. In the end we've won 1-0, we could've won 2-0 or 3-0, but 1-0 is enough.

Of course we are happy [that Sporting lost at Chelsea to allow Schalke through]. Almost every time we play in the Champions League we get to the next round. So this is a good result for our team.

Schalke delight at last-16 spot
Schalke delight at last-16 spot

Ante Šimundža, Maribor coach 
We were very solid physically in the first half. Unfortunately we lost a lot of power in the second half, especially after conceding the goal. It showed we've already played 35 matches this season as some of our players looked tired. I'm still proud of them, I'm delighted with all our successes this season. We are out of the competition now, but we have much more experience and knowledge after this great Champions League campaign. We were in contention until the last match, which is a great achievement for a team like Maribor.

Aleš Mertelj, Maribor midfielder
It was very hard. In the first half we played our game, but we weren't good enough in the end. Schalke scored the one goal and got what they wanted. We are a bit disappointed, but in the end we have played well in the group but it wasn't enough for us to qualify for the Europa League. I have only good things to say about our team and what we did in this competition. We must take the positives. We are very proud of how we played, but we are competitors and we always want more. We hope next season we will be much better.

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