"It makes it special that I can achieve both within such a short period of time. I am really looking forward to playing Champions League, especially as it's my first time."
The Germany-born player can be used in several attacking positions, and is a strong dribbler who can shoot with both feet. He started in every game the Indomitable Lions played at this year's FIFA World Cup™, as the west Africans lost all three matches and finished with the worst record of the 32 participating teams. He is hoping that he can put aside some of that disappointment by enjoying a good run in the UEFA Champions League.
“If you get the chance, then just being there is not enough," he said. "I want to be successful with my team in the Champions League. As we know, that was not the case at the World Cup.”
Choupo-Moting admits that it was not easy to come to terms with Cameroon losing all three matches in Brazil: “You need to try to put that aside as soon as possible, but it is not that easy and can't be achieved in one day. But with the new season and the many games we will be playing, it makes it easier to slot back into a daily routine.”
But with Schalke starting the new season slowly - they lost at third division club Dynamo Dresden in the first round of the German Cup and picked up just a point from their two opening league matches - there was some respite with the national team. Choupo-Moting featured in both matches as the Indomitable Lions won 2-0 at Congo DR and followed that up with a resounding 4-1 victory over Côte d’Ivoire in two 2015 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers played earlier this week.
There was also some consolation for him as Die Mannschaft secured the title by beating Argentina in the final. He admitted that he was rooting for Germany once Cameroon had been knocked out: “I feel just as German as I do Cameroonian. On paper, I might even be just a tick more German, as I was born in Germany and my mother is German. As a result I was really happy when Germany won.”
Choupo-Moting started his Bundesliga career as an 18-year-old for Hamburg in 2007 and soon played regularly before an injury set him back. Struggling to make the side thereafter, he was loaned out to Nuremberg in 2009 and there found his form again. After returning to Hamburg, he was on the verge of signing for Cologne, but the deal fell through due to an administrative error.
Instead, he moved to Mainz and there discovered his scoring touch, finding the back of the net ten times in his first season. Again, his second season did not go according to plan and he had to wait until his third season with the team to resume his scoring run. A further ten goals last season put him on the radar of bigger clubs, including some from the Serie A, but in the end it was Schalke that got their man.
“Schalke tried really hard to get me and I was impressed by that," he said. "It is a special club with a huge tradition and great fans. I also wanted to stay in the Bundesliga.”
Choupo-Moting laughs as he is asked whether his Cameroon team-mate Joel Matip, who also plays for Schalke, played a part in his move: “That will automatically happen if one is friends. Of course Joel only told me good things about Schalke to lure me to the club.”
He said he was looking forward to his first season with the club nicknamed Die Knappen, which is an old German word for miners and is a reference to the club's working-class background and their location in the Ruhr area, which was formally the centre of German coal mining. “I want to become a part of the team as soon and as well as possible," he said. "We want to achieve something with the club, and I want to find my place in achieving that.”