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Who is Germany star Leon Goretzka?

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Schalke standing firm on Goretzka

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Overcritical Schalke fans difficult to please - Max Meyer

A mostly under-strength German squad comfortably routed lowly San Marino, maintaining their grip on first place in Group C.

Schalke midfielder Max Meyer says the club's fans are overcritical with the team.

Meyer, 21, who is currently with Germany's under-21 team at the Euros in Poland, feels that Schalke fans are hard to please.

"I've been with the professionals for four years and in every season there has been criticism," he told Sportbuzzer. "Even when we qualified for the Champions League. It seemed like it's never good enough."

Meyer, who started in less than half of Schalke's matches across all competitions despite staying mostly injury free, has refused to extend his current deal with the Gelsenkirchen outfit. He stressed that he wants to play a successful season after Schalke finished 10th in the Bundesliga in the most recent campaign.

"Next year it counts," he said. "My big goal is the World Cup 2018, and first and foremost I'm responsible for that myself. I want to make the next step in my development. I'm feeling ready for that.

Schalke midfielder Max Meyer was excluded from Germany's squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup.

"The fans are putting everything they have into the club. A lot of love, but also a lot of money. In return, they expect that you get the maximum out of the season. That is understandable, but not always easy."

Asked why it's not easy, he said: "Finally winning a title would be a satisfaction for Schalke fans. To be honest, the championship is the great goal of our fans. I think that unvoiced thought lingers at the back of the player's minds."

Schalke have not won the German top flight since 1958 (the Bundesliga was founded in 1962). The Ruhr side are hoping that things turn for the better with newly appointed manager Domenico Tedesco, who replaced Markus Weinzierl after a disappointing season.

Meyer, meanwhile, has set his sight on winning the U21 Euro in Poland. He said: "We're one of the favourites for the Championship. But Spain, Italy and England are on a level with us. We have to perform better than them on the deciding day."

For Meyer, the Euros are also an important event to make it back to the senior team after national team coach Joachim Low excluded him from the team that is travelling to Russia for the Confederations Cup.

"I'm in constant exchange with the national team coach. The talks give me confidence. I want to and ought to stand out [in Poland], lead the team and put myself on the radar of the senior team."

Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.

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