Germany international Serge Gnabry ended a successful and unusual season with FC Bayern by winning the Champions League trophy. The 25-year-old winger spoke with President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Instagram about Corona times and a social project he is currently involved in.
…his current situation: Me and my family are well. I had a nice holiday and now I’m ready for the restart.
…the initiative Common Goal: The main aim is to give children around the world a chance to get away from day-to-day-life and to learn basic things like sewing and cooking. They can play football in the afternoons. Training will teach them important skills like how to be part of a team, discipline, thoughtfulness and helpfulness. A lot of players, such as Mats Hummels, have been involved since the start, which is great. If a lot of players help out, we can really have an impact. I was lucky to visit the project in the Ivory Coast last summer, where my father was born. I got to see how the people were being helped out there and it really motivated me to carry on getting involved and to also get more players on board.
…changes because of corona: My daily routine has changed, and you can’t arrive to training as relaxed. We are tested before every game and get results every 24 hours. We can’t have any contact to the fans and we have to wear face masks while we’re out and about. Football is the only thing that matters on the pitch though. The guidelines have been implemented very well and we always felt safe. It would be amazing if the whole thing was over and we could have fans back in the stadiums and other events could be hosted too. We love having fans in the grounds to celebrate with.
…positives during corona times: We should keep this solidarity after corona is gone. So many fund-raising campaigns have begun and the country has come together to get through such a difficult time. I hope we will continue to look out for each other and everyone’s health will be secure.
…his contributions during corona: FC Bayern is a huge club with a large number of workers. We all waived parts of our wages to help the club. It’s important that the club is running okay.
…the values taught by football: Football and sport have always helped to put children on the right path and have supported them in living their own lives. Football can also help people to overcome difficult situations. For example, we set up a football school for child soldiers so that they can have lessons in the morning and football in the afternoon. The aim was to get the children back into society. During my time as Minister of Foreign Affairs, football was often a way of starting conversations. Many years ago, I was in an African country and I knew the conversation with the President would be difficult. He started by saying “I’m the President of Burkina Faso and a fan of Werder Bremen.”
…his relationship to football: I try to follow the results in the Bundesliga. The football in my life was only really with small crowds though. I was a half back, as it was called back then, at TuS 08 Brakelsiek. I wasn’t technically gifted but I could run a lot. I’ve still retained this ability a bit, which I’ve noticed when I kick a ball about in the garden with the neighbouring kids.