It was back in November of 2016 that Serge Gnabry made his debut for the Germany national football team, scoring a hattrick in an 8-0 win against San Marino. After spending time at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, winning the European Championship with the U21s and his transfer to FC Bayern München, Gnabry is now back in Joachim Löw’s squad. When he found out about his late call-up, the attacker was overjoyed. In a DFB.de interview with Editor Ronny Zimmermann, Serge Gnabry spoke about the upcoming games in the UEFA Nations League versus the Netherlands and France, his style of play and his dream to play for Germany in a big tournament.
DFB.de: Mr Gnabry, welcome back to the national team. What was it like seeing everyone again?
Serge Gnabry: It’s really nice to be back and seeing a lot of familiar faces. I immediately felt at home being back in this team. I know a lot of the lads from playing with them in the youth setup or from the last time I was called up. I want to show that I belong here at this level.
DFB.de: You were called up very recently on Tuesday afternoon, after Leon Goretzka pulled out due to injury. How did you find out?
Gnabry: It was just a fairly normal day of training at Bayern. After the second session I went into the changing rooms and had a look at my phone after I’d got changed. I saw the missed call from the Coach and immediately had an idea what it might be about. Four hours later I was sat in an aeroplane on the way to Berlin, feeling really happy of course.
DFB.de: A bit later you had your next training session, yet this time you were training with different teammates!
Gnabry: I could still feel some fatigue in my legs at the start as I’d trained hard in Munich and then flown in the evening, but I shook it off quickly. Training with the national team is fun and the quality is very high. There’s a good atmosphere here, and everyone is showing that they want to play for the team.
DFB.de: How do you see your role in the national team’s play?
Gnabry: Definitely in an attacking role. I play on the wing for my club but I can play lots of positions up front – on the right, left, more centrally or even up front. I’ll play where the coach needs me and I’ll give it my all. We’re very flexible in our positions here and we regularly swap wings to make ourselves unpredictable for our opponents. I’ve definitely adopted that into my game. We also have different types of players in our attack and every single one of them can bring their strengths to the pitch.
DFB.de: You have two tough matches coming up with Germany against the Netherlands and France. What do you think about your opponents?
Gnabry: France are the world champions, which says it all. They have great quality in attack and their defence makes very few mistakes. However, we play the Netherlands first. With FC Bayern, we played against Ajax recently in the Champions League and from that I get the impression that they are a very good team. They have many young players and many good players. They have an interesting team and are improving again.
DFB.de: After the disappointing performance in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there are changes being made in the team. Is your aim to win the 2020 European Championship?
Gnabry: My dream is to play for Germany in a big tournament. That did not happen at the World Cup, so I want to be with the team for the next big tournament. I have to work hard for this. I have already experienced what it feels like to win a tournament when I won the 2017 European Championship with the Germany U21s. I can use this international break to show the national team what I can do, and I will give everything to be a regular in the team.