In the pre-match interview on Saturday before Bayern’s 4-0 win away at Köln, we discussed the Christmas holiday, his outstanding record against the upcoming opposition, the Ballon D’or, and his charitable work in Ivory Coast.
Serge Gnabry has been part of one of Europe’s most proficient attacks this season. The FC Bayern München winger has recorded 12 goal contributions in just 13 starts in the Bundesliga for Julian Nagelsmann’s side.
Despite limited opportunities in the Champions League, the German has 2 goals in 2 games, stepping up whenever given the opportunity.
An Interview with Serge Gnabry
One of the things you did over the Christmas holidays was watching an NBA game in Miami. What was that experience like and where does your enthusiasm for basketball come from?
“Yeah, I took a trip to Miami just before Christmas. I was able to see the Heat game against the Indiana Pacers. I really enjoyed going there.
For me, it is always nice to see a sporting event and not being the one on the pitch. I can then just relax courtside and see how the players are doing, how they get into their zone and take away a couple things from their sport.
Where it comes from? It developed over the years. I like watching LeBron and James Harden and all those guys. Whenever I can, I always try to watch a game.”
You are playing against 1. FC Köln on Saturday. Your performances against them are impressive: a total of 11 goals, including four braces in eight games.
Your goal-average against The Billy Goats is even higher than Lewandowski’s! What do you think about this and why do like to play against 1. FC Köln so much?
“I would say it is good to be playing against Köln because hopefully I can score another couple of goals this Saturday. Where they will come from, I cannot tell you yet.
But to be fair, I enjoy playing there. It is a great stadium. So far, I was always lucky enough to score against them. Hopefully again this Saturday.”
FC Köln have a lot of self-confidence with three recent victories. What makes them so strong this season and how do you want to break their streak?
“I think they have become very strong under their new coach. Very much so in terms of their physicality. I think they are pressing very well.
They are playing a lot of crosses to their strikers. Modeste is in good form. They just don’t give up. They just keep going.
For us, it is going to be key to just play our style of game, to dominate possession and eventually, break through. We want them to tire out because of the way we keep the ball and then, hopefully, we use our chances.”
Even though there are still a few matchdays to go, we would like to take a look at the game against RB Leipzig in early February.
Seen as Bayern chasers before the season, they have so far fallen short of expectations. However, they proved against Mainz that they can play really well.
How do you rate Leipzig and what are their qualities?
“Of course, Leipzig has a great squad with a lot of talented players. This season, they have struggled so far but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be ready to play on the day.
It is going to be a big game for us and also decisive to advance our lead over Dortmund.
We have to win, especially in the big games against teams like Leipzig. Hopefully, we will win all games until then and earn another three points against Leipzig.”
The FIFA Best Men’s Player will be awarded on Monday. Robert Lewandowski is nominated.
Why do you think does he deserve to win the award?
“I think for the last two years, he was probably the most consistently performing player. In my eyes- obviously as he is my teammate- I would love for him to win it.
I wish him all the best. In my eyes, he has been the most consistent. He has scored so many goals which is incredible. He also broke a couple records, so I think he deserves it.”
The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper will also be awarded, and Manuel Neuer is nominated. Why do you think does he deserve to win the award?
“Because he is an amazing goalkeeper. He has proven throughout the years that he is the best.
At least I can say that he is the best I have ever seen. In my eyes, he should win it.”
In 2019, you travelled to Ivory Coast to visit a project called TackleAfrica that you support through Common Goal.
Do you think back to this trip sometimes and how do you feel about your social engagement?
“Of course, sometimes when I go through my pictures and the pictures from that visit to the TackleAfrica facility come up, I think about it and talk about it.
I would like to continue my social engagement, try to do new things and plan new thing. Unfortunately, over the past two years, I was not able to visit, but I hope to visit again soon.”
Interviewed via the DFL
Authors: Zahaan Bafna in collaboration with James Rees | Edited by Luke Reevey
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images