The former Arsenal star explained the reasons behind rejecting the African country to play Joachim Low’s side seven years ago
Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry said he dumped Ivory Coast to play for Germany because he was born and raised in the European country.
Gnabry, born to an Ivorian father and a German mother in Stuttgart, disclosed that he was approached by the Ivorian football governing body in 2014 but he turned them down to get a spot in Joachim Low’s team.
He has been included in Germany’s final 26-man squad for next month’s Euro 2020, however, he claims the West African nation is still home for him.
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“That was in 2014 when I played for Arsenal. The Ivorian association contacted me and asked for a meeting to convince me to play for their senior national team,” Gnabry told Goal and SPOX. “But it was always clear to me: I was born and raised here in Germany, I played for almost all of the DFB and youth national teams, so I also want to play for the German senior national team.”
“That also means home for me. My father is from there and most of my family still lives there. I’ve been there a few times and, if time permits, I want to visit more often.”
The 25-year-old who has scored nine goals in 26 Bundesliga matches this campaign, revealed that two-time African Footballer of the Year and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba was his favourite player after Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.
“Didier Drogba, for sure. He was my favourite player after Zinedine Zidane. A great striker,” he added.
Two years ago, Gnabry expressed his readiness to touch lives in the Ivory Coast with his resources across the educational and health sectors.
“I have been raised so that one should always share. That’s why social projects are important to me,” he said.
“I would like to mature to a man who speaks well. It’s not exactly what I’m going to do exactly – but I’m definitely going to build a bigger social project in the home of my father, the Ivory Coast.
“In the education system, in the health sector – there is much to do, and it does not have to be confined to Ivory Coast.
“I want to give something back from what life has given me. It is quite possible that after my career, I will superficially turn to such projects. If everything revolves around football for you from zero to 35 years, maybe it’s time for something else.”