Lisbon (AP) – Serge Gnabry stood in the catacombs of the Estádio José Alvalade with the UEFA trophy for the “Man of the Match” in his left hand and briefly flicked a smile for the photographer.
On Sunday evening (9 p.m. / ZDF, Sky, DAZN), however, the man who shot FC Bayern into the grand finale against Paris Saint-Germain in the best Arjen Robben memory style wants to raise a completely different cup in Lisbon – the largest and most valuable in global club football, the handle pot of the Champions League.
The international striker was asked by a reporter on Wednesday evening after the 3-0 (2-0) in the semi-final against Olympique Lyon why the Munich double winners now also win the triple. “Because we really want it. I think that’s the deciding factor. We’ll do everything we can to get the title,” Gnabry replied.
The 25-year-old impressively kept his promise to do everything against Lyon. Captain Manuel Neuer spoke of another “creamy day” for the winger in the premier class; Just remember the four goals in the 7-2 win against Tottenham or the brace in the 3-0 win against Chelsea in the last sixteen. But his eight and nine goals of the season in Portugal were the most important. “He scored the first goal at the right time,” emphasized goalkeeper Neuer. In the scene before Lyons Toko Ekambi hit the post (17th minute), Bayern staggered in the early stages of the game.
The 1-0 was reminiscent of the legendary Robben move, this inimitable movement of the Dutch Gnabry predecessor, who for years pulled the ball in from the right wing and then circled the ball with his left into the corner. Gnabry imitated this in his own way, dynamic, determined, powerful. “The 1-0 win was absolutely outstanding, the way he finished it and the way he prepared it himself. Serge simply took an extremely good shot with both feet,” said coach Hansi Flick, commenting on the action.
Gnabry had acted on orders. “Before the game, a physio (therapist) said to me:” If you don’t shoot, the ball can’t go in. “Luckily I shot,” he said after his big performance: “I had a strong left foot always.” His 2-0 he later initiated dynamically and completed the move again with the left in front of the empty goal.
Gnabry has seen rapid development, “not just at Bayern, but also with the national team,” as Flick emphasized. When he was still assistant to national coach Joachim Löw, they had the then 18-year-old Arsenal talent in mind as a surprise nomination for the glorious 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Gnabry is now known to “always” play at Löw, as the national coach said. “You have to say that he is already close to a world-class player. He has tremendous qualities,” explained Flick – and poked the Lyon conqueror on again: “I am convinced that he is far from over.”
Gnabry still has plans for Portugal. He is now the fourth big striker name in the final, alongside teammate Robert Lewandowski and PSG superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. “Gnabry will be one of the great threats to PSG,” wrote French sports newspaper “L’Equipe” on Thursday. The Estádio da Luz is the best possible time for Gnabry to do the seal again: The last Munich Champions League hero to date scored in 2013 on the way to the first Bayern triple in the triumph in the Wembley final against Borussia Dortmund in the 89 minutes: the winning goal.