Serge Gnabry has his sights set on winning the FIFA Club World Cup with Bayern Munich. - © DFL
Serge Gnabry has his sights set on winning the FIFA Club World Cup with Bayern Munich. - © DFL
bundesliga

Bayern Munich's Serge Gnabry: "Our aim is to win a sixth trophy"

Serge Gnabry has underlined Bayern Munich's ambitions to "win a sixth title" at the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar, to go with the five trophies they won in 2019/20.

Bayern booked their place at the tournament after beating Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League final in August, while Hansi Flick's side also lifted the Bundesliga, DFB Cup, DFL Supercup and UEFA Super Cup crowns last year.

They flew to host nation Qatar immediately after their narrow 1-0 win away to Hertha Berlin on Friday (albeit after a lengthy delay at Berlin airport), and face Egyptian side and African Champions League winners Al Ahly SC in the semi-finals on Monday. Should Bayern win that game, they will play against either SE Palmeiras (Brazil) or Tigres (Mexico) in the final on Thursday 11 February.

Watch: Highlights of Bayern's win over Hertha

"We're all looking forward to it, and can't wait for a few days in the sun," Gnabry told Spox, his side having played in snowy conditions in Berlin in the Matchday 20 curtain-raiser.

"But the aim is obviously to win another title, which would be our sixth one. We were all very keen for the tournament to take place, so we're all very happy that it is."

Bayern last won the Club World Cup in December 2013 with a 2-0 triumph over Raja Casablanca, and although they have a healthy seven-point lead at the Bundesliga summit, the Reds have struggled to hit top form in 2021, losing to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 15 and getting knocked out of the DFB Cup by Bundesliga 2 side Holstein Kiel.

That has been partly down to the team uncharacteristically conceding a lot of goals; RB Leipzig (17), Wolfsburg (19), Bayer Leverkusen (21) and Union Berlin (25) have all let in fewer than Bayern's 26. Gnabry believes it comes with the territory however, considering Bayern's high-risk, high-reward playing style.

"When you have so much possession in the opposition's half, you control the game and have such a high backline then there's always a risk that teams like Gladbach, who have quick players on the counter, can exploit that," he said.

"That will always be the case with this approach. Obviously, we need to try and prevent situations like that by not losing the ball cheaply. And at the back, we probably need to anticipate a bit better when long balls are coming, in order to provide cover."

Flick's side are as rampant as ever at the other end of the pitch, though, and have scored 19 more goals (58) than the next-most prolific side - Dortmund, with 39. Robert Lewandowski has been responsible for most of those with 24, but Gnabry recently ended an 11-game scoring drought in the Bundesliga to put away his fifth of the season.

Watch: Gnabry and Bayern's world-class stable of wingers

"It was a big weight off my shoulders," he said of his strike in the 4-1 win over former club Hoffenheim on Matchday 19. "I was really happy because I hadn't scored for such a long time. I'd had a lot of chances in a lot of games, and I was so frustrated because the ball just didn't want to go in. So it was a great feeling to score again."

The Germany international also singled out teammate Thomas Müller, who has 10 goals and 10 assists in the Bundesliga this season, for his importance to the side.

"He's always positive, always wants to win, is always cajoling everyone," Gnabry said. "He talks about things in a direct manner. Thomas leads the way with his mentality and he carries us all along with him. He's always focused and always wants to step on the gas. He's so savvy out on the pitch. He's a great teammate, colleague and friend."