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Serge Gnabry becomes sixth player to sign up to charity Common Goal

Giorgio Chiellini announces he's the latest to join the Common Goal initiative that was spearheaded by Juan Mata.

On-loan Hoffenheim midfielder Serge Gnabry has become the sixth player to join Common Goal, the charity initiative pioneered by Manchester United's Juan Mata.

Former Arsenal man Gnabry, who is on loan at Hoffenheim from Bayern Munich, has joined Mata in donating one percent of his wage to charity.

Bayern defender Mats Hummels, Juventus' Giorgio Chiellini and United States women's internationals Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have already signed up to Common Goal, a collective fund which aims to help football-based charities around the world.

Gnabry said: "I'm still in the early stages of what I hope will be a long career. When I look back on my footballing journey in years to come, I want to be able to say that I left a positive mark both on and off the pitch.

"My pledge may not change the world by itself. But by coming together behind a shared mission I think players can make a real difference. I want to help make Common Goal part of football. I want to help football feel good about itself again.

"I'm proud of my Ivorian roots and know how much football means to the people over there. The thought of using the game as a tool to create social change across the country is something that really inspires me."

At 22 years old, Germany international Gnabry is the youngest footballer to pledge to Common Goal.

Chiellini, 33, said: "I want to congratulate Serge for connecting his career to social responsibility at this young age. He is a great player and he's setting a fantastic example for other footballers to follow."

Mata added: "We welcome Serge to Common Goal, where he now stands alongside Mats Hummels as the second German member of the team. I hope that players from other European countries are inspired to join us, as we continue to build a diverse and unique Common Goal team."

Meanwhile, Gnabry says he will return to Bayern next summer once his loan with Hoffenheim finishes, though he wants to play in England again one day.

"I'm definitely going back to Munich next summer unless something changes for the other side," he said. "Sometimes things happen in football within a very short timeframe. But my plan is to play for Bayern next season."

Gnabry added: "In any case, my wish is to play in England again at some stage. The atmosphere there is unique. If you have experienced that, you miss it. I want to experience that again."

Gnabry, who moved to Arsenal at the age of 16 from Stuttgart, recalled his time in England under Arsene Wenger.

"I wanted to extend my contract there," he said. "I had a great preasason and almost never went to the [2016] Olympics in order to take my chance in London [at Arsenal]. Coach Arsene Wenger would have liked to have kept me, but then I opted to go to the Olympics."

After starring for Germany at the Olympics, "Arsenal wanted all the more to renew," according to Gnabry, who ended up leaving last year for Werder Bremen.

"A lot of offers arrived," he said."I thought about it for a long time and arrived at the decision. You have to try somewhere else. It's easier to play every week at Bremen than at Arsenal."

ESPN FC's Bayern Munich correspondent Mark Lovell contributed to this report.

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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