Serge Gnabry admits he has a “soft spot” for the Ivory Coast after seeing them at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The Germany youth international’s father is Ivorian, and took his son along to see his countrymen beat Serbia 3-2 in Munich.

It was the Elephants’ first World Cup win, and Gnabry says he has looked out for their results ever since.

I saw them play Serbia in 2006 and that was my first-ever World Cup game so I have a soft spot for Ivory Coast

Serge Gnabry

“I like the African side of me and my family,” he told Arsenal Player. “I'm hoping the Ivory Coast will do well at the World Cup.

“I saw them play Serbia in 2006 and that was my first-ever World Cup game so I have a soft spot for Ivory Coast.

“It was a great experience. I was still young, I was maybe 12 years old, so for me it was pretty exciting to go to a game at the World Cup.”

Gnabry believes the Ivory Coast have enough quality in their ranks to make it through the group stage for the first time in their history.

“They have very good individual players,” he said. “They have Drogba, they have [Yaya] Toure and they have Gervinho so I think they have a pretty good squad.

“I hope they go through and make it as far as possible.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 19 Jun 2014