Germany's Gnabry thought call-up was a hoax
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany winger Serge Gnabry, who scored a hat-trick on his debut in the 8-0 victory over San Marino on Friday, initially thought his call-up to the national team by coach Joachim Loew was a hoax.
Gnabry became the first German to score three goals on his international debut for 40 years during the World Cup qualifier.
"The coach called me up but I had to think about it for a bit whether it was true or not," he told German media company RND.
"There are so many hoax calls from radio shows and I really did not want to be a victim of that."
The speedy 21-year-old, joint top scorer and silver medallist at this year's Olympic Games, has enjoyed a meteoric rise this season after joining Werder Bremen from Arsenal.
He failed to win a regular first-team place following his move to the Premier League club in 2012.
"I would not be the player I am today without England," Gnabry said.
"For example Arsenal's quick game which I learned. If you train as a young man with top players for three years then it is clear you will improve."
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)