Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Barcelona has announced his retirement from international football which means that he will no longer play for Gabon national team.
The 32-year-old Gabonese striker decided to retire from international football less than four months after he unceremoniously left Arsenal for FC Barcelona on January 31, 2022.
Unfortunately for Gabon, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang decided to turn his back on the national team at a point the 32-year-old striker is enjoying the form of his life at FC Barcelona. He also bowed out of the national team a few weeks before the commencement of the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
Note that the Gabon football national team will kick off its AFCON qualifiers on June 4, 2022, away at DR Congo. Afterward, Gabon will take on Mauritania at home on June 8. They will go into the round of qualifiers without Aubameyang who has been the captain of Gabon in two AFCON tournaments.
“After 13 years of representing my country with pride, I would like to tell you that I am ending my international career,” a statement from Aubameyang read.
“I would like to thank the Gabonese people and all those who have supported me in the good times as well as the bad ones.
“I will always have great memories like the day I made my debut or the day I came back from Nigeria with the African Player of the Year award. Sharing it with everyone is an unforgettable moment.
“I want to thank my father who made me want to be like him and I hope I made him proud by wearing our colors.”
In reaction to Aubameyang’s retirement from international football, the Gabon Football Federation (Fegafoot) confirmed that the FA has received the footballer’s retirement letter.
The Gabonese FA praised Aubameyang for promoting the image of the country through football, recognizing that the 2016 African player of the year has had a huge football career.
“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will always be a model for future generations,” the statement from the FA added.
“The big football family will be able to count on his expertise for the future.”
How did Aubameyang of Barcelona perform in Gabon national team?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the son of a former Gabonese international Pierre Aubameyang. The FC Barcelona striker was born in France and had even played for France’s under-21 team before he switched allegiance to Gabon, thanks to the influence of his father.
Aubameyang made his international debut for Gabon football national team on March 28, 2009. Since then, he made 72 appearances in all competitions in which he scored 30 goals in 72 games in all competitions which makes him Gabon’s all-time leading scorer.
Aubameyang followed Gabon to four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and represented Gabon in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
His biggest achievement was when he was named the African best player in 2016. Aubameyang is the first Gabonese player to win the award and the second player born outside Africa to win it.
The fact that he has retired from international football will allow him to concentrate on his club career. He has scored 13 goals in 22 games since he joined the Spanish team in January 2022. His contract with the club will expire on June 30, 2025.