How Aubameyang’s Real Madrid dream turned into a personal nightmare

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The striker sought to leave Borussia Dortmund for Madrid in the summer but saw his ideal transfer fail to materialise, and is now a frustrated figure

If there ever was one game to perfectly encapsulate a season, it was Borussia Dortmund's amazing collapse against Schalke on November 25. BVB led 4-0 after 25 minutes before their Ruhr rivals turned things around to snatch a late point.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring with a close-range finish and had a hand in two of Dortmund's other first-half goals before missing a glorious opportunity to increase the lead to five after half-time.

He then saw red for a clumsy challenge at 4-2 to allow the momentum to slip further towards Schalke, who later completed a comeback for the ages.

There is no doubting Aubameyang's brilliance with the ball, but something is rotten in the state of Dortmund.

The 28-year-old is the club's top scorer with 11 goals in 12 Bundesliga appearances, and probably would be closer to 14-goal Robert Lewandowski at the top of the scoring charts had he not missed two games due to an internal suspension for turning up late to training.

Peter Bosz's own position is under threat at Signal Iduna Park, and his frustration at Aubameyang was clear following the derby collapse, telling reporters: "These things happen, he was too aggressive. He wanted to get back and defend. But he ruined everything."

Raphael Varane Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Real Madrid Borussia Dortmund 25092017

The Gabon international has been distracted since the summer, when he hoped to earn a move to Real Madrid. Instead, he watched his dream fail to materialise, while team-mate Ousmane Dembele went on strike to force a move to Barcelona. 

"I have no dream," he insisted in September. "I shall no longer speak of Madrid. They don't want me. This is not a problem. I move forward, I am well in Dortmund. We had an agreement with Borussia that I could leave. It didn't happen. It is a disappointment. But I'm also happy to stay."

After that, he courted AC Milan and even was linked with a mega-money transfer to the Chinese Super League, but those moves also fell through: "Milan offered me something. I was very interested in the project, [but] it did not happen for many reasons. China, I didn't take it seriously, it was a lack of professionalism. They delayed sending us a written offer, it was a disaster."

Over the weekend, rumours emerged that Aubameyang could link up with former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, but this is little more than idle newspaper talk, with the Reds boss looking at targets other than the 28-year-old.

GFX Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Stats 05122017

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Aubameyang is still looking for a way out of Dortmund, but will need to bounce back by proving his worth against Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday. He currently has just two goals in this season's competition, following a return of seven goals last season and 11 in the Europa League in the previous campaign.

Unwanted at Santiago Bernabeu, it is there where he can show Real Madrid the error of their ways and why their decision not to make his dream come true was the wrong choice. With BVB faltering domestically and eliminated from the Champions League, Aubameyang needs to leave to prove himself at the highest level. He clearly has shown himself as one of the Bundesliga's best strikers, winning the Torjagerkanone last season as the league's top scorer with 31 goals after finishing second to Lewandowski with 25 goals in 2015-16.

In Germany, he has won just one cup and two Super Cups, and will never be a league champion at Borussia Dortmund. Aubameyang definitely has the ability to be a winner, but does he have the mindset to prove that he can be a team player at one of Europe's elite?

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