Barcelona striker Aubameyang announces retirement from international football with Gabon

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang Gabon

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has confirmed his international career with Gabon has come to an end.

The Barcelona striker appeared 72 times for his nation, scoring 30 goals and also serving as captain.

Following an early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations at the start of the year, he has decided to focus on his club career.

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What did Aubameyang say?

"After 13 years of pride in representing my country, I announce that I am ending my international career," the 32-year-old wrote in an open letter to Gabon fans.

"I would like to thank the Gabonese people and all those who have supported me in the good like the bad times.

"I will keep a lot of good memories like the day I made my debut at romnisports, or the day I came back from Nigeria with the African Ballon d'Or.

"Sharing it with all the people was an unforgettable moment. I thank our President, his Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba who has always supported the Panthers and has always worked for football to evolve in our country.

"I would also like to thank all my coaches, staff and the players that I have come across during this career.

"Finally, I thank my father who gave me the desire to do like him, hoping to have made him proud by wearing our colours."

The bigger picture

Aubameyang's last attempt to win silverware for his nation ended when he tested positive for Covid-19 just before the tournament and was sent home along with Mario Lemina.

“It’s very complicated,” Gabon boss Patrice Neveu said at the time. “I’m not new to this team, I've worked with Gabon for three years, and fortunately Caf gave us the option of having a squad of 28 players.

“However, losing Pierre-Emerick and Mario, it’s a lot for this team. We don’t have the squad of Nigeria or Morocco, and we know we’re in a hard competition.”

Without their star Gabon managed to battle through to the last 16 of the competition, where they went down on penalties to Burkina Faso.

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