Why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang chose Gabon over France and Spain | OneFootball

Why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang chose Gabon over France and Spain

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Dan Burke

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed why he chose to play his international football for Gabon despite being born in France.

Aubameyang has scored 19 times in 49 appearances for Gabon – a country along the Atlantic coast of Central Africa with a population of just under two million – and says it was his father Pierre-Francois’s influence which made him snub the chance to represent Les Bleus.

“Players often take their time to consider their options and make the right choice, but for me the choice was clear,” the 28-year-old told Arsenal’s official website.

“I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps. He was captain of the national side in the past, I could well have chosen to play for France or Spain.

“I played for the French under-21 team, but I realised very quickly that in my heart I wanted to emulate my father.”

Aubameyang was born in Laval – a town in Western France – and would also have been eligible to play for Spain through his Spanish mother. He also rejected the opportunity to turn out for Italy’s under-19s while playing for AC Milan in 2009.

Gabon are currently ranked 95th in the world and are yet to qualify for their first ever World Cup.

But Aubameyang isn’t the only Gabonese international currently plying his trade in the Premier League. Southampton’s Mario Lemina and Watford’s Didier NDong are just two of the Gunners striker’s international colleagues.