Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not only put his country on the map, but his humility has also rubbed into his teammates at the Gabon national team.
Currently, the national team top goal scorer (25), Aubameyang’s ability in front of goal makes him one of the most lethal strikers on the planet.
‘The Panthers’ coach Patrice Neveu admits that a lot is expected from the man that treats all his teammates at national team level like his friends.
“When I arrived, he was a little hesitant about committing to the national team for many reasons,” said Gabon coach Neveu.
“I talked to him and he agreed to stay. He’s the captain and a great goalscorer, and he proves this year after year. He does a lot of great things for Arsenal, and so the people of Gabon expect a lot more from him in the national team.
“He’s a superstar, but when he joins up with the national team, he treats everyone as his friends,” added Nevue.
However, according to Nevue, Aubameyang has stipulated some requirements for the national team, especially at an organisational level. “My role is to create the optimal conditions for him to best serve the group.”
The 2015 African Footballer of the Year scored 29 goals for Arsenal last season, leading the English club to the FA Cup triumph.
“I hope he can do for us what he does for Arsenal and help us in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) and World Cup qualifiers. As a coach, I’m very happy to work with a great player like him,” said the Gabon mentor.
Gabon will face Egypt, Libya and Angola in Qatar 2022 qualifying and Neveu is confident they can spring a surprise with, Aubameyang leading the team.
The qualifying games will without a doubt showcase some fierce rivalries between national teams, as well as the much-anticipated duel between Egyptian star Mohamed Salah and Gabon captain Aubameyang.
“Egypt are favourites in this section because they’re more experienced and have high-quality players such as Salah,” stated Neveu.
“However, I think our team can spring a surprise. We have to believe in our ability to finish top of the group and make the play-off round. “
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi