Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has announced that he would no longer represent Gabon at the international level.
After playing junior football for France, the former Arsenal striker switched allegiances for adult football and became the Panthers’ all-time leading scorer, with 30 goals in 72 matches since his first cap in 2009.
Aubameyang has captained the national squad for several years and also scored the country’s first Olympic goal during the London 2012 Olympics.
His last game should have been at the African Cup of Nations this year, but he contracted Covid before Gabon’s first game. Following a diagnosis of “cardiac lesions,” he returned to north London for additional medical testing.
However, it is understood that the precautionary tests revealed nothing that would affect his playing time, allowing him to complete a January deadline day transfer to Barcelona.
After being frozen out by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, the 32-year-old has returned to his greatest form for the Blaugrana, scoring 13 goals in the second half of the campaign.
And now that Gabon’s Football Federation has confirmed Aubameyang’s plan to withdraw from the national squad, he will be able to focus entirely on his accomplishments at the Camp Nou.
The press release reads:
“The captain of the Panthers will no longer be with the national team for the next qualifiers, the final phase of which is scheduled in Cote d’Ivoire.
“The FC Barcelona striker has decided to end his international career and sent a letter to the Gabonese Football Federation (FEGAFOOT) on May 17, 2022.
“After 13 years of pride in representing my country, I announce that I am ending my international career.
” I would like to thank the Gabonese people and all those who have supported me in good and bad times.
“I will keep a lot of good memories, like the day I made my debut 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 him proud by wearing our colours.”
Aubameyang became the first Gabonese player to win the African Footballer of the Year award in 2015, which was most recently won by Sadio Mane of Liverpool.