From a last name few could pronounce, to a household name, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has taken the world by storm. Long before the STARBOY, it looked as if he was never going to fulfill his potential. Now 27 years old, he is one of the world’s best strikers. His unlikely rise to the top of the goal-scoring charts took years of dedication and persistence before his talent was seen on the world's greatest stage.
In a recent interview with CNN, Aubameyang proclaimed he would like to be known as the “world’s craziest footballer to play the game”. He must find the balance of terrific on the field play, and je ne sais quoi off it. His questionable outfits, flashy boots, wrapped cars, and prolific goal scoring record have him near the top of the list already.
With his father a scout at AC Milan, and two older brothers’ members of the academy, it was natural for Pierre to follow in their footsteps. Arriving at the academy in 2007, he made a name for himself scoring against each opponent in the Champions Youth Cup. However, this flash of talent seemed to be just that.
A loan-move back to his home country of France in 2008 helped Pierre to find his feet in the professional game. He scored 10 goals for Ligue 2 side Dijon. This earned him bigger loan moves to Lille and AS Monaco. These clubs proved a tough challenge as he only scored 4 goals in nearly 50 appearances for both clubs. A loan move to Lille didn't prove to be successful, although he notched 24 appearances. This was a valuable experience in his first taste of top-flight football. While at Monaco the next season, he struggled for appearances and scored just two goals. This meant that his form at Dijon was largely forgotten.
After the first half of the season with Monaco, Aubameyang was loaned to St. Etienne for the remainder of the 2010-2011 season. His loan was extended for the 2011-2012 season after scoring four and assisting three in the second half of the season. The manager of St. Etienne then negotiated a €1.5 million transfer to join Les Verts in January on a permanent deal. Inserted straight into the starting lineup, he flourished, and finished the season as Ligue 1’s top goalscorer with 16.
In what is regarded as his breakout season, Aubameyang finished with 19 goals and 14 assists in all competitions. Helping St. Etienne to their first piece of silverware since the Ligue 2 championship in the 2003-04 season. The Coupe de la Ligue with St. Etienne was his first professional trophy. His performances earned him a spot in the Ligue 1 team of the season and Ligue 1 African Player of the Year.
Although he had been scouted by Newcastle for over a year, Brussia Dortmuntd agreed a €13 million transfer for Aubameyang. Versatile in the attack, Jurgen Klopp quickly realized the STARBOY he had on his hands. Revolutionizing the gegenpress around Aubameyang, he exploited his greatest attribute, speed.
Aubameyang finished the 2013-14 season with 16 goals in all competitions. In the 2014-15 season Aubameyang took a step up finishing with 25 goals in 46 appearances. With speculation growing of a big transfer move, Aubameyang committed his future to the Yellow Wall until 2020. Fresh off signing a new contract, Aubameyang went on to become the first Bundesliga player to score in the opening eight matches of a season. He finished the season with an astounding 35 goals in all competitions which earned him Bundesliga Player of the Year and African Player of the Year honors.
"I'm like this. When I feel something, I want to do something, I do it -- I just do it.
So I'm like this also in my life, if I want to wear some crazy clothes, I put it on”.
The epitome of a STARBOY: To follow your heart and disregard everyone else.
Comfortable in the signature green of Les Verts, PEA took the preening of STARBOY footballers to the next level. He wore a pair of £2,500 Swarovski crystal encrusted boots before a match against Lyon. The pair of boots took more than 50 hours to complete, hand-placing each crystal.
His first extravagant STARBOY celebration came when he scored against Rennes in October of 2012. He planned this goal celebration around Halloween. Leaving a bag with the mask behind the advertising board, he was able to put the mask on and morph into Spiderman, proceeding to shoot imaginary webs.
Aubameyang had won fans with his neon green wrapped Aston Martin, flashy trainers, and wild goal celebrations we dream about pulling off in Sunday league. He was now in the spotlight after his breakout season with St. Etienne.
Aubameyang and Reus' relationship can only be described as brothers. Multiple times, each has spoken about their excellent relationship off the pitch. This has only elevated their game when they are deployed up top together. They seem to instinctively know where each other are and what runs they will make.
Sticking to his elaborate celebrations, Aubameyang wielded his STARBOY powers against FC Schalke. He pulled Batman & Robin masks out of a bag strategically placed behind the goal. Marco Reus donned the Robin mask. An ode to their great relationship on and off the pitch.
Deciding that his crystal boots for St. Etienne were not enough, Aubameyang created another pair of bespoke Superfly's. For Dortmund’s game against FC Shalke 04, he once again outdid himself. This time a pair of yellow BVB Superfly’s. Taking inspiration from Dortmund's black and yellow theme: black stars, along with yellow diamond encrusted Nike tick make this one of the best boots to ever be worn during a match!
Once again enacting a superhero, Aubameyang pulled a Spiderman mask out of his sock after putting Dortmund up 2-0 in the DFB Pokal Final.
Aubameyang will be tasked with leading Gabon from the front at this month’s African Cup of Nations. He surely would not let such an opportunity for a pair of customized boots go by. Posted on his Instagram, these boots seem to be a one-off created by the man himself.
Proclaiming the would like to be known as the “craziest footballer to ever play the game” is no small goal. In order to claim the top spot, he has a lot of work to do. Going about it in the right way will determine if he is to reach the summit. Avoiding off the field trouble, and letting his play on it speak for itself. There is no more prolific striker in the world’s game than Aubameyang right now. If he continues to appear in crazy custom boots, wrapped cars and fashion-forward hairstyles I will have no problem putting him at the top of the list. Aubameyang was another easy selection as a player who personifies STARBOY.