Aubayameng makes return to beloved Italy for Napoli-Barcelona

epa09774589 Barcelona's striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring the 0-3 goal during the Spanish LaLiga soccer between Valencia CF and FC Barcelona at Mestalla stadium in Valencia, eastern Spain, 20 February 2022. EPA-EFE/Manuel Bruque

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has deep ties with Italy and he’s ready to make his return with Barcelona for their Europa League tie against Napoli.

The Gabonese forward spent a number of years in his childhood in Italy, with his father being a scout for Milan. He spent a few years in the Rossoneri’s youth system, and whilst he never made his senior debut for the club, he did score in a friendly against Juventus in the Trofeo Berlusconi in 2007.

Aubameyang still keeps close ties to Italy and in 2020 he played in a 7-a-side match in Varese, where he gifted all the players involved an Arsenal shirt. His brothers Willy and Catilina both live in the Lombardy city and the Barcelona forward visits often.

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The 32-year-old Gabonese forward left Arsenal for Catalonia in last month’s transfer window and things have started incredibly well, with the player netting a hattrick against Valencia in his first start for the club. He was also linked with some Italian clubs last month but he highlighted that he couldn’t refuse an offer from Barcelona.

Now he’ll be looking to shine against Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli tomorrow evening at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, in the second leg of their Europa League play-off tie. The first leg ended 1-1 at the Camp Nou last week, so both sides need to secure a win in regular time if they want to avoid a penalty shoot-out.


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