Meeting Pierre-Aubameyang is something very special. Football magazines around the globe are full of stories about the 27-year-old striker from Borussia Dortmund.
There are stories about his goals, his outstanding pace on the pitch, his very special passion for fashion and his fast and fancy cars. From July 21 on Chinese football fans might have the opportunity to meet one of the world’s most coveted strikers as the French-born Aubameyang will start on a China tour with his club.
The eight-time German champion, most recently in 2011 and 2012, will arrive in Shanghai to start its China tour on July 21. After the first match in the International Champions Cup China against Manchester United on July 22, Dortmund will travel to Shenzhen where they will face Manchester City on July 28 at 7:35 pm.
No doubt, Aubameyang is Borussia’s super star and their ticket to international football markets. Almost all the big guns in international football such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, several other English top clubs and Bayern Munich are said to be interested in signing him despite his contract at Dortmund that runs to 2020.
The most wanted man comes with a broad smile. Gently closing the door at Dortmund’ s training ground, he was ready for a brief chat with Xinhua next to his newest car, a gold-colored Audi with a top speed of 310 km/h and worth 190,000 euro.
“Driving and listening to music is something very relaxing for me,” Aubameyang said, again with a broad smile on his face.
“I do it to clear my mind. Call it freedom. You just drive and you don’t think about anything,” he said.
Talking about fashion, his first reaction was another smile. Aubameyang never seemed to be in a bad mood.
“When I was little, my mother always gave me colorful clothing. That was very important for me and I’ve like fashion ever since and try to wear my style,” Aubameyang told Xinhua. “I like this mixture of easy going and concentration. I need this easy going time to be fully concentrated afterwards.”
Watching Aubameyang in training tells you exactly this story. “I invest everything I’ve got,” he said. “(after training) I’ll go home and then invest everything in recovery.”
Calling it a highly professional working attitude or highly ambitious, Aubameyang is both. While talking, the striker, whose roots are in Gabon, put his hand gently on his golden car like on a baby’s head. “Great color, don’t you think? Look how shinny it is in sunlight,” he said.
Football was and is his life. “My father played as a professional in many countries such as France, Columbia and Italy. We always went with him. My two brothers and I always had to adapt to new people and a new environments, but we got to know new people and new cultures. This experience was somehow defining for us. It wasn’t always easy, but football helped me to express myself and find new friends,” Aubameyang said.
“I learned a lot from my father. After training or games he did not go to parties but stayed at home to recover.”
Aubameyang wanted to talk about his family, the source giving him all the energy he needs.
“I have a very close relationship to my two brothers. Every time one of us has a bad game, we call and tell the one, ‘huuuu, what a bad game’, and we laugh together.
Everything is very warm hearted, we never had serious fight, except the usual brother stuff everyone goes through.” So no brother fights ever? He smiled again. “Only when playing with the PlayStation, never in real football,” Aubameyang said. “We support each other in every way. We stick together no matter what happens. This makes me extremely happy.”
While his club Borussia Dortmund is working on the next transfers after Mats Hummels, Ilkay Guendogan and Hendrik Mkhitaryan left the club and is close to signing Mario Goetze and Andre Schuerrle, Aubameyang is looking forward to the new season.
“We had some changes in the squad, but we have a lot of new quality and we are all eagerly awaiting the new season,” Aubameyang said.
Next to Goetze and Schuerrle, Aubameyang will be the one having to help to integrate the new players like Mikel Merino (19), Emre Mor (18), Ousmane Dembele (19), Marc Bartra (25), Sebastian Rode (25) and 2016 European Champion Raphael Guerreiro (22). Additionally Aubameyang hopes for a quick return of injured striker Marco Reus. Especially towards French-speaking Dembele, Aubameyang has developed a special relationship already. “We get along very well, it is great to have him around,” Aubameyang said.
Some call the fundamental changes in Dortmund’s squad a “project”, but Aubameyang is ambitious enough to set himself new goals for the next season. The 27-year-old wants to be successful in the German Bundesliga and in the Champions League.
“We had a good season last year and we want to have a good one this time too. But first we will visit China. I remember Borussia’ s last visit to China. It was great to see all our fans and it was great for us as a team,” Aubameyang said.