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Why does Aubameyang wear a mask? Arsenal striker's special celebrations explained

22:28 GMT+3 20/11/2020
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang
The Arsenal and Gabon ace has made it a signature surprise celebration of his to take out a Marvel superhero mask after he scores

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang isn't just known for his goal-scoring prowess - he is also famed for his passion for Marvel characters, having donned a few superhero masks during his time at both Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.

But why does the Gabon international wear these character masks? Goal takes a look.

Why does Aubameyang wear superhero masks?

He is clearly a fan of the films, but revealed in 2020 that he enjoys wearing the masks because he wants to make his son, and other young football fans, happy when he scores.

The prolific Arsenal forward has a reputation for his goal celebrations, saluting his strikes with a Spiderman mask during his time at Dortmund and Saint-Etienne.

He went on to wear a Black Panther mask when he scored for Arsenal in the Europa League in 2019, saying after the game: "I needed a mask which represents me and that's the Black Panther. In Gabon, we call the national team the Panthers."

After the passing of Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman in August 2020, Aubameyang paid tribute to him by crossing his arms on his chest - the 'Wakanda Forever' gesture - the day after, when he scored against Liverpool during Arsenal's triumphant 2020 Community Shield victory.

But while Aubameyang wears his fondness for Marvel movies on his sleeve, there are some - such as Germany and Real Madrid star Toni Kroos - who aren't a fan of his celebrations.

Kroos criticised Aubameyang's mask-wearing celebrations, branding them as 'silly' and full of 'nonsense'.

The midfielder said on his Einfach mal Luppen podcast: "I find it [choreographed celebrations] very silly. Even worse is if there are any objects hidden in their socks. Aubameyang once celebrated and took out a mask. That's where it ends with me. I don't think that's a good role model, either. What nonsense."

Aubameyang then hit back at Kroos on social media, defending his decision to celebrate with the masks. He asked if Kroos had kids, since his own son is the main reason he wears the Marvel masks.

“By the way - does this Toni Kroos have kids? Just remember, I did it for my son a few times and I will do it again. I wish you have kids one day and make them happy like this junior school pupil. And don’t forget #maskon #staysafe,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Gabon international went one step further later, posting a photo of himself wearing a Batman mask and Marco Reus celebrating a goal at Dortmund with the caption: "Send Toni Kroos congratulations for his 3 Kids cordially your Batman and Robin."

Aubameyang found further support from his Arsenal team-mate, Mesut Ozil, who was formerly Kroos' team-mate with Germany.

The Gunners outcast posted a video of Aubameyang in the Black Panther mask, describing it as “the best goal celebration."

Kroos later stated that