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Barcelona's Aubameyang makes 21st century history with La Liga opener

20:39 GMT+3 20/02/2022
Aubameyang Gavi Barcelona
The Gabon captain marked his first start in the Spanish top-flight with two first-half goals and a second-half effort

Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the four players to have scored in La Liga, Premier League, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 in the 21st century.

Aubameyang scored a hat-trick for Barcelona in their 4-1 win over Valencia on Sunday.

After coming off the bench in the last two league matches, the 32-year-old made his first start in the Spanish top-flight at Estadio de Mestalla.

Aubameyang's presence boosted Barcelona's attack and in the 23rd minute, he broke the deadlock for the visitors after finishing off an assist from Jordi Alba.

The effort made him join Stefan Jovetic, James Rodriguez and Michy Batshuayi as the only players to have scored across the four European leagues so far in this century.

Before his move to Spain, the 2016 African Footballer of the Year scored 68 Premier League goals for Arsenal, 98 Bundesliga goals for Borussia Dortmund and 41 Ligue 1 goals for Lille, Monaco and Saint-Etienne.

Frenkie de Jong doubled the Blaugrana's lead in the 32nd minute and six minutes later, Aubameyang rose to the occasion with his second goal of the day.

He is now the second Barca player to score a brace in his first La Liga start in the 21st century, after Francisco Trincao (vs. Alaves in February 2021).

Pedri was initially credited for the fourth goal in the 63rd minute but Aubameyang got his hat-trick at the end of the game after the referee awarded the deflected Pedri's shot to him.

The Gabon international was replaced in the final eight minutes by Luuk de Jong.

In January, Aubameyang secured a permanent move to Camp Nou after falling out of favour at Arsenal.

The 32-year-old signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Barcelona, which includes an option to leave in June 2023.

He will turn his attention to Thursday's Uefa Europa League trip to Italy when Barca take on Victor Osimhen's Napoli, they played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg.