‘I almost quit’ – Arsenal star Aubameyang’s emotional confession
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is now one of the hottest strikers in the Premier League - but the Arsenal has revealed how he almost gave up on his professional career.
Aubameyang, who is currently enjoying an off-season holiday in Miami with his family, scored 22 league goals last season to finish as the top-flight's joint top scorer.
But to become one of the finest strikers in Europe, the Gabon international has had to fight against adversity and even overcome doubts about his own ability.
And the striker has revealed just how close he was to quitting during his days as a youth player in France, where he spent time with Laval, Rouen and Bastia before being signed up to AC Milan's coveted junior system in 2007.
"I was playing on the wing rather than up top because of my pace," he told Arsenal's official website. "I’d always been quick and everybody told me I was fast, but when I was a bit older, like 15 or 16, I lost a little bit of pace.
"I’d had some problems with my knees and I couldn’t run as fast as I had been able to, so I fell out of love with football for a bit. I didn’t have a club, I wasn’t at school, I was just at home trying to think positively.
"It was hard at the time and I did think about quitting, but every day I kept training hard. I don’t know why, but I thought that I had to train hard because you never know in life, something can happen.
"Then after six months of hard work, my father called me and said, ‘Are you ready to go training with a team?’ and I said, ‘Yes of course!’ because I had worked for six months for that opportunity.
"That was when I started to train with Bastia and from there, that was the start of my professional career."
Aubameyang, who arrived at the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, also said he did not mind sharing the Golden Boot at the end of the Premier League campaign.
The Arsenal star bagged 22 goals - the same number as Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane - causing the award to be shared between three players for the first time in a decade.
"It meant a lot to win the Golden Boot," Aubameyang added. "I am really happy and proud of it, especially to share the trophy with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
"I really like these two guys. We are representing Africa so it is a good sign for the continent. Africa is in my heart and in my mind, so I’m extremely proud to represent it in the Premier League.
"The African people really love football, like everyone across the world, it makes me very proud to represent Africa in such an amazing way because not everyone gets the chance to play in the Arsenal colours."
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