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Aubameyang: Dortmund's lightning bolt

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is enjoying his best goalscoring season at Dortmund as he meets a Liverpool side led by his old boss Jürgen Klopp; UEFA.com takes a closer look.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates a goal against Dortmund
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates a goal against Dortmund ©AFP/Getty Images

Born: 18/06/1989

Honours
• French League Cup (2013)

• Aubameyang was born in Laval, north-west France, while his father Pierre was playing for the local football club; also a Gabon international, Pierre is his son's role model. "I used to see my father play, which was unbelievable," the younger Aubameyang said. "I used to take shots at goal in my bedroom and now I'm a professional player. It's hard to get my head round."

Aubameyang’s double against Spurs
Aubameyang’s double against Spurs

• There are two more footballing Aubameyangs – Pierre-Emerick's older half-brothers Catilina and Willy. "We don't have the same mother so I've only known Catilina and Willy since I was nine years old," 'PEA' explained. "I played with them in the park in Milan. We never missed a chance to play football together."

• A trainee at AC Milan, Aubameyang had to return to France to make his name; he attracted the attention of Dortmund with 19 goals for St-Étienne in 2012/13. "It was a huge step forward," he said of his move to the Bundesliga that summer. "The stadiums are fantastic in Germany and I've had the chance to play in the UEFA Champions League with BVB."

Aubameyang made his name at St-Étienne
Aubameyang made his name at St-Étienne©AFP/Getty Images

• He scored 16 times in 48 games in his first term with Dortmund, though not everything went according to plan and Jürgen Klopp pushed him to do better. "Klopp explained that when you come to Dortmund, the first season always happens this way – it's an apprenticeship," he said. "He helped me understand that things would be better the next season. He told me: 'I know you young players want everything right away, but you have to learn.'"

• Thomas Tuchel has got the best out of the 26-year-old centre-forward since taking charge at Dortmund; Aubameyang has netted 35 goals in 40 outings so far this campaign. "He's fun-loving and a happy person," Tuchel said. "That makes things easier for me."

Who were those masked men?
Who were those masked men?©Getty Images

• The No17's goal celebrations are worth looking out for. He and team-mate Marco Reus celebrated a derby strike against Schalke with Batman and Robin masks; previously he had dressed as Spiderman to mark a goal against Bayern. "It's a cool thing to do," said team-mate Sebastian Kehl. "Fortunately, his goal was enough to win us the game, otherwise we would have given him some stick."

• Aubameyang's pace is phenomenal. He was clocked with a top speed of 34.98 km/h (in the Bundesliga, only Bayern's Kingsley Coman – 35.06 km/h – has gone faster). "My speed suits BVB's playing style well," said Dortmund's answer to Usain Bolt. "I'm faster than anyone else on the counter, which is a huge help."

Aubameyang receiving the award in January 2016
Aubameyang receiving the award in January 2016©Getty Images

• Runner-up in 2014, Aubameyang was voted African Player of the Year for 2015. "I thank the people of Gabon, this award is for them," he said, adding: "For the parents of the youth of Africa, please give your kids a chance to realise their dreams."

• Athletic Club's Aritz Aduriz (eight goals) is the only player to have outscored Aubameyang (seven) in this season's UEFA Europa League, the Dortmund ace having notched three goals in two round-of-16 legs against Tottenham. He will now look to impress Klopp, currently managing Liverpool, of whom he said: "Klopp gave me strength of character and helped me progress. He's a charismatic person and I have a lot of respect for the man."