Barcelona and former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has called time on his international career for Gabon.
Gabon star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has announced his retirement from international football just few weeks before the 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifying matches begin.
The Barcelona striker played 68 caps for the Panthers of Gabon and scored 29 goals, making him the all-time top scorer for Gabon.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his international debut in 2009 and scored one goal to push Gabon to win the match against Morocco. He featured nine World Cup qualifiers and six African Cup of Nations matches for Gabon.
He took the Panthers of Gabon to the finals of the prestigious African Cup of Nation on four occasions.
The Gabon Football Federation (Fegafoot) said it had received a letter from Aubameyang declaring his decision.
“After 13-years of representing my country with pride, I would like to tell you that I am ending my international career,” the Barcelona star wrote.
“I would like to thank the people of Gabon and all those who supported me in the good and as well as the bad times.
“I will always have great memories like the day I made my debut, or the day I came back from Nigeria with the African Player of the Year award. Sharing it with everyone is a remarkable moment.
I thank our President, His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba who has always supported the Panthers and has always worked for football to develop in our country.”
“I want to thank my father who made me want to be like him and I hope I made him proud in wearing our colours.”
In response, the Gabon Football Federation recognized his “immense career” and a player “who knew how to promote, thanks to his professionalism, the image of Gabon around the world”.
“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will always be model for future generation,” the Fegafoot statement added.
Aubameyang was part of the Gabon squad for 2021 African Cup of Nation but missed out all games after primarily contracting covid-19 and then suffering from heart lesions.
The Panthers start their qualifying campaign for the 2023 tournament against DR Congo on 4th June before playing a second game at home to Mauritania on June 8, 2022.