Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang revealed the Black Panther celebration was a nod towards his national team and his identity after the Arsenal forward scored twice against Rennes.
Arsenal dumped Rennes out of the Europa League thanks to a fightback at the Emirates, scoring three times without reply to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg.
Aubameyang scored twice during the win and treated fans to a new masked celebration for his second goal.
"I needed the mask, it's for those who represent me … In Gabon the national team are the panthers."
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang explains his celebration. 🙅🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/Xwdw8MEsUG
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 14, 2019
After finishing from close-range, Aubameyang retrieved his stowed Black Panther mask from behind the goal and broke out the Wakanda salute.
‘I needed a mask which could represent me. It’s Black Panther. In Gabon the national team are the panthers. It represents me,’ Aubameyang said after the game.
Black Panther made over $1billion worldwide last year and was 2018’s standout superhero movie, which for the first time saw a major blockbuster with a predominately black cast.
While the home support loved the surprise, Aubameyang was booked for his celebration. The Gunners head into the quarter-finals to face Napoli in the next round.
The goal was Aubameyang’s 22nd of the season and the goalscorer hailed the team performance.
‘Rennes were a bit nervous and angry as well but that’s football sometimes and it can happen like that,’ he said.
‘I missed two chances to close the game but the most important thing is that we won and everybody is happy and proud.’