As the first Gabonese player to turn out in Germany's top flight, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is already guaranteed a place in the Bundesliga history books.
From his nascent days in Milan to his current abode in the Ruhr, bundesliga.com traces the Borussia Dortmund speedster's journey to African idolisation...
Born in Tours, France, on 18 June 1989, Aubameyang shot to fame as part of the AC Milan side that lifted the inaugural Champions Youth Cup in 2007. Despite winning the Roberto Bettega Trophy for top scorer in the self-same competition, the burgeoning forward was deemed surplus to requirements and left the club just a year later.
With loan spells at French trio Dijon FCO, Lille OSC and AS Monaco FC under his belt, Aubameyang finally put pen to paper on a permanent deal at AS St-Etienne in December 2011. A little over a year later, he was voted the French top flight's Best African Player for the 2012/13 campaign, after notching 19 goals and nine assists in 36 outings.
Coincidentally, only former AC Milan team-mate and Aubameyang's personal favourite, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, found the net on more occasions (30) that season. "He's top class, an amazing striker," the west African ace said of his Swedish muse. "Despite being very tall, he's really comfortable on the ball. If I can do as well as he's done, I'll be a happy man."
...Dortmund's gainJust as adept in the Zlatan role as he is in the wide positions, the seasoned Gabonese international not only scores goals, but is also lightning-quick, boasting a 30-metre sprint time of 3.8 seconds. Put into perspective, that's a marginal 0.02 seconds slower than Usain Bolt ran the same distance in his 100-metre world record sprint.
The aforementioned qualities were more than enough to convince Jürgen Klopp to make his move following the departure of Mario Götze to arch rivals FC Bayern München, and the new BVB man duly delivered on his Bundesliga debut, netting a stunning hat-trick in the 4-0 demolition of FC Augsburg on Matchday 1 of the 2013/14 campaign, the first three of 13 goals in his debut season in Germany.
Having played his part in BVB's fifth Supercup triumph against Bayern in August 2014, scoring in a 2-0 win and donning a Spiderman mask in celebration, Aubameyang racked up a further 16 Bundesliga goals over the course of the ensuing season. He continued his fine run into 2015/16, and on Matchday 8 became the first player to score in ten consecutive Bundesliga matches (dating back to 2014/15) since the great Klaus Allofs (1. FC Köln, 1984).