MR. DORTMUND: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Tuchel defends Aubameyang after mask fiasco


5. april 2017


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s recent mask-wearing exploits landed him in hot water with Borussia Dortmund’s bosses, but his coach Thomas Tuchel has leapt to the defence of the Gabon hot-shot.

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«Such a sensitive human being like Auba is affected when so much is said and written about him — even if he has himself to blame,» said Tuchel.

«The goal in this situation, with it’s background, was very important for us and Auba.»

The goal Tuchel refered to was Aubameyang’s 25th in as many league matches which sealed Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Hamburg to make him the Bundesliga top-scorer, one ahead of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.

Tuchel made Aubameyang captain for the night against Hamburg with regular skipper Marcel Schmelzer injured.

The striker set up Shinji Kagawa for Dortmund’s second, then netted his own goal just before the final whistle with an ice-cold finish after rounding Hamburg’s goalkeeper.

Being handed the captain’s armband was a show of faith after Dortmund’s goal machine once again fell offside with Borussia’s senior bosses on Saturday — the «situation» and «background» Tuchel was referring to.

He donned a red-and-orange wrestling mask for his goal celebration in the 1-1 Ruhr derby draw at Schalke.

The problem is sportswear giants Puma own a five percent share in Dortmund and Aubameyang wore the same mask in an advert for private sponsor Nike.

Puma has called on Dortmund to take action, especially after Aubameyang had the Nike logo shaved into his hair last month — which had already landed him in trouble with Borussia’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.

To make matters worse, Aubameyang picked up a yellow card in Gelsenkirchen for his masked celebration — his third of the season — and two more would see him banned for one league match.

The flamboyant striker has donned masks in the past to celebrate goals — a spiderman headpiece in 2014 and a Batman one in 2015.

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