Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has responded to Toni Kroos’s criticisms about his mask celebrations, saying that he will continue to do them as long as they make children happy.
Aubameyang has been known with his goal celebrations, with the Gabonese having donned a Spiderman mask after getting a goal during his time with both Saint-Etienne and Dortmund.
He also celebrated a goal for the gunners in the UEFA Europa League in 2019 by wearing a Black Panther mask.
Indeed, players have often created their own celebration tributes and routines for years, with Antoine Griezmann having simulated dance moves from the video game Fortnite in the past during his time at Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid midfielder Kroos has not been impressed with what he has seen from his fellow footballers, describing the decision to come up with pre-planned celebrations “very silly”.
Speaking on his Einfach mal Luppen podcast, Kroos said: “I find it (choreographed celebrations) very silly. Even worse is if there are any objects hidden in their socks. Aubameyang once celebrated and took out a mask. That’s where it ends with me. I don’t think that’s a good role model, either. What nonsense.”
Aubameyang was not happy with Kroos’s comments, and he issued a reply on social media defending his decision to celebrate with a mask, saying he does the celebration to bring a smile to the faces of children who follow football.
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Aubameyang wrote on social media: “By the way – does this Toni Kroos have kids? Just remember, I did it for my son a few times and I will do it again. I wish you have kids one day and make them happy like this junior school pupil. And don’t forget #maskon #staysafe.”
The post was accompanied by an image of a picture of Aubameyang appearing as a superhero that had been drawn by a child, who had been set a school assignment to convey what “happiness” meant for them.
Aubameyang couldn’t resist aiming another swipe at Kroos in a later post, as he quoted a picture of himself celebrating a goal for his former side Dortmund in a Batman mask with the caption: “Send Toni Kroos congratulations for his 3 Kids cordially your Batman and Robin.”