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Aubameyang Reveals Why He Chose Africa Over Europe

African Footballer of the Year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang represented France and Italy at youth level, but decided to run out for Gabon in his senior career. He has now told Soccer Laduma why.

Click through the gallery to see seven other European-born stars who play for African countries rather than their European nation of birth.

The 27-year-old has made 48 appearances for Gabon, scoring 19 goals in the process, and will represent his country at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

The striker, who was born in France and came through AC Milan's academy, played for Italy's U19 and France's U21 sides, but opted to represent Gabon at senior level.

"I wanted to follow in his (his father) footsteps. My father had 80 caps for Gabon, many of them as the country's captain," Aubameyang told Soccer Laduma.

"It was a decision made from my heart and for my family."

While Gabon have never qualified for a FIFA World Cup and have reached the AFCON quarter-finals just twice, France have a highly talented squad and recently reached the 2016 UEFA European Championship final.

However, Aubameyang insisted he does not regret choosing Africa over Europe (see others who did the same in the gallery above).

"No, not at all. It has always been my dream to make the people of Gabon happy," he added.

"I made that dream come true by becoming Gabon's first ever African Footballer of the Year.

"And who knows, maybe we can qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. That is my next big dream in football."

Read: 5 Final Nominees For CAF African Player Of The Year Revealed

Read the full exclusive interview, in which Aubameyang talks about Yaya Toure's criticism of his African Player of the Year title, rumours linking him with Real Madrid, and much more, in this week's special edition of Soccer Laduma, issue 1000!

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