Kroos labels Aubameyang mask celebration ‘nonsense’ as outspoken German adds another target to his haul of public criticisms

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal

‘What nonsense’

As is with the international break, players can often be found speaking more loosely about their clubs, coaches and other players whilst away with their international teammates. However, Germany and Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has once again looked to criticise a fellow professional.

The German midfielder has a history of publicly speaking out on other players. He had previously said that Mesut Ozil’s claims that there had been a level of racism around the Germany squad were invalid.

Ozil retired from international football in 2018 stating, “It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level while I have this feeling of racism and disrespect.” However Kroos quickly denied the accusations.

“The parts in his statement that are rightly addressed are unfortunately overshadowed by the significantly higher amount of nonsense,” Kroos said. “I think he knows very well that racism within the national team and the DFB does not exist.”

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – MARCH 23: Toni Kroos of Germany speaks to the media during a press conference ahead of their UEFA European Championship Qualifier match against the Netherlands at Johan Cruyff Arena on March 23, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Kroos also spoke out about Leroy Sane’s body language whilst playing for the German national team.

“Sometimes you have the feeling with Leroy’s body language that it is all the same whether we win or lose,” said the 30-year-old. “He has to improve his body language. He’s a player who has everything you need to be a world-class player but sometimes you have to tell him he has to perform better.”

Aubameyang the target

The most recent of Toni Kroos’ scathing remarks is that of Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

In 2019, Arsenal won 3-0 against Rennes, turning around a 3-1 deficit from the first leg. When Aubameyang scored his second of the game, he adorned the mask of Marvel’s Black Panther.

Speaking afterwards, the Gabonese striker explained why he decided to wear the mask. “I needed a mask which represents me and that’s the Black Panther. In Gabon we call the national team the Panthers,” said the 31-year-old.

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When the late Chadwick Boseman passed away, Aubameyang paid tribute by performing the ‘Wakanda Forever’ celebration in the Community Shield against Liverpool.

Kroos has however spoken out about the use of masks during player celebrations. “I find it very silly. Even worse is if there are any objects hidden in their socks,” the German midfielder said. “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.”

Whether the use of masks or any celebration using an object or gesture is ‘nonsense’ is down to opinion. It is unlikely the German’s words will discourage the further use or orchestration of these celebrations in the future.

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2 Tottenham Hotspur FC 8 10 17
3 Liverpool FC 8 2 17
4 Southampton FC 8 4 16
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6 Aston Villa FC 7 9 15
7 Everton FC 8 2 13
8 Crystal Palace FC 8 0 13
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 8 -1 13
10 Manchester City FC 7 1 12
11 Arsenal FC 8 -1 12
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15 Leeds United 8 -3 10
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 8 -3 6
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Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 8
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 8
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 8
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 8
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 7
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 7
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 5
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Adams, Che Southampton FC 3
Ward-Prowse, James Southampton FC 3

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