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Aubameyang, last in Barcelona’s marksmanship challenge

The striker was the unexpected struggler in the preseason crossbar target test, failing time and again to hit the target as his teammates moved on.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during a friendly with Barcelona against Olot.

FC Barcelona’s first training session in Miami had striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang as the unexpected protagonist. The coaching team set up a circuit of tests for the playing squad, the first one a simple task of hitting the crossbar from outside the area. Once a player did so, he could move onto the next challenge. Well, it wasn’t that easy for everyone...

Auba struggles with opening test

Strikers and the more talented midfielders tend to do better at accuracy tests but it doesn’t always work out that way. Just ask Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Gabonese player just couldn’t hit the horizontal bar, and persisted as his teammates achieved it and moved on. Gerard Piqué, also had a hard time, but when he finally made it, the center-back let out a cry of self-dedication, “that is quality!” There were others too, including Pedri, who struggled, but after numerous attempts, heard the rewarding clang.

Aubameyang’s situation began to have some tragi-comic overtones as some teammates, including US star Sergiño Dest, reached the finish line after completing the entire circuit, while the striker plugged away. Comments and some cheering on followed.

After more than thirty attempts - which sounds like his Arsenal ratio in the season before leaving - Auba managed to hit the target and head off to complete the circuit. He’s unlikely to forget this first training session in the United States, and he did receive the affection of a few dozen fans who were stationed at the Miami Sports City. The player was one of the few who got off the bus to sign autographs.

As an aside, Ferran Torres did not participate in this first session, instead training separately.