‘The best goal celebration!’

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‘The best goal celebration!’: Mesut Ozil lends his backing to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over former Germany team-mate Toni Kroos after Arsenal striker was criticised for ‘stupid’ mask theatrics and not being a role model
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Toni Kroos have been caught in a war of words
The Arsenal striker was criticised by Kroos for celebrating while wearing masks
Kroos also declared that Aubameyang’s theatrics meant he was not a role model
Mesut Ozil waded into the debate and defended his current Arsenal team-mate

Mesut Ozil has thrown his weight behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after his Arsenal team-mate was criticised by Toni Kroos for his ‘stupid’ mask celebrations and not being a role model.

Aubameyang called out Real Madrid midfielder Kroos, who played alongside Ozil for Germany before his retirement, after his scathing comments concerning his choice of theatrics.

And Ozil has now taken to social media to show his support for Aubameyang, posting a gif of the striker’s trademark celebration and labelling it ‘the best’ in the caption.

In a surprising and no holds barred segment on his Einfach mal Luppen podcast, via Sport Bild, Kroos did not hold back in hitting out at Aubameyang.

‘I find it very silly. Even worse is if there are any objects hidden in their socks,’ he admitted.

‘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’s Twitter tirade in response was accompanied by a picture of himself, which was drawn by a junior school pupil who had been asked to think about what happiness meant to them.

The prolific frontman wrote: ‘By the way does this @ToniKroos have kids?

‘Just to 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 pupils Talk. And don’t Forget #maskon #staysafe.’

The former Borussia Dortmund striker is well known for pulling on a wide variety of masks after scoring.

In 2019, he sported a Black Panther mask, made famous by late actor Chadwick Boseman, after scoring against Rennes in the Europa League.

He said after the game: ‘I needed a mask which represents me and that’s the Black Panther. In Gabon, we call the national team the Panthers.’

Aubameyang has also worn Batman, Spiderman and Deadpool masks over the years.

The 31-year-old has netted just two league goals this season, however, and is unlikely to ever be fielded alongside Ozil again at the Emirates.

Ozil was excluded from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads after being frozen out by Mikel Arteta.

The bombshell move sparked a harsh war of words between the player’s agent and the manager.

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