Barcelona emerged victorious from El Clasico on Sunday and in some style with an emphatic 4-0 drubbing of rivals Real Madrid that was spearheaded by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
Any early trepidation at the Bernabeu was well and truly overcome on the half-hour mark when Aubameyang opened the scoring for the visitors with his eighth goal in just 11 games since joining Barca in early February on a free transfer from Arsenal.
Despite a hail of jeers ringing around the stadium, the Gabon striker made sure to mark the momentous occasion by adding a brand new entry to his already impressive collection of trademark goal celebrations.
Sprinting over to the touchline, the Aubameyang retrieved a small orange ball, held it aloft and touched two fingers against his forehead in reference to anime classic "Dragon Ball Z."
Hello from the finished player 🔵🔴— AUBA⚡️ (@Auba) March 21, 2022
The pose was a reference to the "Instant Transmission" power used by Goku in "Dragon Ball Z," which grants the character the power to teleport themselves and others across realms and dimensions at light speed.
⚡️ Goku Super Saiyan 25 🔥 pic.twitter.com/O2K5sW6XsW— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 21, 2022
"Yes of course, exactly, [it was] Dragon Ball Z," Aubameyang later confirmed to beIN Sports. "I had one wish, it was to simply win here. I thought a lot about my family, a lot about my grandparents who are no longer with us, but here, I'm happy to have scored for them today."
The former Arsenal forward has often professed his love for "Dragon Ball Z" over the years and even has a large tattoo on his thigh in homage to the beloved Japanese show.
Of course, Aubameyang has dabbled in the art of the extravagant goal celebration many times, with the 32-year-old forward regularly mining the world of superheroes and cartoons for inspiration.
It was also during his Dortmund years that Auba donned the Batman mask for the first time, scoring against local rivals Schalke in 2015 and then teaming up with Marco Reus as Robin to form an awesome yellow crime-fighting duo.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's birthday cake was Batman themed. pic.twitter.com/cDwqKhsnR9— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) June 18, 2016
The following year he even celebrated his birthday with a Batmobile-themed cake.
The striker displayed a wide array of various masks at the Westfalenstadion, including one which was later identified as being part of Nike's "The Masked Finisher" campaign to celebrate a goal against local rivals Schalke 04. That earned him a fine and "a good talk" from Dortmund, where rival sportswear company Puma is both a shareholder and the kit supplier.
After moving to Arsenal, Auba paid homage to Marvel superhero Black Panther when he found the net against Rennes in the Europa League and celebrated by pulling on a fairly elaborate movie-quality mask. The striker later paid tribute to Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman by hitting a "Wakanda Forever" pose after scoring against Liverpool in the 2020 Community Shield, the day after the shock news of the actor's death.
Aside from movies and comic books, Auba has also marked multiple goals by demonstrating his enviable acrobatic skills, effortlessly rolling and tumbling as he goes. Not bad for a man in his 30s.
Of course, when it comes to celebration goals you simply can't beat a gentlemanly handshake, many of which were exchanged between Auba and his erstwhile strike partner Alexandre Lacazette during their Arsenal days.
However, as refined as their handshakes might have been, that didn't mean Auba and Laca didn't indulge in the odd post-goal boogie from time to time.