Every professional has the one player they looked up to and strived to be like. Pele was awestruck by Zizinho, just like Messi emulated his idol Maradona. The current crop of youngsters who spend hours perfecting their Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi routines are tomorrow's heroes.
It is along these lines that led to Saint-Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang setting his sights on his idol Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In a report picked up by ESPN's Soccernet among others, Aubameyang discussed his goals for this season.
I want to prove I'm a real striker. I want to be better than last year, scoring more than 16 times.
Aubameyang went further and began discussing his hero Ibrahimovic. In paying tribute to the PSG frontman, Aubameyang was quoted as saying:
He is a top class, an amazing striker. Despite being very tall, he is really great on the ball.
To compete with him will be hard - he has started very well this season. If I score more than him, that is good for me. If I can do as much as him, that's good, too. We'll see at the end.
Unlike many instances when players discuss matching or topping other players statistics, Aubameyang brings these goals up from a standpoint of respect. He has looked up to Ibra since both of them were a part of AC Milan.
The young striker has gotten off to a fabulous start this season for Saint-Etienne. By aiming for the Ibrahimovic stratosphere, Aubameyang has positioned himself for great things. Even if he falls short of matching his hero, Aubameyang will still reach lofty heights.