Ousmane Dembele, a forward for Barcelona, has spoken out about his first five seasons with the team, referring to them as wasted years.
The French winger moved to Camp Nou from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, but it took him a while to adjust. It has only been in the past year or so that he has begun to resemble the player the Blaugrana had thought he would be.
The 25-year-old said he could have handled things better in his interview with RMC after reflecting on his career to date. He’s still young, though, and now looks to be heading in the right direction.
“I was young like everyone has been,” Ousmane Dembele responded when questioned about his way of living during his initial years in Barcelona.
“But I manged to move on from that situation. However, it’s not like many people thought.
“From 2017 to 2021 I wasted a lot of time. I’ve lost five years of my life.”
The multiple injuries the France international sustained hindered his development. It was argued that improper training was to blame for these setbacks.
“I had a lot of hamstring injuries. If you don’t work hard, you’ll get stuck,” said Dembele.
“You’ll hurt yourself if you don’t get stronger, they told me. With Ronald Koeman and Xavi that got better.
“Since then I’ve not had any injuries. We cross our fingers and keep working. I’m good, I feel good at Barcelona, I have the confidence of the whole team, the whole club and I’m happy. Now everyone is talking about football it’s better.”
Dembele said that Xavi was a major factor in his contract renewal and that he knew it would happen as early as December of last year.
“With Xavi’s trust, I felt I had to stay. I really want Barcelona to win the Champions League again, it’s been seven years”, the French star said.
“I remember a meeting with Xavi in December, I told him I was going to sign my contract.”
“Personally, winning the Champions League with Barcelona is my aim… winning titles, LaLiga Santander, the Champions League, that’s the most important thing.”
Masour Ousmane Dembélé, a French professional football player who plays as a winger for La Liga club Barcelona and the France national team, was born on May 15, 1997.
Dembélé, a Vernon native, started his professional career at Rennes before joining Dortmund in 2016. He scored a goal in the DFB-Pokal championship match while playing for Borussia Dortmund in the 2016–17 season.
A year later, he joined fellow countryman Paul Pogba as the joint-second most expensive player in history when he moved to Barcelona for an initial fee of €105 million. Dembélé went on to win the La Liga and Copa del Rey double in his debut season in Spain, which was marred by injuries.
Dembélé made his senior international debut for France in 2016 after amassing 20 caps and five goals at the youth level. He competed at the UEFA Euro 2020 and was a member of the France team that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Early life and career
In the Normandy town of Vernon, Eure, Dembélé was born. His father is from Mali, while his mother is Mauritanian-Senegalese from Waly Diantang.
Between the ages of 12 and 13, he began playing football in neighbouring Évreux, initially at ALM Évreux and then at Évreux FC 27.
Due to his ability to use both feet and to exploit his technical skill, speed, and agility to get past opponents or defeat defenders in one-on-one situations, Dembélé is a winger who can play on either flank.
In a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 configuration, Dembélé can also play as an attacking midfielder on the left or right side. He can also be used in a more offensive capacity due to his precise finishing and eye for goal.