Dembele talks injuries, renewal, Bayern, and life at Barca

Dembele spoke about his injuries, contract renewal, the impact of Xavi’s arrival, the change in his routine to prevent injuries, the role of the press, the match against Bayern, and much more in his latest interview.

Dembele’s interview

Dembele on the impact of Xavi’s arrival:

“Everything is special with Xavi. Ever since Xavi came, I’m playing my best football as a Barça player. From the last months of the past season and now. Before Xavi came, I wasn’t always enjoying my time here. One day yes, the other day no, mostly due to injuries. Since Xavi came, I’ve been doing very well.”

Dembele on Xavi’s ideas to use his wingers:

“Xavi wants both wingers to be wide and run towards defenders 1v1, score goals, and give lots of assists. For me and our other wingers, it’s the best idea of football.”

Dembele on his efforts to prevent injuries:

“When I was younger, I was getting injured because I wasn’t working as I am now. I never understood that before. Talent is not enough, you have to work hard; on and off the pitch.”

“I’ve been working a lot with my physiotherapist and the club’s staff, who are very good. I learned that the key is to work outside of the pitch. If you don’t do that, you’ll be injured for sure. That’s what happened to me when I was 20. I didn’t work on prevention.”

“Our diet is important. We have a nutritionist here at the club as well. If we don’t eat here we get fined, anyway. When I was constantly getting injured, the club’s physiotherapists always told me that I needed to work off the field to prevent injuries. But I was so young, and I didn’t see it like that. I had only been playing for a year and a half professionally, too young.”

Dembele on getting the support during his recovery:

“I never lacked support when I was struggling with injuries. My family was with me, as well as veteran players like Busquets, who helped me a lot.”

Dembele on his negative image portrayed by media:

“Outside of the pitch, Xavi pretty much did not know me. After the first two months, he understood that I was a normal and calm person. He had only heard things about me from the press and they were not exactly good things.”

“Both Xavi and the president were key in my renewal. I hope to work with Xavi for a long time.”

Dembele on the role of press:

“I don’t want to comment on that. I’m concentrating on playing well. You’re always going to get criticized in life. Not everyone can like you.”

Dembele on the match against Bayern:

“We want to beat Bayern. They’ve beaten us for two years in a row and we have to win now. We’re not scared. The Champions League group is very tough, sure. But we’re also tough for them. The fans will watch amazing matches. We’ll go out there and try to win each one.”

“Laporta and Mateu have worked hard to build a competitive team. If we all stay fit, we can compete for everything and we’ll win titles.”

Dembele on the transfer of Aubameyang:

“I’m going to visit Aubameyang in London soon. He left because he wanted to play a lot, and it was a good operation for the club too. I will always appreciate him because he helped me at Dortmund and here as well.”

Dembele on Pedri:

“Pedri is a top player. He can be one of the best players in the future. Actually… he already is. We have a great set of young players. Gavi is only 18 and he’s very good. So are Ansu, Pablo Torre. Balde is very fast and heavy.” *laughs*

Dembele on the advice he got from Xavi:

“Xavi talked to me a lot in training, he is very attentive and gives me a lot of advice to improve. The first thing he told me was that I am a very good player but I had to improve my mentality. I have talent, but I have to work hard for the team”

Dembele on his renewal saga:

“I never feared that I wasn’t going to renew. I knew I was, plus I have a good relationship with Xavi and the board. I’ve had a good feeling with Laporta, Mateu Alemany, and Yuste since the beginning. I never had a pre-agreement with any other club. I told my agent to only listen to Barca.”

“I always told Xavi that I wanted to continue here. It took a long time because of negotiations, but I always said that I wanted to continue at Barca, and in the end, we are all happy.”

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