PSG star recounts his bittersweet time at Barcelona

Date:

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 25: Ousmane Dembélé of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan at Parc des Princes on October 25, 2023 in Paris, France.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

FC Barcelona lost one of their most creative attacking player, Ousmane Dembele, to PSG in the last summer transfer window. Although the club added Joao Felix and then saw the emergence of Lamine Yamal, it is clear that the team’s attack is still missing a player as threatening as the Frenchman.

However, as the winger himself admitted in a recent interview, his time at Barcelona was not always rosy and cheerful. As SPORT has noted, the winger appeared in an interview in which he recounted his time as a Barcelona player:

“I arrived at Barcelona when I was 20 years old, after just a year and a half of professional football. I was still learning. Barcelona is the place where I have learned the most and where I have grown the most in my personal and professional life.”

The Frenchman admitted of his problems during the early days of his Barcelona career:

“It’s true that I suffered a lot there. I went through very difficult moments, I admit it. And then, little by little, over the years, everything gets better… It’s the logical evolution of a young professional player who, over the years, has changed many things.”

Dembele went on to give some specific examples of the changes that he made in his daily life to succeed at Barcelona:

“At the end of the second year, I hired a fitness coach. His arrival changed many things on the field and in my life. We worked during training sessions and on my days off. He helped me a lot. In fact, I still have him with me here in Paris. We focus a lot on prevention, we work in the gym…”

Overall, the Frenchman did not see a lot of difference between PSG and the Catalan club:

“Barcelona is a very big club, we know that. But PSG is also a great club, and I see it both on and off the field. When you go to the city, you are recognized right away… Frankly, besides the weather, there haven’t been many changes for me (laughs).”

“The same goes for the stadium: Camp Nou is huge and loaded with history. But at Parc des Princes, the atmosphere is exceptional, and in every game, the fans lift us up…”

In addition to the clubs at large, Dembele also claimed that he had a similar relationship with Xavi and his current coach, Luis Enrique:

“The nature of my relationship with Luis Enrique is more or less the same as with Xavi. I experienced incredible moments with Xavi. We were very close. He gave me a lot of advice and trusted me a lot. I’ve known Luis Enrique for a long time because he wanted me to come to Barcelona when I was at Rennes. I’m very happy to have him as a coach.”

Lastly, Dembele also shared how much it meant for him to play for Barcelona, the club that he had dreamed of playing since his childhood:

“My first jersey was an England one, with David Beckham. Then, I loved Steven Gerrard, and later I met Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta, and FC Barcelona… Messi has always been my favorite player. It was him, Guardiola, and Iniesta who made me love Barça.”

“That’s why I’ve always dreamed of playing there. When I signed for Barça, I made a dream come true. Playing with Iniesta in his last year and with Lionel Messi was incredible.”

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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