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The World Cup winning striker has regained form and form in 2020-21, and problems at the Camp Nou have been shaken
Ousmane Dembele believes he has turned the corner in Barcelona, with the World Cup winner feeling he is starting to justify his € 105 million (£ 92 million / $ 128 million) price tag after arriving at the Camp. Nou “very fragile”.
The La Liga giants invested heavily in the French forward’s potential after Neymar’s record sale to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017.
Great things were expected from Dembélé but, amid questions about his fitness and attitude, has he only recently begun to live up to expectations.
What has been said?
“I have changed a lot,” Dembélé told UEFA official website reflecting on his time at Barça. How have I changed the most? Physically, I think. When I came here, I was very fragile.
“Even when I started professionally at Stade Rennais and Borussia Dortmund, I was very fragile, but in Barcelona I have come a long way with the physical trainers. My way of training, my way of preparing for matches, it’s all changed.
“Years go by and I’m growing, so it’s normal for me to change a bit. I’m more comfortable, I feel good here in Barcelona and in my own life.
“Even though I had three years of little physical problems, those are life’s challenges, and that’s the way it is. You have to face them with a smile. “
Dembélé’s record in Barcelona
The 23-year-old has raised his total appearances for the Blaugrana to 100, with 25 goals and 20 assists.
He’s found his goal six times this season while setting up four efforts for his teammates, and he’s starting to find the consistency he’s been lacking since completing his big move.
Working with some of the best talent in the business is helping that cause, with the France international taking as many lessons as possible from Lionel Messi and company.
He added: “There are world-class players here that you learn from every day. I have been able to play alongside Andrés Iniesta, Luis Suárez. They gave me a lot of advice when I joined. Lionel Messi too.
“Leo is a genius, we all know him. He is a genius, he is the best player in the history of football. He inspired me when I was young, he inspires me now and honestly I’m honored to play with him. “