Dembele: I was “very fragile” when I joined Barcelona

Stefan Bienkowski
Stefan Bienkowski
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 2 min read
Dembele: I was “very fragile” when I joined Barcelona
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Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele has admitted that he was “very fragile” when he joined the club from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. 

The French international made the move from the Bundesliga to La Liga in a deal that has ended up costing Barcelona at least €135 million.

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However, injuries have continued to plague Dembele’s development at the Catalan club for a number of seasons.

Since arriving four years ago, the winger has picked up no less than 10 injuries and missed at least 85 games over the last four seasons. 

As such, Dembele’s move to the club has been deemed by most supporters as a huge disappointment considering the potential and promise he once showed at Dortmund. 

However, the 23-year-old talent believes he’s been able to bulk up and deal with the physical demands of the sport in a far better manner under the coaching and training he now receives at Barcelona. 

“Physically when I arrived at the club, I was very fragile,” Dembele told the Barcelona club website

“Even when I was at Borussia Dortmund or Nantes he was fragile. Here I have evolved a lot with physical preparations. My way of preparing for the games, everything has changed.”

“Especially in positioning, when to attack, when to calm the game, when to give a pass. I like to dribble and go on the attack alone. And they tell me to calm down, to wait for my teammates and not to try to dribble by three or four players.”

Much of that has been down to the changes made in training and individual coaching regimes that new head coach Ronald Koeman, who Dembele has nothing but praise for.

“A lot of things have changed in training and in the preparation of matches. The training sessions are good, the team is in good shape and the players are happy. 

“The way he runs the group is great. We are going to keep going and we have goals and we will try to go to the end to win titles.”

Read more about: Bundesliga, Ousmane Dembélé

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