Barcelona: Dembele: From 2017 to 2021 I lost five years of my life

Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele has spoken out on his first five seasons at the club, calling them lost years.

The French winger arrived at the Camp Nou in 2017 for a massive fee from Borussia Dortmund but he has taken a long time to settle and only in the last year or so has he started to look like the player the Blaugrana hoped he would be.

Speaking to RMC, the 25-year-old has reflected on his career so far and recognises he could have done things better. However, he’s still young and seems to be on the right path at last.

“I was young like everyone has been,” said Dembele when asked about his lifestyle in his first years at 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 France international picked up a lot of injuries which frustrated his progress. It was suggested that these setbacks were due to not training properly.

“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 also revealed that he knew he would renew his contract as long ago as December last year and that Xavi played a big part in that.

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,” said Dembele.

“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.”