Paris Saint-Germain winger Ousmane Dembélé opened up on his time at Borussia Dortmund in a recent interview with L’Équipe, noting the club was a stepping stone for his Barcelona ambitions.
French winger Ousmane Dembélé has possibly added some additional zest to the the upcoming match between Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. The match, set to be played on December 13th will be both club’s final game in the group stages of Europe’s premier competition, and after a very enlightening interview with L’Équipe, Die Scvwarzgelben fans will eagerly await the reunion with the former Dortmund wide-man.
In his interview, Dembélé touched upon his time with Dortmund, and how he viewed the club as a stepping stone to achieving his dream of playing with Barcelona:
"“I started in Rennes and then went to Dortmund early. I wanted to take an intermediate step and achieve my goal of moving to FC Barcelona.”"
At the time of his move in 2017, Dembélé made a point to force his way out of the club by refusing to report to training, which forced the club to negotiate with Barcelona. The clubs ended up reaching an agreement in the range of 135-140 million euros for the player, with Dortmund benefitting immensely from both his sale in the long term.
As for Dembélé, his time at Barcelona was very hit or miss, with the player often injured and unable to hit the heights he had while with Dortmund. His contributions on the pitch for Barcelona improved under Xavi Hernandez, which prompted Paris Saint-Germain to try to convince the player to join. According to Dembélé, the Parisian club had been trying to sway him for some time:
"“PSG and the president have been interested for a long time. Even when I was in Dortmund, we had our first contacts. At that time, my goal was to play for Barcelona. There were also contacts in 2019, then again this summer…I liked the project right away.”"
The player once again caused controversy with his move to the French capital as he had stated that he would stay at Barcelona before opting to join his current club:
"“Indeed, I said I would stay at Barcelona, but after contacts with PSG, I was convinced to leave…I came to Paris because I love the club, it is a French club and I love it. I come from Evreux, not far from here. Everyone here talks about Paris Saint-Germain. It was written that one day I would sign for this club.”"
Dembélé’s time in France has so far yielded three assists in the league, but he has yet to score for his new club. He was brought in alongside Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo-Muani to make up what is, on paper, a formidable front line that also includes Kylian Mbappé. It will be this front three that Dortmund will likely haver to face when they come up against PSG in a little over a month’s time. While the goal for Dortmund will certainly be to get all three points to ensure knockout stage qualification, a win over such a controversial figure from Dortmund’s past will be a sweet additive to savor, should they manage to pull it off.