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Ousmane Dembele is special: Barcelona manager Xavi ‘very happy’ with rejuvenated French forward

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Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said forward Ousmane Dembele is a player reborn after the France international scored twice in the La Liga club’s pre-season game.

Dembele has the ability to make a difference in the world of football: Xavi (Reuters Photo)

Dembele has the ability to make a difference in the world of football: Xavi (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xavi said forward Ousmane Dembele is a player reborn
  • Dembele scored twice in the LaLiga club’s 2-2 pre-season draw
  • Dembele has signed a new two-year deal with LaLiga side

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez lavished praise on the 25-year-old Ousmane Dembele, saying the French striker has shown a marked improvement in the eight months since he took charge in November last year.

Notably, Dembele scored twice in the LaLiga club’s 2-2 pre-season draw with Serie A side Juventus on Tuesday at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, Texas. Dembele opened the scoring in the 34th minute with a fine solo effort, dribbling past Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro before drilling a fierce shot past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Dembele has signed a new two-year deal with LaLiga side Barcelona after his previous contract expired at the end of June. Earlier, Dembele joined Barca, aged 20, from Dortmund, in the summer of 2017, for more than 120 million.

“He has shown what he is capable of. He is different, special. There are not many of this type,” Xavi told reporters on Tuesday. “He gives us a lot with the way we play.

“Not everyone has the ability to make a difference in the world of soccer and he does. He is involved and he shows it. I don’t know the Dembele from before November, I don’t know him. I am very happy with this one.”

Dembele was dropped by manager Xavi Hernandez amid his contract standoff with Barcelona before he returned to the team in February and finished the campaign with 32 appearances in all competitions.

Barcelona, who finished second in La Liga last season, kick off their league campaign at home to Rayo Vallecano on August 13.

— ENDS —

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