Biography and family
Masour Ousmane Dembélé (born 15 May 1997) is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona and the French national team. Born in Vernon, Dembélé began his career at Rennes before joining Dortmund in 2016. He won the DFB-Pokal with die Borussen in the 2016–17 season, scoring a goal in the final. A year later, he transferred to Barcelona for an initial fee of €105 million, becoming at the time the joint-second most expensive footballer ever alongside compatriot Paul Pogba. Dembélé subsequently won the double of La Liga and Copa del Rey in an injury-riddled first season in Spain. After winning 20 caps and scoring five goals at youth level, Dembélé made his senior international debut for France in 2016. He was chosen in France’s squad for the 2018 World Cup which they won.
Early life and career
Dembélé was born in Vernon, Eure, in Normandy. His mother is French of Mauritanian and Senegalese descent, while his father is from Mali. He took his first footballing steps in nearby Évreux, first at ALM Évreux and then at Évreux FC 27 between the ages of 12 and 13.
Dembélé made his senior debut for Rennes’ reserve side in the Championnat de France Amateur, on 6 September 2014, coming on as a 78th-minute substitute for Zana Allée. He effectively set up Alseny Kourouma for the second goal of a 2–0 home win over the reserves of Breton rivals Guingamp. On 9 November, he scored his first career goal, again coming off the bench in a game at the Stade de la Piverdière, this time against the reserves of Laval. He totalled 13 goals in 18 games in his first season, including a hat-trick on 16 May 2015 in a 6–1 win over Hérouville. On 6 November 2015, Dembélé made his professional debut for Rennes’ first team in Ligue 1 against Angers, replacing Kamil Grosicki for the last 5 minutes of the game. On 22 November, he scored his first Ligue 1 goal for the first team against Bordeaux, opening a 2–2 draw at Roazhon Park. On 9 January 2016, Dembélé found the net again for Les Rouges et Noirs, as they came from 0–2 down to draw 2–2 against regional rivals Lorient at home. On 6 March, he scored his first Ligue 1 hat-trick in a 4–1 victory over Nantes in the Derby Breton. Rennes’ sporting director Mikaël Silvestre compared Dembélé to Cristiano Ronaldo, whom he had seen arrive at Manchester United around the same age.
On 12 May 2016, Dembélé signed a five-year contract with German club Borussia Dortmund, effective 1 July. On 14 August 2016, he made his debut in a 2–0 defeat against Bayern Munich in the DFL-Supercup. He scored his first goal for die Borussen on 20 September 2016, in a Bundesliga encounter against VfL Wolfsburg, which Dortmund won 5–1 at the Volkswagen Arena. On 22 November 2016, he scored the first Champions League goal of his career as the German club defeated Legia Warsaw 8–4 in a group stage meeting. On 26 April 2017, Dembélé assisted Aubameyang’s goal and scored the 74th-minute winner against Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal’s semi-final, helping Dortmund reach the cup final. In the decisive game on 27 May, he scored the first goal of a 2–1 victory as Dortmund clinched their first major title in five years by winning the 2017 DFB-Pokal Final against Eintracht Frankfurt. Dembélé was subsequently named Man of the Match. After the end of the season, Dembélé was named to the Bundesliga Team of the Season and awarded the league’s Rookie of the Season award.
On 25 August 2017, La Liga side Barcelona announced that they had reached an agreement to sign Dembélé for €105 million plus a reported €40 million add-ons. On 28 August, he had his medical and signed a five-year contract, with his buyout clause set at €400 million. Barcelona had just sold Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for €222 million, so the deal meant that Dembélé became the joint-second most expensive player (in euros), along with Paul Pogba. Rennes received a reported €20 million from Borussia Dortmund as a result of the sale, and Évreux 27 were also due part of the fee. He was handed the number 11 jersey that was previously held by Neymar. Dembélé made his debut on 9 September as a 68th-minute substitute for Gerard Deulofeu in a 5–0 Derbi barceloní win over Espanyol at the Camp Nou, assisting the final goal by Luis Suárez. In his first league start eight days later at Getafe, he injured his hamstring and was ruled out for four months. He was given the medical all-clear on 2 January 2018, but a couple weeks later, he again injured himself against Real Sociedad and was ruled out for up to four weeks. On 14 March 2018, Dembélé scored his first goal for Barcelona, netting the second goal in a 3–0 second leg win in the Champions League round of 16 against Chelsea. On 17 April, he scored his first La Liga goal for Barcelona, notching the opening goal in an eventual 2–2 draw with Celta Vigo. On 9 May, Dembélé scored twice, marking the first brace of his Blaugrana career, in a 5–1 home victory over Villarreal. Dembélé won both the Copa del Rey and La Liga winners’ medals in his first season in Spain, with the 20-year old scoring four goals in 24 appearances across all competitions. On 12 August 2018, Dembélé scored the winning goal against Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup, in an eventual 2–1 victory to win Barcelona their 13th Supercopa de España title. He opened his La Liga season’s goal tally by scoring the only goal of the game against Real Valladolid, on 25 August, away at the José Zorrilla. A week later, on 2 September, Dembélé notched his first home goal of the season, as the Blaugrana demolished newly promoted Huesca 8–2. Dembélé was again on the scoresheet the very next game, on 15 September, netting his third match winner of the ongoing campaign in a 2–1 away victory over Real Sociedad at the Anoeta. On 18 September, Dembélé scored his first Champions League goal of the season, helping Barça defeat PSV Eindhoven 4–0 at the Camp Nou. Coming on as a substitute against Real Madrid, on 28 October, Dembélé set up Arturo Vidal’s last goal of the game in a 5–1 home El Clásico triumph. Just a week later, again appearing from a bench role, he inspired Barcelona to a 3–2 comeback away against Rayo Vallecano, scoring the 2–2 equalizer with a half-volley in the 87th minute. On the 11th of October he scored a remarkable solo goal against Tottenham outpacing many defenders, finishing with a cool left footed shot past Hugo Lloris. He won the UEFA Champions League Goal Of The Week for that goal. After the match, Barça manager Ernesto Valverde praised the youngster, “He has made a great goal, within reach of players with his talent”. His second brace for the Blaugrana came at the start of the year 2019. On the 17th, a match against Levante UD. Dembélé scored on the 31st and 32nd minutes. Barcelona winning by three goals to nothing. Additional goal by Lionel Messi, to advance to the next round of the Copa del Rey. Dembélé’s third Champions League goal for Barcelona was on the 13th of March in a 5-1 win against Lyon. The match was played the Camp Nou scoring the last goal from a Messi assist.
Dembélé was called up to the senior France squad for the first time to face Italy and Belarus in August 2016 after Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir withdrew through injury. He made his debut on 1 September against the former at the Stadio San Nicola, replacing Antoine Griezmann for the final 27 minutes of a 3–1 friendly win over Italy. On 13 June 2017, Dembélé scored his first France goal in a 3–2 friendly victory against England. On 17 May 2018, he was called up to the 23-man French squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. On 15 July, he was an unused substitute, as France beat Croatia 4–2 in the final.
Awards and achievements
Interviews, opinions and scandals
According to the German edition of Bild, now on Dembele sued. The owner of a house in Dortmund, where the Frenchman lived before leaving for the capital of Catalonia – a German named Gerd Weisenberg, did this. As the former landlord says, Usman did not keep order and lived like a pig. As a result, the house was very damaged. Weisenberg accuses Dembele of having left behind a lot of unpaid bills, stains on the walls and mountains of garbage, in particular, he scattered packages on the floor, and in the refrigerator and even between the cabinets left rotten food. Moreover, Usman did not tear up the lease in time and did not return the keys to the house to the owner. Weisenberg had to change the locks on the front door, and now Gerd is demanding compensation in the amount of 20 thousand euros. That is how much was spent on cleaning and repair. The source claims that the footballer did not even bother with long collections, leaving the home in the clothes that he was wearing.
November 15, 2018