A recent report from L’Equipe has explored the friendship between Lionel Messi and Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele.
It appears the two attackers had shared a close bond during their time together at Barcelona. Since the first moment Dembele arrived at Camp Nou, he always had the support of Messi, who, at the time, even urged then coach to find a way to unlock the true potential of the Frenchman.
We have to find a way of playing that can exploit the potential of this guy,” Messi told then-coach Ernesto Valverde.
Even when Dembele started to struggle with injuries and became the subject of major criticism, he never lost the support of the Argentine international. “On the pitch, it’s a phenomenon. He has unique qualities,” Messi said in 2018. “He has all the qualities to become whoever he wants. He can undoubtedly be one of the best in the world.“
Even after Messi left Barcelona in the summer of 2021, he has constantly kept in touch with Dembele and the duo text each other often. The Argentine even followed Dembele’s renewal at Barcelona this summer with great interest.
It appears Messi’s support has played a key role in helping the Frenchman turn things around, especially after a difficult phase at the end of last year.
However, Dembele and Messi will have to put their close friendship on the sidelines as they take each other on in the final of the FIFA World Cup, as Argentina lock horns with defending champions France at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
Both the players have been the top performers for their respective nations, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in this highly anticipated encounter this weekend.