Sympathy for Ousmane Dembélé: looking from a distance at the struggle of the most destructive 21-year-old world player, it is difficult to detect many things out there right now.
This week the troubled Dembélé time in Barcelona reached a small point of crisis. The player and his agent were summoned to a meeting with the club hierarchy, where Dembélé was urged to withdraw his socks and the club hierarchy was urged to stop the story from leaking into the press, a story that immediately leaked to the press.
This is certainly not new. Football is always eaten young, and the Camp Nou has always been a difficult place to go. Like Dembélé, Diego Maradona was also a young player when he signed for Barcelona in 1982. And like Dembélé he found it very hard.
In the beginning Maradona blazed against manager Udo Lattek, who insisted he kicked the medicine ball for hours, the bigger the equipment came, the more heavy the medicine ball. Maradona struggled with Catalan culture, struggled with "fools" from a chairman, who constantly explained to him. He struggled in a Barcelona style that was too physical.
Finally his ankle broke ("it sounds like a piece of wood splitting") in a terrible challenge by Andoni Goikoetxea. After moaning in pain for a while, the most expensive footballer in the world was finally taken out of the Camp Nou field with blankets and taken to a hospital with a small van borrowed after apparently there was no ambulance.
Compare this, if you want, to the case of Dembélé, whose own experience in Barcelona was involved being transported to the city like a young prince from intergalactic grand elites, transferred from a seven-star interior sealed to an elite training complex through combat helicopters who only dressed. in yak-fur robes and sturdy gold hats. It is not fashionable to feel sorry for Dembélé in a situation like this, to accept a 21-year-old multimillionaire might feel lonely or lost in Catalonia. At least Dembélé has a man to do that for him, a team of junior assistants whose job is to look out the window with a sad expression, to take a shift wandering from room to room in his closed and gated house. .
If so, they will work overtime. It has been 15 months since Dembélé was revoked and thrown at Camp Nou at a cost of € 105 million. Since when he played 90 minutes only four times and scored 10 goals. Information from Football Leaks told us that Dembélé had paid € 17 million in current base wages, with € 10 million being sucked into "intermediate", changing in no more than a year from Rennes teenagers who promised to become a mega-sport one person. industry.
At times like football this looks like a real-time social experiment, a search to find out what we can do with this human, how much bizarre bizarre this 21-year-old athlete has. What shape will bend it, what wound will it pick out?
Dembélé started the season well before he was dropped. He even turned on the Clasico one side last month, passed beautifully, soared from the defender easily as it was not difficult to see how with some time to steep and strengthen he could really bloom into the main star in the next decade. Too late he did something terrible to Nacho: spinning, turning around and then loosening past the man in a way that made Nacho look lost, confused, confused by his basic purpose in all this vast green space.
But something isn't right. Bad vibrations have been present from the start. There are reports appearing late for training, will be lost in club hours. His talk was bad attitude, abandoned Spanish lessons, bad diet. Don Balloon called Dembélé "Sad, apathetic, unwilling and too individualistic", suggesting he go to bed late at night, a "console and fast food" devotee.
What made this? How serious is it to take a vote like a fairly open criticism, and of course an uncomfortable criticism of a young man living abroad without his family for the first time? Who really took care of this super hot 21 year old girl?
The story of Dembélé has always been a saga of interests and agents and endless friction between the Dembélé sports industry complex. He fell with Rennes in the process of moving from youth to first team, fell with Rennes again when he left, and fell with Dortmund when he left them.
But then football had grunted and grabbed and grabbed Dembélé with oily hands from the start, to the point that Dortmund really praised it for its determination to reject big money offers for a very short time as a shooting star at Rennes.
So we hear he might go again, out there monetized once again like no 21-year-old player has been monetized before. There are suggestions Barcelona might finance the move to bring Neymar back by shifting Dembélé, emphasizing the basis of the meaninglessness of the whole practice: Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain to please the Qatar sports washing project. Dembélé was removed in return for a strangled amount of money. Everyone stagnates, everyone steps on the water, everyone gets paid. Liverpool had suggested a possible goal for Dembélé, a sensational signing that Jürgen Klopp had managed to do.
For now the Ousmane Dembélé ballad will still be a story that only really expresses its sadness in outline. Who broke the butterfly on the wheel? Who really thinks it can be a good idea to throw that puzzling big leap, which is full of money for a teenager, then hope he doesn't need to worry about this? Is there any point in asking this rather old-fashioned question?
We will, of course, find out. A large amount of additional cash will now be thrown at the problem, with all the usual deductions and bonuses. And in the end the flux is good. Moving is good. Everyone wins here – everyone, who matters. – Guardian