After scoring twice in Barcelona’s 2-2 preseason encounter with Juventus on Tuesday, manager Xavi believes Ousmane Dembele has been reborn.
Dembele scored in the 34th minute with a fantastic solo effort, going past Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro before hammering a vicious drive past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, but his goal was cancelled out by Moise Kean’s equalizer in the 39th minute.
Dembele soon restored Barcelona’s lead, scoring his second goal barely a minute later, only for Kean to equalize late in the game.
Xavi hailed the 25-year-old after the game at Dallas’ Cotton Bowl stadium, saying he struggled at first after joining Barcelona in 2017 but has improved under the veteran midfielder’s coaching.
Speaking to the media this is what Xavi said:
He has shown what he is capable of. He is different, special. There are not many of this type. 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.’
Barcelona, who finished second in LaLiga last season, will kick off their league campaign at home against Rayo Vallecano on August 13.