Dembele's confession: I got injured more in the past because I didn't work as hard as I do now

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Ousmane Dembele has explained his personal evolution to leave behind his injury ordeal from his first few years at Barcelona.

The Frenchman signed for Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund to much fanfare due to his undoubted talent, but his repeated injuries meant that he couldn't have the desired impact.

He now seems to be in a run of good fitness and has become a key player for Barcelona under Xavi this season.

"The injuries came because, when I was 20, I didn't work as hard as I do now," he admitted, as he gave interviews to Sport and Mundo Deportivo.

"If you want to be a great player, you have to work. Your talent is not enough.

"I didn't know that before, but now I see that it's essential to work on and off the pitch.

"It's clear that if you don't work you can't enjoy football, you're not going to play much and you're going to get injured. Now, I'm stronger."

He went on to discuss how Xavi is getting the best out of him.

"My relationship with Xavi is special, I want to stay by his side for a long time," Dembele said.

"Without a doubt, Xavi was key to me staying, as was the president.

"I talk a lot with both of them. I'm doing well. Everyone is happy now."

On his more personal side, Dembele described what he is like when he isn't on the pitch.

"I'm a quiet guy, I like to make jokes, I'm a joker, yes," he said.

"But, I'm not the worst in the dressing room, as there are many more dangerous than me! It's a good atmosphere."

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