Barcelona’s main man Lionel Messi urges Ousmane Dembele to be more professional

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Lionel Messi is usually a quiet guy. Rarely would you actually see the little Argentine engage in discussions and even give interviews, attend press conferences and similar things.

But now, the 32-year-old superstar has actually done an exclusive interview with SPORT to talk about many different topics, like Neymar Junior, winning the Champions League, his wife, his role at the club and many more.

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One of the topics that was particularly interesting, however, was Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona’s 22-year-old starlet.

And while Messi did compliment his footballing skills, he also appeared to issue a warning to the Frenchman to become more professional. And he couldn’t be more right.

Here’s what he said:

“I believe he’s an impressive talent who can do whatever he wants. He is very young and I think this year will be very important for him to make the step up that the whole of the Barcelona fan base wants to see. He needs to make that change to be more professional, to put that idea into his head, so he can be a success at Barcelona like he wants to be.”

Dembele’s professionalism is actually a topic that is already widely discussed. At times, it has seemed like the youngster isn’t really taking his career seriously.

Playing video games until late hours, arriving late and even going back to his Borussia Dortmund days when he protested to get his transfer to Barcelona. All of those acts don’t really sound like those of a true professional.

And yes, Dembele is still very young so maybe people are expecting too much from him at this early stage of his career. But when Messi calls you out and urges you to change, then that definitely means that there’s something wrong with your behaviour as a whole.

Whether he likes it or not, Dembele will have to take a hard look at himself and decide whether he actually wants to make it at Barcelona or not.

The Catalans don’t wait for anyone and there’s no telling when all of this will become too tiring for them and they eventually decide to pull the plug.

For Dembele, and especially after Messi’s words, it may be now or never.

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