Roman Weidenfeller had some tough words for Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé, whose tumultuous 2017 transfer to the Nou Camp caused quite a rift between himself and Dortmund’s management.
In the summer of 2017, reports emerged that while the rest of the team was training, Dembélé stayed in his home in Paris, trying to force Dortmund to accept a massive transfer offer from FC Barcelona. BVB eventually accepted Barcelona’s transfer fee, roughly €105 million plus add-ons.
In an interview with ESPN FC yesterday, Weidenfeller lambasted the young winger’s behavior: (LINK)
It was here that he turned himself into a player Barcelona wanted to buy -- but rather than being thankful he decides to leave the club by staying at home, going on strike, abandoning his teammates.
For the more spiteful BVB fans, Dembélé’s first season in Barcelona has provided no shortage of Schadenfreude. He’s battled injury after injury, which many indignant BVB fans, rightly or wrongly, attributing to his numerous weeks of skipped training. Reports also emerged that he felt ostracized from the rest of the Barcelona squad, and that he often spent time alone, playing video games with his friends from France. He seems to have turned a corner as of late, though, as he’s begun to receive more minutes, and Barcelona players have made greater efforts to include him.
Dembélé is only 20, and there were many rumors that his actions were primarily driven by the advice of his agent, so in this writer’s personal opinion, Schadenfreude is not the way to go. Regardless, according to Roman Weidenfeller, his conduct was unacceptable.
“He didn’t even collect his boots. That’s ridiculous.”