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Ousmane Dembele: I want to be a key player at this World Cup

The Frenchman spoke after the win against Australia

France v Australia: Group D - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Ousmane Dembele says he wants to be a key player at World Cup 2022 after helping France kick off their campaign with a 4-1 win over Australia on Wednesday.

Les Blues came from behind to see off the Socceroos, with Dembele teeing up Kylian Mbappe during the game.

Dembele spoke to reporters after the match at a press conference about how he’s matured and is ready to make a big contribution to the France team.

“I had some difficult years. When you compare the match from 2018 and Tuesday’s match, there are lots of changes,” he said.

“I am coming into the tournament off the back of a year-and-a-half without an injury. I have aged, and become more mature both in my game and off the pitch. I am ambitious. I want to start matches. I want to be a key player at this World Cup. I want to score and to create goals.”

The Barcelona forward also spoke about his performance against Australia and what coach Didier Deschamps has told him.

“The coach spoke to me a bit more about my defensive positioning. I felt good. For a while now I have been more confident. I try to bring things to the team,” he said.

“There were some balls that I could have done more with. We were surprised that they pressed us so high. We thought they would have a lower block. On the wings, we were often 1-v-1.”

Dembele is likely to start again next time out for France. Deschamps’s team take on Denmark next and then finish off the group stage with a tie against Tunisia.

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