Ousmane Dembele was back in Barcelona on training on Boxing Day, less than 10 days after playing for France in the World Cup final.
The Frenchman was reportedly due back on Wednesday, along with Jules Kounde, but has cut his holidays short in order to get back to work.
You love to see it. Dembélé is back. pic.twitter.com/TR760cN8wa— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 26, 2022
Dembele’s return will be a boost for Xavi and means the forward should be in contention to start against Espanyol on New Year’s Eve.
However, Xavi may have some work to do with Dembele after the World Cup. The 24-year-old played every match for France but was hooked in the first half of the final after a poor showing.
Dembele conceded an early penalty to Angel Di Maria and looked all at sea as Argentina took control of the game in the early stages.
Yet Xavi has always made it clear that he has complete faith in Dembele, and the forward will surely take comfort from his manager’s backing as he gets back to work.
From a Barcelona viewpoint, it could even be good news as Dembele may just feel he has something to prove after his nightmare showing in the final in Qatar.