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Xavi asks Barcelona fans not to boo Ousmane Dembele

The coach has called for support not whistles

FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona coach Xavi asked fans to stop whistling Ousmane Dembele after Sunday’s win over Atletico Madrid in La Liga.

Dembele was recalled to the squad for the match and his name was whistled by supporters when it was read out by the stadium announcer ahead of kick-off.

There were also a few whistles when Dembele came out to warm-up, although he did not feature in the game and spent the 90 minutes on the bench.

Xavi spoke after the match and urged fans to support the Frenchman instead of booing.

“The fans were 10 of 10 and the support was brilliant throughout the game,” he said. “But I would like them to support Ousmane, too. I’d ask them to stop booing him.”

The Barcelona coach also revealed that he had planned to bring on Dembele but the red card for Dani Alves in the second half changed his plans.

“The idea was for him to come on, but I decided on other things because of the red card and the way the game went,” he added.

It remains to be seen how much game time Dembele will see between now and the end of the campaign. Adama Traore’s performance against Atletico suggests that he’ll keep his place in the starting XI against Espanyol with Dembele on the bench again.