Xavi responds to Ousmane Dembele boos & explains why Frenchman wasn’t introduced vs Atletico



Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has, on Sunday evening, pleaded with the club’s fans to avoid making their frustrations with Ousmane Dembele public, before providing an explanation for the Frenchman’s lack of game-time versus Atletico Madrid.

Despite having not stepped foot on the pitch this afternoon, the name of wide-man Dembele has once more taken its place front and centre in the headlines on the back of the Blaugrana’s meeting with Atleti.

This comes after the home crowd in attendance at the Camp Nou showed little restraint in taking aim at their contract rebel attacker ahead of kick-off.

Upon Dembele’s name being read out by the stadium announcer pre-match, a loud chorus of boos and jeers was forthcoming from the stands.

Xavi responds to Ousmane Dembele boos & explains why Frenchman wasn’t introduced vs Atletico

SEVILLE, SPAIN – DECEMBER 21: Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona in action during the LaLiga Santander match between Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on December 21, 2021 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

On the back of the full-time whistle sounding on Sunday evening, Xavi, in turn, was questioned on the club’s supporters taking firm aim at his gifted but oft-maligned star.

And the Barca boss was quick to jump to Dembele’s defence, pleading with the Blaugrana faithful to ‘stop whistling’ him:

From here, Xavi was too drawn on his decision not to afford the 24-year-old a single minute of playing time, amid suggestions that the tactician may have done so to protect Dembele from further jeers.

The Spaniard, however, has assured that the call came simply owing to a shift in plans owing to the red card picked up by Dani Alves:

Gavi amongst the goals

Dembele drama aside, it proved an all-round positive afternoon’s work for Barcelona on Sunday.

Despite falling behind inside the opening eight minutes of action versus Atletico, the Catalan heavyweights ultimately did enough to secure all three points, leapfrogging Diego Simeone and co. into 4th in the La Liga table in the process.

Jordi Alba, Gavi, Ronald Araujo and Dani Alves were all on target, en route to an eventual 4-2 triumph for the Camp Nou hosts.


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