New Barcelona signing Ousmane Dembele has asked for fans and press not to compare him to departed forward Neymar.
After months of talks and a suspension from German club Borussia Dortmund, Friday saw the completion of Dembele’s mega deal to Barca.
His arrival at the Camp Nou sees him as a direct replacement for Brazilian Neymar, who made a sensational world record move to French side Paris Saint Germain last month.
Presented to the club’s fans on Sunday, Dembele was quick to shut down any comparisons with the former Barca man, saying he cannot compared to someone who is ‘one of the best in the world’.
“There’s a big difference between Neymar and me…I’ve only been a professional for two years,” Dembele told reporter.
“I am young and I’m trying to grow each day.
“I’ve not come to be Neymar’s replacement – Barca called me to occupy a position, and I have come to give my all in that position.”
Speaking in his move to the club, the 20-year-old was quick to discuss the chance to play alongside Lionel Messi, who scored two goals in Barca’s 2-0 win over Alaves at the weekend.
“Messi? He is a fantastic player, the best in history.
“It will be an honour to play in his team; I want to see how he plays, I want to see what he does on the field and off the pitch – I’m here to learn.
“I’m really pleased to form part of the Barca family – I’ve always wanted to play for Barca since I was a kid and watched all their games.”
The French international would complete his first press conference as a Barca player by speaking of his desire to win trophies with the club.
“I’m really happy to now be part of the best club in the world with the best players in the world. I hope to win lots of trophies and titles here.
“I’m hoping for a good, successful year and looking forward to playing here in this stadium – visca Barca, visca Catalunya!”
Barca now have the international break, before returning to La Liga action against Espanyol on Saturday 9th September.