Robert Pires: Benfica can be a turning point for Ousmane Dembele

Robert Pires: Benfica can be a turning point for Ousmane Dembele

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The French forward has not been fit for much of his time at the club but is back once more

Robert Pires, formerly of Arsenal and the French national team in the early 00s, spoke to SPORT ahead of the clash between his former team Villarreal and Barcelona. One of the topics was forward Ousmane Dembele.

“For me Dembele is one of the best players we have in France,” said Pires. “It’s clear that with his injury history he has to look after himself well. The life of a footballer is like that. He needs luck too, but he has to look after himself. I think that what happened the other day at the Camp Nou, to come on and receive so much love from the fans, that will help him. For a player on a mental level that is vital. What happened on Tuesday was a turning point.”

Pires, who commentated on Barcelona’s clash with Benfica on Tuesday, spoke about the mental effect of so many injuries.

“Injuries are hard to control, we know. It’s something when you get back on the pitch you can’t get out of your head. The body of a footballer is like a Formula 1 car, you have to look after it. Ousmane knows he has to eat well, drink well, rest as he should. With experience and lessons learned I hope it won’t happen again. Look out, because if he stays fit Dembele will be very good.”

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