Dembele: 'I'm not here to replace Neymar'

  • Reuters, Monday, August 28, 2017 3:25 PM
With 17,000 fans on hand in the heat for his signing ceremony at the Nou Camp -- delayed an hour while last-minute paperwork was sorted out with Borussia Dortmund -- Ousmane Dembele insisted he doesn't feel pressure to perform for Barcelona, which paid $176 million to make him the second most expensive player in history.

“I don’t feel pressure from these numbers," he said. "In fact, more than pressure it’s a pleasure to be here.”

Dembele's signing follows Neymar’s departure to Paris St. Germain.

“There’s a big difference between Neymar and me," said the 20-year-old Frenchman. "Neymar is one of the best players in the world, I am very young. I’m improving day to day, trying to improve and to grow.

”I’m not here to replace Neymar. They needed a player in this position, they called me and I will give everything for this club. I’m 20, I have a lot to learn and that’s why I’m at this big club.

“It’s an honor and a pleasure to play in a team with Lionel Messi, I want to learn from him. He’s a great player, the best player in the history of football and I’m happy to grow in this team.”

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