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PSG coach Luis Enrique: “Ousmane Dembélé is the biggest game changer in world soccer”

Former Barcelona star Dembélé and Kylian Mbappé will combine in attack for PSG against Newcastle in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Former Barcelona star Dembélé and Kylian Mbappé will combine in attack for PSG against Newcastle in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League difficulties have been well documented over the years, with the French team only once coming close to living out their dream of winning the tournament when they lost in the 2020 final to Bayern Munich. And if Kylian Mbappé and Co are to finally lift the trophy in 2023-24, they’ll have to do it the hard way after being drawn in the so-called “Group of Death” alongside Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Newcastle United.

PSG could qualify for round of 16 with win over Newcastle

With two matches left to play, all is left to play for in Group F, although a victory on matchday five will send PSG into the round of 16 provided Dortmund also win or draw. The Ligue 1 champions host Newcastle at the Parc des Princes, where they have already dispatched German and the Italian opposition by an aggregate score of 5-0.

Luis Enrique’s side have, in fact, won their last six home games in a row, scoring 20 goals in the process, with the former Barcelona head coach singling Mbappé's teammate Ousmane Dembélé out for special praise in his pre-match press conference before the game against The Magpies. That despite the winger scoring only once in 16 appearances since moving to the French capital in the summer. Not that that matters to the Spaniard.

Dembélé “doesn’t care about mistakes or being criticised”

“I’ve known Dembélé since I was at Barcelona. I wanted to sign him when he was still at Rennes but he didn’t want to move to Barça because there was a lot of competition for places. I’ve known him for many years and, in my opinion, he’s a different type of player to anyone else.

“Now I know him personally too. He doesn’t care if he makes a mistake, he doesn’t care if he gets criticised. It’s a big opportunity being able to coach him.

“I think he’s a different player to the one that was at Barcelona because we want him to play both out wide and infield so he can create.

“The biggest game-changer in world soccer”

“From the moment he arrived, people have been obsessed with whether he scores goals or not, but when he has the ball, that frees up one or two other players when we are attacking because of his ability to attack spaces.

“I have absolutely no doubt he is the biggest game-changer in world soccer.”

Despite not having found the net in 2023-24, Dembélé has set up five goals for his teammates, all in Ligue 1, including three in his last three matches.