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Barcelona fans target Dembele and own bus ahead of PSG match

Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain is a clash that is full of intriguing subplots. The two have a lot of shared history, and football fans will immediately think back to the Catalan side’s incredible comeback to win 6-5 on aggregate in March 2017.

There are also a surprising number of players who have played for both clubs. Ronaldinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Daniel Alves, Neymar and, of course, Lionel Messi have all turned out for both sides.

So too has Ousmane Dembele, and ahead of the Champions League quarter-final second leg, the Frenchman bore the brunt of an angry Barcelona crowd.

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Ousmane Dembele celebrates scoring in the first leg between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. Photo by Icon Sport

How did Barcelona fans welcome Ousmane Dembele back to Barcelona? 

Off the pitch, it was not a happy return to Spain for Dembele. When the PSG players arrived in the city on Monday, the Frenchman was spotted putting his hood up to avoid being targeted by the culers.

It did not work, however, with the Barcelona fans directing a string of insults towards him.

It gone even worse on Tuesday. In the lead up to the game, Barca supporters were seen burning Barcelona shirts with the Frenchman’s name on the back.

Why were Barcelona fans so hostile to Ousmane Dembele?

The Frenchman had a mixed time at Camp Nou. While he often showed flashes of his undoubted brilliance, it was not all plain sailing.

He suffered two serious hamstring injuries during his time in Spain, which meant he spent large portions of his Barcelona career in the stands.

Barcelona fans and players stuck by him throughout, however, with the squad famously twice wearing shirts to show their support following two of his injuries.

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Lionel Messi consoles Ousmane Dembele as the Frenchman lies injured on the turf. Photo by Icon Sport

Because of this, it was thought that the Frenchman would be subdued in his celebration should he score in the first leg.

That was not the case however, with Dembele instead celebrating passionately, even angrily.

Other hostility around the Barcelona-PSG game

Ousmane Dembele was not the only object of the Barcelona fans’ feelings. The culers even ended up targeting their own team bus in a minute of confusion.

Videos show Spanish fans throwing flares and cans at the Barcelona bus, apparently thinking that it was the PSG coach instead.

On the pitch, Dembele ended a happy man – his first-half goal helping PSG to a win over 10-man Barcelona. They will play Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final.


Jamie Barton

A freelance football writer and podcaster, Jamie has appeared on/in the BBC World Service, PA Media, Charlton Athletic FC and Empire of the Kop, among others. He's attended matches all around the world, from Tranmere to Tokyo, and once had his bus home from the 2022 Champions League final in Paris delayed by 28 hours.

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