BARCELONA star Lionel Messi congratulated Ousmane Dembele after the France international shone on his La Liga debut against Espanyol yesterday.
Barcelona bolstered their hopes of regaining La Liga with a 5-0 thumping of local rivals Espanyol.
Messi was the star of the show, scoring a hat-trick as the Catalan giants capitalised on Real Madrid’s slip-up against Levante on Saturday night.
Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez also got on the scoresheet, with summer signing Dembele providing the assist for the Uruguay international.
And Spanish outlet Don Balon claims Lionel Messi kept Dembele behind after the game and praised him for his fine start to life at the Nou Camp.
It is said he praised him for making an impact so early into his Barcelona career.
And he was also happy with the way he provided the assist for Suarez’s late goal.
Don Balon add the signing of Dembele has gone down poorly over in Madrid.
Real president Florentino Perez supposedly wanted to sign the 20-year-old during his time at Rennes.
And, though they were given the chance to sign him this summer, Zinedine Zidane felt he was not needed.
Instead, the Los Blancos manager preferred to keep faith with Karim Benzema, who continues to struggle at the spearhead of their team.
Dembele, meanwhile, revealed Suarez told him to pass to him before the game.
“Valverde told me to relax and be calm, but Suarez said to me to give him the ball and he would score,” Dembele told BeIN Sports.
“I did it and he scored, I’m very happy.”