Stop being late for training: Rivaldo tells Dembele, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Stop being late for training: Rivaldo tells Dembele

Former Barca star Rivaldo criticises Dembele's attitude

Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele needs to improve his attitude and focus on being more professional even if he does want to leave the La Liga leaders, said former Barca star Rivaldo.

Dembele, who joined Barcelona last August for 105 million euros (S$164.2m), suffered injury problems in his first year and this season has been criticised for his behaviour, including turning up late to training and events.

Media reports have linked the 21-year-old with a move away from the Nou Camp during next month's transfer window.

Speaking ahead of this morning's Champions League Group B clash with Tottenham Hotspur, Rivaldo, who played for Barca for five years from 1997 and is regarded as one of the most skilful attackers of his generation, said there was no doubting the Frenchman's talents.

Dembele has scored 12 goals for Barca, several of which have been important strikes in La Liga, the Spanish Super Cup and the Champions League.

"Ousmane Dembele's situation at Barcelona is upsetting because he's already shown that he can play very well, score goals and be an important member of the team," Rivaldo, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002, told Betfair.

"He just needs to focus on being a little more professional and to stop being late for training sessions.

"This is not the correct mentality for someone potentially trying to leave Barcelona.

"It's always strange to hear that someone might want to leave a big club in this way.

"If he wants to leave, he must prove his value by playing well and not missing training sessions to recover his credibility as a professional.

"That will generate interest from other clubs.

"If he doesn't change, he is hurting himself more than the club."

Reports in the Spanish media said that Dembele arrived two hours late for training on Sunday after Barca's 4-0 league win over Espanyol the previous evening.

The former Borussia Dortmund forward had to be tracked down at his home by club security staff.

When asked about the incident, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said: "Something happened, but we will try to resolve it internally...

"We will try to help the player because he has a lot of talent and we want to help him." - REUTERS

Former Iceland coach takes charge of Al Arabi

Former Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson said Qatar "was the place to be" as he was officially unveiled as the coach of club side Al Arabi in Doha yesterday.

It is Hallgrimsson's first job since leaving the Iceland post and guiding his country to their first World Cup Finals earlier this year, and he admitted even he was "surprised" to end up in the Gulf.

He said he had been in talks with Bundesliga's Stuttgart and Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps before being approached by Al Arabi, but had no regrets about choosing a team from the 2022 World Cup host nation.

"I had some opportunities, some discussions with clubs but nothing that was more interesting than this," said the 51-year-old dentist who signed a 1½-year contract.

"This is a big, big challenge, a big club, that had success in the past and they would like to have that past again."

Seven-time champions Al Arabi, who last won the title in 1997, are mid-table in the 12-team Qatar Stars League at the halfway stage. The Icelander is the club's 18th coaching appointment since 2010.

"A lot of people have warned me that this is a hot seat so, hopefully, a guy from Iceland can cool it a little." - AFP