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Messi and Dembele's friendship highlighted ahead of World Cup final
- Lionel Messi played alongside Ousmane Dembele while the duo were both contracted to Barcelona in Spain
- Messi and Dembele are said to be good friends, with the PSG star describing Dembele as a phenomenon
- Messi will face off against his teammate, Kylian Mbappe, and his friend, Dembele, in the final of the World Cup
The World Cup final will see friends and club teammates face off for the ultimate prize.
Defending champions France will take on South American champions, Argentina, with both side chasing history.
France are looking to defend their title while Argentina are looking to give Messi the perfect send-off.
While much talk has been made about Paris Saint-Germain teammates Messi and Kylian Mbappe facing off against each other, another friendship has gone under the radar.
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As noted by Barca Universal, Messi and Ousmane Dembele are said to be good friends as well.
The two attackers developed a close bond while at Barcelona and Messi is said to be impressed with the Frenchman. Messi even asked coach Ernesto Valverde to find a way to unlock Dembele’s true potential while they were both at the club.
In 2018, Messi went as far as to describe Dembele as a phenomenon, Bleacher Report noted.
“On the pitch, he’s a phenomenon. He has unique qualities. He has all the qualities to become whoever he wants. He can undoubtedly be one of the best in the world.“
Messi’s transfer to PSG also allowed Dembele to step into a more starring role with the La Liga side and his friendship with the Argentinian played a hand in that.
The two players will put their friendship aside, though, when they face off in Sunday’s final.
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World Cup 2022: When France star Mbappe warned Argentina captain Messi
Kylian Mbappe is widely expected to take over the mantle from Lionel Messi when he retires in two or three years' time.
Messi has already indicated that the 2022 World Cup would be his last, signalling an end to an illustrious career that has seen him win everything bar one trophy.
Standing in Messi's way will be his heir apparent - a youngster gunning for a second World title just before his 24th birthday, Sports Brief reported.