The French international has endured a difficult time in Catalonia, following his 2017 move from Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, with injuries and a dip in form and confidence impacting him.
However, he has returned to the fold following Ronald Koeman‘s arrival ahead of the 2020/21 campaign and he made his 100th club appearance in the 5-1 La Liga win over Alaves last weekend.
He looks certain to start against Paris Saint-Germain in Champions League action tomorrow, and the 23-year old confirmed some wise words from his captain have made a big difference.
“He tells me how to position myself and when to pass, because I like to dribble when I have the ball”, he told an interview with UEFA.com, reported via Diario AS.
“I like to go forward on my own. Sometimes he tells me to calm down, to go out wide, or wait for a teammate and to not always try and dribble past three or four opponents.
“Leo is a genius, we all know that. He is the best footballer in history. He was an inspiration to me as a youngster and he still is.
“Honestly, it is an honour for me to play with him.”
Dembele has scored just two league goals so far in 2020/21 but his form in Europe was key to Barcelona’s progress from the group stages.
He scored three Champions League goals in four starts including a memorable goal away at Juventus in October, alongside Messi and Les Bleus teammate Antoine Griezmann.