Ousmane Dembele is ready to prove his worth for Barcelona after revealing that he always knew that he "was going to play with Lionel Messi".
The 20-year-old was originally tipped to make the move to the Nou Camp in the summer of 2016 when both Sport and Mundo Deportivo reported that the Catalans were keen on recruiting him to serve as back-up for the MSN trio formed by Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
However, Dembele decided to join Borussia Dortmund from Rennes instead in order to continue his development.
The France forward scored 10 goals and grabbed 21 assists in his first season in Germany and the chance to join Barcelona emerged again after the Catalans lost Neymar to Paris Saint Germain.
Dembele agreed to join Ernesto Valverde's side in a deal officially worth €105m (£93m, $128m) plus add-ons, a club statement confirmed.
The presence of his national teammate Samuel Umtiti helped in Dembele's decision but the France starlet admitted that one way or another he always knew that one day he was going to play with five-time world footballer of the year Messi.
"I spoke with the new coach and Samu [Umtiti] before I came to Barcelona. That made it all feel much more natural," Dembele told Onze Mondial as quoted by the Barcelona official website.
"I've fought hard to get where I am. I always knew I was going to play with Messi one day," he added before revealing that he has already build a special relationship with Luis Suarez: "Me and Luis have hit it off well together. We both like joking about."
Dembele's first few months at the Nou Camp were dominated by injury with the Frenchman spending more than three months on the sidelines due to a serious muscle injury sustained during a clash with Getafe on 16 September.
The talented winger returned to action during Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo in La Liga on 4 January but was forced to return to the treatment room days later after suffering another hamstring blow in victory over Real Sociedad.
Yet, the France starlet has taken positives from those setbacks and he is back and ready to help Barcelona in the title run-in.
"It's all gone well. The first few games helped me to adapt. I got injured, but I tried to stay calm. I felt it was better for that to have happened at the start of the season than towards the end, when the really big games come," he added. "I've hired an osteopath and a cook. A good diet is essential for a player and I need to look after myself".
At the weekend, Dembele completed his first 90 minutes for Barcelona during the 6-1 victory over Girona, providing one assist and having several chances to score.
Dembele's performance made it clear that his style will fit with the passing game of Messi and co after suggesting he was one of the best provider of goals in Europe during last campaign at Dortmund.
"I'm not selfish on the pitch. Otherwise I wouldn't have made 21 assists last season," the Barcelona star recalled. "I'm ambidextrous. I prefer to dribble with the left but I like shooting with my right foot."