Barcelona harshly criticised over pre-match tribute to injured Ousmane Dembele
Barcelona breezed to a 6-1 victory at home to Eibar on Tuesday night, with Lionel Messi helping himself to four goals.
Luis Suarez was rested for the game and watched on from the bench, with new signing Ousmane Dembele also missing out after being sidelined with an injury.
The French international, a summer arrival from Borussia Dortmund, picked up the injury during the weekend win away to Getafe. A club statement has since confirmed that he has ruptured the biceps femoris - one of the muscle tendons in the hamstring - and underwent surgery on it in Finland on Tuesday. The 20-year-old is expected to be out of action for around three-and-a-half months.
Clearly, this is a blow for the player - especially as it comes so soon after securing a big-money move to a new club. As a show of support for their new teammate, Barca's players wore t-shirts carrying a special message for Dembele ahead of kick-off against Getafe.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 19, 2017
Despite the good intentions of Barca's players, the gesture was mocked by many of those that saw it on social media.
Is Dembele dead? 😂😂 https://t.co/wBOwA7CAts
— Marc (@ShermanZeGerman) September 19, 2017
Things wrong with football #2579
Barca players paying tribute to the injured Dembele by wearing 'Courage' shirts last night. Whoppers.
— Tom Durcan (@durcydog) September 20, 2017
Dembele is not dead Ffs😂😂
— amadi (@GtimeA1) September 19, 2017
Dembele out with a bad hammy a little over the top I'd have a wardrobe full of shit tshirts with my bastard hamstrings! pic.twitter.com/s2CKIq3f3f
— Paul Ifill (@PaulIfill) September 20, 2017
This isn't the first time in the last twelve months we've seen football players come up with such a tribute to an injured teammate. Manchester City's players wore shirts with Ilkay Gundogan's name and number on ahead of a game against Arsenal last December. The German international had picked up a cruciate knee injury days in a game against Watford days earlier. Manchester United players also did something similar for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo after the pair injured their knees in a Europa League game against Anderlecht in April.