During the Wednesday Night match between Sunderland and Sheffield United at the Stadium of Light, an unexpected visitor was seen enjoying the game from the crowd.
Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele made a surprise appearance at the Championship fixture, seated in the directors’ box alongside Sunderland’s chairman and majority owner, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.
Sky Sports captured footage of the French international, who has been out of play with a hamstring injury since January.
It may come as a surprise to some that Dembele was even present at the match, but he and Louis-Dreyfus share a close friendship, having been seen together in several social media posts. Both men are French, and of similar ages, with Dembele being 25 years old and the businessman 26.
The two were last seen interacting when Sunderland secured promotion back to the Championship last season, and Dembele took to social media to congratulate Louis-Dreyfus for the achievement. Although Dembele is currently undergoing rehabilitation, he managed to make time to fly to the North-East and join his friend for the match.
Ousmane Dembélé was at Sunderland vs Sheffield Utd game as he’s big friend with Sunderland’s French 25-year old owner Kyril Louis Dreyfus 🇫🇷🤝🏻 #SAFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 16, 2023
Here, Dembélé and Dreyfus together in Miami five years ago 👇🏻📸 pic.twitter.com/dQdTs33YHh
Despite Edouard Michut of Sunderland opening the scoring after 30 minutes, Sheffield United managed to level the game just before half-time through James McAtee, who struck a beautiful curling shot into the far corner of the net.
Tommy Doyle, on loan from Manchester City, added to the scoresheet to win the game 2-1.