Ranking the 10 Best Dembeles Out of the Hundreds Football Has to Offer

90min Staff
Olympique Lyonnais v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg
Olympique Lyonnais v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

On these shores you will come across a good handful of footballers with the names 'Johnson' or 'Smith' etched across the backs of their shirts, but elsewhere in the world there has been a surge in top players with the surname 'Dembele'.

With the name originating in west Africa, many of those Dembeles are plying their trade in Europe having either been born here or having moved here to have a crack at making it in one of the top leagues. The ever-growing list continues to cause confusion among stadium announcers and commentators alike.

Three have sprung to your mind already - we know who - but that trio aren't the only ones to be very, very good at kicking a round object around a large field. Here, we rank almost all of the Dembeles in the game, just to make sure you're 100% aware of the ones that demand your attention.

1 - Ousmane Dembele

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC  - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga / Aitor Alcalde/GettyImages

Perhaps the best known of all the Dembeles, this particular Frenchman earns the accolade for an immensely impressive CV he's accumulated at the tender age of 22.

Boasting two La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey and Supercopa de España with Barcelona, those titles are added to a DFB-Pokal crown during his time with Borussia Dortmund. If that wasn't enough, he only went and scooped a World Cup triumph with France in last summer's tournament after turning out four times during the tournament.

In terms of natural ability, he ain't too shabby either. Blessed with blistering pace and skills to boot, he's also netted 19 goals in his two (and a bit) seasons in Catalonia with 11 assists on the board as well.

In other words, he's the current king of the Dembele name.

2 - Moussa Dembele


Also hailing from the land of Moulin Rouge and berets, former Celtic forward Moussa is Lyon's very own Dembele.

Fine form for Fulham in the Championship prompted the Scottish champions to take the striker north of the border, where he excelled for the Bhoys with a strike rate better than a goal every two games. That prompted the Ligue 1 side to take note, where he has continued his scoring ratio with 25 goals netted in 50 league outings.

The competition isn't strong, I'll be frank with you, but the player is certainly the best of a bad bunch. I mean, Manchester United are keen on signing him this January so that means he must be....oh wait, never mind.

3 - Mousa Dembele

2019 China Super League - Shanghai Shenhua Greenland v Guangzhou R&F
2019 China Super League - Shanghai Shenhua Greenland v Guangzhou R&F / Fred Lee/GettyImages

Note the single 's'. That's the kind of fine margins we're discussing when it comes to the Dembele clan.

In the case of the Belgian, his ranking on this list could well be higher had he not opted to disappear off the footballing map and head to the footballing retirement village of China. For whatever reason which  onlookers couldn't put their finger on, Dembele found game time hard to come by under Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, despite seemingly being the most talented midfielder in the squad.

Nevertheless, when there could have been plenty of suitors in Europe, he chose the Far East. As a matter of fact, having never seen Guangzhou R&F play a football match, there is no knowing if he's still got it, or indeed even exists. His place in the list rests solely on his most recent outings at the 2018 World Cup, where Belgium finished third.

4 - Karamoko Dembele

Celtic v Hearts - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Celtic v Hearts - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

This sprightly 16-year-old rose to prominence in 2013 after looking head over heels in videos shown online of him playing against an Under-20 side.

After making his senior debut for Celtic in May of this year, his promise has continued to draw widespread attention, with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal all mentioned as having an interest in the youngster.

Given time, the London-born star will surely be worthy of a place higher up in this table. I mean, he's fourth now and only made his senior debut this season. Speaks volumes of the other mentions on this list. 

5 - Mana Dembele


Now we enter obscurity. Now we begin trawling the worldwide web to unearth any little gem of information that may settle the best of the rest.

The winner? Mana Dembele.

Hailing from Mali - the eighth largest country in Africa, you're welcome - forward sensation Mana has spread his career across the French divisions, even turning out for former Ligue 1 side Guingamp. The top-tier clearly wasn't his level, however, as he failed to score at all with Les Costarmoricains, but a loan move to AS Nancy showed the club what they were missing. Now turning out for Le Havre in Ligue 2, Mana will be sure to earn his recall to the national side in due course.

6 - Siriki Dembele

Chelsea U21 v Peterborough - Checkatrade Trophy
Chelsea U21 v Peterborough - Checkatrade Trophy / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

All these Dembeles, it's as if they were all related. Well, in the case of Siriki and Karamoko, they are. Who'd have thought.

Older brother to the Celtic sensation, the 23-year-old winger now finds himself playing for Peterborough United in League One, where he racked up 38 appearances for The Posh last season, netting four goals. A regular starter for the club, he's actually doing OK, something that can't be said about a good number of players on this list.

A former member of the Nike Youth Academy, Dembele penned a three-year deal with Darren Ferguson's side last summer after catching the club's attention from his stint at Grimsby Town. 

7 - Malaly Dembele


A striker with a keen eye for goal, this particular Dembele has been ripping it up in Ligue 2 with exceptional ease. Netting a whopping eight goals in 54 outings for Nancy, his performances have seen his side climb to ninth in the table, a remarkable feat considering they've won just three of their ten league fixtures this season.

At just 22-years-old, there's plenty of time for Malaly to come good. Time is certainly a valuable commodity on football, and this Dembele has plenty of it to earn himself a spot in a top division side. Furthermore, under the tutelage of former Portsmouth manager and footballing gargantuan Alain Perrin, there's no doubting that will arise soon enough.

8 - Bira Dembele

Coventry City v Stevenage - Sky Bet League One
Coventry City v Stevenage - Sky Bet League One / Pete Norton/GettyImages

With a first name that is Bulgarian and Turkish for 'beer', our sixth Dembele can be raising a toast for himself after a half decent career that saw him turn out for two English sides.

Joining Stevenage from French side Sedan, the centre-half earned his headline-grabbing move when he made the 20 minute drive south to join Barnet in League Two. Registering eight goals in his 57 appearances across two seasons, he became a fans' favourite, so much so the club released him from the constant fanboying in 2017.

He now plays for Laval back in France. The mighty Laval.

9 - Mahamadou Dembele

England v France - U18 International Friendly
England v France - U18 International Friendly / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

The only remaining Dembele actually worth bringing to your attention (at a push) is central defender Mahamadou.

Capped for France up until Under-20 level, the former Paris Saint-Germain youth player made the switch to Austrian giants Red Bull Salzburg who, as we all know now, are a decent outfit... which is probably why he never played there.

Instead he dropped down to FC Liefering a division below, but now he's back home in France with Troyes in Ligue 2, seemingly the hub for those whose names are worth 12 points in Scrabble. Even though it isn't actually a word.

10 - Aliou Dembele


Without any shadow of a doubt the second best central midfielder on this list, Aliou enjoyed spells with three sides in the French Ligue 2, making 143 appearances in the division before moving on to third-tier football.

In the side he now plys his trade for he is the second Dembele in the first-team squad, because, well, it's totally hilarious. 

It's a side in western France and it's...Laval.

The mighty Laval.