BARCELONA, Spain: Amid the turmoil in Barcelona, United States defender Sergio Dest has found his patch to flourish.
Former Ajax player came to Barcelona in August with an 8–2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. The club practically gave several older players to take out of their heavy salaries, landing at Camp Nou with the Dest Season.
Barcelona coach Ronald Coman immediately put him to work for an injured fullback to protect both teams.
The 20-year-old took over the Step Learning Curve, earning his place in the starting lineup and scoring his first goal for Barcelona last week in the Champions League 4–0 win over Dynamo Kiev.
I wasn’t nervous at all, just that I was ready and happy to play, Dest told the Associated Press in an interview this week. If I get nervous, I should come to Bara. For me, this is my time to do what I have got, try to do my best and help the team out.
Last year, Dest had a chance to join Bayern. Instead, he exposed Bayern as old and brittle in a historic route en route to win the Champions League title.
It was not easy, but this is my dream club. That’s why I chose Bara, Dest said that in early October, Barcelona became the first American player to sign for the senior club.
I saw some opportunities. He had some new players for the team. Koeman … I wanted Bara on, so I thought he had a good plan with me. And I’m playing right now, so I’m happy. I had to take it because you never know when the chance (like this) happens again.
Dest has become an important part of the reconstruction project, with Komen working with 18-year-old Ansu Fati and Pedro Pedri Gonzalez and 24-year-old Frankie de Jong.
Despite an erratic Spanish league campaign, Barcelona have won all five of their Champions League matches and won their last three games in both competitions by a combined score of 11–0.
Dest is now on fulltime duty after veteran player Sergi Roberto was out for several weeks due to a muscle injury. With his pace and leg work, Destination is providing Barcelona with more punch to balance the deep runs scored by Jordan Alba on the left. Dest and Alba must stretch the defense, which packs Lionel Messi and another forward in the middle of the field.
All the young players fit in quite well. Dest said the last couple of games we got back to spirit. We played well, we had good possession. We play as a team, everyone is defending, everyone is attacking. I think we are on the right track now.
However, Dest said that although he shares a locker room with Messi, he was in the dark with millions about the future of the club’s greatest player. Messi is yet to recall his statement that he wants to leave the team. Messi, whose contract expires in June, will be free to negotiate with other clubs next month.
I listen to those things as well, but I don’t know if that’s true or not, said Dest. I hope I can play another year with him. But we’ll see. Everyone wants to keep him in this club, but it is his choice.
Born in Almere, the Netherlands to a Suriname-American father and Dutch mother, Ajax’s Dutch transition has been made easier by strong ties with Barcelona, including playing with Dutch great Johan Cruyff and coaching the Catalan team.
While learning Spanish, Dest is receiving guidance from Dutch speakers Koman and De Jong, from Danish teammate Martin Braithwaite, who speaks fluent English. He lives alone but is often visited by his family. He said that he is the only player who stays away from the socially limited club COVID-19 The era is Conrad De La Fuente, an American reserve team that plays in the Under-2019 World Cup of Dest 2019.
Dest said he has benefited from the extra in-game coaching, which provides zero to fans due to epidemic-induced health restrictions with stadiums in Côme Spain.
(You get) more details. Dest said the only positive part about it. I have not yet played with fans in a full stadium in Bara. I like to see this.
With Barcelona’s debt-strapped club facing other financial and leadership problems holding snap elections for a new president next month, Dest focuses on his work.
I just worry about the team, and making sure we win the league and the Champions League, said Dest. All the other things around the club, for me, it’s not really my business. I just have to make sure that I perform on the pitch.
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