USMNT's Sergiño Dest makes first Barcelona start alongside Lionel Messi

Doug McIntyre
·2 min read
Sergiño Dest of FC Barcelona during the Spanish championship La Liga football match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC on October 04, 2020 at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain.
Sergiño Dest made his first start for Barcelona on Saturday. (Xavi Bonilla/Getty Images)

It sure didn’t take United States mens’s national team defender Sergiño Dest long to land in Barcelona’s starting lineup.

In just his second game since his $25 million transfer from Dutch titan Ajax, the teenage fullback was named in manager Ronald Koeman’s lineup — alongside the likes of Barca vets Sergio Busquets, Gerard Piqué and of course Lionel Messi — for Saturday’s La Liga clash with Getafe.

Unfortunately, it was a day to forget for Barca, who lost 1-0 on Jaime Mata’s second half goal from the spot after Frenkie de Jong was whistled for a foul inside the hosts’ penalty box:

Dest played enough well, though. His slick pass set Messi up for a wicked first-half shot that rattled the post. With the visitors desperately chasing the equalizer late in the second, he put a shot off the upright himself.

Koeman deployed Dest — who turns 20 next month — at left back in place of the injured Jordi Alba. Mostly used as a right back during his lone season with Ajax’s first team, Dest also manned the left side when he replaced Alba for the final 15 minutes of his debut, a 1-1 draw with Sevilla back on Oct. 4.

Dest had arrived at the Nou Camp three days prior. He was brought in as a replacement for Portuguese right back Nelson Semedo after Semedo was sold to Premier League club Wolverhampton.

Like most club sides around the world, Barcelona didn’t play last weekend because of the international break. Dest stayed behind in Barcelona, though; USMNT wasn’t in action this month because of difficulties scheduling a match amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Dest made his USMNT debut in 2019, and the Netherlands-born dual-national committed his international future to the U.S. last year, turning down overtures from then Oranje boss Koeman in the process.

Dest, who previously represented the Americans at under-17 and U-20 FIFA World Cups, has three caps with Gregg Berhalter’s senior side.

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