‘I have no idea what he told me but we were both smiling’: Barcelona new boy Sergino Dest didn’t understand a word Lionel Messi was saying to him when he weclomed him to the Nou Camp
- Barcelona’s Sergino Dest admits struggling to understand captain Lionel Messi
- ‘I don’t know what he told me, but we smiled,’ Dest said of first Messi meeting
- Dest made his Barcelona debut as a substitute in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla
- Former Ajax defender, 19, has become the first American to play for Barcelona
New signing Sergino Dest admits he didn’t understand a word Lionel Messi said after first meeting the Barcelona icon, but he believes they got off on the right foot.
Dest secured a dream switch from Ajax to the Nou Camp last Thursday with the 19-year-old defender becoming the first American to play for the La Liga giants in their 1-1 home draw against Sevilla on Sunday.
The United States international made his debut as a 75th-minute substitute, replacing the injured Jordi Alba, and created an 81st-minute chance for Messi.
Sergino Dest made his Barcelona debut against Sevilla after his £23.5million move from Ajax
Dest came on as a 75th-minute substitute for Jordi Alba in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla
Dest, who has joined on a five-year, £23.5million deal and had a club presentation on Friday, revealed his excitement at meeting Messi but added that he wasn’t entirely sure what was said.
‘The Argentine doesn’t speak English, but it was very special to meet him,’ he told NOS.
‘If I’m honest, I don’t know what he told me, but we were both smiling, so everything must be fine, right?’
Dest has become just the fifth United States player to appear in La Liga after Jozy Altidore, Kasey Keller, Oguchi Onyewu and Shaq Moore.
He had the chance to join European champions, Bayern Munich but opted for Catalonia because he has always wanted to play for the same club as his hero Ronaldinho.
‘I also chose Barcelona over any other team because it has always been a dream of mine to play here,’ he said.
‘My favourite player, my idol growing up was Ronaldinho and he made his own history in Barcelona. When I found out about the interest from Barca it was an easy decision to make.’
Dest admits he didn’t understand a word Lionel Messi said, but hopes they’ll get on just fine
Dest only made his debut for Ajax last summer having been a member of the club’s youth system since 2012.
He recorded 35 appearances in all competitions for the Dutch side who were leading the Eredivisie last season before the campaign was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Born in Holland to a Dutch mother and an American father, Dest chose to represent the United States at senior international level and made his debut for his country last year, so far winning three caps.