Sergino Dest endured a frustrating season with La Liga giants Barcelona, but now with the U.S. men’s national team preparing for a new campaign in Spain, Dest is focused on staying healthy for both club and country.
Dest and his Barcelona teammates are continuing preseason camp in Spain ahead of a trip to the United States next week for a busy slate of friendlies. The 21-year-old was reduced to 31 appearances under Xavi Hernandez last season with injuries and inconsistent form hampering Dest’s chance for growth.
Now with Barcelona aiming to get back into the limelight in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, Dest is focused on playing a bigger role this Fall.
“For me, personally, I really need to get fit,” Dest said in an interview with reporters. “I came back from an injury I had two injuries last year on one side, so I don’t want any injuries anymore.
“I’m taking this really serious,” Dest added. “I want to make sure that I can play the whole season without any injuries. This preseason is really important for me, and I think, as well, for everyone because it’s just the basis for the whole season.”
Dest had previously been linked with a move away from Barcelona throughout 2022, but looks to have his sights set on staying with the club. The Dutch-born fullback has totaled over 70 appearances for Barcelona since his arrival from Ajax in 2020, continuing to learn from several star players and now working with a former playing legend in Xavi.
Injuries also plagued Dest’s involvement on the international scale with the USMNT with the right back only playing in six of the Americans’ 14 World Cup Qualifiers this past cycle. Similar to his situation at Barcelona, Dest is constantly being pushed for competition within the USMNT squad, especially with the 2022 FIFA World Cup set to kick off in four months.
Dest is still one month away from beginning his third La Liga campaign with Barcelona, but already has high expectations for what’s to come for club and country.
“It’s going to be a great season for all of us,” Dest said. “Personally, for the ones that have a World Cup coming up, we all can’t wait to play that as well.”
Barcelona kicks off its La Liga season on August 13 against Rayo Vallecano.