On October 1, 2020, Dest transferred to Barcelona for an initial €21 million fee plus a further €5 million in variables. He signed a five-year contract with the club with a buyout clause set at €400 million.
+3! What a feeling to score my first La Liga goals! ⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/Bs9UkgH8h6
— Sergiño Dest (@sergino_dest) March 21, 2021
Dest made his debut for Barcelona on October 4, coming on as a 75th-minute substitute for Jordi Alba in a 1–1 draw against Sevilla.
With the appearance, Dest became the first American to appear for Barcelona in La Liga. On October 20, he accomplished another historic milestone, becoming the first American to play for Barcelona in a UEFA Champions League match.
Later that month, Dest set another milestone, becoming the first American to play in El Clasico.
On November 24, 2020, Dest scored his first goal for Barcelona in a 4–0 away win over Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
GOALLLL FOR @sergino_dest! ??
Assist from a guy named Leo.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) March 21, 2021
In doing so, Dest became the first American to score a professional goal for the club.
On March 21, 2021, he scored a brace in a 6–1 away win over Real Sociedad.
Ronald Koeman has changed the formation of Barcelona from the most-used 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 to 3-4-3, where Dest is featured more as an outside left – this has helped to propel his attacking style and at the same time, his defensive abilities are improving too.
During the international break, he spoke to the media where he stated about various topics.
The interview has been posted at American Soccer News.
At the moment, the United States National team is in Austria for the upcoming friendly against Jamaica and Northern Ireland.
Sergino Dest is living the dream ? pic.twitter.com/iRZ9jtAOQw
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 21, 2021
He would be joined by players who were not present there during the fall of 2019.
Christian Cappis, Brenden Aaronson, Owen Otasowie, Yunus Musah, Daryl Dike, Nicholas Gioacchini, Gio Reyna, Jordan Siebatcheu, Chituru Odunz, Bryan Reynolds, and Chris Richards are all new to the pool since that day. Two other players in Luca de la Torre and Erik Palmer Brown had limited caps under interim manager Dave Sarachan but were never part of the regular rotation.
“Everybody feels welcome,” Dest explained.
“For [Musah], even before he committed to the U.S. team, he was welcome. It’s just a good vibe. For me, personally, when I committed to the United States, it was actually the same as before. Obviously, people were happy that I chose the U.S., but there always has been a good vibe – that’s really good for the new players also, its one group, one nation.”
Hang this photograph in The Smithsonian: March, 21st, 2021. Lionel Messi hugs Sergino Dest, the first American Men’s International to score in La Liga for Barcelona in our nation’s history. Everything we have dreamed of for so long is coming real ????? pic.twitter.com/ekhFJQbhbr
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) March 21, 2021
Talking about the performance against Sociedad, he said, “I was really, really happy to score two goals in a game. I think I needed it. It was about to come. I hit the crossbar and then I hit the post against Sevilla. It finally came. I was really happy because it was important for the team. It was the second and third goals and I think as a team, we put out a really good result. We have to continue it.”
“I think this system fits the whole team really well – especially for me,” Dest explained while asked about Koeman’s tactical switch.
“I think it’s a little bit better because I have someone behind me and I like to take some risks in my game. If I get to take risks in the game, I am at my best.. of course, it can go wrong but now I have someone behind me and that is really, really good for me. As a team, the system really fits the whole team. We are winning and scoring a lot of goals.”
“In the new system, [Koeman] just said to me if you can, just go – go,” he added. “That’s something that fits me really well. My attacking abilities are my strengths. I feel like I can take more risks..I feel like I can grow more in these positions and be more helpful to the team.”
“I feel like I am growing as a player because I am growing with the team,” Dest said.
“Sometimes I feel like playing without too much risk is good for me because I am a player that likes to take risks and likes to bring flair into the game but I’ve learned sometimes it is better not to do that and wait for the moment to come.”
“Obviously there is pressure playing for such a big club like Barcelona,” he continued. “For me, the pressure doesn’t affect me a lot. I just try to play my own game. Of course, you have some bad games but if you’re looking through social media, that is going to make it bad. It’s not good for your mental recovery after a good or bad game. I just play. If I have a bad game, it’s on to the next game. I don’t focus on the media, that can break some people.”
“I am at the right place to hit my full potential.”