Dest: "I learned a lot from watching Dani Alves on YouTube"
Dest on Messi: "It is incredibly exciting to meet Messi, I've looked up to him and I will run as much as I have to for him."
Sergiño Dest was presented as a Barcelona player on Friday afternoon. The American international arrives on a five-year deal for €21 million plus €5 million in variables from Ajax and will have a release clause of €400 million. Dest signed his contract alongside club president, Josep Maria Bartomeu. "I have fought hard to wear this shirt. Now the dream has come true. It is impressive and it is an honour to play here. Even though I am 19 years old, I was looking forward to this challenge." Then he briefly defined himself: "I'm a full-back that likes to run and I'm also technical. My goal at Barça is to improve."
Sporting director Ramón Planes thanked Dest for choosing Barça. "Everyone knows that he is a player with great attacking ability and that he will adapt to Barça's DNA quickly because he comes from a well-known school that is Ajax.
What does being the first American to play for Barça mean to you?
Being the first American to wear the Barça shirt is a dream come true. And I want to start working with my teammates as soon as possible.
Are you ready to play now?
My expectations are to find my place in the team, play well and help win titles, I want to thank everyone who has helped me all the way to get here.
Who are your idols at right-back?
Daniel Alves is my role model. I have seen many videos of him and I learned a lot from watching him on YouTube. Yes, I can be similar to Daniel Alves. I want to be like Alves. Running all the time. If I have to train more for that, I'll do it.
What do you think of playing with Messi?
It is incredibly exciting to meet Messi, I've looked up to him and I will run as much as I have to for him. In fact, I'll run for everyone.
Where does your name come from?
My name? It comes from my father, it was my father who named me Sergiño
Are you a defender with the soul of a forward?
No, I think my best position is right back.
Bayern wanted to sign you, but you decided on Barça. Is Koeman one of the reasons?
Bayern are a great side but I have followed my heart and that is why I signed for Barça. It's important that Koeman is here because he is Dutch, but everyone has given me a warm welcome. Barça have so much history, I had always wanted to play here."
What do you think of Sergi Roberto, a player who plays in your position?
Sergi Roberto? He's a great player, with many qualities and what I remember most about him was his goal against PSG in the Champions League. I hope everyone will give me advice to reach my highest potential.
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