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Football Reporting


USMNT talent Dest backed to become Barcelona star of the future by Alba

The young American scored his first goal for Barcelona in a 4-0 win over Dynamo Kiev and a team veteran tipped him to be a future Blaugrana icon

Jordi Alba says Sergino Dest can become a Barcelona star after the young defender netted his first goal for the club.

The United States international opened the scoring for the Blaugrana against Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday as Ronald Koeman’s side cruised into the last 16 of the Champions League with a comfortable 4-0 Group G win.

Dest defended solidly and also caught the eye going forward with four touches inside the Dynamo penalty area and six crosses – more than any other player.

The 20-year-old right-back’s goal also showed fine composure as he rounded off a slick move with a crisp angled finish.

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“Dest comes with a lot of desire. With Sergi Roberto’s unfortunate injury he will surely have more opportunities,” Barcelona left-back Alba told reporters after the emphatic victory.

“I think he has a high level. He has a great future and fits perfectly with the characteristics that a full-back at Barca should have.”

Dest, who joined Barca from Ajax in October, added: “We played really well. It’s a dream to have contributed with my first goal for the club. I tried hard to hold my position because I’m happy in this team and I want to keep my place.”

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Martin Braithwaite scored twice and Antoine Griezmann was also on target in Barca’s fourth win in as many Champions League games – the first time they have achieved the feat since the 2002-03 campaign.

It is in stark contrast to their La Liga form, which has seen them make their worst start to a season in 29 years to put increased scrutiny on head coach Koeman, who only took the reins at the Camp Nou in August.

Alba says the players are still adjusting to Koeman’s approach and a change in fortunes in La Liga is just around the corner.

“We have to improve a lot, it’s a team with a lot of new people,” added the 31-year-old.

“I’ve been here for nine years and it’s always the same. When you don’t win, you talk a lot. It’s normal. We have lost points that if the ball went differently we would have taken them.

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“I think the work is good, for the team and the coaching staff. There is a high level and any team can beat you if you are not playing well. Until the Christmas break we have games to win and we will try “

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