Sergiño Dest Becomes First American To Win Copa Del Rey (And Look At That Messi Hug)

Barcelona scored four goals in 12 minutes to beat Athletic Bilbao for the 2020-21 Copa del Rey.

Sergiño Dest became the first U.S. international to start a Copa del Rey final and 90 minutes later became the first to lift the trophy as he helped Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 on Saturday at Estadio Olímpico de la Cartuja in Seville. 

Dest played 74 minutes as a right wing back as Ronald Koeman won his first Barça trophy and what could be Lionel Messi’s final Barça trophy. Athletic Club, meanwhile, lost its second Copa del Rey final in 14 days following a 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad on April 3 in the delayed 2019-20 Copa del Rey final.

Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong scored three minutes apart in the second half to finally break Athletic’s resistance. Four minutes later, Messi put the game away with a brilliant run, combining with de Jong before torching the remaining Athletic defender and casually placing the ball into the back of the net. Messi made it four goals in 12 minutes shortly thereafter and the celebrations were on. 

Lionel Messi Goals vs. Athletic Bilbao

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Though the final score suggests otherwise, Athletic did well denying Barcelona for the first hour, with Unai Simón superb between the sticks. The shithousery was in full affect as Bilbao players fouled whenever a Barça player built up any steam and flopped whenever Barça returned the favor with physical play of its own.

But the dam broke in the 60th minute when Griezmann converted on a play that was nearly identical to a chance he missed earlier in the half. 

De Jong, who assisted on the first goal, then got on the score sheet himself, doing well to head home after the ball fell to him in the box.

Dest wasn’t directly involved in any of the goals but had a solid showing before being replaced by Sergi Roberto. 

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Barcelona won its record 31st Copa del Rey, denying Bilbao, which is second with 23 Copa del Rey trophies, an opportunity to pull one back. 

The question now becomes whether this will be Messi’s final trophy he wins with Barcelona. Before the season he made it clear he wanted to leave, but the club didn’t allow him to do so. While his disputes with the club appear to have cooled, he could still decide to leave after this season. Barça is out of the Champions League and two points back of Atlético Madrid and one back of Real Madrid in the chase for the LaLiga crown with eight games to play. 

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