Featured Interviews

Ronald Araujo Pledges Allegiance to Barcelona

Ronald Araujo / Getty Images
Ronald Araujo / Getty Images

Despite interest from Bayern Munich, Ronald Araujo expresses unwavering loyalty to Barcelona.

He’s one of the most sought-after center-backs in European football. Several clubs are chasing him, but it’s from Munich that the most enticing offers come. Bayern is willing to go all out to sign him, but if it’s up to him, Ronald Araujo won’t leave Barcelona. Although Joan Laporta said a few days ago that he would “renew him for life,” it’s a clear message if anyone at the club were to consider cashing in on him. “My family and I are very happy in Barcelona, and I always show it every time I wear this shirt. And I will continue to do so until the last day I am here. I will always give one hundred percent. Personally, I can’t imagine myself outside of Barça,” Araujo asserts. Asked how much he desires to play at the new Camp Nou, the Uruguayan, with a contract until 2026, is resolute. “One hundred! I’m very excited to play there. It’s a dream. Playing at Camp Nou will be spectacular again.” Similarly to Pau Cubarsí, Ronald Araujo is impressed by how the Estanyol-born player has become indispensable in Xavi’s setup and an international for Spain at just 17. “What Pau is doing is spectacular. And not just for the football he’s showing, which is what people see. But it’s also remarkable what he does off the pitch. He’s a young man with a lot of desire to train and who also pays a lot of attention to recovery. Normally, young people aren’t focused on these things, but Pau is. I find it very important. I am very happy for him and for the club because in the current economic context, it’s very important that players from La Masia emerge. They are young players who prove they are fully prepared. He, Lamine, Héctor Fort, Marc Guiu have been playing the same way, with the same values for years, and that shows when they reach the top, even though they are young.”

Araujo speaks to TV3 just after the draw that pairs Barcelona and PSG in the Champions League. Will Xavi think of him as the antidote to Mbappé? “He’s a great player. For me, the most unbalancing in one-on-one situations. I still don’t know where I’ll play, but it’s clear that he’s a player with a lot of quality. They also have Ousmane, who is very good at creating imbalance. It’s a very good team that we’ll have to counteract with our game. They also have a great coach.

Some teammates who also had him on the national team have talked to me about him. He’s a very intelligent coach who will want to make things difficult for us. But I have a lot of confidence in the team we have, and I believe we can dream of this goal. We have to take it step by step, but with confidence. We have to believe in the team we have and, above all, give it our all.” The Uruguayan, one of the four captains of the squad, doesn’t throw in the towel in La Liga either and, like many fans, thinks that if the team had played at Camp Nou, they would now have a few more points. “Maybe, because Camp Nou imposes a lot. I’ve talked to rivals, and they’ve confessed that they were already scared just thinking about playing in that stadium. But now we’re at Montjuïc. It’s different, but we also feel the warmth of the fans. And the best example is what happened against Napoli. As soon as we arrived at the field and saw that reception, we knew that we couldn’t fail that night.” Araujo trusts that in the return against PSG, Montjuïc will once again offer a spectacular image.