International Players

Who is Ronald Araujo, the FC Barcelona defender?

The Uruguayan is standing out in the Blaugranas.

By Hector Garcia

The Uruguayan is standing out in the Blaugranas.
The Uruguayan is standing out in the Blaugranas.
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Ronald Araujo was born in Rivera, Uruguay, on March 7, 1999. The young central defender took his first steps as a professional with his hometown team, and then joined the youth ranks of Rentistas, a team in Uruguay's Second Division.

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His quality does not go unnoticed in his country, and Boston River incorporates him into its squad. After spending a year with the team from the town of Montevideo and gaining experience in the highest category of Uruguayan soccer, he signs for Barça B on August 29, 2018, with a five-season contract until 2023 with a termination clause of 100 million euros and 200 million if he is part of the first team.

In the 2020/21 season, he moves up to the FC Barcelona first team and lifts his first title with the Club, the Copa del Rey.

He could have joined Atlético de Madrid

Signed without media noise for the reserve team when he was a step away from Getafe and was followed by Atlético de Madrid, Barça took a gamble with him when Ramón Martínez, Real Madrid's director of youth soccer, entered the scene. It was, it was, an unremarkable signing.

He became a complete success and is, today, an undisputed player who, a year and a half away from finishing his contract at Camp Nou, is closely followed by more than a few top clubs in Europe, while Barça has no doubts, sportingly speaking, about his continuity.

Just turned 23, Araújo is in his fourth season since joining the club from Boston River in his homeland and has confirmed himself as one of the best bets for the future in recent times.

He arrived, for 1.7 million euros fixed plus another 3.5 million euros in variables, to reinforce and learn in the reserve team in an operation far from the spotlight, especially when that same summer Clément Lenglet was signed and a few months later Todibo.

Pique's injury and Umtiti's absence from the game opened the door for him

Pique's injury and Umtiti's physical condition caused the club to bet on the Uruguayan and give him a first-team number. Koeman counted on Ronald first out of necessity... And then out of conviction, earning him a place and becoming considered one of the players to be taken into account in the future of the club.

Last season he already played 33 official matches and this season only a thigh injury prevented him from playing a key role in the team. 

Xavi did not hesitate to qualify his renewal as an absolute "priority" in January because "he is a very necessary player, of present and future", encouraging the board of Joan Laporta to close as soon as possible his continuity understanding that he will be an indisputable player in the next years, more attending to the reality in the center of the Barcelona defense.

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