Ronald Araujo, after signing for Barcelona in 2018 from Boston River for €1.7 million, was never expected to become as important as he is to the club in such a short span of time.
After playing just one season for Barcelona Atletic, he made his debut in the 2019/20 season, playing six games for the club, and even getting a red card on his debut. However, the only way from there was up for the Uruguayan.
He became a starter for Ronald Koeman in the next season, playing 24 games, starting 16. During this time, he also scored two goals, and gave an assist.
Cut to the 2023/24 season, Araujo is now the third-choice captain of Barcelona behind Sergi Roberto and Marc-Andre ter Stegen. He is also one of the most important players of the Xavi project, and an undisputed fan-favourite.
He signed a contract extension with the club in 2021 amid rumours linking him to Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea.
Barcelona are now working on extending his contract beyond 2026, especially after recent reports claiming Bayern Munich were interested in his services. Coach Thomas Tuchel is considered a fan of the player, and the club have been keeping tabs on him for two years.
Unfortunately for them, Araujo himself has put these rumours to bed, as relayed by Fabrizio Romano, etching his future at the Camp Nou for as long as possible.
“It’s so special to be at Barcelona and have the chance to be the captain. I’m proud, and I also feel responsible,” he said.
“We have big goals, we are ready for our targets.”
Barcelona confirmed qualification to the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday with a 2-1 win against Porto, courtesy of goals from Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix. Araujo was one of the best performers on the night, playing at right-back with the captain’s armband.
With ter Stegen out indefinitely, Araujo could get more chances as the captain of the team in the coming matches.