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Microphone captures Araujo’s half-time pep talk during Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano

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Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s recent defeat at the hands of Rayo Vallecano was a particularly disappointing one for coach Xavi Hernandez, whose troops appear to be struggling in maintaining the form they showed in March.

It was indeed a disastrous performance from the Catalans, as they looked out of place during the initial stages of the game. They lacked their usual rhythm, allowing the visitors to score the opener inside the seventh minute.

Barça were able to put up pressure on the Vallecano defence during the final phase of the first half, but it wasn’t enough to seal an equaliser.

Just before emerging from the dressing room for the second half, Movistar microphones were able to capture Ronald Araujo’s pep talk during the interval, with the youngster showing impressive leadership characteristics to build his team up for the next 45 minutes.

“In the second half, we’re another team. We’ll come out strong, and we know what we have to do. Let’s not play dumb. We’re going for everything, because we have a great team”, Araujo told his teammates (h/t Diario AS) just before emerging from the tunnel.

Unfortunately for Barcelona, the inspiring words from Araujo didn’t bear any fruit as the Catalans struggled for creativity in the second half as well.

The Uruguayan was, however, one of the only decent performers on the night. Not only did he put his body on the line to defend a few times, but also came close to scoring.

Although the hosts had no shortage of goalscoring opportunities, they were wasteful in the final third while the Rayo Vallecano defenders also deserve credit for their dogged effort at the back.

Despite the result, though, Xavi Hernandez and Barcelona fans, in extension, can take pride in Ronald Araujo’s ability to step up and lead the team from the front, especially at a time when the powers of veterans Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are waning.

Xavi has already urged the Barcelona board to prioritise the renewal of the Uruguayan international, who is expected to remain one of the club’s defensive lynchpins in the years to come.

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