Looking back at the season of FC Barcelona, it is hard to attribute the club’s success without acknowledging the brick outhouse in defense: Ronald Araujo. The Uruguayan has transformed into one of the most loved and cherished individuals, with passion bleeding into his displays.
In an interview with ‘The Athletic’, Araujo touched upon several topics as he gave insight to his unmatched love for the game. For instance, he gave a glimpse of his commitment to football by explaining how he keeps up with potential competitors:
“I watch a lot of videos. Before matches, if I’m at home with a mate or something like that, I start watching videos of the strikers we’re going to face that weekend.” of the week. I watch videos of the forwards, of the wingers, also sometimes if there is a 10 or a player who is more in the attack zone. I analyze a lot what foot they use, if they cut back a lot, and I see how they play.“
However, in addition to simply analyzing his rivals and looking back at his own performances to further improve, Araujo emphasized how football is not just his job; but an obsession that carries into his off-field activities:
“I watch a lot of football. During a weekend I can watch eight games. On Saturdays, I leave training and I start watching games until late at night. Sometimes my wife gets angry because I spend all day in front of the TV.“
Since Xavi arrived at the club, Araujo has gained innate prominence in the starting XI. His presence has become indispensable and it goes without saying, procuring the La Liga title without him would be an overwhelmingly arduous task.
While the defender has always been rock solid at the back, he has particularly come leaps and bounds in his ball distribution. Unsurprisingly, Araujo waxed lyrical about the puppet master and gives insight into his elevated ability to play out from the back:
“In all the exercises that he makes us do, we use the ball. It makes sense because in football we play with the ball (laughs). With him, everything is very dynamic, he tries to implement the Barça style: moving it fast with one or two touches. There are even a lot of exercises in which we play with a single touch; you can’t control the ball, they pass it to you and you have to play a pass immediately.“