Barcelona captain rues Napoli draw but hopeful for the second leg


Napoli's Georgian forward #77 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (R) controls the ball in front of Barcelona's Uruguayan defender #04 Ronald Araujo (L) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first Leg football match between Napoli and Barcelona at the Diego-Armando-Maradona stadium in Naples on February 21, 2024.
Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

The last night was special for FC Barcelona because of the fact that this was the first time in two years that the Catalans were able to play in a UEFA Champions League knock-out round tie.

Xavi’s men were unable to mark this event with a victory, as Robert Lewandowski’s opening goal was equalized by Napoli’s striker, Victor Osimhen, and these two goals remained the only ones on the scoreboard as the game ended 1-1.

One of the Barcelona players who spoke to the media after the match was the captain Ronald Araujo. As SPORT has reported, the defender showed a feeling of regret for not being able to translate the team’s performance into a victory:

“We leave with a bitter feeling, because we thought we could have secured the victory. Sad about the result, because we could have left with a win.”

The defender was satisfied with the team’s performance, especially in the first half, but regretted giving a goal away to Osimhen:

“The first half-hour was very good. We were doing a good defensive job, but Osimhen took advantage of the chance he had. We feel bad about the goal, but we’ve shown that we’re a good team.”

Araujo was particularly concerned with the lack of the ability of the team to remain in control of the ball at all times as he mentioned:

“We lacked a bit of possession retention at some moments.”

The center-back understood that there was all to play for in the second leg of the tie, and in fact, Barcelona held an advantage over Napoli for that upcoming match as:

“Now it’s our turn at home, with our people.”

Barcelona can clearly argue that they deserved to get a win in the match last night, but there is still the second leg to play, and as Araujo mentioned, the Catalans will definitely be the stronger side going into this match.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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