Barcelona defender responds to Gundogan’s criticism following PSG defeat

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Barcelona's German midfielder #22 Ilkay Gundogan, Barcelona's French defender #23 Jules Kounde, Barcelona's Uruguayan defender #04 Ronald Araujo and Barcelona's Dutch midfielder #21 Frenkie de Jong react at the end of the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Girona FC at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on December 10, 2023.
Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

FC Barcelona were unable to get a victory in one of the most significant matches for them this season, as the Catalans fell to a defeat to Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Xavi’s men were unable to make their advantage from the first leg count as PSG scored four goals in this match to win the tie 6-4 on aggregate.

Ronald Araujo’s expulsion in the 29th minute was the event that shifted the tie in the Parisian’s favor, and this sequence is expected to have impacts on Barcelona even after their elimination from the top European competition.

As already reported here, the German veteran Ilkay Gundogan did not mince his words when reviewing the game after the full-time whistle, and clearly criticized some of his teammates, with Araujo taking most of the vitriol in particular.

Now, reactions to Gundogan’s comments from other members of the Barcelona dressing room have started coming in, with Araujo’s colleague in defense, Jules Kounde, putting in a thinly veiled response to the German’s comments.

As SPORT has reported, the Frenchman took to social media to thank the fans for their support, but still highlighted how this match was meant to be seen as a team effort and not as a sum of individual errors:

“An immense disappointment not to qualify for the semifinals when we had everything to do it. By the way, we win as a team and we lose as a team, always. It’s time to recover and prepare for this Sunday’s Clásico. Thank you for the support, culers.”

Although he did not specifically mention it, the second sentence of the message, that accompanied a photo of Kounde in black and white, is clearly a response to Gundogan’s criticism.

In addition to the French defender, Barcelona captain Sergi Roberto also shared a similar message, as he wrote: “Now more united than ever, here we win and lose together.”

It is clear that Araujo’s expulsion was the most influential event of this match, and the Uruguayan deserves the criticism that is coming his way.

However, the team also needs to stand united at this low point, and Barcelona fans will be hoping that these to-and-fro comments do not end up ruining the dressing room atmosphere.

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