Marcelo Bielsa says €70m Barcelona player might have suffered a ‘muscular’ injury now

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Uruguay's Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the Conmebol 2024 Copa America tournament quarterfinal football match between Uruguay and Brazil at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 6, 2024.
Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Two Barcelona players starred in last night’s match between Uruguay and Brazil in the 2024 Copa America, i.e., Raphinha and Ronald Araujo, but both of them might have seen their current campaigns end last night.

Raphinha’s Brazil were eliminated from the competition after going to the penalties, which ended with a 4-2 scoreline in the Uruguayan’s favor. Thus, Araujo’s team advanced to the semi-finals of the competition, but the Barcelona defender might not be able to play in the ensuing matches in the competition as he had to leave the pitch last night with an injury.

As already reported, the center-back went to the ground after trying to block a cross from one of the Brazilian players. He was replaced a few minutes later as it became clear that he would not be able to continue playing on the field.

As Mundo Deportivo has reported, the Uruguayan national side’s head coach, Marcelo Bielsa, also addressed some questions related to Araujo’s injury as he appeared before the media after the match. In regards to the injury itself, the trainer said:

“I think Ronald Araujo’s injury is a muscular one, which will be confirmed tomorrow when the tests are done.”

Further shedding light on the causes of such a serious injury for the defender, Bielsa blamed the tight schedule that top players have to face:

“It’s an option that cannot be ignored. It’s important to note that when the full season ends, the one that started in August and ended in June in Europe, players accumulate between 40 and 50 games. Then comes the challenge of playing twice a week.”

“All elite players in Europe play twice a week. It’s one thing to do it regularly for nine months and another to repeat it in the 10th and 11th month, that kind of effort. The game Uruguay ran the most was the first match of the Qualifiers against Chile, but that happens in September when they’ve played 2-3 games.”

“Now those coming from Europe and South America also play twice a week but since February or March. It’s a generalization that allows for some conclusions.”

There is definitely some merit in what Bielsa has identified as the main cause of this problem suffered by Barcelona defender last night, and to which none of the top-level footballers is immune. These players face an immense workload throughout the season, and it is only natural to see such muscle injuries getting more and more frequent for them.

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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