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Thursday's game away to Manchester United was the 100th for Ronald Araujo in the Barça jersey. Now in his fifth season at the club, he has staked his claim as one of the most essential components of Xavi Hernández's game-plan, and this season is proving to be perhaps his best yet.
He joined the club in 2018 from Boston River, his last team in his native Uruguay. He started out with Barça Atlètic in the old Division2B, playing under the orders of Francesc Xavier García Pimienta.
He played his first senior game on 6 October 2019 in a 4-0 defeat of Sevilla master-minded by Ernesto Valverde. Araujo's debut was an odd one though. He came on after 73 minutes and was sent off after 87. A big day for him, but hardly a dream start!
He remained in the reserves, and started his first senior game in 2020 away to Mallorca, with Quique Setién now in charge. After being handed a permanent first team number, he ended 2019/20 with a total of six appearances.
94 games later, the Theatre of Dreams in Manchester now witnesses match 100 for Araujo. In that time, he has become established as one of the best centre-backs in the world, and he has much to do with the team's extraordinary defensive record this season. Having already won the Copa del Rey in 2020/21 and the Spanish Super Cup a month ago, what he dearly wants now is to add to his trophy haul. Something there is little doubt he is eventually going to do, hopefully sooner rather than later!