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Ronald Araujo made his first team debut against Sevilla last weekend. The centre back who arrived from Uruguay to join the Barça B ranks last year has got a lot of people talking, so it’s time to learn a little more about him.
Born in centenary year
Araujo came into the world in 1999, the same year that Barça celebrated its one hundredth anniversary. He shares a generation with the likes of Todibo, Riqui Puig and Alex Collado.
237 km from Luis Suárez
He was born in Rivera (Uruguay), just 237 km from the birthplace of Barça’s other Uruguayan, Luis Suárez, who was born in Salto.
Huracán de Rivera
He played in the youth teams at his hometown club for ten years before joining Rentistas of Montevideo, where he played his first pro football in the second division. Via first division Boston River, he then came to the FC Barcelona reserves.
Piqué and Godín
These are the two centre backs on whom he mostly models his game. One is a stalwart at Barça, of course, while the other is captain of Uruguay.
Back to front
His time at Rivera was interrupted by a short spell at Peñarol, where he was tried as a centre forward. But he was switched back to defence because he wasn’t considered big enough for the attack.
Virtual to real world
Like any kid, Araujo was a huge fan of the PlayStation. His favourite players on the console were Griezmann, Suárez, Messi and Jordi Alba, and now he’s playing with them in the real world.
All star Uruguay XI
He includes one current and one former Barça player in his favourite Uruguayan team of all time: Luis Suárez and Martín Cáceres. The rest of his selection is: Muslera, Pereira, Lugano, Godín, Arévalo Ríos, Schiaffino, Recoba, Forlán and Cavani.
Mate is a drink that no true Uruguayan is ever seen without. Araujo was introduced to the brew by his grandmother, and says the bitterer, the better.
Plenty of jokes are made among the players about his remarkable semblance to team-mate Jean-Clair Todibo. In fact, people often get the two, who were born in the same year, mixed up.
Araujo played for Uruguay at U18 and U20 level and scored two goals. He was at the U20 World Cup last year, reaching the last sixteen.
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