The central defender has become an increasingly integral part of the Blaugrana’s first team squad this campaign – featuring in nine matches to date under boss Ronald Koeman.
Barcelona news has been dominated by their defensive issues, with Gerard Pique out with a long-term injury and the club seeking alternatives in the position, with Araujo partnering Clement Lenglet in the heart of the defence recently.
Araujo has been handed the number four shirt at the Blaugrana– vacated by Ivan Rakitic after he left for Sevilla this season – and is now a registered member of the first-team squad at the club and not in the B team, where he made 44 appearances over two seasons.
Sergio Cabrera told the Què t’hi jugues programme on Catalan radio, in quotes carried by Marca: “I have a friend in Spain – Paco Ors – who comes to Uruguay and Argentina a lot. He saw him and he caught his attention. He told Ramon Planes, when he was Getafe’s sports director. I met him having a coffee in March 2018 and he asked me about him. Three months later, Planes signs for Barça and takes Ronald there.
“He (Araujo) could have gone to Real Madrid. I have a particularly good relationship with Ramón Martínez, and in 2018 he called me to ask if Ronald Araujo was ready. It was a great responsibility for me to tell him something like that and I told him that he would need a step first, maybe in the reserve team.
“After 8 or 9 days, Barcelona signed him. But Real Madrid were behind, and I have friends who were following up for Atletico Madrid. Their destiny was to go to a big one, and Barça moved for him.”