Barcelona center-back Ronald Araujo has explained how Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez helped him settle into life at the Camp Nou. The defender arrived from Boston River in 2018 at the age of 19.
Araujo initially linked up with Barcelona B but was promoted to the first-team squad at the start of this season and handed the No. 4 shirt. The 21-year-old has made nine appearances this season and looks to be the long-term replacement for Pique in the Barca defense.
Pique will turn 34 at the start of February and is clearly heading towards the end of his Barcelona career, although he did sign a contract extension in October that runs until 2024.
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Araujo Talks Pique & Mingueza
The veteran Barcelona defender is currently out injured with a knee problem, but Araujo told Enzo Olivera for Tele12 that the center-back still gives him plenty of advice, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
I always talk to Geri. He tells me about the games, sometimes I ask him questions. He is a benchmark because I always looked at him. Because of his ball playing and experience, I try to get as much juice as possible, he is a great person and a great player.
Pique is not expected back for some time which should allow Araujo plenty more game time for the Catalan giants. The youngster has formed a strong partnership alongside 21-year-old Oscar Mingueza in the heart of the defense.
Araujo also explained that he enjoys playing with Mingueza, “It was a surprise for people, two such young players. I think the coach gives us confidence but I hope that the results continue to be achieved and we know how to take advantage of it. It is a great opportunity.”
Araujo Hails ‘Great Friend’ Suarez
The Uruguayan also discussed his relationship with former striker Suarez. The duo played together for the national side and Barcelona before Suarez departed for Atletico Madrid in the summer.
Araujo described how Suarez helped me adjust to life at Barcelona, “He is a great person. Now I have a great friend, he helped me a lot since I arrived and even more so when I went up to the first team, both on the field and outside in the dressing room, on a daily basis.”
The Barca defender also revealed that Suarez congratulated him on scoring his first goal for the club. Araujo scored a brilliant scissor kick against Valencia in December.
The goal drew praise from Suarez, “He congratulated me, he was very happy and told me that more will come. it’s tremendous. It is not a surprise what he does at Atlético, he is showing that he is a great striker.”
Araujo is a doubt for Barcelona’s next game against Real Sociedad in the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday after picking up a hamstring strain in the warm-up against Granada on Saturday but has been named in the squad.