Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted he’s very worried by center-back Ronald Araujo’s situation, with the defender currently training at the World Cup with the Uruguay squad.
Araujo was ruled out for three months in September after undergoing surgery on a thigh injury. However, he has been allowed to join the Uruguay squad for the tournament in Qatar.
Laporta says he understands that Araujo is desperate to play in the competition but fears he may suffer a relapse if he tries to rush his recovery, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
“It is very worrying, we know the enthusiasm of the players for going to the World Cup, that is why Ronald wanted to go and Xavi made the right decision with certain conditions,” he said. “We have two members of our medical team with the Uruguay team and we want them not to be exposed to a relapse. I hope they are prudent and that above all the player’s health prevails. Araujo is aware of this situation and knows that Barça has behaved as we should have behaved and I think he will behave as an FC Barcelona professional should do, which is not risking a relapse.”
Araujo has not featured yet for Uruguay and is expected to miss their next game against Portugal later today. Diego Alonso’s side then complete their group campaign on Friday against Ghana.
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Uruguay Offer Araujo Update
Uruguay have responded to concerns from Barcelona about Araujo and have insisted they will not take any risks with the defender. Alonso told reporters his side have adhered to an agreement they have with Barcelona regarding Araujo, as reported by 90min.
“We have a very good dialogue with Barcelona,” he explained, “We have an agreement with Barcelona, we have respected it and the player continues to evolve.”
Araujo has only made six La Liga starts for Barcelona so far this season because of his injury and the Catalans will want to avoid losing him for any more games once domestic competition resumes after the World Cup.
Xavi does have plenty of other defensive options, even despite the retirement of Gerard Pique, but Araujo is a key player for Barcelona and one of the first names on the manager’s teamsheet when fit.
Laporta Responds To Messi Rumors
Laporta also took time out to respond to the latest rumors regarding Barcelona legend Lionel Messi. There is speculation Messi will join Inter Miami at the end of the season once his contract with PSG expires.
Barcelona are also thought to be willing to offer Messi the chance to return to the Camp Nou, but Laporta says it’s not the right time to talk about the Argentina international.
“I have said it many times, Messi is a player and a person who will always be present in the collective memory of Barcelona,” he said. “I am not going to comment on Messi anymore because he is a player who has a contract with PSG and I think it would be in bad taste for me to talk about these issues when he has a contract with another club. Out of respect for the other club and the player himself, allow me not to go into issues related to Messi.”
Messi is expected to make a final decision on his future after World Cup 2022.