Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has tipped Ronald Araujo to become the captain of the club at some point in the future. The Catalans will appoint a new skipper next season following the departure of Sergio Busquets.
Xavi told Movistar that he fully expects the Uruguay international to wear the armband at some point, as reported by Diario AS.
“Sooner or later he is going to be captain of Barcelona. He is a natural leader,” he said. “He takes it inside. I have already told him that he has to be captain.”
The center-back joined the club in 2018 from Boston River, originally joining the reserves, but has risen into the first team and become a crucial member of Xavi’s team.
The Barcelona boss has regularly praised Araujo during a stunning season where the Catalans conceded just 20 goals in 38 league games. Xavi has said Araujo is the player who has “grown the most” since he took over, as reported by Sport.
Araujo also came in for huge praise from his manager before Barcelona’s Clasico clash with Real Madrid. The game saw the defender come up against Vinicius Junior, with Xavi telling a press conference before the fixture that Araujo was “one of the best in the world,” as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
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Who Will Captain Barcelona Next Season?
Barcelona are yet to confirm who will captain the team next season, although Xavi has told a press conference there are plenty of candidates to take over the armband from Busquets.
Yet Roberto is not a regular in the team and it remains to be seen how often he will actually lead the team out. The 31-year-old only started 15 La Liga games in the 2022-23 season and is certainly no longer first choice at the Camp Nou.
Ronald Araujo Talks Leadership Qualities
Araujo may have to wait a little while to wear the armband at Barcelona but will continue to be a leader on the pitch. The center-back has told EFE that it’s a role that comes naturally to him.
“I consider myself a leader because of my character,” he said. “I like to know how the team and teammates are doing, I want everyone to do well. On the pitch, I always talk as it’s a way to be focused. I know that helps my teammates a lot.”
Barcelona will need a strong leader in the new season as they begin life with veterans such as Busquets and Jordi Alba. The Catalans will also spend next season away from the Camp Nou, playing at Montjuic instead, as the famous old stadium undergoes renovation work.