Xavi Reveals The Barcelona Player Who Has ‘Grown The Most’

Xavi Hernandez

Getty Xavi is missing Dembele.

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez has been full of praise for center-back Ronald Araujo after seeing the Uruguay international put in another superb performance for the Catalan giants.

Xavi’s side beat Villarreal 1-0 on Sunday, February 13 to extend their lead at the top of La Liga to 11 points over nearest challengers Real Madrid. Barca’s defense kept another clean sheet, making it 16 from 21 games so far in the Spanish top flight.

The Barcelona boss spoke about Araujo after the win and insisted the 23-year-old defender is the player who has improved the most with the ball since he took charge, as reported by Sport.

“He is the player who has grown the most with the ball, he is extraordinary,” said Xavi when asked about Araujo. The 23-year-old has become one of the first names on Xavi’s teamsheet at Barca and has formed a strong partnership with Andreas Christensen.

Barca currently boast the best defensive record in Europe’s top five leagues and have conceded just seven league goals from 21 games.

Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

Araujo Reveals How Xavi Helped Him Improve

Araujo has opened up on how he’s improved in possession since working with Xavi at the Camp Nou. The defender told Gerard Romero that he has become more confident under the former midfielder, as reported by Catalunya Radio.

“With the ball at my feet and starting from the back I have improved thanks to Xavi. He has given me a lot of confidence,” he said. “I feel like another player with the ball. I make good decisions. I feel good, physically and with the ball. I’m in the best moment of my career.”

Barcelona have already demonstrated their faith in the defender. The youngster has been handed a long-term contract that runs until 2026 and contains a release clause set at 1 billion euros.

The center-back has also been likened to former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol, due to his combative playing style, and has been tipped to follow in the club legend’s footsteps by wearing the armband at the Camp Nou.

Sergio Busquets is the current club captain but is facing an uncertain future with his contract due to expire in the summer. If Barcelona are looking for a new captain then Araujo would be a candidate, particularly as he has already admitted it’s a role he would love to take on.

Balde Brands Araujo Barcelona’s ‘Beast’

Xavi’s praise for Araujo has been echoed by team-mate Alejandro Balde. The teenager spoke about the Uruguayan after the victory over Villarreal and said his presence is vital at the back, as reported by Sport.

“Araujo is a beast; he’s a safety net at the back and we’re very happy to have him with us,” he said. Yet Barcelona will have to cope without Araujo next time out in La Liga against Cadiz as he is banned after picking up five yellow cards this season.

Araujo’s absence will be a blow and means that Xavi must make changes to his backline. The coach could decide to switch Jules Kounde from right-back to the middle or he could bring Eric Garcia back into the team alongside Christensen.

READ NEXT: Barcelona Send Out Strong Ansu Fati Warning

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x