With Barcelona undergoing a transition and rebuilding their team after so successful a period, it could yet be individuals like Ronald Araújo who define the next. With Frenkie de Jong, Ansu Fati, Pedri and others, there exists the core of another promising team; Araújo’s progress throughout 2020/21 has demonstrated he may yet emerge as the leader of their new defence.
Ronald Koeman, the manager who first gave Araújo regular first-team football at the age of 21, is as familiar as any with what is required to succeed in that position for the most demanding of clubs. “He is proving to be a brave boy,” he said of the Uruguayan. “He’s physically very strong and has a great future ahead of him. Hopefully he will continue with the number four for many years.”