Ronald Araujo has enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom at Barcelona over the past year.
Signed from Uruguayan side Boston River in 2018, the 22-year-old made his senior debut under Ernesto Valverde in 2019 but only became a regular in the final season when Ronald Koeman was in charge.
The centre-back impressed strongly last season but has taken his game up a notch in the current campaign, establishing himself as one of the most exciting young defenders in Europe. This led to him attracting interest from clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United.
Araujo was a mainstay in Xavi Hernandez’s side when he was fit and available and became known for his aggressive defensive performances.
However, if a report of ESPN You have to believe that things could have turned out completely differently for the 22-year-old as he could have ended up playing for Barca rivals Real Madrid.
His coach at Boston River, Sergio Cabrera, who recently backed Araujo to level with Carles Puyol, had called Ramon Planes to recommend the defender. Back then, Planes was the manager of Getafe and could have signed him there, but a move didn’t materialise.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid were also very keen on signing Araujo while Sevilla were also working on a deal to lure him to La Liga. However, Planes moved to Barcelona as technical director in 2018 and moved quickly to secure the Uruguayan’s signature, beating the club’s rivals in the process.
Araujo repaid the trust placed in him by the club at a young age, becoming a key member of the team. With his contract expiring in 18 months, the former Boston River ace is expected to sign a new deal and extend his stay at Camp Nou.