Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo has opened up on his duel with Vinicius Junior ahead of Sunday’s Clasico at the Camp Nou between the two old rivals.
The clash between the two youngsters has been a key battle in recent meetings between the two sides, with Araujo coming out on top.
The Uruguayan has been full of praise for Vinicius ahead of the latest match-up and admits the Brazilian is a difficult opponent to face.
“At the moment, I think Vinícius is the number one attacking player in the world when it comes to one-on-one situations. He’s a very good player, he’s a difference-maker.
“Playing against him is difficult, obviously. But I work hard to be able to do my best in matches like this. I’m glad things are going well.”
Victory for Barcelona will move Xavi’s side 12 points clear at the top and Araujo feels the match on Sunday is like a cup final for the Catalans.
“The team is doing well, I am doing well and really looking forward to playing in such an important game,” he added.
“I think we have to treat it that way (like a cup final) because it’s a very important game and we know that we can open up a big gap with not many games left to play in LaLiga.
“Now we are seeing the results of everything we have been working on. Xavi arrived in the middle of last season and when you’re playing a lot you can’t work on a lot of things. I think that we were able to work on our defending a lot in pre-season.”
Araujo is expected to play at right-back again to counter the threat of Vinicius, with Jules Kounde potentially partnering Andreas Christensen in the heart of the defense.