Ronald Araujo had one of his most difficult performances in a Barcelona shirt in last Sunday’s defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup Final. The Uruguayan was decidedly second-best in his direct matchup with Vinicius Junior for the first time since the two began facing each other in El Clásico, and Araujo was also sent off early in the second half.
It was a rough night for the Uruguayan who once again played out of position at right-back, which had been Xavi Hernández’s favorite strategy to try and contain Vinicius in recent games againt Madrid. Araujo usually got the best of the matchup, but he couldn’t replicate his dominance a week ago.
And according to Xavi, playing at right-back last weekend was Araujo’s idea.
“His natural position is center-back, but because of the team’s circumstances he has to help where there’s a need. I spoke to him and he asked me to play full-back. He felt comfortable about it, but we didn’t play well enough.”
Source: Mundo Deportivo
I appreciate Xavi not making the defeat in El Clásico all about Araujo when he says the entire team wasn’t good enough, and Araujo’s request to play right-back shows Ronald’s willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team win as well as the confidence he has in himself to face one of the most dangerous players in Europe.
It didn’t work last week, but it has worked a ton in the past and it will work again.