Ronald Araujo ‘Excited’ For His EL Clasico At Camp Nou: “Will Be Very Special”
As Barcelona gear up to face arch-rivals Real Madrid in a season-defining El Clasico on Sunday night at Camp Nou, Ronald Araujo has expressed his happiness and excitement for the blockbuster clash.
The Uruguayan, who will be back in the squad after missing the match against Athletic Club due to suspension, will be playing his first-ever El Clasico at home.
The five matches he has played against Real Madrid have been away from Camp Nou, with three at the Santiago Bernabeu and two more in Saudi Arabia during the Spanish Super Cup.
So, naturally, Araujo is excited to represent the Blaugrana in front of the home support for the first time in his career.
“I’m very happy and excited to play my first Clasico at home. It will be very special and we hope it turns out well for us,” Araujo said in an interaction with Mundo Deportivo.
The match can have major implications on the La Liga title race as a win would see Barça create a twelve-point lead over Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
The mood within the Catalans’ dressing room is believed to be confident that a win would all but guarantee the La Liga crown. However, Araujo erred on the side of caution, saying that there are still a lot of matches to be played.
“I don’t think it would seal La Liga, because this is football and anything can happen, but it would be a very important and key step towards our objective. We would be talking about 12 points, which is a good margin to be able to go for our goal, which is to win La Liga, and even more so by beating our eternal rivals,” he said.
“We have to face it with humility as this is a long season and there is still a lot to play for,” Araujo added.
Araujo has been deployed as a right-back in recent El Clasico matches by manager Xavi to negate the threat of Vinicius Jr – a tactic that has proven quite successful. And Araujo insisted that he expected to start as a full-back again on Sunday, saying:
“I expect to play as a right back tomorrow, but the manager has not confirmed anything. I’ll give my best to help the team in whatever position.”
“I don’t prepare for El Clasico in a special way. It’s like any other match, but obviously knowing its importance,” he added, when asked if he prepared in a different manner for the game, especially when he has to face Vinicius.
Araujo also spoke about Real Madrid midfielder and his Uruguay teammate Federico Valverde, saying: “He’s a friend and a spectacular player. It’s a pity he’s on the other side.”