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Barcelona: Ronald Araujo names Liverpool star as his defensive idol

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Araujo has named four players as his role models, including Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, who is the only active player on his list.

Ronald Araujo has opened up on his decision to join Barcelona in 2018 and the players he looks up to as a defender.

Only two years after joining Barcelona’s youth team, Araujo broke into the senior squad under Ronald Koeman. The Uruguayan star has continued his development under Xavi, becoming a crucial part of Barca’s backline.

Araujo was not a teenager when he left Uruguay to continue his career in La Liga, but an offer from the Catalan giants was still impossible to reject.

“I had the opportunity to join other teams in La Liga,” the defender told Lay’s Latam.

“They told me that Barça would only include me in their reserve team at first, so I had to choose. 

“I told them: ‘I have an offer from Barça, I have to sign for Barça’.”

Asked about his idols as a defender, Araujo responded: “I have many: Puyol, Rio Ferdinand, Piqué… Currently, Van Djik.”

Araujo’s current deal runs until 2026. However, interest from Bayern Munich and Manchester United has convinced Barcelona to enter contract negotiations with the defender ahead of the next transfer window.