"I remember him being 20 years old and stopping Lionel Messi in training" - Luis Suarez lauds Barcelona defender who gave Argentina great a hard time

Luis Suarez reminisced about a Barcelona training session recently.
Luis Suarez reminisced about a Barcelona training session recently.

Former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has lauded his former teammate Ronald Araujo, claiming that the centre-back used to stop Lionel Messi in training.

Araujo, who joined Barcelona from Uruguayan outfit Boston River in 2018, has cemented himself as a rock in the Blaugrana defense over the course of the last two seasons. During the 2021-22 season, the defender featured in 43 matches, netting four goals and racking up 3270 minutes in the process.

He's already made a name for himself at @FCBarcelona... πŸ’™πŸ”β€οΈ What a season it's been for @RonaldAraujo_4! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΎπŸ”#LaLigaSantander

Speaking to ESPN Argentina, Suarez hailed his compatriot for his growth and rise in stature at the La Liga club. He said:

"I'm very happy with the level Araujo has showed all season with Barca. I always trusted him. I remember him being 20 years old and stopping Leo [Messi] in training. That kid is a wall."

Araujo, who has earned 11 international caps for Uruguay till date, played alongside Lionel Messi for two seasons and won a Copa del Rey together in the 2020-21 campaign.

Owing to his physically imposing performances and his astute tackling, Araujo has rapidly risen through the ranks at Barcelona. Overall, he has made 80 senior appearances for the club, registering six goals and one assist along the way.

Barcelona are set to start their pre-season preparations with a domestic friendly against UE Olot on July 13. Afterwards, the Blaugrana are scheduled to face Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Miami and the New York Red Bulls in the United States.

Lionel Messi's Argentina touted as favourites for 2022 FIFA World Cup

Argentina are being considered as one of the favorites to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year. The Lionel Messi-captained side is currently in a rich vein of form after lifting two international trophies within the space of 12 months.

Lionel Messi with the new Argentina World Cup home shirt! πŸ‡¦πŸ‡·

Last year, Argentina lifted the Copa America after defeating their South American rivals Brazil in the final. Earlier this year, La Albiceleste emerged victorious in the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions title, otherwise known as 'Finalissima', beating Euro Cup winners Italy 3-0 at Wembley Stadium in London.

Currently ranked third in the world, Argentina are on a 33-match unbeaten streak and are just four wins behind the longest win streak in international football history. Italy currently boast the longest win streak in international football with 37 wins between 2018 and 2021.

37 – Italy have ended an unbeaten streak of 37 consecutive games: the longest such run ever for a major National team in general. Braking.#ItalySpain

Argentina have been drawn in Group C of the tournament alongside Poland, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. The competition is set to kick off on November 21 and the final is scheduled for December 18.

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Edited by Aranya Chaudhury
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