Speaking to the media after Barcelona’s first training session on their pre-season tour in Miami, USA, Ronald Araujo touched on various topics ranging from the club’s development under Xavi Hernandez to new signings who have been do this summer.
Barcelona have already completed several transfers this summer, with Robert Lewandowski the latest to join, from Bayern Munich in a deal worth €50m including variables.
Reacting to the signing of the prolific 33-year-old Araujo, said (h/t Mundo Deportivo): “We know his quality, it’s great that he’s with us.”
Barcelona have also secured the signing of Raphinha from Leeds United, while adding Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen, both arriving on free transfers after their respective contracts with AC Milan and Chelsea expired.
Talking about the other new additions, Araujo said: “Raphinha, Christensen and Kessié have also arrived and it is important that good players arrive so that we can grow as a team.”
Ousmane Dembele has also re-signed with the Blaugranasigning a two-year contract after seeing his previous one expire on June 30. “We all wanted Dembele to continue at the club,” Araujo added, speaking from the Frenchman.
With the addition of Christensen, there is increased competition for places in the centre-back department. And Araujo, who has established himself as a leader at the back for Barca, insisted that competition for starting places is always good for players.
“Competition is always good in football because it allows you to bring out the best in yourself and new players can contribute to that,” said the Uruguay international.
Barcelona have also been heavily linked with a move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. Asked about the possibility of playing with the Frenchman, Araujo replied: “Kounde is a great player, and having the best at Barcelona is always a positive thing.”
The former Boston River defender also had good words for Gerard Pique. Saluting the veteran defender, the 23-year-old said: “I would describe Pique as a captain and a reference.”
Regarding the development the team has achieved under Xavi, Araujo said: “We have grown since Xavi arrived. Maybe we had lost our style of play, but now he is recovering.
Araujo also highlighted the importance of the pre-season and the goals for the upcoming campaign, saying: “It’s important to have a good pre-season, tactically and physically. I think it’s going to be a great season. It’s important to win titles for the team, but you have to take it step by step.